Monthly Archives: May 2013

What I crave at this very moment is piece of chocolate cake, paired with a latte sprinkled with cinnamon on top. Perhaps sitting in a comfy chair, surrounded by blankets, with my friends and family around. I would like the snow to be falling outside. Taking in each bite and soaking in every person around me as the blanket of snow fell outside.

Instead at this moment I sit inside a school, with a tin roof above my head, waiting the arrival of twenty two second graders. Waiting for them to run up the path with their book bags trailing behind, their hair gelled in perfect place, white shirts on. Boys in blue pants and girls in knee high white socks and braided hair. The sun is already shining brightly, proof of another hot and humid day ahead. The bugs land on my arm as I type and drink my coffee out of a plastic cup.

It is May 30, 2013. Exactly 277 days ago I arrived in Honduras to teach for one year. Today I sit waiting to begin my very last full day teaching. The remaining six days of school will finish at noon. And then next Saturday I will leave.

You can only imagine the emotional weight of this reality.

So in an effort to live out the words that I had placed above my bed. “Wherever you are be all there” I am going to try and be present today. Be here in this place. Soaking up each second, each smile, each tear, and every word that my kids say. When Caleb is out of his chair for the tenth time today, I hope I am able to be patient, and calmly ask he sit down. I want to laugh when they say something funny and not be frustrated when they speak out of turn. I just want to be here. No place else today.

How nice it would be to be in more than a few places at the same time in life. Be here to watch my little second graders grow up. See who they become in days and years to come.

How grateful I would be to be at home in Kentucky today, to stand alongside my very best friend from growing up as she says goodbye to her grandfather (who I too dearly loved).

But instead I am here. And I know that  in a few days time, I will be wishing I were back here again.

So I hope you too find that wherever you are, you know that you are exactly where God had you be today. I hope you too don’t miss it. Don’t miss why he had you where you are.

But instead “Wherever you are, be all there”

I consider it a good rule for letter-writing to leave unmentioned what the recipient already knows, and instead tell him something new.  ~Sigmund Freud

I have been giving a lot of thought to my time in Honduras… the time that has passed and the very people that played a role in me coming in the first place. So here below are three special letters to people, enjoy:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for never doubting my decision. For your support while your daughter yet again moved and quit her job. For looking me in my eyes with nothing but love. For  offering up anything you could, asking questions about this new adventure, for facetime dates and for making my welcome home at Christmas incredible. For knowing this was on my heart and encouraging me to go for it. I will be eternally grateful for your unwavering love and support for me to run after the things I love and that regardless of the outcome you are there right alongside me.

Love Bean

Dear Roommates,

You may very well get the biggest letter but I reckon you might get tired of reading, so I will try to be brief. You already know that you have become my sisters here. Thanks for drinking wine on a Monday night because we needed it, for teaching me englishisms (fancy, rubbish, swimming costume, fags), for putting up with my love to clean (your often disappearing cups that I have already washed),  for laughing with me about this place (animals in our house, the boys, continuous floods), dealing with my cabbage obsession, for being honest, for covering my classes when I was sick (way to many times in a row and when I went on holiday with my family), for sharing your food. Alison thank you for the popcorn. Faye thank you for being an expert bartender. Thanks for doing yoga with me, making sure I was not the only person that would complain about no water, freezing cold water, how hot the water was or our broken refrigerator. For laughing about the flooded house, the mice, the rubbish that never got picked up for our first month and the rainy cold November. For knowing exactly how I felt and empathizing. For often saying something to pick me up and not saying anything when you know that is what I needed most.

There is barely a memory that you were not apart of and for that I owe you the biggest thanks. Thanks for the laughs, the joy and you can be certain I will miss you dearly.

The original four, Alison (South Africa) Molly (England), Me, Faye (England)
 Me, Faye (England), Kate (Georgia), Molly (England), Alison (South Africa)
Rose (Georgia), Molly, Alison, Me//// Kylie (Arkansas), Me


Dear Ramon and Lot,

Thank you for always smiling when we walk to your counter at the D and D sometimes more than a handful of times in a week. For being friends that never complained about the many times we talked about school. Lotte for loving yoga and for all the many times that we practiced together, it was such a nice escape to come to your house and get away. 
You have made your way into the top of my list of favorite people I have ever met. Your selflessness, honesty, joy for life and compassion for people is unlike anyone I have met before. You will be surely missed. So look forward to seeing where you go in your future.

Love Kristina


To blog readers and followers,

Thank you for your support and love. For the countless comments, for reading, for laughing, for praying and for loving my kids as much as I do. I cannot tell you how much the notes mean, and knowing that someone else cares. For those of you that I did not know even read this thing, I am grateful you do. Sorry for the grammar mistakes and often rambling thoughts…. Hope you have enjoyed πŸ™‚ (Ps its not over yet) As well friends who have taken the time to facetime, or skype or play email pin pals thank you too!

Now on for my last Tuesday full of classes, next week is exams…. Love Me

See previous Letter posts here:

Did you know that birds still sing in the rain….. Its pouring outside at this very moment and the birds are still singing. A bit of a cheesy metaphor but I like it…. do you still find joy when life comes raining down on you…… (Ok really cheesy)

It often sounds as though we live in a bird sanctuary here…. there is one bird that makes a sound as though he is whistling at you….. you know what I mean the low pitch, then high pitch… “Hey girl” kind of whistle. I told Alison that it makes me laugh every time.  I like to think that the bird is whistling at me. As though he is looking at me through the window saying good morning….. πŸ™‚

Today was one of those days I am certain I will not forget. My kids did an activity where they wrote letters to their future third grade teacher (next year)……Introducing themselves, what class is their favorite, what they do not like, what they look forward to learning in third grade and their favorite candy (just in case the teacher wants to buy it for them). I enjoyed reading my kids replies and basically learned that their favorite part of this year was Art and Physical Education. They dont like English and cant wait to learn about Art in third grade πŸ™‚ too funny.

As my kids worked on their letters I played DJ and took musical requests….. Daddy Yankee, Sexy and I know it, Lord I lift your name on high, Don’t Stop the Party, One Direction…. (quite the selection, and yes they knew all the words). So funny to watch as my kids sing….. and dance

The rain is pouring down….. Faye and I are drinking this horrible sweet Malbec wine (WHO ON EARTH MADE SWEET MALBEC???). I saw Malbec and purchased it. But I failed to read the part that said Dulce Natural (Sweet Natural)…….epic fail. It is gross. But it was ten dollars of my very large teacher salary so we will drink it anyway….

Happy Monday to you….

One last weekend in our town and how do we spend it? Together. (Next weekend we are going to the beach together for one last Tela beach weekend)

On Friday as the bell rang I walked Alison’s first graders out to the buses (which meant we marched, walked with our hands on our heads, and I had them follow me around in circles). Something happens to kids when they get to second grade. They become so independent and rotten. Her first graders were so sweet. My kids run out the door at the bell.

It was beautiful Friday afternoon. Alison, Rose and I walked home from school. I was only home minutes before Matt decided that we should go back to school and steal the flat screen TV (we asked permission) so that we could watch movies this weekend. Never a dull moment around here. Speaking of excitement………

The mouse has made an appearance every night this week. Thursday night he ran just past me as I tried to hit him with the broom. Needless to say I am a little bitter. I really did not want it to have to come down to this but poison is the only option left. We decided that we have a decadent mouse, so Kylie placed chocolate frosting on top of a banana (he likes bananas, he ate all four of Kylie’s the other night). This morning…. the banana is gone and the pizza is gone (all poisoned). Sorry I am not sorry little mouse. Here is to hoping he died outside….. and he is not lying dead some place in our house. (Gross).

Saturday early morning we took a row boat out on the lake….. Matt has mastered the rowing… (much harder than it looks. A little sunburn never hurt anyone….

Alison and I walked home from the lake and stopped for smoothies at the coffee shop. Days like these are what I will miss the most. No agenda and no schedule to keep. As we walked home, we waved to kids running outside, soaked in the sun beaming from up above and admired Santa Barbara Mountain that was crystal clear above us….. As we made our way into town Alison and I talked about leaving….. About all that we have waiting for us and all the worry we often do. Every time God never fails. Things always work out as they should, yet we can never seem to trust the process or be patient in the waiting. For all of us, the reality that waits for us after this is a lot of unknown…. but one thing Alison and I agreed on is that the worry helps nothing…

The rest of the day the others finished a puzzle on our kitchen table and I rested up (fighting off a sore throat). Today I am going into the city (San Pedro Sula) with Alison and Molly to go shopping. I need a few things for my upcoming travels….

Two weeks left…. Two weeks from today I am on a bus to Nicaragua then on down to Costa Rica. Below is short timeline of what I will be up too:

  • A. Saturday June 8, 2013 Leave Pena Blanca (our house) for Tegucigalpa. Stay one night.
  • B. Sunday June 9, 2013 Depart Tegucigalpa, Honduras for Managua, Nicaragua. Arrive in Managua that night. (stay in hostel)
  • C. Monday June 10, 2013 Depart Managua, Nicaragua for San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Arrive in the early morning. 
    • Monday June 10, Tuesday June 11, Wednesday June 12 spent in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. (stay in hostel)
  • D. Thursday June 13, 2013 Bus to San Jose Costa Rica. Arrive late afternoon. (stay in hostel)
    • Friday June 14, 2013 San Jose, Costa Rica Yoga School Starts today until July 12, 2013

Last night we said goodbye Thomas. An impromptu acoustic singalong occurred in our room after dinner…. one guitar, seven of us circled around, singing along with lyrics, the final sips of wine and a candle slowly burning away. Singing along to Oasis, Wonderwall, Damien Rice and Hallelujah …. with small bits of laughter, only to suppress the emotional reality that we have only two weeks left together…

I look at pictures of my kids and tears begin to welp up.

Taking the bus home Sunday, I was looking out the window at the Lake and took a deep breath. In my mind I was heading home and the home I was referring to was Pena Blanca…. Almost ten months have passed and its hard to even imagine life some place else.

Wednesday while hiking in the rain with Matt and Lotte, Matt held out his arms wide as the rain drops poured. I could not help but think that is exactly how I feel. Arms stretched wide, trying to soak in every last bit of what is left. Experience everything. I am overwhelmed looking back at the past year and I cannot imagine having gone my life without this being apart of my story. 
I must admit I am a bit afraid to go home. Excited? Absolutely. Perhaps more nervous because I feel so different. And I know that things will look the same when I get back. Very little will have changed yet I come back someone new.

Of course there are more weddings on deck, more babies due, more houses purchased, more graduations that have happened. ….My car will start back up again. My things will be moved out of storage. Pictures will hang back on the walls. But the me that returns is not the same.

If I was honest I am afraid of how quickly it will wear off and how quickly I will get tired of it all. Get tired of the stuff, the bills, the things that seem like tragedies which are merely hiccups to the heartbreak here. Afraid of how much my heart will be left here.

I know I will think of the sweet faces, the big brown eyes, the long eye lashes,  and the shouting of “Miss”. I will long for the days of stinky hot kids running in from recess. Long for the nights spent in the dark with my roommates because the power has gone out yet again. 
How long ago it was that we hiked to the waterfalls and ran to the bus in the pouring rain. How many nights we spent while Matt crashed in one of the girls beds. The countless family dinners. The mouse sitings, sunbathing, traveling……

How foreign this place felt and how normal it seems now…….

β€œAdventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins