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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My goodness this has been a nutsy couple of weeks. We had GREAT plans for them.

First we had a friend visit!!! THAT was a highlight. She was coming to visit and to work at the missions conference we were going to.

She got in on Sunday, a week ago.

That Monday the big announcement that the ousted president was back in country came.


Life came to a halt.

Curfews happened.

Conference was canceled.

Trip plans were pondered over.

Blog posts were forgotten. (So much for that post dating boring to read about food stuffs and 'us being at a conference' when in actuality - none of that was happening...)

We did get LOTS of visiting time in though. I am grateful for that. I am grateful that everyone who came to work for us a the conference stayed safe and sound. I am grateful that the curfews were lifted during most of the days so we could wander around and have 'life as usual when nothing is really as usual as usual'. She helped me re-arrange my house and get a REAL office and school area instead of the 'crammed in' version I had been operating with. (I love it when someone with different eyes can look and help me with solutions...). I'm grateful she was able to get home on her regularly scheduled flight and no jockying around to different airports, flights, or countries. I hope she'll want to come back. :)

So life here is back to 'normal'. We are watching the news and reading the online newspapers. Praying for Honduras. Being grateful for small things and big ones.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Foodie Friday

I am starting to figure out this technology thing. NO WAIT - if I say that, it means something is going to change right away just as I get the old system down. Oh well...

I am using the 'blog now - post later' function. :) At this very moment, I should be sitting in a meeting having fellowship, training and a wee bit of fun socializing with other missionaries in Honduras at the annual Honduras Missionary Conference.

I did want to make sure I got a food post though. I know that you're all just on the edge of your seat waiting for the next tip on doing beans and rice in a new way. (s.a.r.c.a.s.m.....) :)

Speaking of beans.....................

Here's how we get them. I'd already used over 1/2 of this bag. We usually buy in bulk. :)

Here's what I have to do with them before I can even wash them.

CAN YOU SEE ALL THAT?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Those are rocks my friends. Plus dirt. However,the bugs ran off my counter before I could grab the camera. A few sticks thrown in for good measure.

We only pay about 10 Lempira a pound so a few extra grams of sticks and rocks won't hurt you. Oh wait - yes they can and I've had enough dental work done in Honduras to be very motivated to be thorough in my sorting and cleaning of the beans.

But look at what I get after all that effort!


Sometimes we have to do this with the rice.

Oh, and the coffee.

Yes, the coffee.

Sweet Maria's we miss you. Although we are paying a whole lot less for our green beans. It just takes me an hour or so to sort through them.

In case you missed it in our various postings, we like our coffee. We call it our morning cup of 'cope'. Plus - since we don't go on dates much or do much else fancy - this is our 'it' time. Before we get to the roasting lesson (HA!), I'll show you the 'behind the scenes' work that goes into each and every cup.

(GRANTED - this is the effort and time that I do - the workers who run the fincas (farms), plant the coffee plants, grow, care for, harvest, dry, sort, bag, and ship the coffee can't be shown in this blog post as I don't have pictures of that. It's a long process.)

We sort our own coffee beans now. There's nothing 'organic' or 'choosing simple living' about it. It's a necessity.

This is a picture of the second sort. I usually go through them about three times because a rock in our grinder will make our grinder crabby.

This is the quantity after about an hour.

Actually we have roasted our own coffee beans for years (like 6 or so...can't remember). We USED to have an air popper to do this the fast and slick way, but mixing voltages, appliances, languages, and not realizing things get wired 220v(!) but are in looks set up 110v(!)...well - you burn up a much prized air popper. Then you try and replace it here with 2 EXPENSIVE appliances (all appliances are expensive) and let's just say those each lasted about a month. Grrr...

So you revert to prairie days. They aren't romantic to me anymore. Just a lot of time consuming hard work and I KNOW that I have it pretty, darn easy.

Anyway - the stove top method. It works. We just have a hard time getting an even roast. Especially when the wife tries to multi-task. Learned that lesson the smokey way.
*cough* *cough*

My one skillet. It does everything. EVERYTHING.

Add a shallow layer of green beans to the hot pan and let 'er rip. We roast over medium heat and stir fairly often.

Then you get this....

Then you get this...

Then you get to sweep this up off your floor but you won't bother until you're all done because that would be pointless.

It's chaff. It comes off the beans as they roast. We have had some VERY fun conversations about God separating the wheat from the chaff. Only coffee beans have been our visual aids.

Eventually you wind up with this.

(Yikes - looking at this picture here makes me think EVEN ROASTING is something I really need to work on. Hmmm...part of it is lighting, part of it is me. I'm getting better but it's a rather steep learning curve.)

After the smoke clears, you're ready to invite friends over for coffee. After you grind them and run them through the espresso machine and steam the milk of course. :)

Tomalo con gusto!!!

Come on down and have a was made with time, effort, and lots of love. You are welcome here anytime...


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

tropical storms of the old nature ...

I have been meaning to post on here for a while about the work I've been involved with here, and now that we are under a nation-wide curfew for a day or two, perhaps I'll get it done. In the meantime, a short request ....

Please pray for Honduras and the people here. Tensions are high with the return of Mel Zelaya to the country on Monday, and the government has imposed a round-the-clock curfew since Monday afternoon. There are reports of sacking and looting of banks and stores in Tegucigalpa and attacks on police there. Today the curfew has been lifted from 10am to 5pm this afternoon, but now there appear to be rushes on the grocery stores there as people stock up. It is certainly possible, if not probable, that tensions and violence will continue to escalate before subsiding.

And today in the states, the top stories are that Obama is telling the world the US isn't going to fix it all, and 4 people are arrested in an Illinois dogfighting ring at a daycare.

Here in Gracias where we are, things are tranquil. Quite literally, peaceful and quiet; more so than usual. We were planning to attend a missionary conference this week in Siguatepeque; this has been canceled, but several of the people from the US who were to be involved had already arrived in country when this whole thing came down, and now are caught in the whole affair of national curfew and closed airports.

Please pray for Honduras and the people affected by all this, for a peaceful end to the violence, and that God will be glorified through it all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Here is an interesting photo.

I've seen these on every road trip in Honduras. I don't remember seeing them in Mexico so much. That is probably more due to the fact that with more 'modern times' you don't see as much adobe building as you did in the past, or in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.

It has always struck me as looking very odd. Here is a place partially built, intermixed either with beautiful pasture (or not so beautiful pasture) or other fully constructed buildings and it's covered in tiles all around the perimeter or with the laminate laid over the top.

Don't they know that looks strange?
Aren't they worried those tiles will fall off and crack? Or shatter?

I never even thought to ask about it but one day during a road trip after seeing partially built house after partially built house; in a moment of pent up confusion and complete lack of understanding, I finally voiced the question: "WHY IN THE WORLD do they leave it like that?!"

Alan looked over and after I went into more detail as to what I was asking about (you just never know the reference to the question these days) he very matter-of-fact told me WHY. Due to the fact that these homes are built out of adobe (MUD - and a few other things I won't mention) and the fact that there isn't usually a foundation or any interior framing, they will MELT if they get wet. Disintegrate. Disappear and leave a mud puddle. So they lay their 'someday' roof tiles across the walls to keep the water off.



I was instantly struck with a visual image for my life.

Oh my.....

* A house -my life is being built for God's glory.
* It's not finished yet. NO WHERE CLOSE.
* WHAT am I laying across the walls to protect it and keep it covered when the rains come???

Notice here I did not say IF. I said WHEN.

What do I rely on when school has been crummy, kids have been whiny, and NOT a one of us is glorifying the LORD with our attitudes and actions?

What do I rely on when I don't want to answer the door anymore to the various beggars who come looking for help?

What do I rely on when I don't want to visit with strangers and be stared at and asked questions again and would rather retreat to a corner and never leave?

What do I rely on when THINGS DON'T GO ACCORDING TO MY PLAN????????

It better be more than me folks because lately - I've felt the walls melting, and its not just from the heat.

Personally, I cannot go very long and remain sane and/or retain any kind of perspective on things without the renewing of my mind through the reading and absorbing of scripture. I should say that I'm not very organized in my bible study but boy, everyone; especially ME, can tell when I've gone days without it.

Where has our value gone regarding God's words? Jesus' words? And maybe nothing else? Are we too smart for our own good? Too much knowledge and not enough wisdom - because we no longer read the BIBLE? Good golly, and then what do we do with it?

Another blogger friend has suggested a Words in Red Challenge for reading through the gospels in a a month. Why the gospels? Jesus is talking to us there, in the flesh. I signed up albeit my implementation is a bit backwards. I was already in John so I'm finishing up that. Maybe I'll do them all backwards, then frontwards, then back again, and then again for extra credit. :) WHY? Because I'm constantly peeling back the layers of God's words and their application to this life on earth. Either I am changing or my situation is changing. They don't get old. I dare you to pick it up and be committed to it.

Or wait - maybe I'm adding layers of 'tile' in which to cover these walls of mine that are being built as a gift to Him.

Working away....


Friday, September 18, 2009

Foodie Friday

A Tale of Two Coconuts

Yes, that's my first born girl, who has very serious FIRST BORN tendencies, holding a machete. She's ready to get this show on the road.

They had already gotten all the 'water' out with the straw. (Riley was in on that part - the rest of this tale he is very obviously absent.) Drat - I didn't get a picture of that. It's a fairly popular drink. Tastes nothing like coconut to me...

The machete didn't work. We're not Honduran enough. So we did what we've seen the monkeys do in the National Geographic episodes. We whacked it on the ground/hard surfaces to try and get it open. Really, Alan did the whacking. I, horrid picture taker that I am, took the pictures.

That worked. Hmmm....Again the over eager first born GIRL ready to have some.

Up close and personal.

This is the best source of entertainment and keeping the kids busy I've seen in a long time.

See how fast she's working? The determination on her face is evident, and between you and me, a little scary. I hope this girl never grows to like espresso.


If all else fails (translates - 'After I've bent two of Mom's spoons.') just have dad break off a chunk and................

....gnaw on it.

Keep gnawing...

...and be nice and offer Mom a chunk.

Then give up and give it back to dad - because it really wasn't worth it.

Finally, go ask mom if you can have a snack of that 'other' coconut.

The End.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday's Foodie Facts

They were mustard greens.

They were...

And I LIKE greens. LOTS of greens. But still.....

I cleaned and rinsed. And rinsed and cleaned. And sanitized. And cleaned again. And then cooked 'em; or so I thought.


No amount of butter (I can't believe how much I tried to make these work) helped. Or salt. Or Balsamic Vinegar.

And they were STILL gritty.

This is what you get when you buy your greens off the dirt road downtown in Gracias Lempira.

Here's a picture of my veggie guy in the middle of the road; yes, I bought my fruits and veggies there.

Sorry about the quality of the picture. Several excuses - one, I'm not a very good photographer (understatement of the century), two, I was trying to NOT draw more than the normal gawking of attention to myself by whipping out my camera on a busy road, and three - well...I did almost get run over in the process. I think he was looking at me going - "CUIDADO GRINGA!!!!" You just can't take your eyes off the path for a moment.

Some days I just need to stick my fingers in my ears and go, "Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala!"

I didn't do a Simple Woman's post because the general feeling of life and work right now is; nothing is simple. :) I'll get over it and back on track in a while. In the mean time I'm begging my husband to post pictures and details of the various work projects and scary design and implementation he's been working on - of course he would have to be home for more than just sleep cycles to do this. I could post a bunch of the pictures but some of them just HAVE to have an explanation or they would leave you very worried. :)

However, I am one to tease on occasion so here you go...............

Story to follow. It's a good one.

'till later...


Friday, September 11, 2009

Foodie Friday....

and a question. Do I always look like a hobbit when my 6'4" husband takes my (5'2") picture????????? Egads...short and wide. Oh wait - the real question is below.

What do YOU think this is???????????????????????????????? If you live in my town you can't tell. :)

It's edible.
It will be served with (as) dinner tonight.
It cost 5 lempiras or around 25 cents.
I have NEVER SEEN OR EATEN this before.
My husband has.

A normal person would call it a contest but I have nothing but a round of applause to give to the person who gets it right.

Then again, I could send you a bouquet and you could pose like this with it.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday September 7, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... Overcast skies. Big broken down bus. LOTS of green weeds in the vacant lot across the road.

I am thinking... that patience is a virtue I do not posses at the moment.

I am thankful for...the knowledge that God is still in control. That He is just. That He will redeem it all.

From the learning rooms... Timeline figures are on the agenda for today. I LOVE the theory and someday, after 12 years of school they will have these awesome books to look back over with the whole deal laid out. Why oh why then, is it so difficult for me to do these weekly????

From the kitchen... We will be using the last of the hoarded sweet chili sauce and have Thai Peanut Chicken with Coconut Rice. I found red peppers in the BIG store and couldn't resist. It will be heavy on the veggies. :)

I am wearing... black tshirt, grey Lucy capris. Silver hoops. Old chacos. It's a basic kind of a day. Funny thing though - my husband is wearing his black shirt and grey pants. We didn't call each other first either...:)

I am creating... an amazon list. We have friends coming down to help with child care for a missionary conference in a couple of weeks and they've volunteered to bring us goodies. :)

I am going... on a girl date with Janelle this afternoon!

I am reading... Black by Ted Dekker. I'm borrowing the series and I just wanted to read it one more time before I give it back. Gulliver will be able to travel in a few days.

I am hoping... for cooler weather. I'm so tired of being s.w.e.a.t.y..

I am hearing... Riley verbally go through his multiplication/division facts. Something about doing it verbally helps the kiddo crank out the work.

Around the house... Kids, pets, and us.

One of my favorite things... a cool breeze.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

More great school days, si Dios permite, and stay ahead of the food needs of the family.

Alan has some serious computer work to get to and then a few more trips to bridge project sites.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Here we are in our matching outfits.

Those 326 Kids Against Hunger boxes in the background are now part of our home motif. This morning was the monthly food delivery to the Special Needs families in Quelecasque so we were packing up boxes this morning.

Sorry about the obnoxious backlight and the goofy girl hanging out behind us. This is what happens when your paid photographer is a 7 year old. You would not believe how many picture we had to have her take to get a semi-decent one.


If you'd like to join the fun, here is a link to set up your own day book. The Simple Woman

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Anniversary, Blogaversary, or How did we get HERE???

It's has been 4 years and 3 days since we've lived in the United States of America.

Hmmmm.....................You would think that I would have remembered that. And maybe thrown a party.

I didn't. September 2, 2005 we drove out of our church's parking lot and started out on the drive to get to Madera, Mexico, our first international destination on this road trip of life.

It was monumental

and I hardly remember it. :) I wonder why? I think that some years anniversaries are BIG things. Some years they SHOULD be big things. Other years? Well, this year it's more of a looking at the tapestry fabric that is our life and seeing that pretty gold thread weaving back and forth; in and out; up and down. It does stand out - but it blends in and accents too. It just is. I'm okay with that... this year.

We've had a few bumps in the road. Changes of destination, changes of purpose, and boy howdy, have we had some changes in perspective. Change is a good thing right? Good golly, I hope so because we do it a lot.

For the blog we're going to start a little thing called Looking Back, not to wallow in the past, but to give our current readers an idea of where we've been, how we got there, and how that's made us US today, because we are not the same people anymore.

I hope we're improving.

I'll post some of our first 'blog' posts with some 'today' perspective also known as my commentary on the vague recollections I have of those days. :) I wish I could just link you to them but due to various crashes, server switches and my current 'up with the times-ness' (don't laugh at me) verses the past, 'I-have-no-idea-what-this-internet-world-of-blogging-is' abilities, I will have to baby this along.

Before we start all that though....I am issuing a disclaimer for this blog. A few in fact. This is not my original idea but I'm adapting it to hopefully give you some ideas for how to read this - us.

1. Knowing Us. - If you only know us from HERE - you may think that all we do is drink large amounts of coffee, complain about the lack of grocery options, throw some humanitarian work in for good measure, and spend our days looking for creatures for our children to dissect in order to give grandparents quasi heart attacks. As much as we would love to be able to - we can't communicate the essence of our lives here. We do our best, but words and pictures only go so far.

2. This blog cannot express true reality. This is a hard and cold fact. There is only so much I can talk about in a public arena. Some things just can't be expressed. Or they've been expressed in the past and writing about it AGAIN would be boring. For example - I thought I communicated something. Why is this person back here asking the same questions? Or why are we having the same issues? I thought I asked for X, why am I getting Y? And who is Z? Why am I still battling the expectation monster? And yes, we're having to leave the country again...

Are you bored yet?

See - I told you.

2. Post Popularity - the posts that get the most comments are never the ones I think are the best. And my husband jokes all the time that HIS posts don't get any comments. This is slightly true....

3. Kids. We have three -and we like to show them off. Some of the good and some of the bad.

4. Balance. We don't always have this. Our work runs in bits and spurts here. (Have I mentioned that the biggest thing I've learned in our time 'on the field' is to be flexible???) So - sometimes the blog will be family/home/homeschooling/grocery shopping heavy, sometimes it is work project heavy. Maybe if you start commenting more on Alan's work posts he'll feel encouraged to post more. Yes, that was a hint.

6. Guilt over the blog - I am chucking this sentiment big time. My writing isn't perfect. Our blog isn't as fancy as some out there. Our pictures aren't as pretty, sharp, or brightly colored. Our layout is frustrating. The slideshow STILL loads up backwards and as I feel that I have more important things to do that fight with flickr for the ENTIRE. DAY. every. time. we. try. and. upload. pictures., I just let it be backwards. You'll still love me right?

5. Thankful - This I am.
Thankful for the technology to keep in touch with the 'outside world'.
Thankful for the ability to use words and pictures to share the pieces we can.
Thankful for those of you that read and comment.
Thankful for the friends and community that the internet has given to us.

I tend to resist relationships that are only two dimensional as I feel that it's too easy to have no accountability yet at the same time I am SO GRATEFUL because this is the only way we are able to continue relationship with some of you for the time being. Plus, the friends, blessings and opportunities we've gained through it? I won't ever discount that.

So - if you're still interesting in getting to know us in this two dimensional option and listen to us only communicate what we can of things in, around, and through our living as we do, we're happy to have you along for the ride.

(Would you post a comment and remind me who you are and where we know you from because my brain leaks out information in due relation to the amount of Spanish I have to retain and not butcher each day. It will give me a good starting point.)


Friday, September 4, 2009

Foody Friday

Or more aptly named...

'It's In the Bag'




Crema (our version of sour cream)

Tomato Sauce

Milk - We can get this in big bags....

Or small ones...

In these handy dandy plastic or thick paper bags is how we get most of our condiments and a few other things that have taken me a while to respond to without the sentiment, "WHY ISN'T THAT IN THE REFRIGERATOR??!!" :) One thing's for sure - I DO get the last drop of things out of those baggies.

'Anyone need any ketchup?'

Faith - your friendly neighborhood bag lady...