Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Final Countdown

13 days left until the due date. Here are some ultrasound photos from today:
1) Feet 2) Face & Arm 3) Umbilical chord

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Parish of San Isidro Labrador

We visited the Catholic church on Monday in nearby San Isidro. The building is very old and historic. The construction of the church started in 1895 and finished in 1952. The stained glass windows are beautiful... they were brought in from Austria. The artwork and details of the church are amazing; I can't imagine how long it took to do it all with a paint brush.

BUT what captured my attention about the place was the deep sense of sadness. All the images of Jesus carrying the cross or nailed to the cross gave me a sense of defeat and grief. The prayer candles, wash basins and prayer benches caused me to feel the seriousness of the traditions that are held onto so tightly.

Why keep Jesus on the cross when he has risen and defeated death? Why dwell so much on the cross, it's only half of the story? Why bind yourselves to traditions that promote guilt when in Christ we have freedom? The theme of victory, forgiveness and joy were absent from the building.

I found some great verses in Colossians 2 (one of my favorite books) that answers the questions above:
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority... 13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (NLT)

A Father’s Gift

My daughter Naomi is fast approaching the completion of her second year of life and my wife is one-step behind her with the birth of our second child "set" for September 10th. Yesterday I asked myself, "What would be the greatest gift that I could give my children?" Thoughts like my time, energy, devotion, love, faith, attention and encouragement come to my mind. However, I think one word can sum-up all these concepts: myself. The best gift (and a huge responsibility) is to give all of me to my kids. Jesus said it best, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13 (NKJV) More than anything I desire my children to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Dads, may Christ's love be our model as we lay down our lives for our kids.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

For The Geographically Challenged

Focus on San Jose in the center of the map, then go north-east on route 32 (towards the parrot). We are staying just west of rt 32 in San Josecito, near San Isidro! (This is the only map I found that had our little-San Jose).

Organic Farmers Market

WE LEFT ON TIME!!! Marillyn, Naomi and I actually left the house at 5:30 a.m. Why so early? We were on our way to our first Organic Farmer's Market - we had to get there for the good stuff. Uva is not only a great midwife, but a good tour guide as well. Here our some of our unique purchases: peanut butter, berries that appear to be yellow grapes - very tart with a tomato texture; goat milk mozzarella cheese and a spread made from mani (peanuts) that tastes something like humus. We had a great time and we were done at 8:30. I still can't believe Marillyn was awake the whole time! Photo: The ladies having some breakfast with Uva - the earthy lookin' gal and Mare and Naomi sippin' on some Agua de Pipa (coconut water).

Friday, August 22, 2008

1st Post

This is our first post. San Isidro, north of San Jose, is cool and rainy. We await the arrival of bebe numero dos. Naomi has made friends with the maid's daughter and our landlady's two dogs and two cats. We are enjoying high-speed internet! Adios for now.

Cheque: What BBC says about Honduras

Military rule, corruption, a huge wealth gap, crime and natural disasters have rendered Honduras one of the least developed and least secure countries in Central America.

Until the mid-1980s Honduras was dominated by the military, which enthusiastically supported US efforts to stem revolutionary movements in the region.

Since then, civilian leaders have sought to curb the power of the military - with varying degrees of success.

Some army officers have been charged with human rights abuses, but many have still to be prosecuted for violations committed in the 1980s.

Honduran society is rife with economic inequality. Malnutrition, poor housing and infant diseases are widespread.

The country has a youthful population; 50% of Hondurans are under the age of 19. But endemic poverty, chronic unemployment and the prospects offered by drug trafficking have contributed to a virulent crime wave conducted mainly by youth gangs known as "maras".

The maras are said to have tens of thousands of members and use threats and violence to control poorer districts in towns and cities.

Meanwhile, police officers have been implicated in high-profile crimes, and the police are thought to have been involved in the murders by death squads of youths and street children.
Honduras was devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. At least 5,000 people were killed and 70% of the country's crops were destroyed. The damage was estimated at $3bn, setting development back by decades.

Thousands of Hondurans leave the country each year, most of them for the US. The money sent home by the overseas workers is an important source of income for many families.

The economy was dominated, until the mid-20th century, by foreign-owned banana companies that wielded outsized influence in politics and controlled wide swaths of land. Still a major exporter of the fruit, Honduras is also Central America's second biggest coffee producer. Part of a regional free trade deal with the United States, Honduras developed its textile industry to diversify away from dependence on agriculture.

Fast Facts

  • Full name: Republic of Honduras
  • Population: 7.7 million (UN, 2011)
  • Capital: Tegucigalpa
  • Area: 112,492 sq km (43,433 sq miles)
  • Major languages: Spanish, indigenous languages, English
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 76 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 lempira = 100 centavos
  • Main exports: Coffee, bananas, shellfish, meat, timber, gold and other minerals
  • GNI per capita: US$1,870 (World Bank, 2010)
  • Internet domain: .hn
  • International dialling code: +504

Tegucigalpa - Capital of Honduras


NOTE: You can read more a more DETAILED version about Honduras at the U.S. Department of State. The above facts about Honduras were taken from BBC World Profiles.