A Weekly Journal Chronicling My Life
As It Intersects With The Garbage Dump Community Near La Ceiba, Honduras

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saturday Mornings With The Eby's

saturdays have become odd as of late.
most of life has really.

saturdays used to be spent doing things like this:

but because of an 8 month soccer season where the majority of our games are played on saturdays, we really don't have a lot of time for much else.

so these past few months most of our saturdays, when not on the soccer field, have looked like this:

but then came those eby's.
they began filling a void that had taken root saturday mornings.
for the past month and a half now the eby's have been coming out saturday mornings to hang out on my porch and play games with the kids.

they've been teaching the kids uno and other card games.
the kids are expert dutch blitz players but seem to be too bashful to show off their talents. 

 andrew teaching the boys

 LaRee teeaching the girls

neighbor boy (is it bad that i don't know his name?) looking on

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where I've Been

I'm trying to take stock of my condition, my circumstance but I can't quite get my head around it. I'm not myself, this I know; not physically, not mentally, not spiritually. What I haven't been able to figure out though is if all that is a bad thing.

I got the dengue fever the other week, a funny-accented Cuban doctor confirmed it for me. It was a wild, feverish ride topped off with an alergic reaction that left me blotchy and itching. It's gone now, but it's left me sapped of energy - I want nothing more than to maintain a clean home, a full sink and to sleep as much as possible; those are my 3 daily priorities. It's hard not to feel utterly useless in a situation like that.

Something else changed in me around the same time - I stopped short of going over a precipice, thanks to girlfriend. I won't go into detail, I don't really want to but suffice to say, the current trajectory I was on had me racing headlong towards abject ruin. There's not a bit of exaggertion in that statement. With a word though, girlfriend checked my demise and overnight I became much more quiet and pensive.

I've started thinking about life beyond Honduras. For the first time the other day I began imagining a life back in Central Pa...and I longed for it. Something switched on within me; I wanted to go to a Friday night football game at my old high school, I wanted to see mountains robed in deep hues of red and orange, I wanted to feel the cool, crisp, Autumn air in my face. I missed my family, truly missed them and their involvement in my life, to the point where I became melancholic.

I belong to a Mennonite discussion board on the internet - fancy that. I don't participate much, as most on there tend to be of a more conservative and plainer crowd, I'm usually just content to observe and read. The other day a post came up about Elmo Stoll, at one time the most powerful and well-known Amish bishop in the Old Order Amish world. At the very height of his power and fame he turned his back on the Amish and moved to Tennessee to found an intentional Christian community. It was mildly successful but ultimately failed as a result of his untimely death. Ira Wagler (www.irawagler.com) another ex-Amishman and cousin of Elmo's did a fair job at chronicling the story if you're so inclined. These past few days I've been obsessed with Elmo Stoll and his community - part of me has always longed for Christian community in this way. Before I left for Honduras I used to envision being part of an intentional community in Williamsport. Maybe I'm over-idealizing, in fact I know I am but I can't help but feel that in the early days of Agape Fellowship (my home church) we had something akin to true Christian community. Not everything was held in common but life revolved around the church and the people in it, there was a sense that we were all truly struggling together to live out the life that Jesus had called us to. I miss my old church sometimes.

Standing over my sink today, thinking about Elmo and his failed vision I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. I've missed it here, this was my chance, this was my community to help form and I've missed it. It's become something else entirely, what I'm not exactly sure but intentional Christian community it is not.

I talked to God the other day too - it had been too long. It was good to reconnect, to listen, to talk. I'm reminded more than ever how much I need him in my life if I want to make something of this path that I've chosen, if I don't want to end in total ruin.

Lately I feel like I'm on the cusp of something new and different; the fever and its exhaustion, the word from girlfriend, it's forced me to stop and listen. I still can't get my head around this new situation, but something has changed, that much I know.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I've Got Nothing...

For the first time in just about forever I have absolutely nothing to write about - no pictures, no events, no celebrity sightings, nothin'. I feel like a loser, like I'm not doing my job, like I've lost my touch. Check back tomorrow, maybe I'll have something.

 this is all i've got
duke and anuar sharing a hammock
what a thrill

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I've Got Nothing

Daddy's been feeling deathly sick these past few days.

don't worry your pretty little head.
i'm almost well.
but yeah, i basically felt how you look there.

anyways, check back in on thursday.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Faces of Los Laureles

don't let the halo fool you.
an angel he is not.
little mateo is kind of a brat.
and the only vocabulary he seems to be able to manage is variations on spanish curse words.
this one still isn't growing on me.
he does call me papi though.
papi might have to do some disciplining here in the near future.
ok, these people are not from laureles.
but i liked the photo.
taken by tati.
soplo and manuel after a soccer game.
both, in their own way, think they're too cool for school.
it's been my mission to teach them otherwise.

here's a kid that thinks he's from laureles, acts like he's from here, spends all of his time here.
but he's not
william lives down the highway in a nice home with a stable family that has steady and reliable employment.
he discovered our soccer team last year, joined, became a star forward for the u-14 team and slowly began making friends here.
to the point now where he practically lives here.
sometimes he stays so late that his mother has to physically come and chase him back to their house.
he's a good kid with a good heart though.
some of our high school group has been struggling in their classes.
what else is new.
last year we had organized tutoring for the kids with our youth from church.
we don't have that luxury this year.
what we do have is girlfriend and her willingness to come out twice a week and help the most desperate.
melvin is so grateful
oh duke.
i could go on forever about duke.
i shan't.
i will say that in every way, be it on the soccer field or in the classroom or in his personal/spiritual life i see growth and a deepening maturity.
i'm truly hopeful for this one.

finally there's anuar.
funny how life goes aroud in cycles.
3 years ago anuar was the first child i befriended here in los laureles.
he went everywhere with me.
he was my door to meeting other kids, exploring the community, developing contacts with adults.
and then we kind of drifted apart.
he was always there - just not in the intense way he was for the first 6 months.
more recently and now that we're neighbors he's back in my life again in a profound way.
he's at the house all day, helps in whatever project we're invloved in and always involved in the conversations here.
i'm a big fan of anuar.
and he grinds a mean coffee mill.

I had a dream, there were flies in my coffee, flies in my coffee...

it was a moth 

you're so vain

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yeah, So About Those Gringos That Keep Popping Up In My Blog Photos...

they would be the eby's.
as in:
andrew, arizona, caleb, eliana and laree.
they're a lovely family; quiet, warm, caring,
i think i'm gonna like them.

i may or may not have stolen this photo from their blog profile.
what gave it away, the winter coats or the barren deciduous tree in the background?
speaking of their blog, here it is: http://weebeeinhonduras.blogspot.com/

so, anyway, the eby's are here for a year.
they arrived in july - which i guess means they'll be leaving next july...or would it be next june?
do you count 12 months or do you count the year as july to july?
i might look into that.
back on topic.
they're here to work both with me in the community of los laureles and with a children's home run by amor viviente church.
that means they'll be splitting their time between both the mennonite church and amor viviente church activities.
this is interesting by-the-bye.
i don't think any emm missionaries have ever worked with both the mennonite church and amor viviente church before.
the two churches aren't the best of friends.
they used to be one and now they're two.
there was some parting of ways years ago.
maybe the eby's are here to help reconile differences as well?

the eby's, as i mentioned, arrived here in july and have been spending the past month or so transitioning into life here in la ceiba.
transitions take time.
lots of it.
especially for whole families.
i took me a good 3-4 months to really feel like this was home.
i missed costa rica.
regardless, i was just one person - i can't imagine a whole darn family.

i've actually enjoyed both watching them and reading another fellow emm worker's blog: http://stacyinczech.blogspot.com/ about her transition into the czech republic because it brings me back to my first days in both san jose, costa rica and here in la ceiba, honduras.
 the mixture of fear, wonderment, excitiement and naivete is something that can only come with moving to a completely new and unknown culture or place.
you feel so helpless, at the complete mercy of strangers with whom you have no other option but than to trust.
your senses are overloaded with new sights, tastes and sounds, new languages, processing what you know to be true back home with what you see now in front of you.
feeling like you'll truly get to know this place seems insurmountable and ridiculous yet you're hopeful and eager to learn the culture and language.
i love all of those feelings.
yet i love being able to call this place home now.

how did this turn into a blog post about me?
people that know me are smiling wryly and thinking of words like narcissism and self-involvement.

so about those eby's.
they've been slowly making their way out into the community, getting to know it and the people here.
the other day they came out for a visit.
they picked the afternoon when the sun is blazing in all its glory and my house feels like a furnace.
so i had all the energy of a slug.
i may or may not have been content to simply observe them interacting with the children here.
i did manage to take a few fotos though.

they brought legos along and both caleb and carlos quickly set about to building
i just love this kid
i know i say it every time he shows up in a blog
but i really mean it
arizona seemed more interested in the kids playing soccer
he's a bit flighty though
so he lost interest in that and came to join our lego fun on the porch
until he noticed my ducks...

so, them's the eby's.
hope you liked 'em because they'll be here (as in my blog) for the next year.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Laureles Football Update

so it may have just occurred to me as i sat down to write a quick post about the recent soccer happenings that i have written next to nothing about them this season.
which is odd.
for one it consumes a lot of my time.
and there are 2 additional teams to manage this year...which ought to make for more stories/photos
and it's kind of important.
but no, i've let nearly an entire season go by without writing a thing about it.
where has my head been?

at some point i'll have to give a proper redux because this has been an exciting season
not to mention stressful
but this is not the time.
aka, i don't have the time for that right now.
here's what i do have time for:
chihua in goal
he plays for our u-16 team
he's amazing
our u-16 team is anything but

the star of our club is the u-14 team
they're simply a joy to watch
they finished the season in 3rd place out of 13 teams and thus classified for the pentagonal tournament to determine the league champion
this is the most disciplined, dedicated and talented group we have
and their coach there johnny plays a huge role in that
come to think of it our u-18 team isn't too far behind either
they had a rockier season
less disciplined, more red cards, more foul words
but due to some statistical favors they too ended up in 3rd place in their category
this staurday they have their first pentagonal tournament game
they're expecting it to be a cake-walk
i am too
i just don't want to tell them that

then we have the u-16 team

they think they're as good as this

really they're unruly clowns who have lost every game this season
i won't say talentless because they have a lot of it
they're simply undisciplined, un-critiqueable and in their minds the best players on the planet
 before every game i'm regalled with fanatsies about how everyone plans on scoring at least 3 goals and how they plan on making an amazing comeback in the league
and nearly every game we come away scoreless

for some insight take a look at the captain of the team during a pre-game team meeting

he claims his nickname to be CR-7
that would be the intials and jersey number for Cristiano Ronaldo, the star forward for Real Madrid and disputably the best player in the world
eddy is no CR-7

enough ranting

and now for a moment of u-18 zen
oh, i didn't mention the u-12 team because i have no fotos of them
yeah, i've been really good about documentation as of late