Sunday, October 19, 2014

¡Vamos a Belice! (We're going to Belize!)

I have now officially been living in Honduras for 2 months, and this past week has been the most insane. One of our English teachers, who I assist in the afternoons at school, went to the states for her best friend's wedding, so I took over teaching half of second grade, all of third, and part of ninth, in addition to my prepa and first graders this week. The kids were writing letters for their sponsors, which was extremely difficult since prepa does not know the alphabet yet, first grade does not read or write, and second and third grade struggle with writing sentences as well. But we made it through, and everyone survived. Thank God for three day weeks. Thursday and Friday we had off school so that we could travel to renew our visas. Honduras will only let us stay in the country for 90 days, and then we have to travel 2 counties away for 2 nights to be able to get another 90 days here.

Tuesday night, Jenna, Colton, and I went to Bible study at the Spanish language school with other missionaries who are learning Spanish there. The passage of the night was from Jesus's sermon on the mount where he tells us not to worry in Matthew 6. I've also been reading 1 Peter 5. Verses 6-7 say: "Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." How prideful it is for us to worry! We think we are in control and can handle our lives, but Jesus said, "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:27). We would be so much happier and live more freely in God's will if we would just turn all our worries over to Him. He is the One who is in control, anyways, and this was definitely something I needed a reminder about as we prepared to travel out of the country.

Thursday morning we were up at 4:30 AM, and Jose, our bus driver, picked up Kathy, Sheena, Jenna, and I at 5:30 to go to Puerto Cortez, Honduras, about a 3.5 hour trip. From there we caught a bus to the Guatemalan boarder, about 2 hours, where the bus stopped to let us off and walk across the boarder. (We did still go through immigration!) We found someone on the Guatemala side of the boarder with a van who told us the last water taxi for Belize left at 1 PM, which was in 50 minutes, so we quickly loaded up and he drove like a crazy person to get us there on time. Even with stopping for a passport check and another visit to immigration, we were able to make it there right at one, where we where informed the taxi did not leave until 1:30. God was definitely there looking our for us to get us there on time though! We went through immigration again in Puerto Barrios and loaded up on the water taxi with a British guy named Ryan and a couple from Israel who were on their honeymoon, along with a few others. The ride was thankfully pretty smooth until it starting raining the last 15 minutes! Once we made it to Punta Gorda, Belize and went through immigration and customs for the last time, we grabbed some food and walked down the coast to the place we were staying, the Blue Belize.

The power went out soon after arriving, so we walked back down the coast to the closest restaurant. Asha's Kitchen, for dinner by lantern light. After dinner and walking home by flashlight, the power came back on and we sat in our living room and sang hymns. 

Friday morning I woke up to the sun coming in the window at 6:30 and spent some time reading before we ate breakfast on the porch. We headed out at about 9 AM to walk the city and see what people God put in our path. We met some of the same people the other teachers had met on their last trip in Belize, and some new people, like Marlon who was a Rastafarian. We had some interesting conversations, but it was a good day. We also got to tour a chocolate making factory, and by that I mean a little house where they make chocolate using a few machines and a hair dryer. 

Saturday we were up at 6:30 again to pack up and walk back to the water taxi dock. We stopped at a small restaurant for some fry jacks and played a couple rounds of Bananagrams before going through immigration and getting on an emptier water taxi for the ride back to Guatemala.

After an hour on the water taxi we made it back to Guatemala where we met Marlon, who had a van and would drive us to Puerto Cortez, Honduras. Three more immigration stops and 2.5 hours later we were back in Honduras.We caught a crowded bus that would take us to San Pedro Sula, and that ride was the longest 2 hours of my life. At the bus station in San Pedro, which is almost like a mall with shops and a food court, we got some food and caught a bus back to Sigua. Unfortunately, we got stuck in traffic, which turned that part of our trip into a four hour bus ride. At one point, we saw motorcycles passing us on the sidewalk, then pickup trucks, then 12 passenger vans, so our bus drier thought, why not him? You know traffic is bad when a bus drives up on the sidewalk to bypass some of the traffic. We finally made it back to the Sigua bus station around 8 PM and got a taxi to take us home. Our other housemate, Bethany, had already made it back from the states, so we got to catch up with her before crashing early. Who knew a full day of traveling could be so exhausting?

So our trip was successful, and our visas a re renewed for another 90 days, so we can make it to Christmas. Thank you for your prayers while we were traveling. Love you all!


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