The Curtain Falls
For most of our Honduran life, I have tried to minimize the differences between how we live and how you live. Maybe I just wanted to stay connected to you? Maybe I just didn't want to complain aloud? Maybe I thought you really didn't want to hear about the challenges? Maybe I thought I was more of a superhero than I am?
Well, for some reason, keeping the challenges from our friends has served to create a false picture of our lives. It also has served to remove our credibility when it comes to setting boundaries for ourselves.
When one acts as if the harsh conditions aren't really that harsh, it is difficult to then say that one has reached their emotional limit. It is surprising to the listener to hear a boundary when all previous communication showed that we were 'dealing' with it all just fine.
Here's the truth.... this place chews people up and spits them out. As a fellow missionary said this week, 'this place is hard on everything... people, cars, hearts, buildings, paint, souls, clothing, shoes... everything." And, it is.
There is no reason for me to pretend to be a superhero here anymore. I've decided to share more of the 'ICK' in hopes that you can more easily understand why we reach our limits and disappoint or offend you.
Several mornings this week, I have been awakened by the sound of a rat chewing on wood right under my bed. In the past, my husband getting up has been enough to scare the rat away. Not now... this summer, the rats seem to have made our house 'party station number 1' without any fear of the large humans surrounding them. They have bowled with popcorn kernels, dropped eggs on the floor one-by-one (everyone leaves their eggs out of the refrigerator here)... they have pooped in all sorts of places, scattered seeds, eaten tomatoes, avocados and clothing.
I hate rats.
We tried a kitten once and in just the kitten being overnight on the porch, Alex's allergies went nuts. We have poisoned a million little buggers and they keep making more little buggers.
That same morning, the rain gently soaked my face and pillow before I got out of bed. Thankfully, this only happens a few times each year as the wind blows in a different direction.
I head on over to the school and find that the doorknob to the office has broken again (quality here is very low) and I cannot get in to begin the day at IVA. Finally get in the office to find that the rain has deluged the office and ruined a few things. The IVA rats have enjoyed a fiesta as well I look for a our last remaining stapler and find that it has been stolen.
Alex tries the last functioning generator and finds the cord has been broken by a student. We are unable to pump water for the school or our house without a generator. The gasoline here has a lot of water in it and, even though we filter it, machines are quickly harmed. We constantly have one or more generators in the 'shop' or waiting for parts.
A few hours later, we get a call that a prisoner has escaped from the local jail and has shot an officer in the head and jaw. We were asked to put our school on lockdown due to the fact that one of our girls is the reason a prisoner is in jail and there was fear that she would be a target. The shooting actually happened very close to the school and the prisoner got away in a boat with the help of 3 men. Fortunately, it was not the man who had harmed our student.
Alex calls me on one of his trips to buy supplies and he is stuck in the mud. Thankfully, there are many faithful friends around who can help him. Just another delay in an already stressful day.
These are typical days in our lives. There are easier ones and there are much harder ones.
I share with you in an effort to step out from behind the curtain and to show you that it really is hard and my attempts to make my life equivalent to yours are in vain. :)
Here's to truth and vulnerability! Here's to greater understanding and empathy for where folks are, no matter where they are planted.