Friday, January 20, 2012

Hold on tight, this life has begun!

Wow, how can I even begin to explain the craziness of this week?!  It has been full of emotions, new people, meetings, lots of walking (it seriously took us 3 days to walk the Ranch) and lots of information.  The six of us new volunteers have been getting along great, navigating through the nuances of integrating into the current volunteer group.  It’s always a challenge, but one that is embraced here on the Ranch.

After a few freak out moments with my dad (who is now home safe!), frantic Skype calls with mom, panic emails to friends, and yes a few tears, I am starting to feel like I actually will be able to do this.  Now, I am still not feeling wonderfully confident, but I am out of the initial “holy moly, this is going to be my life and I can’t do this” phase.  I am still very much worried about my Spanish, and just being able to adjust to life here.  The next few months are going to be the hardest, and hopefully things will then just make sense and feel right.

I don’t want to bore you all with the nitty gritty details.  It’s not really important.  Multiple people have said this (mom, dad, Volunteer Coordinator, NPH Honduras Director, etc): Remember why I decided on NPH.  For me, it’s the kids and to follow God’s call to help the poor of this world.  If I can focus on that, then the rest will fall into place.  Sometimes, easier said than done, but I am really going to try!

This week we also ventured into Tegus for the first time.  It’s definitely an experience!  The bus and van (taxi) ride alone were interesting.  The city is, well, a city.  Dirty, lots of people, homeless, the nicer parts and the parts we don’t walk down.  I was really cautious, but I wasn’t overly concerned or nervous.  It was a fun day with the older volunteers showing us the places to go (and not go) for food and other necessities.  We had lunch, did some shopping and then made the 45ish minute trip home.

Today, each of us newbies had a “Dia de Experencia” (Experience Day), where we either worked in the granja (farm), hortaliza (garden), tortilleria (tortilla factory) or la cocina (kitchen).  I had the pleasure of working in the granja.  I got to feed the chickens, rake some leaves, feed the bunnies, and collect some eggs.  It was a good experience to have because, 1) the pequenos work at each of these places, and it’s awesome to have some insight into their life and 2) I essentially helped prepare the food we will eventually eat on the Ranch!  We have one more day to do this next week, and I believe I will be in la conica!

Now for a few items that may interest you:
  • Taking a cold shower is best in the afternoon after a long hike.
  • Cutting a water bottle to capture a cockroach and tag-teaming the thing seems to work well.
  • I like beans, but eating them for breakfast is a little much.
  • The Ranch is huge… no, seriously.
  • Making tortillas is an art.
  • The power goes out frequently… it’s just the way it is.
  • I still really don’t like bugs.
  • I am getting used to the feeling of my clothes being dried outside.
  • The stars are STUNNING at night!
  • The kids are really cute.

A few pics: 
My bed... please excuse the disorganization.

The dorms... the other ladies' beds.

The other view.

And a few from when my Dad wandered:
Path on the way to the church

Jesus said: You all are my friends.

One view of the amazing mountains.

The church... outside. (I still actually haven't seen this in person, yet!)

View from the alter... it's like an amphitheater! :)

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