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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where in the world.....?????

Happy end of 2009 to all of you!!!

I can't believe it's almost 2010. Time flies I tell you...whether or not you're having fun.

As we've transitioned and are settling in for the this new season....well...I've gotten a few emails from you asking where in the heck ARE we.

So - for your viewing pleasure...(and so you know - click on the arrow keys to get around and the full picture)....

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That is the COUNTRY.

THIS is the STATE.

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Actually, it's right there where you see Oaxaca de Juarez....I had a hard time getting just the state of Oaxaca without all the other.

And for the grand finale.....the TOWN. We are actually about 45 minutes from the capital city of Oaxaca so if you scroll around using the arrow keys that will give you some perspective.

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San Pablo Villa de donde estamos.

I hope that helps with mentally placing us. :)

Talk soon,


Monday, December 14, 2009

Relearning Life Skills

We are back in Mexico.

It feels a bit like coming home.

I take this as a very good sign. But we are having to relearn some things. None of this is major - just remembering how things work in Mexico vs. Central America. They are NOT the same, unlike my earlier preconceived notions.

For example:

I'm getting to hang out laundry again. In Honduras, the humidity combined with the fact that our back area was enclosed to the point of allowing very little air circulation, laundry went from being a one day process to a process that was - 1 hour to wash, 3 days to get semi-dry and hopefully not mold in the mean time. So, bless Trish Sowers' heart - she let us use the dryer they weren't using.

But here??'s dry and crispy air so I can put a load out in the morning and it's dry after lunch.

...and the peasants rejoiced.

I'm back to my Mexican vocabulary.

...and the (linguistically confused) peasants rejoiced....

There are CHILIES everywhere. Big sigh....yum.
Learning which days are market days when the good produce comes into town.
**Frankly, the regular market on a 'not so good day' has way more than we're used to so I'm covered no matter which day we go.***
I'm having to learn what time of day the tortillas are fresh and when the bread comes out each day.

...and the (chili starved) peasants rejoiced....

Quiet mornings as people seem to be more night owls. I am currently debating on whether or not we're going to adjust our sleep schedules. :)

Relearning the various desert animals we'll be encountering.

...and the peasant (named Riley) rejoiced.

Your friendly rejoicing peasant,


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We have arrived

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico, after 5 days and 829.5 miles of driving across Honduras, Guatemala and the state of Chiapas in Mexico. Something akin to the Griswalds on their way to Wally-world, the dad blissfully drove the truck and enjoyed the scenery while the wife cowered in her seat with her face in her hands, praying, and the kids sat in the back plotting evil and vile things for dad when he's old and decrepit.

After a three-hour drive through western Honduras, we spent an afternoon at the Mayan ruins at Copan Ruinas and the next morning at the local bird park. In between, we sandwiched (literally) a ride through the streets and sidewalks of the downtown area in the F350 crew-cab with the trailer. I'm not sure why; I had taken the truck down there before and swore upon all that is good to never attempt to take the trailer there. The ruins and the bird park were very enjoyable.

Two days later found us driving through the Verapaz region of Guatemala. We took a northern route through San Cristobal Verapaz and Uspantan to Huehuetenango, in order to avoid driving through Guatemala City, because driving through Guatemala City would be a pain. This road is yellow on my map, though it is dashed on some others, the better to show the potholes and parts covered in landslides. This road passes through some very beautiful country - massive mountains covered in clouds and rainy mist, with incredible valleys, like something out of the 'Lord of the Rings'. This, of course, also means a road that switchbacks furiously up and down said mountains and valleys, with a river running down the road in some places, and three-point turns with the trailer to get around a few of the tighter switchbacks. The first 20 miles or so of this road (a yellow road, on my map, but dashed on others) was dirt. When passing through towns, the road unceremoniously dumps one onto the narrow streets, and one is left to fend for himself through the downtown area before searching for the exit road on the other side in sort of a 'catch me if you can' scenario. Having said all this, the area was fascinating, with most women dressed in traditional style of woven multicolored skirts and elaborately embroidered blouses and babies slung on mothers' backs in blankets, and men plowing fields behind single-toothed, wooden plows drawn by oxen. I'm not sure my dear wife enjoyed much of it, though.

And so we've arrived at the other side. I've felt lately like packing up everything and leaving a place is something akin to death. It means the end of everything one has been involved with there - projects, aspirations, relationships. A person has hopes and dreams of things to do, things to see, things to learn, things to fix and repair and make better, make new again -- but then time runs out and the broken and saved pieces are tossed in the trash along with other unnecessary items in the rush to make everything fit and to be done with it. We weren't even to the end of our street in Honduras before the neighbor boys were digging through the things we left behind. I suppose moves like this are good in that they remind us that life itself is finite and temporal; we get so used to the routine that we assume there will always be more time, but then one day it all ends and nothing is left but for others to go through what we leave behind. In this case we had the luxury of taking some things with us and scheduling things ourselves, so it's not a real accurate analogy. We are glad to be at our destination, and I don't think anyone is in a hurry to spend more time in the truck.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We're alive

and kicking so far.

We're about 6 or 7 hours outside of Mitla so we should get there tomorrow afternoon.

I do NOT want to repeat this trip again. ever. in. my. life.

Thank you for the prayers - they've come in quite handy over the last few days.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tomorrow -

will be our final day in Honduras.

I feel strange about that.

We will leave Gracias in the morning and travel to Copan Ruinas. We've lived here for a year and never been so we're taking our kids.

Then the first of three border crossings.

Thank you for the promise of prayers. The covering is needed.

We'll update as we can.