Saturday, May 23, 2009

Birthdays and more...

May 7 - Zack's birthday spent with dad in Tegucigalpa and then some presents!... May 9 - Zack's birthday celebrated with gringo and catracho friends and more presents!

Zack also received a bike for his birthday, but it turned out to be bigger than we thought. :)

After pizza and other more healthy things :) Zack had not one, but two cakes...chocolate (made by Angelica) and peach upside down cake.

Ali and Angelica also received some late birthday gifts that came in the same box as Zack's gifts!

Javier's mom also had a birthday on May 7 and Angelica made her a cake to share with all the boys in the house where she stayed. Javier has his cast off, is doing fairly well, but does have a protruding vertebrae in his back. He is going for physical therapy. Please continue to pray for him and his mom. She is back home in Comayagua.

Zorro and his right hand man polishing their fencing skills!!

Galen and Phyllis Groff were here to visit us from Guatemala for a couple of days. You may remember that we visited them on our way down to Honduras. They have been missionaries to the K'etchi (spelling? :) Indians for about 17 years. While they were here Phyllis was a blessing to Dwain and Audrey by accompanying them to the hospital as Dwain was dealing with an infection. Galen was also a great help to Harlan as they finished building a chicken coop for peeps.

Dwain was able to purchase some peeps from a neighbor so the coop is already occupied! Dwain and Audrey also still have the peeps that they hatched living in their house.

Today, Angelica's Bible study class decided to put into practice some of what they have been learning in class. They all donated items and took clothing and some other items to some poorer families up in the mountain.

After visiting about five different families, they headed to Michele's grandmother's house for a picnic lunch. The kids always enjoy visiting abuela (grandmother) and her macaw, Flor, even though it is a long hard hike up the mountain.

And we need to end with some kind of creature, right...? :)

We need to leave Honduras by Friday to renew our visas. We head for Costa Rica on Thursday. Please pray for safety and good health (especially for Ali) and easy crossings at the borders.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fun and Celebration

---------------------------Ernest Soady, Josie and Roque Carranza
The most recent big event here (besides Harlan falling through the roof :) was the 40th anniversary of La Finca on April 25th. We thank God for all the lives that have passed through here over the last 40 years and pray that he will always be honored and glorified by all who live and work here. Josie and Roque Carranza, retired directors here, and some of their family were able to attend since she came back from England earlier that week. Ernest and Doris Soady, directors of the supporting mission, and Doris' sister, Margery, were also able to come from Los Angeles, California.

The Finca choir sang several songs accompanied by Alonso, Andrea, Concho, and Audrey. There were also various dramas and a powerpoint presentation of old pictures of the Finca and family.

Maria Elena and Betty were also able to come to the anniversary and stay for couple of weeks. While they were here they also planned and coordinated a "tardeada" or afternoon of fun and games. All adults were asked to help by managing one of the games and also dressing up as something. Some of us are more creative than others (some didn't even dress up at all), but Harlan and I were able to separately come up with ideas, mine right about the time the tardeada was scheduled to start! But being Honduras, I was able to come up with the idea, implement it and still arrive about 20 minutes before the event actually started! :) I went dressed up as... Harlan. He went as a flashy brightly colored tourist.

We also had a nurse Michele...

And clown, Maria Elena...

and little girl Betty and lifeguard Andrea...

Every game includes water in some aspect and every game is designed so someone gets wet...

whether it is by sitting on and popping a water balloon in the middle of a sack race...

Or putting on clothes soaked in water, running an obstacle course and throwing water on everyone else...

Or playing musical chairs that are covered with wet shirts and having a bucket of water thrown on each loser after they miss a chair...

Of course, they getting wet part is always helped along when it starts to rain and it's a free for all with buckets of water, water balloons, and a hose!:)

The rains have started early this year, which is nice for the crops, but not so nice for those of us who love hot, sunny weather. The rain also helps bring out interesting creatures like the termites and this beauty which was at my eye level on the wall when I looked out my door one evening!

Now for some more random pictures: Zack, after he has given himself a new haircut :)

Andrea making Javier help her with dishes!

and Harlan keeping Javi company... :)

In Harlan's defense, he was sick that day, but with the right medicine was well in time to fall through the roof. :) He is doing better, but please pray for continued healing of his right lower back and hip.

Also, thank you very much to all who remember us in various ways: prayers, financially, cards and letters, etc. Thank you Metzlers for the notes from many different members. You all make us feel special. We thank God for the many people who make up the body of Christ here on earth.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Construction Update

My profound apologies to those of you who have little interest in construction projects at La Finca. But this blog will be focused on that particular subject since I promised to do so some time ago.

If you've forgotten, the two construction projects that have been under way for some time now include the computer lab and reconstruction of the old boys dorm into two housing units comparable to those the girls are now living in. We've appreciated the work teams efforts in helping advance these projects. Angel and the boys are at it most days keeping the work moving along. Oscar, a local mason who in recent years has done quite a bit of work here at La Finca, has been working on this project as well.

The computer lab is basically finished. There are a few things to do yet like installing an A/C unit (people are allowed to overheat here but not computers :]. Possibly new tile will go down on the floor yet, haven't heard for sure. Someone will be donating the furniture for the computer lab and the computers currently in the library will be moved to the lab when its ready for use.

The boys housing project is coming along pretty well. The walls are up and the first coat of plaster is finished. Angel has started welding the roof "canaletas" into place. The hope is to have the roof on before the rainy season begins. Among other things, old floor tiles have to be torn out and everything made level.

I've found it very interesting to watch and learn as these projects have unfolded and advanced. The older boys certainly have gained a lot of experience in the local construction methods. While I often feel a bit lost when trying to help, they usually seem to know what to do and can get the job done. So I get to be the student and they try to teach me. What fun!

Speaking of fun, yesterday I had an experience that was anything but. I was up on the roof of our house testing it for leaks. I though I was being careful where I stepped but after a few times up and down the ladder apparently not! Climbing up the ladder once again I took two steps onto the roof and down I went. I happened to be over our deck/porch when the roof panel gave way so that's where I landed not exactly on my feet. Needless to say today I'm feeling pretty stiff and sore all over. The lower right side of my back seems to have taken the brunt of my unglamorous landing. I'm just thankful that I didn't break anything. Some of the fiber cement roof panels are of a pretty low quality and as I laid on the porch looking up through the nice whole I'd made I could plainly see there should have been more support there for the panel. Hind sight or in this case "laying on your back in pain sight" is so 20/20!

Sorry, no pictures to go with this last little antidote.

Seriously though, pray there will be no lingering ill effects from my fall and continue praying for our future physical protection.