Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Indi

Last night I stopped by my parents house for dinner and to pick up Indi. It was so nice to see them again :-) Mom took such great care of the little guy...I'm sure he's gonna miss her and their beautiful yard. I actually missed Indi while I was traveling and it was good to see the little fur ball again.
I was a little concerned about how he would like my condo in Mesa (he's never lived here). The balcony is small and I really don't want him inside so that's his new territory. So far everything seems good. He was good last night and only meowed a little bit when I first put him on the balcony. I gave him a bath and held him for a while to calm him down and let him sleep out there last night with no problems. This morning he seemed happy and he was lying on the slightly damp carpet--I assume to stay cool. I put his bed in the washer so it's nice and clean and fur-free (for a little while) but he seems to really like the damp carpet for some reason.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fly away home...

Well folks, it's time for me to go home! I woke up at 6AM to take one last swim in the Caribbean and it was so cool to see the fishermen and all the locals out and about. I guess most tourists don't wake up that early or something!
The water was sparkling clear and warm. I could see fish swimming around my feet in the deeper parts. I will definitely miss this place but I'm happy to see everyone at home (even though it's gonna be 105 degrees today in Phoenix...ahhhh!).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

These kids are awesome!!!

It's really cool to be here in Honduras where Books for a Better World has been donating for several years now. The kids anxiously wait every year for us to come with new books! This little video is after I got done reading a couple stories to the kids and then I let them check out all of the new books...
video
It's crazy to think that tomorrow is my last chance to deliver books this year. Time has definitely flown by!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tacos tonight...

Just really quick...I'm having a good time in Honduras. Santa Lucia (near Tegucigalpa) is a really nice little town and I am lucky enough to be staying with Liseth and Chet Thomas who have been nice enough to let me take up shelter in their beautiful home. I've already been to five schools in two days so that is a small demonstration of the pace I'm keeping to finish 15 schools in five days. Local support is what makes it possible. I go to the schools with Hugo--the head of the school district--and he's so helpful!
Tonight the Thomas family is having a little party to celebrate the visit of their daughter (from Florida). We're going to make tacos...mmmm!
My internet connection is too slow to upload photos so we'll just have to wait on that I guess. I'm excited to get back to "The States" to see everyone I love!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

On the road again...

¡Hola amigos! Es un gusto contarles que estoy en Honduras ahora.
I just got to Honduras today and it's nice be be here! On the way I arranged to stay the night in Esquipulas, Guatemala--a town famous for it's ornate cathedral. It's sorta like a gathering place for Catholics from all over Central America. It's also famous for a special wood carving of Christ called "El Cristo Negro" (the black Christ) due to the unusually dark color of the wood. I got to town just in time to enjoy a mass and see some of the interesting traditions. Most of the locals are indigenous people and they hold tightly to their customs. At the end of the mass, many attendees left the building facing the altar and walking backwards as they sang hymns. It was a reverent feeling.
Today I made my way to San Pedro Sula which is about halfway to Tegucigalpa. I learned my lesson about super long bus rides. It's just too hard to enjoy traveling when you arrive super late and super tired. That's why I broke this trip up into smaller chunks (I like that word). I'll get to Tegucigalpa tomorrow and start delivering books on Monday...I'm really stoked about getting back to Books for a Better World business :-)
NOTICE: The town I'll be staying in has limited access to internet so I may not get around to updating this blog much so don't freak out and assume I'm dead if you don't see any online activity. XOXOXOXO!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

YAAAWWWWNNNN!

Quick update just so you all know I'm alive :-)
Sunday I headed down to a town in Panama called David with my new friends (Kaytee's friends) Ahna and Carlos. We had some really good ceviche (seafood chemically cooked with lime juice mixed with onions and tomatoes). They are such nice people and a really cute couple. While we were sitting on the patio a guy passed by with flowers for sale and Carlos got Ahna a few. It was a really nice time :-)
Monday morning I caught a bus to San Jose, Costa Rica. It's normally a 9 hour trip but it ended up taking about 11 because there was a landslide in the road. I got to bed at about 10:00 PM and then had to get up at 2:30 AM to catch the 3:00 bus to San Salvador, El Salvador. The bus got a flat tire just outside of San Salvador I arrived at 10:00 PM (instead of 9:00). This morning (Wednesday) I caught the bus at 6:00 AM and arrived here in Guatemala City at about 11:00 AM.
Anyone with a masters degree in math want to figure out how many hours I was on a bus in the last few days? I'm way to exhausted to even start!
Anyway, I'm glad to be back in Guatemala. Sometimes it feels like coming home here. I'm meeting my friend Mandy for dinner in about half an hour so I better get running!


I thought this map at the "Purple House Hostel" in David, Panama was so cool. It has a pin for every city guests have come from. It's fun to meet people from so many places/backgrounds!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One more day in Panama...

I'm feeling better now!!! Last night I felt just good enough to enjoy a nice dinner (Minestrone soup and bread) with Kaytee and some friends. We ended up going out to dance but I spent most of the time chillin' on the couch and watching the 2008 Olympic Games that they were playing on the muted, closed-captioned TV by the dance floor. It was strange because everyone was dancing and I was kinda just sitting there watching TV but I actually enjoyed myself. So, we got home around 1:30 AM so I ended up sleeping in a little bit today. I think I needed the sleep but I ate breakfast this morning and I feel sooo good :-) We had a couple of friends here with us so we all made delicious omelets and toast. It was fun!
Anyway, I was planning on heading to Bocas del Toro (some beautiful islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama) but there is a minor tropical storm and it looks like it will be nothing but rain so I'm gonna skip it. Some other year perhaps! So that means I have one more day here in Boquete with Kaytee and then I'll head to San Jose, Costa Rica tomorrow on my way back to Guatemala.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The best place to get sick...

We all know that getting sick is "no bueno" but I got sick last night and I got to thinking. This entire trip I've been pretty darn healthy. Right now I'm staying with Kaytee in a beautiful house and this is, by far, "the best place to get sick!" I know that makes me sound crazy but let's take a look at the alternatives:
1. I could have gotten sick in El Salvador when Alica and Kira were both sick. This would have been really bad because we wouldn't have been able to finish our book deliveries if we were all laying around in bed.
2. It could have happened in Guatemala and put the entire Reyes Family at risk of catching a flu. They have two little kids so that wouldn't have been good either. Plus it would have put us behind, once again, on book deliveries.
3. I could have gotten sick when I was staying with the Gonzalez family (in Guatemala City). Although sparkling clean, their bathroom facilities are about 300 meters away from the house--good for odor control, bad for emergency bathroom runs ;-) Plus the ceiling in the toilet room is about five centimeters too short and I bump me head every time I rise from the throne...yeah, I'm a slow learner.
4. I could have gotten sick when I was making the journey from Guatemala City to Panamá and that would have made for some miserably long bus rides. A shared bathroom at a hostel could have made for some very memorable experiences..."please hurry...I need the toilet...blahhhhahh, never mind." Plus, I wouldn't have enjoyed the beach very much.
But, once again, God has blessed me more than I deserve and I get to be sick here:

If you're gonna vomit it might as well be into a designer, silent-flush toilet right?

Not too shabby right? And just to calm your curiousity...yes, that is a Jonas Brothers special on the TV. Lol! I'm a total closet fan of Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and High School Musical BTW. DON'T JUDGE ME :-)
I'm starting to feel better by the way. I think it was a 12 hrs. flu or something. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy this Jonas Brothers special and maybe go out dancing with Kaytee tonight if I feel better. ¡Hasta luego!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Some more pics of Costa Rica...

I just realized that I didn't get very much coverage of Costa Rica so here's some more stuff!

video

This road was so fun for biking...it was the perfect day!

The beach...walking distance from the hostel.

Kaytee reading my book "Small Business, Big Life" on the beach. Yes, she is wearing a top by the way ;-) This is a really good book for anyone who runs or is interested in running a business. It talks about how to build a business around your life and values. Good stuff!!!

Hope you enjoyed this post! I'm in Panama now so I'll be sure to get another post up soon. God bless!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I love the rain...

It's been so fun having my friend Kaytee with me here in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica! The weather hasn't been the best because there is a tropical storm passing through but that hasn't stopped us from having a GREAT time here :-)
Yesterday we spent a lot of time just sipping hot chocolate and doing research (on the internet) on our entrepreneurial dreams. Kaytee has a business called "The Gem Project." The Gem Project is a multifaceted, international jewelry-making empowerment program that inspires positive thinking, global giving, and creative power for positive individual and social change (www.thegemproject.com). It is inspiring to chat with her and bounce ideas off of each other.
Today the sun came out in the morning and we were soooo excited! We rented snorkeling gear and bikes to head down to see some fishes and stuff. Before we left we stopped for a quick breakfast--fresh, organic granola and yogurt...mmmm!
It was the perfect day for a bike ride. The clouds came back before we even started our little journey (13 km) but it made for cooler weather. The beaches were gorgeous (even without sun) and we had a nice chance to take a plunge into the waves. Unfortunately, the waves were too big for snorkeling so we didn't get a chance to use the gear. Oh well. We did get a nice lunch in at a Caribbean restaurant on the beach. As we made our way back to Puerto Viejo we could see/hear spider monkeys swinging through the trees in the canopy above. There was a slight, misty rain--just enough to keep us cool--as we approached the city. It was really relaxing.
Tomorrow morning we are going to head down to Boquete, Panama (where Kaytee lives) and I'll be there for a few days. I was in Boquete back in March and really enjoyed myself so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there. I also hope to help Kaytee with The Gem Project while I'm there.
Here's a little video clip of me cruising the beach...it's kinda boring but I hope you enjoy it!
video

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A three hour tour...a three hour tour...

So, San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua was one of the most beautiful beaches I've seen since my Mom and two sisters (get it...lol)! It was amazing to see the crystal-clear waters and amazing surfers and swim around/relax in the shade. It was lovely! I had a lot of fun with my friends too. Lincoln (the guy on the right) and I rented bicycles and rode down to a couple of beaches a short distance from our hostel. The bikes we rented had virtually no brakes so it was quite the adventure trying to avoid crashing!
We found some cool spots where the waves crashed over the rocks and decided to snap a few photos. It was a beautiful day!

This was a cool shot that Lincoln got with his waterproof camera!


This morning I had to say goodbye to my friends and head down to Costa Rica. It was actually really hard to say goodbye! I'm going to be meeting my friend Kaytee tomorrow so I had to be in San Jose today. Leaving San Juan there was a girl on the bus who was heading to the exact same hostel as I so we came down together and it worked out really good!
So, the title of my post is "A Three Hour Tour." That's because we managed to catch a bus from the border of Nicaragua to San Jose--an estimated 5 1/2 hr. trip. About two hours into the trip the bus driver was informed that a bridge into town had broken so we had to take a detour. Apparently, the bus driver had never done this detour before because we ended up getting lost and having to turn around twice! Also, we finally got pointed in the right direction only to find that a semi-truck had crashed--blocking the road once again. We had to take a small, winding dirt road to get to San Jose. It was crappy. Anyway, we ended up getting to San Jose in 11 hrs!!!! We were so hungry that we asked the taxi to stop by McDonald's on the way in. Now that is serious hunger, right? We got here so late that all of the rooms were taken up so we're gonna be staying in the TV room on mattresses! Who knows when we'll actually get to sleep but this looks like a fun place so I'm looking forward to meeting a few new friends. Plus, it's Saturday night so no need to rush off to sleep right?
Oh, here's one more random picture of me getting splashed in the eye by the salty hand of the Pacific :-) Take care friends!