The last day in Honduras was… depressing to say the least. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was ready to see my family. But I was not ready to leave Honduras, at all. I wish my family, especially my mom, could have came on this trip with me. She would have completely loved it. While heading to the airport, I realized, my priorities need to change once I arrive back at home:
1. My relationship with my Lord and Savior needs to be number one. Without him, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today and I wouldn’t have been able to attend this amazing trip.
2. My relationship with my family and friends. I need to take more time for everyone in my life, because not only is this life precious but it is all too short. I need to live life like the song by Lee Brice, “be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse “I Love You”, go to work, do your best, and don’t outsmart your common sense, never let your praying knees get lazy, and love like crazy”. This song needs to be an anthem of mine, for the rest of my life.
3. Finally, my education. The university students said that learning is their passion. They love to wake up and arrive at school everyday to learn. Their burning passion to learn gives me a burning passion to achieve the same things. To value my education more.
If I continue to focus on those three things, in that order, my life will constantly fall into place, as it should.
As I sat on the plane, flying over the gulf of Mexico, I couldn’t help but realize that half of my heart was still in Honduras with Trish and Marlon, with the students at UNAH-TEC, with the school children at Cola de Cajon, and with every resident of Las Piscinas. Then my other half is back home in Texas. I hope, one day, good Lord willing, that my degree will allow me to travel back to Las Piscinas, or Honduras, or anywhere in the world actually. I do want to learn Spanish, no doubt. It is such a pretty language. I want to be able to understand and speak such a beautiful language.
After getting off the plane, and stepping foot into Houston I realized what an overwhelming sight America can be, and honestly, I did not like it. I saw the roaring hustle of life, tempers flaring, lines, constant chatter on technology. I felt very claustrophobic, and I almost had a small panic attack. It scared me. I never thought the Houston, Texas airport would scare me… but it did. We went from a slow paced, peaceful lifestyle. With nothing loud except the cattle, or the birds, and maybe a few dozen laughs filling the sky. Once we arrived in Houston, it was just LOUD. Not even a beautiful loud just an overwhelming almost annoying loud.
Texas is home, but Honduras isn’t too far behind. My heart will forever be in the mountains of Honduras, just like it will forever be on the flat plains of West Texas.
-Love, Hope Sorrells
After leaving the village and traveling back to Danli, exhaustion set in. I was ready to take a shower, and sleep on a comfy bed. That I did get. But, I found out that night that we would all be able to visit a University, UNAH-TEC, Danli (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras en Danli) to be exact. I was so excited! Getting to meet other college students, that are dealing with the same issues that every college students deal with: classes, schedules, jobs, families, graduating, etc. We arrived at the University and were immediately greeted by the director of that campus. She gave us a tour of the campus. We saw the classrooms, labs, and students just being… normal students. Then, we were told that we were going to sit in on a class, little did we know we were given a performance. We were welcomed with a sign that said “Welcome to Honduras” and then music we listen to everyday, along with a slide on the computer that had the American flag meshing with the Honduran flag. It was awesome. They played the National Anthem as we proudly saluted our country from miles away, and then they played their national anthem. Then, a student sang two songs for us, two other students danced for us, and then we were able to ask questions. We found out there were three majors available on that campus. They were computer application, engineering, and agro-industrial. The agro-industrial is an ag major, YES! Students who love everything dealing with agriculture, farmers, production, everything, I felt right at home then and there. To be honest, I was ready to sign up for classes and attend the school. After we exchanged questions, we did some meet and greet and had some good snacks. I made friends with many of the students and we all exchanged Facebook information. Oh yes, on my friends list right now on Facebook I have friends from Danli, Honduras that I made at their University. That is pretty awesome! These students, teenagers, people were amazing. I had so much in common with many of them. And for some reason, I thought they would be different from American students. But they aren’t… how naive, how stupid of me to think that. Do all Americans have that same view point? That the people in the rest of the world aren’t like us, or we aren’t like them? Such close minded people we are at times. I now understand the quote we were given:
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on; deep and permanent in the ideas of living” -Miriam Beard
Such a true quote, and I realized that, sitting in the classroom, listening to everyone speak. And for a moment, the rest of my busy life was quiet and I was living in a moment that only I can understand.
-Love, Hope Sorrells
Family, a word that many of us over use and take for granted everyday we wake up. So many of us understand what that word means, and maybe we always often feel what family is. But, like myself, so many of us take for granted the idea of family that it is overwhelming when you cannot contact your family for over a week.
In the village, I saw the idea of family. Whether it be direct blood related family, or the family of loco gringos that happened to spend a couple days in the village. Family was all around me this week. Of course, I saw family while sitting at Don Claudio’s house, while eating food Mrs. Martha and Delanie cooked. I made multiple families. I have my Honduran family that are in Las Piscinas right now as I type. They are probably finishing up the day and heading to get ready to eat supper, since the sun will be setting soon. Supper of most likely rice and beans and tortillas. There is the family of church members and school children that we spent days with. One full day of cutting grass, playing frisbee and singing at the school. The next day of going to church and after playing games, taking pictures, having the kids sign our journals. The nights when we all had family time together. We all became a unit, something that can never be shaken. We have inside jokes, crazy secrets, laughs, smiles, tears, and reminiscing about the day. Never in a million years did I ever think that complete strangers could become family. But it can happen, in a blink of an eye. And finally, I would sit and watch the fireflies dancing across the landscape and remember my own family. I was missing my parents, and brother, but also my grandparents and my cousin and nephew. I was missing my animals as well. A part of me was ready to get back to Texas to see them, then another part of me didn’t want to leave. The life in the village is so simple. It is beautiful. Time is never an issue, chores will be done when they are done, the days last for forever, and love is all around. I sit here and think, why can’t life in America be like that now? I know, back when my grandparents and great-grandparents were alive, that is how the everyday life of an American was. So what happened? The hustle and bustle of trying to stay in control of your life at such a rapid pace, remembering dates, appointments, and a set (in pen) schedule. Technology seems to rule our lives. Without technology we can’t even function it seems… but I know we can. There are people, amazing people that live everyday without modern technology that we die without.
Family, a word I know all too well now, and for once, will not take advantage of the word, meaning, feeling.
-Love, Hope Sorrells
We will be leaving in less than 24 hours! Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh! I cannot function at the moment. I am so excited!
But today, bitter news came today during class though, Zinzan isn’t able to go with us.. major bummer. The whole family isn’t able to go. Trent and myself just thought of the idea instead of coming home from Honduras we would make a detour to South Africa, grab all his paper work and come to the states. Just like Kendra says “be flexible”. I feel that that plan would be adequate.
Regardless of that fact, Zinzan will still be with us in our thoughts, since of course he is family. I, however, hate packing. I am the worst at postponing packing. Like right now, I should be packing but instead I am writing my blog while all my stuff is scattered around my dorm room. No big deal, right?
I cannot put into words how I am feeling right now, the only thing that would come close to really describing how excited and anxious I am is this… klfhklsjdhflk;dsjfkldsjfkldsjfk;ldsjf;dskl!!!!!!
If you cannot read keyboard scramble language very well. ^ that simply means I am super excited!
My mom and dad and Cooper are seeing me off tomorrow. I know for a fact many tears will be shed from all of us. I am ready for this experience. I am ready for this moment to truly experience a new life and a new way of thinking. I am going into this as open minded as I can be. I will be journaling everyday.. every night… maybe even multiple times, just because I don’t want to forget anything. I will take so many pictures.
I am just ready!
“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the call.”
This quote has always been one of my absolute favorites, and I never really understood the true meaning of its entirety… until today. The group went on another hike to prepare ourselves for the exciting hike we will soon be venturing on, in twelve days to be exact. The trail we took in Palo Duro Canyon was called The Lighthouse. This trial leads up to a rock formation that resembles a lighthouse. To get to the “lighthouse”, you have to climb up; I mean literally up. It didn’t really hit me how high we were climbing until we got to a part that levels off. It was high! One of my worst fears, is heights. The highest I have ever been was last summer, at youth camp, I was 65 feet in the air, I had a harness on and was attached to a rope there. On the trail, I had nothing except my backpack and the group around me. I felt extremely vulnerable. Then I watched as Benton headed towards a steep trail, and up to the top of another section of rock. Again, we would be going higher. I took a deep breath, regained myself and took my first step towards the top. Once arriving to the top, I regained myself once again and looked up, and down, and side to side to take in the scene. It was beautiful, completely breathtaking. The wind was harsh but it made me realize how close to heaven I really was, we really were. We have an artistic God.
Descending down was even scarier, but with the help of Trent’s hand to give me some support, I was able to once again make it to the part that leveled out. We were all walking back down to the bottom and a huge gust of wind hit, and the wind took me with it. Losing my balance on a rock formation that was extremely high up would have been the worst. But luckily for me, Trent was behind me and grabbed my backpack and reassured me that I was okay. A superhero in disguise, I felt thankful that Trent happened to be behind me. He has now become Superman to me. After Trent grabbed me, Kendra grabbed my hand and did not let it go until I made it to the very bottom.
I don’t know what was scarier, the height, the wind, or how vulnerable I felt with both of those things. Then it hit me. We all have faults, we all have fears. That’s okay. The Lord gave each of us these things, not to hinder us, but to teach us and learn to trust those that surround us. Like modern day super heroes, I feel that this group necessarily doesn’t have any particular qualifications, and yet we have been called to go on an amazing adventure. For me, I know the Lord is working each and every day in our hearts and souls to teach us things we never knew about ourselves, our lives, our relationship with others, and with the group itself. I cannot even imagine how my life is going to change after this trip, but I know, it is going to be amazing.
In less than a month I will be thousands of miles away from the life I know to experience a brand new culture and a different lifestyle… eek! Skyping with Kelsey made me realize a few things…
1. That was my first time to Skype, ever, and it was really cool!
2. Kelsey seemed to be truly interested in each of us as an individual and then also as a group itself, which is awesome seeing as he is pretty much a famous author and he takes the time to sit and talk to a bunch of freshman students in small town USA.
This is the chance of a life time and I cannot believe (still) that I am going on this trip. I talk to my mom on the phone all the time about the trip and she has actually done more shopping than I have. She has bought me shirts, socks, a hiking stick, pants, a backpack, etc. and all I have bought is travel toothpaste… But I wouldn’t ever tell my mom to stop shopping for the trip because I know she wants to be apart of this experience as much as possible. She has always been my rock and I know for a fact that she would love to pack herself in my stuff.
Friday I was one of the ones to go see The Vow. The movie was amazing, but I think the best part about the whole night was meeting up with everyone at the movies. Trying to find seats to actually watch the movie, and then all of us standing around in a circle just talking about everything. It was wonderful!
Changing subjects quickly, but I decided to type out an email for my mom to read to my church on Sunday. In the email I told about the trip and how excited I was, but I also talked about everyone that would be surrounding me on the trip. I introduced each one of y’all to my church family. After church, my mom called me and said that a person and or a family in my church “adopted” each one of y’all. I don’t know who has who, but I do know that they will be praying for us individually, our families, and the trip as a whole. Apparently, we are all touching lives, even if they are strangers. I hope to continue to reach out and touch lives, because in this life we are living, we are only given one first impression, one mission, and a ton of support.
Lastly, I was mailed a card from my church and it was addressed to all of us, and the last thing it said was:
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11
I have never felt so connected with a group of such unique and amazing individuals before. The hike was probably when I felt the closest to everyone in this group! I tried to have a conversation with each on of you and I feel like I was pretty successful. Delanie and myself discussed various wardrobe attire that could be taken on the trip. Clara and I took millions of pictures on Delanie’s camera. Zinzan commented on my “bus” that I drive. Reid was carrying GirlScout cookies (the best survivor snacks), and Benton “followed my yellow bow” just to name off a few of the little things we chatted about. In life, it doesn’t matter how many you words you speak, or even write a day, it depends on the depth and the conversation that goes along with it. Even though those topics I mentioned early seemed small and probably minor to many people, to myself, it was an eye opener at each of their personalities. I laughed on the hike, got tired on the hike, and even froze a little but I wasn’t doing it alone. I always had someone beside me talking to me and it was a reminder that I am not alone. This whole Honduras experience will be life changing and I know I am going to see things and experience things that I have never even dreamed of… it’s a tad bit overwhelming. But then I sit back and realize I am going with the most amazing people and I know that I am not alone. With a little encouragement, jokes, snacks, and small conversation, I will be embarking on a trip of a lifetime.