Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where has the time gone...

Well, I've been back in the states for about 6 weeks now and I feel as though so much has happened! Life has been a whirlwind of reverse culture shock, wedding planning, job searching, cottage relaxing, friend reuniting, and Detroit visiting.

I've been meaning to do a recap of the past year, but I've concluded that too much has happened. It'd be better to write it out as it comes. I know that Honduras will affect me for the rest of my life. It is no longer just "an experience," but it is my life. I'm changed because of it. I've been stretched and pulled tighter than ever before, often to the point of pain. But no matter how many life circumstances changed around me, the Lord was always right by my side, guiding me through it all.

I miss the kids already. As I'm applying for schools and bringing up examples from my teaching experience, their faces and voices keep coming back to me. I know that I will fall in love with a new group of students, most likely hundreds more, but never will I teach at a place quite like Pinares. I am extremely blessed to have worked with the amazing staff that I did, and to teach such a great group of students.

As for now, I'm still in the transition phase. The wedding is in 17 days, Jared and I are moving into our apartment this weekend, and I am still applying for jobs. It's incredibly exciting, emotional, and slightly stressful all at the same time.

Thank you for your prayers over the past year. Thank you for your letters, notes, and words of encouragement. May God bless you this summer. It is my hope to continue to blog after life settles down a bit. Keep in touch. God bless.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Michigan again

Crazy to think that just 3 days ago I was still in Honduras. It's been an amazing weekend with family and friends. It's almost surreal to think that 10 months in Honduras is over. Looking back, the time has gone so fast. At the same time, it was an incredibly long year away. I thank you all for your prayers throughout this incredible year.

I will be posting pictures soon of the last few weeks there, and my time with Adam.

God bless you all!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winding down...

Last week in Honduras... wow. I feel like a whirlwind of emotions. Adam and I just got back last night from a long weekend in Utila. It was absolutely amazing! And I'll tell you more about it when I have time to upload more photos! Now, I'm back at school, finishing up the lasts. Not going to lie, it's hard to focus (also the reason why I'm blogging right now). Today is quite the day: Adam left this morning, it's Jared's birthday, and it's 2 months from the wedding! Who wants to focus on filling out forms and doing paperwork? But I know it must be done.

The rain woke me up this morning early... I chose to take advantage and made 6 dozen cookies by about 7am. I'm going to miss the fresh air of the mountains and the birds outside my window as the sun comes up. The early mornings have been such a blessing (although I found that this weekend on the island it was difficult to stay up past 10pm).

Pray for me this week that the Lord will give me patience and grace. With the anticipation of being back with so many people I love, as well as the sadness in saying good-bye to so many people I love, this week isn't going to be easy.

I love you all! God bless!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Wow. What a feeling... I just finished the last day of my first year of teaching. It feels sort of surreal saying good-bye to students that I have grown to love over the past 10 months. They've been so much a part of my life, and to think that I may never again see some of them here on this earth is sad. I was able to have a great conversation with some of my third graders the other day though, about how even though we may not see each other here, it's still not good-bye, it's see you later when we get to heaven. I pray that I see each one of these children dancing on the streets of gold someday. I thank God for the blessing they have been in my life and the lessons that they have taught me. I have hundreds of pictures that I want to show you from these last few weeks, but as for now, I'm just going to sit and think and remember all the good times this year brought. javascript:void(0)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

100 posts

I honestly thought that I would never be a blogger. That's one thing that coming to Honduras has changed. I'm not so much a fan of spreading my life out on the crazy world of Facebook, although it would be a lie to say that I don't use it to catch up with everyone back home. But I've found blogging to be a much better way to write out what's going on. And now, post 100. Thank you to all of you who have followed me this year and have kept me in your prayers! I have 11 more days in this country, and despite the strong anticipation to be back, I know that my purpose is not over just yet.

God bless you today!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

profound, pensive thoughts from the PE teacher, sitting in her office eating hershey kisses

carefreeness - the cheerful feeling you have when nothing is troubling you
carefreeness - the trait of being without worry or responsibility
carefreeness - The property of being lighthearted, joyous, cheerful, without a care

They say that children are carefree.... why aren't adults? What happens from the age of 7 to the age of 27 that changes? Why don't we play 'house' anymore, or pretent to sing into a microphone, or laugh when given the opportunity to run as fast as we can?
Let me introduce to you the three R's. (No, I'm not talking about "Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmatic.")
1. Rules
2. Responsibility
3. Routine

Our life becomes bogged down with what we're supposed to do, with what other people expect us to do, and what we've committed ourselves to do. I'll be honest, I struggle with freedom, with spontaneity. I so desire to be the one with the sweet ideas and crazy adventures. I know I've had some amazing adventures already, but in reality, I like rules, responsibility, and routine. It's comforting to me to know that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. I'm a list person, but I'm not just a write-a-few-things-down-so-I-remember person... I'm the type of person that writes things on the list that I've already done, just so that I can cross it off. And, I confess, I love it. And to everyone else who loves to make lists, embrace the fact that you are organized, or at least attempting to be.

Enough about lists. In reality, that is somewhat immaterial to what I wanted to focus on: freedom. America is a land of freedom, when you can drive you experience new-found freedom, we as Christians have freedom in Christ... we hear about it so much, yet I often wrestle with the real demonstrations of freedom in my own life. How am I freed yet a slave? 1 Corinthians 7:22 ESV

So, here goes... Please dig with me through what scripture says about being truly free.

In order to be free, we have to be freed from something, agreed? Over and over the Bible tells us that we have been slaves to sin, and that if we are in Christ we have been set free from that. (John 8:31-38 ESV, Romans 6:7-14 ESV, Romans 8:1-11 ESV) I would like to add to sin, that we are free from the law. The Israelites were bound by laws in covenant with God. (anyone who has read Leviticus knows what I'm talking about) But we are free from the law with the fulfillment in Christ. ((Luke 22:37 ESV)) 2 Corinthians 3 speaks of a new covenant that we have in Christ. We no longer abide by the 'letter of the law' which kills us because it is impossible for us to keep, but we are in the Spirit with confidence in Christ. (1 Corinthians 7:22 ESV) Hebrews 8 goes on to say that the old covenant is obsolete. (Hebrews 8:1-13 ESV)

Ok, now we know the what. Now let's look at the how.

Old covenant: obey the law. New Covenant: freely given. The Son has set us free. (John 8:31-38 ESV) Romans 5 explains how through one man's sin brought condemnation, one man died for the salvation of us all! This 'free gift' has brought us justification. (Romans 5:15-16 ESV) There is nothing we can do to earn, to merit this grace, this free gift.

Now what: I am free! I am no longer a slave to sin. (John 8:31-38 ESVRomans 6:7-14 ESV); I am free to share the gospel with my neighbor (Hebrews 8:1-13 ESV); I am free to set my mind on things of the Spirit and not of the flesh (Romans 8:1-11 ESV); I am free to serve my neighbor and love them as myself (Galatians 5:1,13-14 ESV). But, may we never fail to be reminded, that what we do is not of ourselves, but of the Lord. It is by the Spirit that we can do anything at all. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

There is so much more that this discussion could go into: legalism, life in the Spirit, and ministry beyond, but we'll have to save it for another time. I pray that you were blessed by digging into this with me this morning! Have a wonderful day! It's absolutely beautiful here in Honduras and I'm headed out to church and then a BBQ with some friends. God bless!

(for the record, this blog started out in my office eating hershey's kisses, but ended eating toast with huevos rancheros this morning :) )

References used:
For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”
(Luke 22:37 ESV)

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
John 8:31-38 ESV

"But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification."
Romans 5:15-16 ESV

"For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."
Romans 6:7-14 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."
Romans 8:1-11 ESV

For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.
1 Corinthians 7:22 ESV

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery... For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:1,13-14 ESV

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
For he finds fault with them when he says:
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 8:1-13 ESV

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
1 Peter 2:16

"Como Estamos?"

I have made wonderful friends with the women who work at Pinares, and I'm not just talking about the teachers. There is around 20 nannies that ride on the buses with the students, sweep and clean outside, and help out in the office. I have made some great friendships with them over the year. One of my closest nanny friends always asks me how we are: "Como estamos?" She's so sweet and I've been so blessed by our conversations. Last week she invited me over to her house for dinner! Her husband also works at pinares, so I've met him and talked to him quite a bit, but it was wonderful to meet her family and spend time outside of school together. She was making corn tortillas so Adam and I both tried to make them! They were delicious hot off the wood stove. Then she served us baleadas for dinner. They were fantastic, and I left completely full! I'm going to miss her and her husband next year. They have been wonderful to work with!

Eating dinner. Their grandson also lives with them.
Making tortillas.

Fresh tortillas with refried beans!

Monday, May 30, 2011

SURPRISE Bridal shower!!!

Last week Monday the women here at Pinares threw me a surprise shower! It was so much fun! My care group leader, Jess, told me that we were going to have dessert together instead of doing our regular study because we're almost done. When I got there the door was closed (rare) and there was lots of talking inside. When Andrea came to answer the door the only people in there were my group. Jess then pointed to the counter which was covered with desserts. She pointed again and there was a sign on the counter that said "Congratulations Rachel!" Suddenly people started pouring out from behind the couch, the counter, and the bedrooms on either side! I was truly surprised!

We enjoyed a great time of fellowship and I received advice from the married women. They knew I wouldn't have room for much stuff to take back, so they all brought recipes to share with me! I'm so excited to start making them! Let me share with you one of my favorites:

Recipe for a Happy Christian Marriage:
Each and Every day use the following ingredients:
Make sure you put Jesus 1st and then all things will be added.
1 gallon or prayer
1 gallon of reading God's word
1 gallon of praising God for his many blessings
2 cups of encouragement
2 cups of kindness
**Always stir well with the Golden Rule**
2 cups gentleness
1 cup consideration
1 cup courtesy and thoughtfulness
2 cups of communication
1 cup of contentment
1 cup of understanding of one another's faults
1 cup of understanding of one another's needs
season with cooperation
3 teaspoons pure extract of "I'm sorry" when needed
Add all the things you like to do together
Sweeten well with plentiful love and affection

Here's the wonderful group of women!
Honduran style. (no smile)
I will miss them all so much next year!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sugar on Top

Yesterday was most likely my last day to the stadium market. (tear) I came needing bananas and eggs, and left with 3 bags full! Sometimes I just can't help myself... I'm more dangerous in a grocery store than I'd ever be in a shoe store! I walk in and start imagining all of the yummy concoctions I could make! Needless to say, when we got back, despite how tired I was, the kitchen was my playground for the next 3 hours or so.

There's a recipe that my best friend sent me a while back and have been itching to make! For the real recipe check out: www.joythebaker.com Thank you, Joy, for the inspiration for this one!

My new favorite thing to listen to while baking is scripture being read. Go to esvonline.org and check it out! Yesterday I listened to Jeremiah prophesy to the Israelites. I started out making granola... it takes an hour to bake, and anyone who knows me in the kitchen knows that there's usually something in the oven, something on the stove, and another thing keeping my hands busy!

While that was baking, I started on the bread. I started with a wheat flour based dough (mostly because I love wheat, and partially because I only had a cup and a half of white). While that was rising-and Jeremiah was telling the Israelites that they would die to disease, famine, and the sword and that birds would eat their flesh (Jeremiah 16)-I started cleaning all the veggies we had bought at the market that morning, and chopping some of the old ones for a fresh salsa to bring to the potluck last night. A few people are leaving this weekend already so this was most likely the last one. Next I made a garlic cabbage and noodles dish. (I had an hour to let the dough rise, remember.) Mom, it's similar to yours, but substitute the brown sugar for garlic and onion. So... I guess similar and completely opposite at the same time. Other than the fact that the recipe I found called for an over the top amount of butter (1 cup), and the fact that I used some strange Honduran noodles that seemed to stay rubbery yet still started to fall apart, it turned out pretty good. Granola's done! Yogurt, berries, and warm granola on top for lunch! Love it!

Then, onto the dough. Ready to be turned into a fantastic loaf of cinnamon bread!

Rolling it out. No, I don't have a rolling pin here, and I forgot to ask my neighbor if I could borrow theirs, but the glass worked just fine!

Coat with melted butter and generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top. (I started to cut and then remembered to take a picture, ha!)

Cut the dough into strips and then into squares. This makes the wonderful "pull-apart" layers in the bread.

Then stack the squares in a loaf pan and let it rise again.

While this was rising and the Lord was telling Jeremiah that the Israelites were like good and bad figs, I chopped the delicious pineapple we bought at the market, finished the cabbage and noodles, and Adam came back and wanted some lunch (no surprise there).

And finally, the cinnamon pull-apart bread was done! It reminds me a little bit of mom's monkey bread, only in layers and not little rolls, but still delicious!

I drizzled it with some powdered sugar frosting. Yum.

A happy brother. :)

This one's going to be a new favorite recipe for sure!

God bless! I'm off to make Baked Blueberry Oatmeal for breakfast!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Writing on the Wall

In our apartment there's a blank wall. Painted purple, ultra bland. It's the one in our bathroom vanity area... the one that we look at over a hundred times a day, each time we look in the mirror, each time we pass through to go to our rooms. So, we've decided to spice it up a bit and cover it with verses. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (ESV) We've chosen to take the last part literally. Here's a picture of the start of our progress. Our goal is to fill it up by the end of the school year, writing on the wall and committing to memory the word of the Lord. I'll keep you updated with our progress!

Friday, May 27, 2011


I had my last basketball practice last night. It was almost a surreal feeling--partially because I found out 20 minutes into the practice that I wouldn't be having any more, and partially because I've been coaching since about week 3 of being here, and now it's over.

I know in these next couple of weeks I will experience 'lasts' almost every day. Strange to think back to when I came, when everything was fresh and new, I was marveling in the firsts. It seems like yesterday, but it feels like ages ago at the same time. The memory is so vivid, yet the changes that have happened since those first few weeks remind me of the months that have passed since then.

Right now, I feel like I'm in between. I'm obviously not back in the states, yet I feel that with each day that passes, a part of me shifts more and more in that direction. As I start to reconnect with my family and friends back home and complete what's been going on here, I pray that the Lord will bless this transition. Change can be difficult, and I know that amidst the joys of returning, there will be hard times too, a reverse culture shock so to speak.

Please join me in prayer for the teachers and students here who are also experiencing "lasts."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adam's Here!!!

My little, big brother arrived on Sunday! We spent Sunday and Monday together at the school, meeting some of the kids and my friends here. He's spent the last 3 days in the city working with our friend Aben Claros. High School evangelism, house visits and teaching English have filled the last few days for him... as well as trying to remember as much Spanish as he can! It's been fun having him here to experience what my life's been like the past year. We hope to do some hiking, scuba diving, hitting the town, going to the market... and whatever else comes up along the way!

Please pray that these last few weeks here will be a blessing and we can live each day to the fullest!
God Bless!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Saturday, Janice and I went to the stadium market in the city. It was fantastic! Being that it was the end of the day and everyone was trying to get rid of their produce, we got some pretty sweet deals! When we brought it back to our apartment and laid it all out after cleaning it all, it completely covered the table! What a blessing to be able to get so much fresh food! I don't think you could ever get this much in the states for only $25. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Psalm 119

I read Psalm 119 this morning and was inspired by the repeated emphasis on the law of the Lord, his statues, his commandment, his precepts, his testimonies, his word. Nearly every other line speaks of it starting with the first one: "Blessed are those whose way is blameless who walk in the law of the Lord!" (v1) and it continues throughout...
"I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (v.11)
"Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors." (v24)
"Strengthen me according to your word! Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!" (v28-29)
"Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways." (v36-37)
"The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words." (v57)
"It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statues." (v71)
"Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day." (v97)
"Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble." (v165)

I hope that you will be encouraged just as I was this morning in spending time reading the Bible. It is the inspired word of the Lord and we should "meditate on it day and night!" The Lord speaks to us through the word and when we "neglect our Bible," we "will shrink" and are missing out on what the Lord has to tell us!

May God bless you today and may you listen to what he is telling you in his word!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This might just be my favorite sunset picture...

I took this picture in Tela, Honduras when Jared was here visiting. We later walked out on the dock. It was breathtaking! If I hadn't already been dry and dressed I would have jumped right in the clear blue water off the dock!

And my favorite thing about sunset pictures... there will never be two pictures exactly the same. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A week together!

What a blessing it was last week to have Jared come to Honduras! It was so great to have him meet the wonderful people here, see the school, and meet some of the students... places and people that have made such an impact on my life the past 9 months! It means so much to me that Jared was able to share in my experience here, even if it was so brief.
Jared came in at midnight on Friday night... and then had a 45 minute delay! But, after so much anticipation, he was here! And an exciting week began!

My friend Laura and her boyfriend David came with to pick Jared up at the airport and then spend the weekend with us. Jared's first day here we went to the beach in Tela. The weather was beautiful and the hammocks were perfect. We spent a lot of the day in the water and the waves, and then went to town to get baleadas and ice cream for dinner.
I love him!

We went to Pulapansak, a beautiful waterfall, on our way back to Tegucigalpa on Sunday. We loved going under and behind the powerful force of the water coming down! We were able to do a little clif jumping into the river too! On our way back, we stopped at a Tilapia restaurant on the shores of Lago Yajoa. Fresh fish dropped into the deep frier and plopped on the plate. It was really tasty!

After spending Sunday and Monday at the school and meeting the students, Jared and I headed out to Copan for the rest of the week. We were able to relax and do some excursions. The best part was sharing the experience. Instead of telling each other what happened that day, we were able to spend the days together.

The first morning there we went on a 3 hour horseback ride, up the mountains to see a Chorti village and a small ruin. Then we headed back down along the Copan River, soaking our feet and legs because of our long legs and the short horses!

We stopped at a coffee plantation... Jared ended up buying some unroasted coffee and roasted it when he got home. It turned out great!

In the afternoon we went to the hot springs! Super hot water poured out of the rock and was channeled into a series of pools. One of them had a "Mineral Mud Bath" that we tried out.

Our second day there we went to the Copan Ruins. It was incredible to see the structures that had been built so long ago! It rained a bit on us in the morning, but we enjoyed walking around the ruins.

Overall, it was such a fantastic trip. Copan is so beautiful! We hit up several coffee shops, restaurants, and found a beautiful place to watch the sunset the final night. We are more excited than ever to get married, and praying for patience, knowing that this time of waiting is preparing us for when the time finally comes! The last day Jared was here marked 99 days until the wedding!

Of course it was sad to say good-bye, but unlike before, the Lord has blessed me with an internal peace. He is filling me from within, and I am resting in the arms of my heavenly father. It's crazy to think that I've already been here 9 months and there's only one more to go! Whereas the beginning portion of the year marked numerous 'firsts,' this last period will mark the 'lasts.' Honduras and Academia Los Pinares holds a special place in my heart and I hope to make the most of the little time that is left.

With Joy in Christ.

Monday, April 25, 2011


What an amazing week! For Semana Santa (Holy Week) I was able to go to Costa Rica with 6 great friends! It was an 18 hour bus ride to San Jose and then another 5 hours the next day to La Fortuna where our adventures began, but it was all worth it!

Our Adventure began in La Fortuna at the base of Volcan Arenal. We spent a whole day touring around the volcano. First a canopy tour with 9 different zip lines. At the end of the zip lines, we rappelled down a cliff and rode horses back up.

After a brief lunch break we went on a hike through the rain forest to a fantastic waterfall! This was probably one of my favorite places. Some of us climbed up the side of the waterfall and jumped down into the deep pool below. We took trails around the base of the volcano seeing lots of different animals and even a coral snake!

The next morning 4 of us got up at sunrise to run to a rope swing in a river. It was about a 2 mile run and the rope swing was amazing! Another highlight for sure! We took turns swinging into the crystal clear water, pooled below a small cascade in the river before it slowly flowed on downstream.

After our morning swim we were on to Tamarindo, a beach town on the Pacific. We stayed at a nice place with a beautiful pool. I'm personally a beach person and spent most of my time in the sand. :)

The best part of the trip was the girls I was with. We had so much fun together! We hung out at the beach, went out for dinner, grilled chicken and veggies at our place, had ice cream sundaes, ate fruit smoothies on the beach each day for lunch... it was so restful and fun at the same time.

One of the days Lesly and I went surfing! I had never been surfing before and it was so much fun! I did find that the second day was a bit harder, but we had a blast! And of course, what's a beach without volleyball! I was able to play volleyball each day and LOVED it!