Why Friends?

Ok, so I just saw on Facebook that some of my high school friends are now friends with another guy with whom we went to school.

WHY?!?!  Just because people are on FB doesn’t mean we HAVE to “friend” them.  I’ve given myself permission to not friend folks who I don’t want to be friends with. (excuse the bad English)

Here’s the thing, if you weren’t friends BEFORE Facebook or Twitter or MySpace or whatever…why would you want to be friends now?  Most likely the reasons you weren’t friends before are still there so why fake a friendship?

boring!

Ok, I admit it.  When I’m not traveling I have a BORING life.  I can’t even think about things to blog about…that’s how boring my life really is.

The highlight today? Dinner with Marla.  Otherwise, I worked and worked and worked. Blah. Boring.

I need to get a life.  Any suggestions?

Travel Blog – on board Leg 1

We’ve boarded the first of 2 flights for my trip to Cali.
This is a small plane – one single row and one double row. I am in the single row…just the way I like it.
{1 Photo(s) will be attached to the bottom of the post when published.}
A 2 hour flight to Chcago O’hare, a one hour layover & the on to Sacramento. Hoping an hour is enough at O’Hare.
Praying for a safe, restful flight. Oh, and a bump to 1st class in the Sac flight would b a huge bonus.

By Therese Posted in Travel

Blog: Prep to Travel

Today is a day to prepare for travel.  I will be hitting the road for Mission of Mercy tomorrow for 2 1/2 weeks.  I will be in 5 different cities, at 5 different radio stations asking for listeners to sponsor children in the world’s poorest countries.

First, I have to say that I am so very thankful for friends who take care of my house & dogs while I’m on the road.  I could not do my job without them.  I pray I never take my friends and family for granted.

Second, a trip that takes one out-of-pocket for over 2 weeks takes some serious prep.

I am flying to the west coast so I have multiple flights that had to be scheduled & purchased.  Thank God for my travel agent.  Generally, I plan my own travel.  But when one has to hit multiple locations with no “round-trip” flights, it makes a lot of sense to have a travel agent check out the possibilities.  I have 5 legs to this trip and the total bill for the flights was under $700.  Finding the low cost options is a benefit that a travel agent can provide.

I did get a blow yesterday.  My bank all-of-a-sudden decided to lower my credit card limit.  Usually, this would not be a problem, I don’t like using credit cards.  However, the card the bank cut down is the one I use for travel.  You can bet that for over 2 weeks of travel, I’ll need a few thousand dollars for hotel & car rentals.  Now, I’ll have to use multiple cards which makes reimbursement & pay-off a little trickier.

First stop on my west coast jaunt is in Napa Valley!  Too bad it’s not going to be warmer.  The high temps are only in the mid-50s.  I hope it’s sunny, at least.  It’s been about 7 years since I’ve been to Napa, so it will nice to return.

Next up is Sacramento.  Not the prettiest part of California.  However, I have friends in the area and THAT makes it beautiful.  I look forward to catching up and chilling out…after & before work.

The third city is Portland, OR.  This one will be fun.  I’ve only been to Portland once and it was for less than 24 hours…so I plan to explore a bit while I’m there.

Then it’s on to Visalia, Ca.  Um, yeah.  Good thing, again, I get to see friends.

I wrap it up in San Diego!  Not a bad place to put a punctuation mark on this trek.  I have never been to San Diego so I hope to see and do some fun stuff.  I’m hoping it’s warm & dry for the few days I’m there.

When I get home, I’m sure I’ll be exhausted and even though it’s work, I’m going to try to have some while I’m there.

By Therese Posted in Travel

Letter to Genesis

It’s been about 5 days since I’ve returned from Honduras.  I was surprised how tired I was the first couple of days.  We didn’t cross any timezones, so I didn’t think I’d be affected by jet lag.

We did hit the ground running from the first day.  We landed around noon, grabbed lunch, checked into the hotel, went and visited the first Mission of Mercy project for the trip and walked to a neighborhood to see several of the homes.  They are very modest. Most are one room, maybe 10 x 10 feet.  There’s no running water and electricity is scarce.

Day 2 we saw 2 more MoM projects in the morning and went to the tourist area of Valle de Angeles in the afternoon – more walking in the sun and heat.

Day 3 was the biggie!  We went to 4 total projects.  2 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon – coupled with a home visit to Genesis’ house and then a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to another project.  We didn’t return to the hotel until 10:30pm.

The next day we all traveled home.  So, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised about being tired.

For a couple of days I have been telling myself that I need to write to Genesis and send her some pictures.  I did that today.  It’s humbling to think that my letter is likely the only mail she will receive.  These kids don’t know people outside of their immediate area.  The grandparents and uncles & aunts generally live close-by.  They don’t have a culture of writing letters.  But I can imagine G’s surprise when she gets a letter from America with 5 pictures of her, her family & friends.  If you sponsor a child but have never communicated with them, I encourage you to do so.  It will do you and them a whole lotta good.

I’m still processing the whole trip.  It was a lot to take in for someone’s who’s never been in a country with that much poverty.  I know I can’t help them all, but I am sure glad that God has allowed me to help some.

My next trip isn’t nearly as glamorous…I’m off to the west coast!  California and Oregon for about 2 1/2 weeks.  I’m sure I’ll need a vacation when I get back.  It’s for work.  I will be hosting 5 radio events asking people to sponsor children via Mission of Mercy.  I would appreciate your prayers for these events.

If you would like information on how to sponsor a child via Mission of Mercy, go to http://www.AllWorship.com and click on the Mission of Mercy link.

By Therese Posted in Travel

Departing Honduras

We’re at the airport. Got here 3 hours early & sat for 2 hours. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with these guys for the last few days.
We’re about to start the boarding process. The flight is 3 hours to Houston. I have about 1 1/2 hours to go thru customs & catch my flight to Nashville.

I was bumped to first class again from Honduras to Houston. A girl could get used to this. For me, it’s not about the food or the drinks – it’s about the extra room. I hate being crammed into a seat. But don’t tell the guys in coach that the meal choices were steak or shrimp. I chose steak. We’ll see how it actually TASTES once it’s served.

By Therese Posted in Travel

General observations from Honduras

The most dangerous part of our trip was on the road. The driving here is NUTS! Motorcyclists weave in & out, cars come within inches of each other to get where they want to go. Pedestrians just walk right out into the street. I would not want to drive here & I LOVE to drive.

Another oddity – the police & military men walking the streets w/ automatic weapons & pump 12 guage shotguns. We asked one group of military guys if we could get a picture with them. The answer? Uh NO!

Many places have metal fences & barb wire to keep people out. Even churches have barb wire around.

We’ve eaten at Wendy’s, McDonalds & Pizza Hut. It’s been a cultural dining experience!

This country is very Americanized – as you can see from the restaurants. They drive on the right side of the road and listen to American music in many places.

Even in the poorest areas of the country, many folks have cell phones.
And the electrical wiring is a rat’s nest in the city. The lines along the street are so messed up it’s a wonder they know where anything goes.

Those guys are the rag-tag group of guys I’ve been hanging out with the last few days.

(l to r) Miguel (our driver), Tony (Mission of Mercy – Honduras), Mitch (MoM USA), Rob (His Radio Greenville), Scott Herrold (SOS Radio Las Vegas) & Dave Arthur (The Fish Portland)

We are eating at Pizza Hut after a 2 1/2 hour drive to meet Dave’s sponsored child. We have at least a 3 hour drive back.

At one point along the way, we were 15 minutes from El Salvado & 30 minutes from Nicaragua. Too bad we don’t have more time to get a couple of extra stamps on our passports!!

We head back to the states tomorrow. I believe we have all been changed a bit in some way on this trip. We’ve all bonded too and will always hve this experience to share.

One final thought…the roads here are in horrible condition. Many aren’t much better than dirt pathes but even the major roads are full of potholes. There are a lot of whindy bumpy roads. Those who are prone to motion sickness might think twice about visiting & riding in buses.

By Therese Posted in Travel

Day 3 in Honduras

Today I met Genesis. She is a beautiful 9 year old girl with a bright smile. She lives w/ her parents & older brother Alexes who is 14.
I was so glad to be able to give a doll, jump rope, backpack, bag of lollipops, some hair-ties & a picture frame. I scored big points with her brother by giving him a soccer ball.
I met Genesis’ mom who is a nice woman. Her dad works as a watchman but is losing his eye sight. He’s seen doctors but they can’t find the problem.

The trip from the Mission of Mercy project to Genesis’ home was a good 20 minutes up steep dirt roads filled with chuck holes. It takes a real commitment on her mother’s part to get her to the project. The director says G is a wonderful girl who is very committed to being there every week.
She is a smart girl with grades in the 90s – her favorite subject is Mathematics. She wants to run a business when she grows up.

Their house, much like most of the home around Tegucigalpa is surrounded by a block wall that’s locked for security. Their dog who’s name is roughly translated “Cinnamin” something was not too fond of us visitors.
Inside, the one room home was about 10′ x 10′. Part of it was taken up by storage shelves. There were 2 beds. And just enough standing room for 3 or 4 people. The tin roof had many holes so when it rains they get wet.
There is no running water which left us wondering how they stay so neat & clean.
We left after praying with them & I hope to be able to visit again. I was really reminded about how important letters from sponsors are for encouragement & hope. I will write often.

Earlier in the day we visited 2 other projects. One was in a terrible, unsafe part of town but the kids were so happy & loving. We had a great time giving out stickers & balloons and taking pictures.
The second project is a newer one outside the city. It’s only about a year old. No Gringos from America have ever been there. Many of these kids have never been out of the immediate area. One little girl – maybe 4 yrs old – screamed & cried upon seeing me. I know I don’t have use of a hairdryer here but I didn’t think I looked THAT bad!!!
We played soccer & catch and got sunburned but it was well worth it. It’s a fantastic project that the local pastor & church have fully embraced and it really shows.

By Therese Posted in Travel

Day 2 in Honduras

It is a beautiful day here in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  The sun is shining and the temperatures are perfect…in the 70s.

We visited 2 Mission of Mercy projects this morning.  The first was offering the community a Health Clinic.  There was a mission team from a Lutheran church in Atlanta that was seeing the locals for dental & medical needs.  They did a bible study for the young children while their parents saw doctors, nurses & dentists.  They also handed out bibles and shared with the people about Jesus.

It really drove home to me how one Mission of Mercy project in a community can make a complete impact on that community.  Not only do the children benefit, but the adults do, as well.  And while the Medical team was not associated with Mission of Mercy, there would not be a place for the clinic to take place if MoM had not worked with the local church to establish a project in that neighborhood.

The other project was in a nicer neighborhood although the children at the project came from poorer surrounding areas.  This was a LIVELY bunch.  They talked and shouted and laughed and played.  They loved on us as we loved on them.  It was amazing how quickly they learned to take pictures with our digital camera.  I really do hope to post some pictures here soon.  Until then, check out my FB page.

We spent a part of the afternoon in Valle de Angeles.  This is an area that attracts many tourists.  There are shops where local wares are sold.  Hand carved wooden boxes, tables & other items are so beautiful and inexpensive by American standards.  One wooden coffee table with intricuit carving all over the top was only about $300.  I was disappointed that there was no way to fit it in my carry-on bag.

By Therese Posted in Travel

Blog: Morning Day 2

I wish I spoke Spanish. Being a minority stinks. I would love to be able to communicate with the kids. They are so beautiful & fun loving.
Internet access is difficult to come by, especially for my iPhone. I will try to keep posting as I can.
I’ve posted a bunch of uneditted pix on my FaceBook page. Hoping to get more today.
So far, so good, as far as food & water are concerned. If I can figure out how to do it.