The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Sunday, July 29, 2012

44 Hours in Tegucigalpa

They called me four times but I didn't answer. I was sleeping tight in the grip of nyquil and little things like a ringing phone were totally irrelevant. So they called Eli and he called me later, when I 
was alive again. "There's a mission in Honduras," he said, "do you want to go?"
 "Uhhh I guess" I said foggily. In retrospect, what I should have said was "not without at least 70,000 more details!"

The next thing I knew Patricia was handing me a bus ticket. But but but ummmmm what? Where? Why??? "They'll tell you when you get there." This was the sum total of the information Kevin, a guy from church, and I received before heading up to Tegucigalpa. No, wait, they did tell us at the bus station that we would need to put together a presentation on Nicaragua for culture night. Oh, well thanks for the heads up there...

9.5 hours of bus time later, we got to the retreat center up in the mountains north of the capital. And when I say "retreat center" I hope you are picturing 6 tiny uncomfortable bunks squeezed together in a room smaller than the average college dorm and bathrooms with BYO toilet paper. At this point we found out that the "mission trip" not only had started two days earlier but was actually a conference on discipleship and evangelism for youth group leaders.

Ummmmm I think there's been some kind of mistake.

I don't work with youth, I am a leader of no things, and the kind of street evangelism they were talking about frankly gives me the creeps. I don't go up to random strangers and start talking about how much I love Jesus for the exact same reason I don't go up to random strangers and start talking about how much I love my husband - it's weird and I don't work for Greenpeace.

Oh and did I mention that this was a conference solely for Central and South America? By which I mean entirely in the fastest Spanish I've ever heard in non-rap form. I generally consider myself fluent in  Spanish - I can even make jokes in Spanish! But whenever anyone from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, or Bolivia said anything (even if it turned out to be "hi what's your name?" You know, Spanish 101 stuff) I needed a translator. Really. And these were the people leading all the workshops. So imagine the most boring class you've ever taken, now picture that happening in incomprehensible Spanish. It was that  kind of fun.

I suppose if I were a better person, I would have stayed and made the best of it. There's always a tiny nugget to be learned even in the longest snoozefest of a sermon, after all. And everyone seemed super nice. BUT an alarmingly large portion of my life for the past couple of years or so has been made up of patiently waiting out bad situations. I know it doesn't make me look very good but honestly, my soul is weary of doing it. So even though it meant explaining to people who are truly passionate about youth ministry that I couldn't care less, I bailed and went back to Nicaragua on Saturday.

My official life motto is: whatever MUST be endured CAN be endured. But recently I've adopted an auxiliary backup motto: if it's not something that really, truly must be endured, screw this crap. We can all pray that someday I will be a way better person...

The weekend wasn't a total bust though. During the week I spent in Costa Rica earlier this month (which was as awesome as this was ridiculous), I had made some friends who live in Teguz. No, that's not very exact. What I really mean is I met brothers I didn't previously know I had. Bryan and Manuel came at 5:30 am to take me out to breakfast and drop me by the bus station. This is what I mean by more than just new friends - who else but family will get up before dawn on a Saturday for you?

They took me to an authentic, traditional Honduran restaurant - Burger king. Was it as cool as the burger king we went to together in San Jose? Almost (Costa Rican BKs have free refills). Did they give us BBQ sauce to go on our pancakes? Why yes, yes they did! Special thanks to Manuel for averting disaster and getting us syrup.

By the way, you can totally get nachos instead of fries with your whopper combo. Honduras is my kind of place!

2 comments:

Maeve's Momma July 30, 2012 at 6:49:00 AM MDT  

Hey, not everything must be endured. I say kudos to you for doing what you needed to do. And hooray for not putting bbq sauce on your pancakes!

Pammy August 1, 2012 at 9:24:00 AM MDT  

I for one am glad you came back early so we could all skype with you at the reunion!! :-)

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.

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