Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Lullaby

Christmas Lullaby

Under a new star in the sky
On a bitter cold Christmas morn
Angels gathered in the heav’n
To sing, “Our King is born!”

The stable was as still as night
The sheep lie softly in the hay
Looking at their master and King
In Mary’s arms he lay

As he cried she rocked and sang
To him through all the night
With an angelic voice from God
Singing with all her might

She sang to him for all to hear
The shepherds and the sheep
The cattle turned their heads to see
The doves, not one peep

And when the angels from above
All joined in the lullaby
The sound was so glorious
Even Joseph had to cry

As the song came to an end
The sun began to bloom
Jesus closed his tiny eyes
As warmth filled the room

Now if you visit Bethlehem
And are up on Christmas morn
Just listen for that lullaby
Celebrating Jesus being born

- Nathan LeSueur

Christmas Time in Honduras

Hello everyone!!

These past weeks have been very interesting. We have had some ¨drama¨ go around with HHK and some major events happening at the Hogar as well as in Cacao.

First off, Thanksgiving turned out to be a blast. Almost all the people we know here in Honduras turned up and we all had a lot of laughs. I have to say that my family would have been ashamed if they had seen how little I ate: I just don´t have the stomach capacity that I did back home.
After dinner, Chey, Alison, Mary, Yessenia, Tyler, Hannah, and myself met up with a few friends in Ceiba. It was Alison and Tyler´s last night in Honduras so we had a lot of fun. We all went to a very small bar and then headed to a dance club where we all danced our hearts out. After we were covered in enough sweat to bathe in, we all jumped in some taxis and headed to a small baliada place on the train tracks. Then after some sad goodbyes we climbed in a taxi and headed back to Cacao leaving Alyson and Tyler for the last time.

The next day we returned to the Hogar to find that while Thanksgiving festivities were commencing the night before, two of the teenage girls at the Hogar were caught sneaking out. This was Raquel´s last chance to stay there and so INFA, the government organization for child protection, had her pack her bags and say goodbye to everyone. She had to leave two younger sisters behind. I still haven´t gotten word on where she was placed. So the kids lost two ¨Tio´s¨ and one of their own in two days. It was a sad week for all of us.

This past week has lead me to a few radical conclusions of the people of Honduras. They are a very sweet and caring people when you don´t have something they want. The Hogar has teenage girls, so the men in the community want them. We have valuables in our houses, so the people of Cacao want them. Out of three houses in Cacao housing volunteers, all right next to each other mind you, I caught a man ransacking the smallest of our houses, clothes and shoes stolen out of our gated area in the back of our house, and a man was found wandering around another house with a large metal bar. The times are tough in our world right now, and it is really showing as we near Christmas here in Honduras. The closer we get, the more crime and danger there is in our neighborhoods. The Hogar had a mob of men in the front verbally assaulting Julio in front of the kids and other volunteers two days ago because they wanted the girls. It was escalated enough that Julio grabbed the gun from our guard and shot it in the air. From this point the mother of the man that wants one of the girls comes and is now screaming that she is going to kill Julio. Dave shows up and holds a little meeting with the mother and some of the other men to try to resolve some issues. Julio is now hiding in La Ceiba afraid to come back to the Hogar and clean up a mess that he made worse while leaving only two female volunteers to fend for the kids.
I don´t tell you these things to make you scared for us. I tell you these things because it´s just how it is. Money is tough to come by right now, and in a ¨third world country¨ this is not at all an exception. We are all very careful, carrying baseball bats and staying in groups at all times. We never wander alone. All this has opened my eyes to the dangers of a depression and only pray that it won´t get worse as time goes by.

Last week the weather here on the north coast has turned for a worse. All the rivers in our area rose to an all time high on Thursday causing many people to loose their homes and lives. La Ceiba was completely shut down that day since the water level was so high. In most of the streets in the city, pedestrians were walking in water up past their knees; some areas almost waist high. It is still pretty humid and when the sun comes out every once in blue moon it is really warm. So as some of you are freezing your knickers off, think of us sunbathing on the beaches of Honduras in December.

On a happier note, everything is now going very smoothly with vacation care. The kids are starting to get used to the routine and are becoming more cooperative. Due to the break in school, my kinder class has already forgotten how to write their own names. So starting tomorrow we are going to hold kinder again at least two times a week to help review what we have already taught them and help them continue to learn at a good rate.

Well, life here in Honduras is coming to a close for us very soon. Chey and I are returning home in three weeks. I am sad of having to leave these kids behind, but I am excited to come home and get life back underway.

Congrats to Colten, my 19 year old brother, who just got his mission call Wednesday. He is leaving in March and heading to Europe to the England, Manchester mission. I haven´t been more proud of him in my life.

While Chey and I have been here, it almost seems like life back home is on pause. That when I come home, life will just pick up for everyone and will go on just as I had left it. This is not the case as everyone knows. I am glad that I got to come here and spend some months of my life teaching and helping others that could not help themselves. I hope we were good examples to others that may want to try something similar. It has been worth every last penny and second of my time to be here. I´ll tell you right now, I will be coming back in the future. This is not the last time I will venture into a country I do not know. I have fallen in love with these people and can´t wait till I can help them again in the future.

Thanks again for all your support!
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mad House

Okay, at the moment I am in Pizza Hut using their free internet, watching the rain come down so hard, thinking about Thanksgiving, drinking unlimited refills, and wondering what I have in store for me this week...
That is my thought process at the moment.

I am also trying very hard to upload some pictures to this post, but the blogger is just saying loading and I don't think that it will ever stop. I don't know, maybe the connection isn't fast enough.


So there has been so much happening these past few weeks I really don't know where to start. I left for my visa renewal with Lisa, a roommate from Germany, and we had the best time. Unfortunately the trip ended up being twice as long as first planned, as well as twice as expensive. We were traveling around at the same time Hurricane Paloma was brewing off the north coast of Honduras. (For those that have payed attention in the past, you would note that WE live right on the north coast of Honduras.) This weather caused us problems through Honduras, Guatemala, and even into Belize where a considerable amount of flooding started a curing just as we arrived. Since we had to stay out of Honduras for three days and the weather was crappy at best, we fled over the border to Mexico - stayed a few days, saw stunning beaches and ruins, and made many friends then started the three days of bus rids home. We stopped in Belize because the weather was great, and because the roads were completely flooded. We went to an island called Caye Caulker off the coast of Belize City and fell in love with the coolest community. Then finished the rest of the two day trip from there. 
If I had to write two words to describe my trip, they would be: bus, and weather... Buses because, well, six days total on buses, that means that more than HALF my trip was sitting on a bus, and weather because it really affected so much, rain, flooding, delays, then in Mexico, warm, breezy, and beautiful. So both those words sum up my tip pretty nicely.

We have just completed our first week of Vacation Care. I would like to say that it went perfectly, but... that would be a lie. The kids, like any other kids in the world, think that since there is no school they can behave like wild banshees. The good thing about this new schedule however, is that the volunteers set the schedule and we choose the activities; in essence, we run the show. 

Maynor, Joel, and Brian in my lap.

Enough about the kids, lets talk about me again!! :] 
We have some great plans  for Thanksgiving. They are almost as good as being home with the family; or better, depending on which day it is. 
There is a man named Ron who now lived here in Honduras. He has been helping us out many ways at the Hogar, and he is especially keen on making our stay while we are here as great as he can. That said, he has bought two turkeys ( worth their weight in gold around these parts ), and many pies and has arranged with a local man, also from the U.S., that owns a bar/restaurant and hotel right on the beach to have our Thanksgiving there. Richard, the man that owns the restaurant, is having everything else prepared for us and we will all eat together at three o'clock Thursday afternoon right on the beach. Richard is only charging $5 a person to have a Thanksgiving dinner. It is going to be a fun experience. Plus, most of the people that will be attending are not even American, so we have a lot of people that will experience it for the first time. 

In light of Thanksgiving dinner around the corner, I found some funny quotes that I thought you might enjoy:
I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.

Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked the stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" The stock boy answered, "No ma'am, they're dead."

"You know an ancestor of mine came over on the Mayflower." 
"Really? Which rat was he?"

How To Cook A Turkey:
Step 1: Go buy a turkey 
Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey
Step 3: Put turkey in the oven 
Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey 
Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens 
Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink 
Step 7: Turk the bastey 
Step 8: Whiskey another bottle of get 
Step 9: Ponder the meat thermometer 
Step 10: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey 
Step 11: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours 
Step 12: Take the oven out of the turkey 
Step 13: Floor the turkey up off of the pick 
Step 14: Turk the carvey 
Step 15: Get yourself another scottle of botch 
Step 16: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey 
Step 17: Bless the dinner and pass out

I have to say that this last one is by far my favorite! 

Okay, now that we have had an intermission, lets get back down to business. :]

Eve, the volunteer coordinator of HHK has posted an email of mine that I sent to her on the HHK website. It is a list of the most important things that the Hogar is in need of at this time. I know I sent an email out, and I'll post it as an entry on this blog, about the Hogar needing many items. Mainly with Christmas coming up, and the fall in the economy that has hurt HHK's regular donations, they are needing any extra help they can get. If you would like to purchase any items for the kids, my current list at at this link:

Well, this entry has been a fun one: we learned about vacation care, had some laughs, and even talked about donations. 

Me striking a pose by the new sign in front of the Hogar. 

As always, we really appreciate all the kind emails that we receive as well as all the support, too. 
Know that there are two "gringos" in Honduras that love you all. Through all the ups and downs here during this adventure of ours, we have learned a lot. Thanks again!!


Some Thoughts...

I had an epiphany on Thursday: I realized while I was coloring with the children that I was talking to them. Having a conversation with them in Spanish - I couldn’t help but smile. 


What else is going on you ask?


I met my new favorite person in Honduras. She isn’t actually Honduran, nor does she even speak Spanish. Her name is Eve and she is the volunteer coordinator with HHK. She is by far the hardest working board member that I have met thus far.  She held three training meetings a few weeks back for us that I thought went really well. I learned a lot and we got some ideas for when vacation care starts.


Right now at the Hogar, there is a bad cold going around: coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and high, high fevers. Maynor had it and Santos has it now. Yesterday he didn’t participate at all because he was lying on Cheyanne’s lap wrapped in a blanket to keep him warm. A lot of the children have passed it from one to another, and I pray I don’t catch it myself. I have actually been getting a headache lately, as well as feeling achy. We’ll see how this ends… :]


I know in the past, I have tried to keep this blog as cheerful and uplifting as I can. I want to keep it that way as much as possible, but I also want to be honest about what is going on, and what I am thinking. With that said… I wanted to talk briefly about the things I am struggling with in my head.


First off, these kids have made a life-long impression on me. I see in their eyes so much pain and so much sadness at times I can’t help but want to just hold them and tell them I love them. I want for them the same possibilities that I have for myself. They don’t even know how big this world is and what is really out there. These kids have really nothing in their futures except what they came from: poverty, abuse, pregnancy at 14, no running water, no electricity, and the list goes on and on. I want to just be able to hold them in my arms and tell them that everything is going to work out, but in Honduras, with this much poverty, that would be a lie; and that is the saddest thing to me. To not be able to tell a child that their future holds much more than what they may possibly be able to know.


Along those same lines, I want to say how much of a hard time I am having being able to swallow the fact that I can’t really help them as much as I want. I am pretty sure this is a taste of parenthood. You love your children sooo much, but there is only so much help you can give them before you cross the line and make things worse.


I have had a hard time with a battle that is going on in my mind. I feel very guilty at times for what I had as a child and the wants I still have. I feel guilty for being so blessed with everything that I ever needed as a child and even now, and I still always want more. Why me? What did I ever do to deserve the loving parents and family that I have? What did I do to have the life I have? I would trade places with these children in a heartbeat so that they may know what it is like to have parents that LOVE them, parents that won’t abuse them, physically or sexually. A loving mother to take care of them when they are sick: make them soup, get them slurpees, take them to a doctor, and tuck them in at night with a kiss. I want them to know what that is like. But I am only one person, so I hope even though they can't have some of these things, maybe the time that I am spending here with them will impact them enough to one day be able to give these things to kids of their own. I can only pray so. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Long Awaited Update!!!

Hey all!!

Well, it has been a long while since we have written. I want to thank everyone again for all their support we have received not only for us, but for the kids as well.

I am at our house right now writing this on my laptop. Yesterday morning, I woke up and was immediately in the bathroom sick. I have had some problems with my stomach off and on since I got here, but this was the worst thus far. I got a drink of water, and went back to bed not getting up out of bed again until this morning around 10 o’clock. I slept for almost 32 hours straight. I feel a little better now, but that is only because I have nothing in my stomach. The good thing is I am not alone today. Lisa is also sick, but unlike her stomach flu earlier this week, she now has a terrible cold. This stomach flu has been going around for a week now. A lot of the kids at the Hogar have gotten it, as well as Chey, Tyler, Mary, and Lisa. It was only a matter of time till I got it too.

On a much happier note, I have lost nearly 40lbs now. I have been here for a little over 2 months and have lost that much weight! Chey has lost a lot as well, but I don’t know how much. I know it is due to our poor diets, but I have also started running 2 miles a few days of the week as well with Mary. I have dropped two pants sizes. My shorts and pants no longer fit me, and my rings are always falling off as well. I’m pretty stoked! :]

Everything is going great at the Hogar. All the kids seem to doing great. Joel, the youngest at the Hogar, has shown a lot of improvement since we arrived. He now stays in class all day, and Cheyanne even got him to trace some letters in his book in class on Wed. for the first time. For only being three years old, he is very smart. His favorite activity is having us read him books and playing with puzzles. He does them much quicker than most of the other kids at the Hogar. We often hear him saying, “Tio! Yo quiero rompe cabesa, por favor!” Which translates to “Uncle! I want a puzzle, please!” Tio and Tia is what all the kids call us. He is very much a monkey. If there is a tree to climb, Joel is at the tip-top in seconds. He often scares us because he climbs up so high.

Maynor is still the same little crazy four year old as he always is. He was the first one in our class to be able to write his name, he is also the only one that remembers what a triangle is. He gets bored coloring quicky but can play with playdough and legos for hours. He remembers the most when writing, as far as letters and numbers, but has a hard time staying between the lines. He often writes very nice the first time, but the letters get larger, and move down the page at the same time. His favorite number is five. Don’t ask why, he just likes saying it and writing it. When writing the letter “S” he will write “5” instead. He knows better, but just loves the number five! I am a little worried about his teeth. If you look closely, you can see that all his front teeth are brown with rot. These are just his baby teeth, but I hope his adult teeth can grow in healthily.

Carolina is taking a liking to Cheyanne. When Chey was away, she asked when she was coming back every day. She is the best at writing, but likes to take all day to write one line; she is easily distracted. She is beginning to get an attitude and will make little noises when we say we are going to do something she doesn’t like to do. She loves to “pintar” or color and we use this as a bartering chip to get her to participate. She has some of the worst lice at the Hogar, and I would put money on the fact that she is the one that gave them to Chey. She loves giving hugs and often snuggles her head between your shoulder and head. For a five year old, she is very girly and loves to wear dresses and flip-flops everyday. She loves making bracelets and wearing necklaces as well. She was very excited to get her own panties but is very modest and always keeps her legs together when sitting on the floor or on a chair.

Santos, the oldest in our class, just had his 6th birthday last week. We are teaching him all we can because he goes into 1st grade after their “summer break” from November through December. He is the funniest kid in our class, not because he is actually funny, but he is a little bit of a spaz. He has two types of days, smart days, and his, well, not so smart days. There are three things that makes Santos – Santos.
#1- His butt-crack. He can’t ever keep his pants up, so his crack is always peaking out.
#2- His run. If you saw him run, you would understand. It’s closer to being a quick shuffle, but even that doesn’t quite seem to be it.
#3- His snotty nose. There has never been a day that I have seen him without a snotty nose. We blow it for him, and two minutes later, here is his snot again.
I am happy because Dave is finally going to take Santos to a doctor. He has what they said is a naval hernia. His belly button sticks out about three inches and it has been growing as time goes by.

We are starting English classes with the kids in the afternoons after lunch, as well as computer classes to teach them basic typing skills and let them play some games. I realized that last time I wrote, I forgot to finish our daily schedule, I’ll type it again in an easier way to read, and include the new classes we are starting:

Monday - Thursday:
7:30- Arrive at the Hogar to get kids ready and fed
8:00- Start kinder class
9:00- If they are well behaved in the morning, they get a five minute bathroom and water break.
10:00- Recess for the kids; Prep and nap for the teachers
11:00- Depending on the behavior of the kids, we play Candyland, legos, playdough, puzzles, computer games, arts and crafts, or just read some books.
12:00- Class ends
12:30- Lunch is served
1 – 2- Chores & Homework (older kids) Nap time (kinder)
On Tuesdays and Thursdays:
3-3:45- English Class for less advanced
(Teachers: Anneke & Yessenia)
4-4:45- English Class for more advanced
(Teachers: Nate & Alison)

On Mondays and Wednesdays:
3-4 – Computer Class
(Teachers: Chey & Tyler)
4-5 – Computer Class
(Teachers: Ennie & Rimiko)
(the same as the rest of the week except instead of an extra hour of class after recess, they have P.E. with Julio)

Most of you have probably heard about Chey’s trip to renew her visa a few weeks ago. She traveled with Tyler up to San Pedro, through Copan again, then up through Guatemala into Belize. She roasted marsh-mellows in lava on a volcano, and climbed a two thousand year old Mayan temple. She snorkeled with shark and stingrays as well. It seems she had a lot of fun!
I will be leaving the 31st of Oct. for a week to renew mine. I am very excited to be able to travel some, and see some of the other Central American countries. Our main plan is to head to Guatemala and take the ferry to a small town in Belize. We will then get a bus to Belize City, and from there a bus to Mexico. We have to be out of Honduras for 72 hours total. The catch is that we can’t go to Guatemala, Nicaragua, or El Salvador because their Visa’s are all the same. I really don’t know the details. Since Belize is so expensive to stay for 72 hours, we are catching a $4 bus to Mexico to a small village named Tulum. It is said to be “the backpacker’s favorite destination”. It is very cheap to stay, and the ruins are on the beach. Three things I love: ruins, beaches, and cheap nights in third world countries; all wrapped up into one big package. If you get a chance, “Google” Tulum and see what it is all about. I hear it’s awesome!!

Last weekend, me and six of my roommates along with five other volunteers went to the futbol game in San Pedro Sula. We all stayed at the Tamarindo Hostel for two nights. Saturday morning we split into groups and headed for the market. I bought Cha’ her jersey t-shirt and flag, and one of each for myself. We had breakfast in the tortilla “sweat-shop” behind the market. These women are making 100 tortillas a minute like there is no tomorrow. We went downtown and walked through the cathedral and walked up and down the street market. That night we all got geared up and took off to the game. I have to say that was one of the most fun things I have done in a long time. Honduras won against Canada 3-1 and now they are one step closer to the World Cup in 2010.

There are now ten volunteers living in the house here in Cacao: Cheyanne (duh), Ennie (Germany), Lisa (Germany), Anneke (Arizona), Therisa (Germany), Hanah (Switzerland), Jake (Washington), Tyler (Canada), Ben (Minnesota) , and myself. We have a hard time because we are four chairs short, with only three bedrooms, and a single unit countertop cooker with only two burners. It takes over two hours for everyone to cook their dinners at night.

We were a little nervous Wed. night because we were told a large tropical storm was headed our way. There was a large chance that it would hit. For those that don’t know, a tropical storm is what turns into a Hurricane. They aren’t as sever, but can cause a lot of damage none-the-less. It was just our luck that we never saw it here. We don’t get the news, so I don’t know why, or if it hit other areas instead. We were actually a little disappointed.

The past two weeks have brought us a lot of rain. It rains everyday in the afternoon, and some days all day. I now know why it is so green; it isn’t just by chance that everything grows so nicely!!

Well, wish me luck when I leave for my trip. I can’t believe that my time here is already half way up!!

I’m putting more pictures on as soon as I can. It’s hard because it takes so long to upload them. I will also try harder to keep you all informed of our activities and changes. I’m going to try to do one every weekend now. Just bare with me!!

We love ya guys and don’t forget to write to us!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

¨I will servive!¨

Okay, so it hasn´t been going as bad as the title, but we have had some ups and downs.

To start off, everything is going great. I am starting to get into the swing of things and getting into a rutine. Our days are sometimes waaay to long, and other times too short. There just aren´t enough hours in a day to get everything we want done.

A lot of people have been asking about what our day is usually like.
We get up around 6:30 and are out the door about 7:15. We walk a half mile to the Hogar where we spend a lot of time getting the kids ready. There is a woman there that is supposed to be getting them ready, but she must think we have the time... haha Anyway, so around 8 o´clock we start class. We go through the alphebet in English and Spanish, numbers, shapes, just the normal kindergarden things. Everything we do is in both languages. So both sides are learning, the teachers, and the students. At ten ten the kids have an hour long break called recreo. I think its more for the volunteers than it is for the kids. Then we have our last our doing activities such as puzzles, colouring, painting, legos, and other activities like that. It´s more relaxed and we usually just do what the kids want to do.
Their favorite thing to do is play make believe. They love being tigers and snakes. We play games where everyone is a tiger except one, and everyone runs after them growling and then we pretend to eat eachother. They love it!

There is two things the kids love to say in English.
1: ¨Sit in your chair.¨
the volunteer before us taught this to them, probably from saying it a thousand times a day! but they love to say it, and even sing it over and over
2: ¨Hakuna Matata!¨
they love to say it over and over

I have also gotten some emails from people that have been asking how they can help the orphanage. There is so much that the kids need at the Hogar de Amor, I can´t begin to list them. The main thing is just money. Just before Chey and I got to Honduras, a man broke into the Hogar and caused a considerable amount of dammage. Since then, HHK has been very short of money. They had to hire an armed guard who is there 24/7 . On top of that, the plumbing at the Hogar has gone crazy. They have had to repair both the girls and the boys showers and all the toilets at the orphanage. Money is always in short supply. The kids need many things including bed sheets, towells, underwear, shoes, socks, and even something as small as toilet paper. All these things can be shipped, but the cost to buy the items here is considerably cheaper than in the states and mailing them to the orphanage.
Something that we have noticed being here and working with the kids, is that Dave the owner and the man all the money goes through, is never in a hurry to fix plumbing and buy supplies that the children are in need of. Don´t get me wrong, he is a great guy, he started the orphanage to begin with, but some things need taken care of sooner than later. So all us volunteers have talked about it, and we have decided that it would be best if we had the money sent to each of us, and from there purchaised what the children need.
For instance, in a few weeks when we have more volunteers, we are holding an all day delousing day where we completely get rid of all the lise at the orphanage. Since the only way to get rid of them permanatly, we have to do everything at once.

Things we need in order to make this happen:
·Lice shampoo (readily available over the counter here)
·New sheets and pillow cases
we do not have access to a dryer to kill the lice with the heat, so we will be having to bag all the bedding for two weeks to kill them
we will have to purchaise a few irons to iron ALL the clothes at the orphanage since heat is what kills them

I know that so many of you have helped already to get us here, and that is great. We just need a little more help to make everyday living at the orphanage a little easier for these children.
The easiest option we have for recieving money is to mail the money to mine or Cheyanne´s home for our families to put into our account. We have opened a special account at US bank to help us in situations just like this. If you would prefer to just take a check or money into ANY US Bank, just notify the clerk that it is for a business account entitled ¨HHK FUND¨

My address is:
891 Black Rock Dr.
Santa Clara, UT 84765

I do not know what Cheyanne´s address is at this time, but can get it for anyone that would like it.

If you could pass this on to friends and family that might be interested, than feel free to do so. My email to contact me directly is:
Chey´s email:

We would love to get emails with any questions or comments.

Love you all!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This week has been our hardest week since we arrived in Honduras.

We had to teach our class, the kinder, as well as the first grade; eight kids total for two days this week. Mary, the other volunteer at the orphanage was sick, so we had to teach her class. To sum it up, it was not an easy task!! The kids were running mad, jumping off tables and swinging on the curtains. In short, it was crazy…

 Other than a few large outbursts from our kids, our teaching and our learning is getting better. We are beginning to understand the children more, and they are understanding us. Alison is glad we talk a lot of English with them, that way they learn both English and Spanish.

The middle of the week seemed to go okay as far as class goes, and it was looking up for us, but Friday was again a madhouse. We had to barricade the doors with tabels so that our kids wouldn’t be able to leave the room. Santos, Maynor, and Joel were running around, so Cheyanne and I colored with Carolina the whole two hours. Patience is really beginning to grow on me… It’s about time!! Lame joke… I know! :] But Friday got better when we all played a great game of baseball. It was bloody hot outside, but our team did great! The rules are a little different than back home though. Instead of having to have the ball in your hand and tag them to get them out, you just lug the ball at them while they are running to the base. A mix of baseball and dodge-ball. Good thing the ball we softer then regular ones back home!

Saturday was a well deserved day off. Cheyanne, Ennie, Danni, Mary, Tyler, Lisa, and I hitched to our favorite river spot, and spent the morning and afternoon relaxing in the cold waterfalls and warm sun. I feel so relaxed and ready to take on the next week.

Cheyanne is just getting over some stomach problems. She hasn’t felt well these past few days, but seems to be doing better. 

Well, Lisa is back from her travels, and is moving in with us on Tuesday. We will have a full house by the end of the month. I believe we will have 7 people there at one time. That is a lot of people in three rooms! 

Well, we are ready to take on another week, wish us luck!!

P.S. - We put some pictures of our home and our kids at the orphanage on our web album. So feel free to check them out!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008



So we moved from the guesthouse in La Ceiba to El Cacao, which is about a 30-minute drive. We live with 3 other people at the moment and there will be more coming in next month. We live in the Volunteer house, which is owned by a couple that works with the HHK organization. The house isn’t as bad as I thought it would be: there is a big room in the front, which is the living room, dining room, and kitchen. There are three rooms and three bathrooms, but we only use two at the moment. Nathan, Ennie, and I share the one bedroom where there are a total of four cots. Then in the other room is Alison; she is from Canada, and Danni, who is from England. All of our roommates are really fun to hang out with! We all do weird things after dark because it gets dark here at six, and we can’t leave because it is too unsafe. So we do random things to keep us entertained: dancing, singing the Grease soundtrack and with the classic Disney songs, coloring with crayons, measuring ourselves on the wall, making a collage of our countries flags, just fun and random things like that.

Lets get to the reason we are here. So last week was our first week at the orphanage, and I would have to say it went really well. I didn’t know what to expect and from what I was hearing from the volunteer before us we were in for a rude awakening. She told us all the horror stories about the Hogar and the Kinder that truly freaked me out. I was having second thoughts the entire weekend. Then on Monday we went to the Hogar to start our new “job” and it took us a couple of days to get in the hang of things. We were able to control the kids pretty well surprisingly. The kids are truly amazing, they don’t think very highly of themselves, which is very sad. This past week I have found out some stuff about why they are at the orphanage and what they have been through and it made me really sad. They are so tiny and all they need is someone to love and care about them and that is what we are doing here. We are showing them that people really do care about them. They need as much of that as they can get. For instance, whenever they draw or write they always say “ muy feo” which means “very ugly” we tell them every time that it is not it is ”muy bonita” which means “very beautiful”. We try and boost their confidence as much as we can, so that they will know that they truly are special.

We have four students that we teach and they are all so cute, there is Santos who is the oldest, he is about 5 or 6, we are getting him ready to go to first grade in January so we are trying really hard to teach him as much as we can. Then there is Carolina she is the only girl and is about 5 she is very smart and really sweet. She usually is quiet but we have gotten her to be a bit louder. Like when we are doing the numbers, we say we can’t hear them so they scream it. Next is Maynor, he is four and the cutest thing, he is really small and really hyper. He does well until the fourth member of our group decides to come to class. Joel is only three, so he is too young to actually be in school, but there is no one else to look after him or teach him anything, so he comes to our class. There is sometimes that he behaves and is quiet but then he will freak out and run around and slam the door and then he will get all the kids hyper and rowdy. We have to do anything we can to get them to focus again, but you can’t really get too upset with them because they are so cute and they have been through a lot. But we do control them and teach them. What we do is teach them the Alphabet in English and Spanish, how to recognize them and how to write them. We also teach them the Numbers in both languages, shapes and colors as well. So its pretty fun, I really love it! I know that there will be days that I hate it but its for the kids and they need all the loving and caring that they can get, so its totally worth it.

Well, that enough info we have time for. We have to hitch back to La Cacoa, its going to get dark soon.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Finally Starting At The Orphanage

It has been very interesting living here at the guest house while we attend the school. I cannot believe that we have been here for two weeks already!! I really love the people that we are living with. We have a guy named Alex that Chey happens to fancy very much, he is from Ireland and she is in love with his accent!! There is Ryan and Kristen, a young couple from Nebraska, a girl named Lisa from Germany, and of coarse the young woman that is native to Honduras that lives with us. Her name is Leyda. I'm not quite sure how to spell it, but she cleans the house, and cooks our meals. We have it made nicely here, she even does all our laundry!! (minus our undies... she would rather us clean them ourselves!! :D)

We also live right around the corner from Ennie, the German girl that we will be working with at the orphanage and living with. We all hang out on the weekends. We have even gone to the movies twice as a group. It is very cheap here for everything. Our dollar is worth almost 20 of their Limperas. We just call them Limps. for short. So as you can imagine, life is a lot cheaper here than in the U.S.A.

Well, Cheyanne and I gradumitated from spanish school. Lets just say that we have our work cut out for us! :] I am putting some pictures with us and our teacher Rocio. We have learned sooo much, but we still can't really talk to anyone in spanish. We know enough about spanish that we can teach ourselves from here on out. Plus we will have Lisa for the rest of the time here in Honduras, so she can teach us anything we need and be our translator!! 

I have to admit something. I did a lot of research online about Honduras, and I never expected it to be this beautiful here. Everything is soooo green and beautiful. Except the cities of coarse... even the nicest parts of town are very full of trash and not well kept. But that is more  the governments fault. The streets are very treacherous to walk on. Besides the large amounts of stupid and comicazy drivers, there are literally 2-6 foot pot-holes in the sidewalk and street. 

As for the weather? I miss the hundred degrees in Mesa compared to this humidity. I am actually getting customed to sweating all the time. As soon as you get out of the shower, even before you get dressed, there is sweat just dripping off of me. Everyone else is just as sweaty as I am, so it isn't as bad as I thought it would be. 

Something really neat was that Cheyanne, Lisa, and I got up very early Thurs. morning and caught a bus to Agua Caliente which is the VERY small village about a half hour out of La Ceiba. That is where the orphanage is. We spent the morning working with the children that we will be spending the majority of our time with the next five months. 

Well, first thing tomorrow, well today now that it is 2 am!!, is packing up and moving to the volunteer house in El Cacoa. It is a small village about a mile away from Agua Calienta. We spent the evening shopping for our last minute supplies, our food, and whatever else we needed for the week. We will not make it back into town for seven days, so we have to take EVERYTHING we need. 

Now that we are moving out to the middle of nowhere we will only have access to the internet when we come into town, and we can only do that on the weekends so you wont here that much from us but we will be fine. We will update it when we get a chance!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lo Siento

We were just notified by a family member that a post containing adult content was added to our blog. We wanted to post a sorry to those that recieved the email and those that view our blog and saw that content. It was not posted by us but by a hacker. We have taken care of the problem. Sorry again!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


We are now in the process of uploading all our photos onto a web sight. The blog takes WAY too long for even one photo, so we are using an outside webpage. 

Click the link below to go directly to our gallery

Feel free to look on there, we will be putting more and more photos on as we go. All we have on there at this moment is our trip to Copan. But we put some cool captions on them, explaining the photos, making them more interesting.

We are off to our first day of Spanish School. We really need all we can get, it is a little frustrating spending 10 minutes pointing and trying to talk to understand if we just liked milk with our breakfast... It was pretty funny. 

Well, wish us luck! We are sooo excited to be going to the orphanage so soon. 
We also might be volunteering at an orphanage just around the block in the mornings with another girl we are living with. It is an orphanage and school for handicapped children. We are starting tomorrow there. 

We love you all!!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Our First Day In San Pedro Sula, Honduras

So today was my first day in Honduras! And wow its awesome and weird, we got up this morning just wanting to explore San Pedro so we walked down to the mall which is 4 blocks from where we are staying. We were both kinda freaked out cause we don't know spanish so we just looked around. Then we decided to take a taxi to this market down town, and let me tell you that their driving is SCARY!!!!! There is no such thing as stopping at stoplights or stop signs, there is alot of honking and if you are walking don't think that they will stop cause they wont. They will just run your butt over!!! 

Anyways when we went to the market I was still frustrated cause I am not able to understand them, but luckily we meet a man that can speak english that ran one of the shops his name is Tony. So we pretty much hung out there for a while. We decided that we wanted to go to the Copan Ruinas. So we asked Tony what the best way to get there was and he said car, and there was no way I was renting I hate driving in America I will not drive in Honduras. So he offers to take us so we went it was a two and a half hour drive there. I t was closed when we got there but somehow he talked them into letting us get in we just had to pay the guy 50 bucks(under the counter).
 So we toured the Ruinas and it was pretty cool, then we drove up the road a bit to Copan the city where we did a little shopping and ate at a little place on the side of the road we are not sure what kind of meat it was and Tony told us not to ask cause we probably didn't want to know!!! But it was pretty good, we then turned around and headed back for San Pedro we got back around ten o clock so it was a pretty long trip.
       There are already things I miss about the US which are:
           1) Hot Water(today was my first freezing shower not a fan!)
           2) Traffic Laws(no one here obeys them not even the cops SCARY!)
           3) No Passing Zones(cars would fly past you on a hill, a corner, anywhere, and anytime they wanted)
           4) Seatbelts(i had one in the taxi but the ride to the Ruinas it was like lost and I was skerred)
           5) English(i love understanding people)
           6) Modesty(i saw a woman breast feeding in the mall gross, and two young boys naked all in one day)
           7) Good Policeman(they will stop random cars here and "find something wrong with your car" then you would                  have to pay them 100 lampira which is about 5 dollars US and they will just pocket it! Awesome)

Their money compared to ours is crappy. We got lunch today at Church's Chicken and it was a value meal it costed $86.00 Lampira. Nathan got $400 Lampira out of the ATM and I calculated it out and it was only 21 dollars US money!! Pretty freaking awesome huh? Im like a Millionaire!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!
                  Well thats all for today I will update you when I get a chance.
        Bye people,  Cheyanne(Cha-Cha-, Chey-Nona, Cha-Chi, Chawny, Ciyan Pepper Nikolaus, Chubie, and Hooker)

                Oh and Nathan says Hi!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What A Day!!

This was the highlight of the day, watching the sunset from above the clouds.

Well, right now we are feeling a little down. We left Las Vegas this morning on a 8:15 flight to Detroit, Michigan, where we had a four hour layover.. or so we thought... Our plane was right on time to pick us up, but our crew was coming from a New York flight that was 45 minutes late caused us to miss our connecting flight to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. 
So after joining up with the rest of the people that were left, we began a riot in the terminal... Or that was what we wanted to do, I forget which one... 
Long story short, we are now in a Days Inn motel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We are now booked for the same flight Wednesday night. 
We are both very tired, so a good nights rest in our own KING size bed should help!

-Nate and Chey  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Email!!! ( again!!! :D )

Hey all!!! I wanted to let you all know that I have gotten a new email so that I can access my email better while I am in Honduras. My old email was having problems letting me sign on due to the fact that it was hotmail by windows, and I have a Macbook by apple and the two did not work well together. 

Well, the day is growing very near. Chey and I are leaving in LESS than a week!!!! It's getting crazy trying to get ready. 
Remember, check our blog for updates while we are there and for pictures!!

click here to access blog!!!

Thanks again for all your love and support!!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fundraising Update

Well, this past Saturday, the 28th of June, we held our car wash at the Lightfoots Gas Station in Santa Clara. The owner was very nice to let us hold it there and use his carwash free of charge, all the proceeds and donations went to paying our rent and Spanish School. The carwash/ bake sale was a big success. We raised just over $1,100!!! Thanks to everyone that showed up to help wash cars, and those that brought their cars to be washed. It could not have happened without all the help from family, friends, and the community.
Another thanks to those that have sent us donations. You are not only helping us, but you are helping children that for the first time, are feeling loved. We are very excited to go and help these children, and without all your help, we wouldn't be able to go!! Thanks again!!

We are going to try to post the clip of the carwash that was on the news. We were both interviewed, and they got some footage of the cars being washed. So check back soon for that!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

August 5 is the Day!!!

We bought our plane tickets!!

We will be flying out on August 5 at 8:30 in the morning, and arrive in San Pedro Sula around 11:45 that night. From there, we will have to catch a bus to La Ceiba which is a 41/2 hour drive. In La Ceiba, we will have a few days to get situated and start the Spanish School the next Monday where we will be studying Spanish for two weeks. From there, we head to La Cacoa which is the village where the orphanage is located and where we will be staying for the remainder of the six months.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This is the Real Thing

I think today I have just realized that this is the real thing. I have realized that it IS going to happen, and that is isn't just an awesome dream of mine to go... It's happening!!

A few days ago, we mailed out over 150 fliers to family and friends all over Utah and Arizona asking for donations and support. I also mailed some out to a lot to my old ward in Mesa.
i talked to the owner of the "Downtown St. George Festival" and she has agreed to set up a booth for Chey and I to sell our "Drawing" tickets. She told me that although "Raffles" are illegal, "Drawings" are not, so I have been converted. That takes place Thursday, June 5. We will also have a live mic from one of the local radio stations present so that our drawing results can be broadcasted on live radio. We are currently looking for a large grand prize for the drawing as an incentive for people to want to buy more tickets. I have in my mind something like a t.v. or an iPod. Something to get more than just your everyday donators, but the kids and teenagers involved too. We talked to Walmart today, and I have to call back on Mon. and talk to a woman named Jo about the donation. But I will see if it will be possible to get her to donate an older discounted t.v. or an iPod. I will take anything at this point. We also talked to Office Max, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Home Depot as well. A few of them might turn out to be able to donate, but because of corporate policies, it could take longer than we have to get a donation. But one grand prize and just some smaller gift cards and small gifts would be great. It might just come down to us having to buy an iPod, and hope it pays for itself with the drawing, but I have high hopes for Walmart and some of the other stores to come through for us.
I have found a lot of people here locally to be very supportive and giving of our cause. Cheyanne's mother Cindy talked to the man that owns the gas station and car wash here in Santa Clara, and he is willing to hold a day for us to sell car washes for donations, and have us keep all the proceeds. I can see that helping us a lot. Especially if we get on the air with the local t.v. station KCSG as well. I am going to start working on getting some dates finalized, so that we can have set times and dates with the different events that we now have going on.
I am trying to leave for my hometown Mesa, Arizona tomorrow. I don't know if it is going to for sure happen or now, but I know what talking to some of my old friends, businesses, and just people in general, I might be able to get more donations. I am leery however of having to spend a whole week without work, now that it is crunch time for money. But if I work hard on donations, I can see it paying off in the end.

Well, that pretty much brings you up to date with the events happening. If anyone has ANY suggestions, feel free to email me at I am very open to new and fresh ideas on preparing to go.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting Underway

Well, I have made my fliers that I will be passing out to people and businesses. It is hard to make people realize how important this is to us, and how much we need their donation.
I just found out today that St. George, Utah has restrictions on raffles. It is considered an "Illegal form of gambling." I have to contact the city and get a permit to have one held. I don't know if it is worth the time and money that it is going to take to get one going.

I have been going a little crazy, getting ready to go...

One awesome thing though is that a coworker of mine is making me a copy of Rosetta Stone so that we can learn as much Spanish before we go. It will be cheaper that way.

Other than that, nothing has really changed with the progress. Just wish me luck and keep us in your prayers!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Getting A Little Nervous

Well, I have been going a little crazy these past few days. I am realizing what this volunteer trip is going to cost. Cheyanne and I have met a few times these past few nights, crunching some numbers, and we are looking at about $4,000 EACH!! I know this isn't much for living abroad for six months, but it is still a lot for me to come up with.I have been planning a few fund raising things, but I am worried that I will still fall short.

I have been calling some friends and family to let people know what I am doing. A lot of people still don't know what I am planning on doing, so I am just letting them know my plans.

We are planning on leaving the first week in August. The 6th would be ideal, but since Honduras isn't exactly a tourist hot-spot, it is hard finding a flight that works with our plans.

Something a little neat happened the other day. Eve, the HHK volunteer coordinator, has introduced Chey and I to the other people that will be living with us in the volunteer house. As it turns out, we are the only US citizens that will be there at that time.
There is a very nice girl from Canada that is flying into Northern Mexico and finishing her journey to Honduras by backpacking her way through the different countries. She is a lot braver than I am! So she will arrive in July at the volunteer house.
There is a 19 year old girl from Germany that will be there from August till December. So she will be there for just about the same time period as us.
There is also a girl from the Netherlands. I really don't know much about her yet.
We are all emailing each other back and forth, getting to know each other before we will have to live together. I love the idea that we are the only American's there, so we will have to teach the others about Thanksgiving.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Getting Ready To Go...

As most may know, in August, my cousin Cheyanne and I will be quitting our jobs, selling our cars, leaving our family and friends behind and traveling into the jungles of Honduras to volunteer at an orphanage.

Why you may ask?
Because of many reasons. I have been preparing to serve a mission for my church for a few years now, and due to my history with depression, they have decided to "Honorably Excuse" me from serving. But since I have already been planning to drop my life for two years and serve, it was easy to decide to go to Honduras. Among other reasons, I have also always felt the need to reach out my hand, and help those that can't help themselves. And homeless children in South America just seem to fit the bill nicely.

What are my plans?
Well my plans are fairly simple. I plan to leave home in August and fly out of the Las Vegas, NV airport and arrive in the city San Pedro Sula where I will either ride a bus for 4 hours or fly for 20 minutes, I still haven't decided which one to La Ceiba. It is a city on the Caribbean Sea. I will then attend a language school for 2-4 weeks to learn Spanish and get me used to the area. On the weekends, the school takes the students on field trips around Honduras. Personally, I just want to hold a monkey. Then I will be okay! :D Then I then travel about 20 minutes into the jungle to a small village to which I have already forgotten the name and live in a volunteer house with the other volunteers. The house is just down the road in another village from the orphanage that I will be spending most of my time. I plan to stay in Honduras till about February. I am going with an open return date, depending on the experience and if I am ready to get home.

How Can I Afford It?
Honestly? How can I afford to not go? These kids have no parents, and are also not adoptable.
I have been making plans for a fund raiser soon, and hopefully that will help with some of the expences. We are asked to pay each our own way. Flights, food, rent at the volunteer house, and travel as well, not to mention unexpected troubles one is to expect in a foreign country.

What Will I Be Doing At The Orphanage?
All I know is that these kids, are indeed orphaned and most have not ever experienced having parents. The volunteers are the only family that these children will be able to experience.
I have been told by the volunteer coordinator that she has decided that she would like Cheyanne and I to work specifically with the younger group. Keep in mind that there are children from the ages of 6 weeks, to 16 years of age at this orphanage. Other than that, I will be doing whatever is asked of me.

I have included some pictures form their website. If you would like to visit HHK's website, click HERE!