Friday, July 15, 2011

Santa Cruz

Let me tell you about where we are staying.  In the US, this would be called an extended stay hotel.  We have a living room/dining/kitchen - complete with pans, two burners, a fridge and toaster oven - two bedrooms and a bath.  With the exception of the Brewer family, there are two of us in each apartment.  It is really quite comfortable.  It is air conditioned to the point of chilly so Susie and I usually turn it off when we return home at night and don't turn it back on; however, the maid always does that for us.

Hotel Villa Nuria has its own restaurant, gym, laundry, pool and mini market.  I don't think any of us has used the gym but the pool is our afternoon respite and we have eaten all breakfasts and two dinners in the restaurant.  Oddly, pizza is one of the things they do well.  The whole compound is gated/walled for safety.

Today, we went to Santa Cruz which is outside of San Pedro Sula by about an hour's drive.  There is no speed limit here so I have no idea how many kilometers away it is.  On our way down the road, we had a flat tire!  So all of the men got out to take care of it.  Fredy told the ladies to stay inside.  There was very little room on the shoulder and we did worry about our folks standing in the road.  It didn't take too long to fix and we were back on the road once again.

Santa Cruz is the cadillac of shelters.  It has two very large rooms with high ceilings and ceiling fans.  The children have showers as well as toilets in the bathrooms and each of them bathes before going to school.  The ages here range from about five to fifteen years.  Two of the boys who were there this afternoon we 18 but they are assistants rather than students.  We did some crafts to start then played games, adding musical chairs and statues to our repertoire.  We ended with balloon animals and swords and then jump rope.  All of the children like to jump rope.

As half of us worked with the children, the other half worked to paint the inside of the church with which the shelter is associated.  It was oil-based paint and Gordon said the fumes really got to him.  Needless to say, it wasn't easy for these folks to clean up.

Santa Cruz is a decent size town with a central square and a "shopping district" of sorts.  After we had driven through the town, we came back into San Pedro Sula with just enough time to take showers and change for dinner.  We went to a Mexican-style restaurant in the city.  Nury, Fredy, Ingrid, Esther (two girls who came to Kingsport last fall for a visit) and Ileana (administrator of La Lima) all went with us so we were quite a large party; however, this restaurant seemed to cater to large parties.  The food was quite good and I think a good time was had by all.

And now it is time for bed once again.  We have said our prayers individually tonight and are very tired.

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