The Hayes Zoo

Our Purpose

- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.

- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.

- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.

- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I hate to keep doing this to you..........

but I'm going to. It's either that or not much new from us and that just isn't going to work. I'm going to link you to the Sowers' blogspot for new details about some of the various going ons here.

We're working on getting internet to the house but so far nothing we've investigated will work. Hmmm....I don't like it that we're so dependent on the internet but goodness - I'm glad we can stay in better contact that our predecessors!!!! Please forgive us and keep checking back as one of these days we'll have a ton of new updates, with pictures, about the last month or so!

On a personal note: things here have been going well. We are settling into our house and trying to get into a routine for school and work. But my confessional is coming....

I will admit that I'm having a pride issue about a few things . As in, I figured I did the culture shock thing already, lived in another country, and spoke another language. This moving to Honduras thing will be a piece of cake. W.R.O.N.G. We are experiencing culture shock all over again. I've completely forgotten (or mentally blocked) the challenges that we went through just figuring out how to get groceries for the day, for pete's sake. That and I've realized that I speak Mexican - not Honduran. We are back to wandering around with notebooks for vocab and using the phrase, 'como se dice' (translation: how do you say??) a TON. Reality has hit. I've been brought low and am admitting my pride and asking for forgiveness. That and asking people, "Now where was that store where I might be able to find eggs again????"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

boxes and more boxes

Things are settling down a bit here, and at the same time, ramping up. As we get settled in and getting our feet under us again, we are getting more involved in the ministry goings-on.

We now have about 300 boxes of food in our covered driveway, these are donations from Kids Against Hunger in the US and are destined for people in the area who need them; they are stored at our house in the interim.

A week ago Allen Sowers and I traveled out into the mountains and took a look at a bridge. There are quite a lot of cable suspension-bridges in the area that people use to cross the rivers, and he has been involved in the past in re-design and reconstruction of a couple of them. This is one we are considering taking on; he already has the cable, and it would be mainly a matter of designing the new bridge, finding the local financial assistance and then managing the construction. The existing bridge was designed for foot traffic; the new one would support vehicles.

Last friday we made a trip to Puerto Cortes, on the coast of Honduras, to load up a container of donated items. We left Gracias at 7 am, and arrived in Puerto Cortes at about 12. We finally got the contents of the container cleared through customs at about 5, managed to get the container loaded on a truck by about 9, and finished unloading everything and loading it all into our trucks and trailers at about 1:30 am. We made it back to Gracias at about 6. It was a long day. All this, after about 2 weeks of prep work and one trip there earlier just to try and get the customs work taken care of ahead of time. The job now for probably the next couple weeks will be going through the donations and getting them sorted and delivered to the people who need them.

We are still without internet at our house, which means we are quite out of touch and slow in responding to e-mails and skype. Hopefully we will get the internet hooked up this week.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shipping here........

Hi there folks!

Things are going fine here. We are still in no communication land - desperately working on that - BUT the Sowers family is letting us come on and check in. Bless their hearts!! :)

I am going to link you to the Sowers' website because some of the work things going on we're now getting going on the work side. Plus they're talking about us so you'll be able to check in from someone else's perspective. :)

I'm going to be working on some new updates and will upload those as we can!

Also - one other thing - IF you send anything for the Gifts for Gracias program (or for our family), it MUST go to the Maryland address. The container from Florida has already arrived here. The link is on the Sowers' blog and a couple of weeks back on ours.

Thanks so much for remembering us in prayer. Things have been so crazy for so long our new definition of normal is NOT pretty. We're doing fine but amazingly, we're tired and overwhelmed again. I thought we'd be past this but apparently we're still needing to learn this lesson. Patience is a virtue I need to work on.....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Okay. so that didn't work...

We do NOT have internet at the house. Apparently the 'cool' cell phone option of having internet has some serious hidden costs. At least we found out before the bill was HUGE. Goodness - hmmm....we're going to be working on that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Somedays we're doing good just getting up ...

I found this quite hilarious, as this pretty much describes my outlook today ...

Today's top achievements include finding the gas company in town, getting a regulator and hose and getting a tank of gas (they use butane here) and getting the stove in the kitchen hooked up so we can cook. Also bought a 'widow-maker' (local, on-demand hot-water heater) and figured out how to wire it into the existing wiring in the house to provide hot water in one of the two showers in the house. And ...

this part is really cool -

... managed to connect our computer to the internet via the cell phone, and update the blog and check e-mail. Tigo rocks!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Today we are moving into the house. Tonight we will sleep there. Here are a few 'before' shots and as soon as I can, I'll post 'afters'.

It is almost all painted. (Even with my 6'4" hubby those tall walls are hard to reach...thankfully though he won't be wacking his head on the door frames every time he walks in.)We have some beds put together.

We have some clean sheets.

We were able to get the trailer out of the yard of our friends here. That was the biggie. When we got here a week and a half ago we were able to pull the trailer into their parking area behind a gate. The next day though the road was closed indefinitely while there was road construction going on. Each day it got a little worse too. Wet cement, BIG piles of dirt, framing and rebar everywhere. We can't even get the trucks within 2 blocks of the house. We've been waiting for the time when we could sneak it out and yesterday the guys figured it was do or die. Alan was able to drive backwards up the hill and park the truck about 3 houses away. Now - our trailer is small but really, it's not for just picking up and moving around with one or two guys, especially fully loaded. Brad went up and talked to the workers about being able to move the truck up there and maybe having them help us pull the trailer out to the truck. "SURE!!!" So - Alan moves the truck around and 15 (at least) guys come down to help. Did I mention the trailer is fully loaded and that the truck was parked DOWNhill???? And just so you know, these pictures do NO do justice to the actual downgrade here. They made it. Uphill out of the parking area, up over the big hump with rebar sticking out, and then, WHOA NELLY, all those guys leaning against it as gravity had it's way. It didn't help (or maybe it did) that the new concrete is covered in layers of loose dirt. You can imagine the nightmares I had running through my brain as I watched. I even forgot to get out the camera. At the end though I got a couple. Here you go!

Anyway....we got it to the house and unloaded. Now we just need to find a place for everything. Does anyone have any spare cabinets or an extra closet around anywhere????

Friday, November 7, 2008

One other thing ...

One thing we forgot to mention - the Sowers family has a shipping container that will be leaving Maryland for Honduras in a couple of weeks. The container is mostly filled with Christmas gifts for pastors and other people here in Gracias, but there is room left in the container and they are kind of waiting to send the container until it is filled. Donations for the 'Gifts for Gracias' project, as well as personal things for us, can still be shipped to the address in Maryland to be loaded into the container. The address is:

Gifts for Gracias
c/o Bill Noonan
202 Tylerton Court
Walkersville, Maryland 21793

The web page for the 'Gift for Gracias' project can be found here.

(If you do send things for our family specifically - please note Hayes family in some form on the box. Another thing is that they/we are taxed importing taxes PER BOX and that has sometimes been upwards of $15 each. So group boxing is appreciated for any items sent, for Gracias OR us. :) )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First things ...

Nearly a week now in Honduras, we're still working on getting settled in and figuring out our way around. We have rented a house in Gracias and have spent most of the week cleaning and painting. That, and learning how to function here.

One of the biggest challenges so far is driving - the streets in town are narrow, single-lane, cobblestone affairs, generally one-way, with parking on one side. Actually, the cars are often parked on both sides, and people (usually) park staggered far enough apart to allow a car to pass through between. A normal-sized car, which around here means a Toyota pickup. There are times when you meet someone coming the other direction; when this happens, someone has to back up. Driving here reminds me of driving in Europe, except that I didn't try to drive a Ford 747 in Europe. And there are people in the streets - people standing, talking, walking, riding bikes, riding motorcycles. People everywhere, with bundles of sticks on their backs and big baskets and trays balanced on their heads. People and horses and burros. I can't believe how crowded it is.

The road in front of the house where we have been staying has been under construction this past week, for paving. Actually, for pouring concrete. We got the trailer into our friends' driveway Friday night, by using the 4x4 on the truck. We then took the truck out at about 6am the next morning, but the trailer has been trapped in the driveway all week by piles of dirt and concrete frames and workers. Hopefully this weekend we'll be able to get the trailer out and move into our house in Gracias.

This week a training session for local area pastors was held outside of Gracias, put together by the Sowers family. They had about 80 pastors from anywhere within about a 4 or 5 hour motorcycle ride arrive. The session was quite successful; I didn't get a chance to spend much time there with all the moving-in going on, but I did get a chance to visit. This is the last session for a few months; most of the pastors make most of their yearly income over the next few months related to the coffee crop harvest. The next session is scheduled for March.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras

We made it!

We arrived Friday evening after a bit of run-around involving roads shown on the map that don't actually exist, and yet another border crossing - I'm really looking forward to pulling money out of the ATM today or tomorrow and actually being able to keep some of it, or spend it on something we need, rather than giving it all to the border officials. Although our final destination is a town called Gracias, about 45 minutes from here, we are staying with missionary friends here in Santa Rosa while we get housing set up in Gracias. The people we are staying with actually moved here from Bend, Oregon, where we used to live, and we have had fun figuring out we actually have mutual friends there. They also have roots in Portland and Vancouver.

Yesterday we drove to Gracias and looked at a house that was available to rent there. The house is available immediately, and we're going to take it - it's small and modest, as most here are, but a nice house, and with a good cleaning and some paint it will work well to start out here. Faith, of course, is now trying to figure out how to get the kitchen to work with NO drawers and NO cabinets.

We'll post pictures in a day or two. Right now we're trying to rest a little and get oriented in the new surroundings.