Monday, July 17, 2017

Remember when, part 2

This is the second part to our post about our trip to Belize:  "Remember When."

Hey kids, remember when we spent three days at Camalote Camp?  Saturday morning dawned and some folks arrived from Georgia to prepare for an upcoming surgical brigade. We like it when we run into people from anywhere but for some reason we always get a little giddy when we see folks from our home state of Georgia here in Central America.   As we were introducing ourselves and talking about all God was doing, they asked about my husband.  I shared that Dean would be meeting us back in Honduras, but he was flying on a standby ticket and didn’t know exactly when he would get on the flight.  About an hour later, one of the gentlemen knocked on our door and said that he would like to use his air miles to buy Dean a ticket so that he could get back to us sooner.  I stood there in utter amazement at the unexpected blessing. We had been so focused for so long on praying and waiting on the Lord's provision, and then this gift was right there and so unexpected.  There were seriously no words I could utter other than “Gracias a Dios.” 

We took a little drive on Saturday afternoon, because 18 hours in the busito on Friday just wasn’t enough.  We were out hunting free fun and a National Park famous for its blue hole.  We found it on the Hummingbird Highway and spent a few hours exploring St. Herman’s Cave and swimming at the Blue Hole. Very cool.  Seriously, Belize is hot and swimming at the Blue Hole allowed us to cool down while having a great time. 

Our visit to St. Herman's Cave

Hey mom, remember when we went to Belize and sang that song every time we stopped?  We learned this song at the Spanish Institute and since then our family stops and sings it a lot.  If something good happens, we sing it.  If we’re arguing and we need it to stop, we sing it.  If we’re going through a scary time and need some encouragement, we sing it.  Before we eat our supper, we sing it. As we drove through Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, we would sing it when we experienced a new milestone.  It was very cool to stand in St. Herman’s cave (where cool could not be used to describe the temperature) and hear our children singing this song. I wish I had recorded it there. That would've been awesome.  Thank you, Robinson Children, for participating in this reenactment today!

Our Visit to the Blue Hole

Later in the day, our older kids were invited to join a youth group activity on campus, and they rushed out the door and took off running.  While they were gone, a sweet new friend came by to say hello.  When I was a little girl and things happened that were obviously not a coincidence, we would always say in a weird voice, “Well, that’s a co-wink-e-dink.” A smile comes to mind even now as I’m writing this because those words in that weird voice are exactly what flowed through my mind when I met Alicia. Alicia and her family are working as in community development in the neighborhoods around Camalote Camp, and one of the areas they are helping to develop is foster and adoptive homes for children in Belize who need a safe and loving family. How good of God to give me a friend who shares His heart for the orphan to spend time with during a brief and unexpected trip to Belize! 

On Sunday we went to church and then found some things at the grocery store for lunch that we haven't seen here in Honduras.  We celebrated the Cheetos find and then Riley led the sweetest spontaneous prayer....for Cheetos.  It's the little things.  

Riley: Dear God. Thank you for our ham sandwiches and cheesy puffs that we can't get in Honduras
After lunch we loaded up the busito for another free adventure. This time we went looking for a watering hole at the river called Mennonite Beach.  Lots of other folks had the same plans for an afternoon reprieve from the heat.  Families had grills and picnic spots all set up, and mamas were cooling their feet off in the river while they lounged in lawn chairs on the riverbank.  A church sang songs, prayed, and baptized, and it was just about the most perfect Sunday afternoon in Belize ever.  

Afterwards, I went for a stroll around the neighborhood with another new friend named Alicia who works with Camalote Camp.  It wasn’t just a Sunday stroll, though.  We were actually headed to a house a few blocks away to purchase pupusas, one of our favorite foods here in Honduras.  She didn’t bat an eye when I said, “I would like 30 pupusas.  Pretty please.”  Team Robinson can down 30 pupusas in about 3 minutes, so we let the adults eat first.  By the time the kids finished eating, there wasn’t a morsel left.  I heard someone singing the song again as he climbed up in the bunk to go to bed.  “Oh, the Lord is good to me….”

Monday came early. Our driver Don Jorge told us that the Honduran Frontera closed at 6:00 pm, so we needed to hit the road early to make sure we could enter Honduras on Monday.  Leaving Belize was easier than entering.  They did charge me more than I thought they would.  We had to pay an exit fee for each person, and I thought they would only charge the adults.  I really didn't think we had enough cash, and I wasn't able to find a functioning ATM machine.  God had it covered, though.  We pooled our money and ended up with basically 50 cents left over after paying our fees.  Perfect provision!

We exited Belize and entered Guatemala in a quick minute, though I did make a fool of myself at the Guatemalan Frontera.  I didn’t have any Guatemalan currency, and I was certain the currency exchange hombre wasn’t being fair.  It was at this moment I decided to stand up for myself and not be taken for a ride.  It turns out I had my math wrong.  Social Worker.  Did you know that statistically social workers have the lowest GRE math scores?  No?  Now you do.  After satisfactorily embarrassing Ellie, Marta, Don Jorge, and all my children with my emotional diatribe, and giving the guards at the Guatemalan Frontera their Monday crazy-lady story, we were on our way again.  I apologized to the kind people at the Frontera and the inhabitants of our busito and then turned around to reflect quietly on what scriptures say about the tongue and being all emotional. 

The trip was hot, windy, and rainy, but we made good time as we moved through Guatemala.10 hours is a long time in a busito, but besides the occasional complaint about somebody breathing somebody else's air, peace reigned as we buzzed by the banana fields and sweet villages.

Everyone managed to sleep but me, and I got a little bored.  I was following our path on a popular navigation app and about an hour into Guatemala I noticed that I could “update” the app with important information.  Well now, there’s a pothole.  Update.  That up there looks hazardous.  Update.  Cattle.  Update.  Man on bike piled high with firewood.  Update. Pothole. Pothole.  Pothole. Pothole.  Update. Update. Update. Update.  Yeah, I got flagged.  I know the people over at that app must’ve thought I was spamming, but the hazards are real, y’all.  Potholes e’rywhere!

We arrived in Honduras before the Frontera closed and celebrated with photos and another round of our song.  

We celebrated with a quick stop at a restaurant on the bay for supper.  We all donned bathing suits and went for a quick swim while the restaurant cooked the food.  I was starting to get irritated with a few kids who were complaining about mosquito biting them, when I heard Lauren say, " You know what, Mom?  We were packed in a hot and crowded car all day long, but God gave us a beautiful sunset that we get to watch while we eat our supper." Swoon....for 5 seconds.  All of a sudden, we were under attack.  Hundreds of mosquitos biting like warriors.  There was blood, sweat, and tears, and we took off running for the car. Note for future travels:  insect repellent of the warrior kind needed for sunset on the bay suppers.  

We made it home safe and sound before midnight, thankful for safe travels, stamps in our passports, and amazing memories of God’s faithfulness that we can pull out the next time we remember when…. 

Thank you to our friends at A Better Belize and Camalote Camp, and for all of you who are reading along, praying for us and supporting us to be here in Honduras.  If you’ve thought about becoming a part of our support team, now is a great time to say "yes!" Please partner with us. We really need the help.  Your prayers and financial support will have an immediate impact on the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children in Honduras.  

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