Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We're DONE moving tubos!

Original pile

The end of the original pile!

The final load in the Land Cruiser!

All the PVC pipes are now in their new home on the roof of the new house!!!!

Tomorrow, we start moving furniture and stuff into the inside of the house!

Watch us move!

Here are some random reactions to all the various activities and problems of moving to our new house:

Gus - not afraid of a little dirt

Rachel - having a rare prissy moment

Kirstin - not enjoying being in charge

David - working with the big boys

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tubo Day Update

The first load of PVC pipes has been transferred to the new house, and the second batch is now being loaded into the Land Cruiser. Kirstin estimates that we are moving about a quarter of the total on each trip. It is now noon, and we were just told that we could only work until 1 pm today, so this will likely be the final load for today. Happily, we were also told that we could have access to the house again tomorrow, which we originally didn't think we would have, so that should all work out okay.

Here is the first load, about to be unloaded at the new house:

We are piling the pipes on top of pallets on the roof. Here's Gus, getting the pallets down from the roof of the vehicle:

Here is the very beginning of the pile on the roof:

Somehow, the leaves from the tree above the pile (at the current house) slid between the tubes. Apparently we've been creating compost between these pipes! What a mess we have on our hands, as we get deeper into the pile! This is our neighbor, Henri, who is helping us today:

That's all for now!

Moving Starts Today!

This is our moving week! The new house hasn't yet been emptied out, but we were given permission to go ahead and move some construction materials there today, as these items will be stored on the roof.

Today is Tubo Day! Here is the pile of PVC plumbing pipes we need to move:

This pile represents several miles of plumbing! We only have the Land Cruiser for moving these, so we know that it will take multiple trips.

At the new house, we have to carry the pipes up these stairs to the roof:

The job has just started. It's gonna be a busy week!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


As part of moving from our rental house, today several of the older kids took out a picket fence we installed two years ago when we moved in. We put it up so that we could contain the dogs in the back part of the yard when people were coming and going at the front door. One of our dogs, however, discovered that he could sail over that fence faster than we could open the gate, and then there wasn't much sense in putting him in the back yard anymore!

When Allen built the fence, he took a few extra precautions, because he grew up in the tropics, and he knows a thing or two about termites. I can't detail exactly what he did, as I wasn't part of that building project, but I can tell you that it only slowed the termites, it certainly didn't stop them!

Here are the pictures from the fence removal operation:

This is the remains of a fence post.

Think that one was in bad shape? How about this one:

This post was not pulled out . . . that is actually what remains of the wood at ground level!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's like a miracle . . .

Yesterday, the landlord's workmen came to our house, along with a crew they had hired of about a dozen additional workers, and poured a new layer of concrete on our roof. The group arrived early in the morning, and with the exception of my having to listen to a cement mixer outside my bedroom window all day, the event wasn't overly disruptive to our day.

In fact, we should have paid them something for the entertainment they provided for David all morning. David is looked upon as a sort of amazing child prodigy by the local Hondurans - because he can speak English. He loves hanging around work sites, and he brought glasses of water to the workers all morning. The workers seemed to enjoy having David around as much as he enjoyed being with them.

During the lunch break, though, there was a bit of a problem. The lead workman of the hired crew approached us, to explain that one of his workers was quite drunk, and was threatening to kill someone with a machete. He wanted us to do something about this, as the landlord's workmen, who were overseeing this hired crew, were away at that time. Of course, we hadn't a clue what to do. Looking out the window, we could see that the rest of the workers were just calmly sitting and eating lunch. The drunk guy was walking around a bit, and loudly preaching something into the air . . . but he didn't have any weapon, and no one else was paying any attention to him.

We decided to just stay out of the whole thing - it's not like the insertion of a woman into this situation was likely to improve anything - but we did have David come into the house for a while. Eventually, the landlord's men returned, and work started up again as though nothing unusual had happened. The drunk guy hung about, not working that I could see, but not doing anything else, either. (Kirstin just told me that he had sobered up enough to help clean up at the end of the day, although he was clearly still quite wobbly.) I have to admit that I don't exactly understand the dynamics of the situation. Shouldn't the drunken guy have been chastized, probably fired, definitely sent off the worksite? Well, that's what we would do in the US, but apparently that isn't the obvious decision here.

In spite of the mid-day excitement, the work was completed long enough before the late afternoon rains arrived, so there was time for the crew to clean up their trash and move their equipment out of the yard.

The rains started just around 5:30, which was early enough to have me wondering if the new roof was dry enough to handle it. The rains started out very heavy, and continued heavy for hours (at least until 1 AM), and we did not have a single leak in our house! This is amazing enough to count as a small miracle in my book, after the problems we have endured due to the many, many leaks in this roof!

Okay, I know, we have less than a week more to live in this house . . . but for the rest of our short time here, we'll be rejoicing at not having to deal with roof leaks potentially getting our piles of packed boxes wet!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The last time I moved without my husband . . .

Just for fun, I thought I'd share a chunk of one of our newsletters from about three years ago. This letter related the adventure we had the last time I attempted to move without Allen's help! Hopefully during this move, when we are just moving a few blocks from our current house, we will not encounter anything this exciting!

Thanks so much for your prayers - they were sorely needed these past weeks! Our family is now settling into our new home in Gracias, but getting here has involved an incredible series of trials and adventures!

In mid-September we visited Gracias (after attending the annual missionary conference in the nearby city of Siguatepeque) to locate a house to rent. Although houses which will work for our large family are scarce here, we did find a nice little house on the edge of town. It will be "cozy," but it will work for us as we search for land upon which to build our permanent house.

After locating the house, Trish and the kids were excited to head back to the island, say our goodbyes, and finish our packing. We returned to the coastal city of La Ceiba, from which we fly to the islands. Unknown to us, however, while we were off in the mountains, there had been turmoil on the island. The airlines had raised their prices, so the islanders staged a "strike" (in the states, we would call this a protest), dragging old boats and other debris onto the airstrip to disrupt the airline business, as a show of their displeasure. For a time there were no flights to Guanaja, until the government stepped in to resolve the situation. The resolution kept the higher ticket prices, but decreased the number of flights from about 6 each day to 6 each week! As a result, it became necessary to reserve tickets a week or more in advance. Not knowing this ahead of time, we were stuck waiting a week on the coast before we could actually fly back to the island to pack. Fortunately for us, our good friends the N----s, (from our home church in Maryland) are now living in La Ceiba, and they managed to put us up (or put up with us?) for the week we were stranded in their city.

Finally though, Trish and the kids flew to the island, and began the work of packing our personal belongings, stowing the ministry items, and making the Community Center building secure for the time it will be vacant. The weather had been exceptionally rainy during our month away, and our computer was hesitant to boot up when we returned. We found that if we kept the computer plugged in and powered up, with fans running on it, it would eventually dry out enough to start up. Unfortunately, the power was out a significant amount of that first week, so we had only occasional access to the internet for information and communications. It was during this time that Hurricane Wilma made a sneaky advance upon the island of Guanaja!

Those of you who follow these things may have noticed Wilma; a category 5 storm which was heading directly toward Guanaja, but was predicted to turn north before actually hitting the island. The storm did turn north, but not before coming within 110 miles of us! Trish and the kids evacuated the Community Center building (we were living in the upstairs of this 3 story tall wooden structure right on the beach at this time) for several days, staying in a small cement motel about a block away. After several days of severe wind and continuous rain - and very frequent prayers - the storm passed and the packing was able to continue. Although the house/Community Center was absolutely soaked, remarkably only one packed box got wet - a major blessing!

Because Hurricane Wilma disrupted the boat schedules, we found that we would be delayed an additional week on the island, before we could load our boxes, furniture, and dogs onto the Lady Carminda and send them to La Ceiba. During this final week on the island, unbelievably, we were threatened by yet another storm, Hurricane Beta! Thankfully, this storm didn't come close enough for us to experience much severe weather, but it was close enough to cause us to use some of our time making the "just in case" preparations, and it was certainly close enough to frazzle Trish's already strained nerves just a bit more! For the future, Trish has decided to declare a one hurricane per month limit for herself!

All of this severe weather had further reduced the number of flights to and from the island. As the date neared for the departure of the cargo boat, a decision had to be made - would we go as passengers on the boat, or hope to be able to get a flight? Sigh. Sadly, we chose the boat. At this point, Trish, Russell, Rachel, David, and Josiah (a family friend from Virginia who came down to help us move) were still on the island. Everything seemed fine as we loaded our stuff onto the town truck, had it hauled to the dock (6 truckloads), and wrestled the dogs into their crates.

But the weather turned foul, and our 6 - 8 hour boat trip actually lasted 11 very long and stormy hours! We left the island at 8pm, and sailed overnight. The cargo ship doesn't have berths for passengers, although the crew does pass out mats so people can lie on the floor. With the airline situation restricting travel so much, the boat was amazingly packed with people. As the weather got rougher (and rougher) we each had to make a choice - stay inside where it was stiflingly hot and dry, packed in like sardines and likely to be seasick, or stay on deck, soaked with rain and chilled through, but at least somewhat more likely to refrain from seasickness (or at least, having quick access to the rail, to feed the fishies). Trish and David chose to stay inside, the others stayed out all night. We have delared it a toss-up as to who had it worse . . . outside soaked and freezing, or inside dealing with the stale air and the smell of . . . um . . . the results of seasickness.

So, that's most of the story. We made it to La Ceiba safely. Somehow, in my newsletter, I neglected to relate how absolutely terrifying the trip was. I was sitting in the kitchen of the boat, and every now and then the cabinets would open and pots and pans would shower down, or the refrigerator would suddenly roll across the floor. I was praying continually for hours that our lives would be spared . . . but by the end of the trip I was too numb to care, and I just prayed that one way or another this nightmare would end!

Allen met us at the dock and took over as our stuff was unloaded from the boat and loaded into a big truck for the 6 hour drive up to Gracias. The kids and I crashed at our friends' house for a few hours, getting showers before finally getting some sleep. But by noon, we were in the van and heading on up the road to Gracias.

I'm thinking that our upcoming move ought to be a piece of cake. ;-D

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Walking Tour of Gracias Lempira, part 2b

Okay, here are some more examples of the decorative and functional ironwork to be seen around Gracias. This is a continuation of the post from yesterday, A Walking Tour of Gracias Lempira, part 2.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Walking Tour of Gracias Lempira, part 2

Almost a year ago I posted a series of pictures of everyday scenes around Gracias Lempira. I knew I'd have more posts like that one, which is why I called it "A Walking Tour of Gracias Lempira, part 1," but I didn't realize it would take me this long to get around to it!

I sent my photographers on a walk around town this afternoon, and asked them to concentrate on the ironwork which is so prevalent on homes and businesses in Honduras. My girls didn't think this would make for very interesting pictures, but they were amazed - when they actually went out with the intention of noticing the bars, fences, and gates - at the real artistry in some of this work.

It is sad that security concerns require this kind of thing, and I still rail against the idea of living inside a cage, for safety. However, since it is unavoidable, it's nice to see how beauty has been created even in the midst of this unpleasant necessity.

Rachel and Bethany captured a nice overview of ironwork both plain and fancy, in buildings covering a large spectrum of economic levels. There are way too many photos for one post, so I'll continue this tomorrow!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Upside-down Mushrooms

I'm sure you all remember our leaky ceiling troubles? (Click on the link and scroll down to see those older posts.) Well, those leaks are worse now than they were before. The landlord's workmen have prepared the roof for the addition of a top coat of concrete, but the preparations involved chipping out concrete anywhere there was a crack or hole. So, of course, the cracks and holes now leak much worse than previously. The preparation work was completed about two weeks ago, but the workmen haven't come back to put on that new layer. When it rains (and for about 20 hours afterwards) water pours from the light fixture in the living room, and from four of our wall light switches. Plus, there are lots of non-electrical leaks, too.

The kitchen ceiling is the location of an especially active leak. It has been raining some almost every day for the past couple of weeks, usually at night. We had an average rain last night, and this afternoon the leak in the kitchen really started to make a large puddle. I don't know why some of our leaks have a delay, so that they begin to drip many hours after the actual rain.

Just a few minutes ago, David came running into my room, to tell me that flowers were growing on the kitchen ceiling. Of course, I was curious about this. Wouldn't you be?

Here's an overview picture of the kitchen ceiling leak. This is actually only one small section of the leaky area.

Here's a closer shot. Those "flowers" are intriguing, aren't they?

And here's a lovely close-up, for the botanists who would like to identify this for me. I'm using the term "mushroom" loosely here, but I feel pretty confident we are talking fungus, right?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Allen is getting worried . . .

In the next few months, we are set up to ship two 40' containers of donated items to Honduras. One is coming from Florida and the other from Maryland. In both instances, we have previously donated items which will fill a certain portion of the space, and in both instances there is space alloted for transporting donated Christmas gifts.

Allen is getting worried that we are not receiving enough gifts for the space we have. We pay for shipping and customs fees to import these containers, and we don't ever want to pay to ship empty space! So, I'm putting out another request for people to get involved in the Christmas gift project.

The details for the Christmas project are available on our website, including addresses where donated Christmas gifts are being collected. Additionally, if you live near our shipping locations (Orlando, Florida and Poolesville, Maryland) you might want to consider donating gently used clothing, which can be brought directly to where the containers will be loaded. Your donations will help us help the pastors and their families and congregations, as well as helping the families in our special needs programs, and children in our feeding centers, in the nearby orphanages, and children who are in the local hospital during the Christmas holiday. If you want information on delivering donations directly to the shipping locations, please contact me by email.

The deadlines for mailing Christmas gifts are coming up soon, and the containers will be shipped soon after the Christmas gifts are received, so please don't delay!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The State of My Living Room

We move in just about 2 weeks, and we are working hard to be packed and ready for moving day.

The one bookshelf you can see in the picture, which still has books on it, is the store from which we sell Bibles and Bible study materials. We are still running these sales from our living room, in the midst of the packing. We also prepared the bags of food for the special needs families this week, and passed those out on Tuesday.

Things are coming together. We are a bit concerned about the actual moving of a few of the heaviest items, but we're working on getting a crew together to help with this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Does this look comfortable to you?

We're enjoying raising a couple of new, cute and furry mousetraps. They're a lot of fun, and so cuddly! But really, does this look like a comfortable sleeping position to you?

Monday, September 15, 2008

May the Force Be With You

My family has been working hard recently, converting hand painted, Honduran-made bookmarks into memorable "business cards" by adding our contact information onto the backs. Allen will be handing these out to people while he's visiting in the US.

Many of these bookmarks have Christian mottos on them. Most are in Spanish, but some enterprising designer translated many of the mottos into English. We purchased around 500 bookmarks, some in each language.

The kids were amused by the fact that, when translating "Jesus is strength" from Spanish to English, the translator came up with: "Jesus is the Force." Although we're fans of the Star Wars movies, we're not so sure if the Star Wars theme is just right for this message. ;-D

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Living a Bit Close to the Edge

Yesterday Allen told me that while he was out driving, he had come across a funeral procession, which turned out to be the funeral of a neighbor of ours. This neighbor's land borders the property where we are building our new house. We have had some interaction with this neighbor, because a few months back we looked into the possibility of purchasing a small piece of property from him. We didn't go forward with the purchase, because there was a dispute over the ownership of the land.

Our neighbor was murdered late this week, following an argument about that land ownership dispute. The shooting occured in the town of Refugio, which is just a short distance from our property.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How's This for Weird?

Okay, even in Honduras I've not heard this one before. Kirstin was driving home this afternoon from Santa Rosa de Copan, when she spotted, on the side of the road just outside of Gracias, a naked woman. The woman was walking unconcernedly along. Traffic was flowing normally past this unusual sight.

Kirstin was uncertain how to deal with this. She concientiously wants to be of help to people in distress, but handling situations in Honduras is often remarkably different than in the US. Plus, there is the fact that this woman did not appear to be distressed. She simply walked along, even stopping to pick something up along the path.

So, Kirstin came on home, feeling, somehow, that she might have done something differently, but not sure what she might have done. I think I would have been similarly confused, and likely would have gone on by, as well.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We're crazy-busy at my house!

Today is the last day of the Bible Training School for this month. In and of itself, that makes it a busier than average day. But there's more - so very much more!

I wanted to clear out all of our give-away pile before our upcoming move. Since we have no Good Will store to donate to here, we just collect a pile, until we have enough to distribute to the pastors at the school. This collection includes clothing our children have outgrown, clothing teams have left behind for us to distribute, and those general household items that seem to accumulate until we say "too much stuff" and clear some out. Of course, it has to be a pretty big pile before we have enough to give to so many people. Yesterday the younger kids sorted the pile into the right number of bags for the number of students at the school, and today Russell drove them to the school and passed them out.

Oh, and then there are the motorcycles. We receive funds each year from the Christian Motorcyclists Association, to purchase motorcycles for the use of pastors in our area. There is a lot of paperwork involved in this, as we don't want to purchase motorcycles titled in our own name, and have to re-title them all when they are given to the pastors. So, we have to get all of the title work done, for each pastor, first. Today, we distributed five motorcycles to pastors, and had a picture-taking time at the park. (We'll be handing out ten more in another month.)

Also, Allen and Russell are leaving in a few days for a visit to the states. They will be attending several missionary conference events. For this, they need a display board, PowerPoint presentation, album of photos, and little cards printed out with our contact info. We are busy, busy, busy printing out photos and cutting out mats, and designing layouts, etc, etc, etc. It is fortunate for me that my two oldest daughters are very artistic, and are old enough to share much of this work!

There is, in addition, the fact that we are still trying to pack around here, and so our house is pretty torn up right now. Fortunately, I made sure not to touch any of our office supplies yet, and so the things we need to create our presentations are still where we can find them.

Did I mention the homeschooling? Well, why bother mentioning it, when there certainly isn't any of that going on in my house today!

Aaaaack! Big cockroach just crawled across my lap! I'm pretty used to the bugs, but I do have my limits when it comes to cockroaches . . . and having one on my lap is clearly a violation of my personal space!

Now, it's back to work for me!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ready to be amazed?

The bodega construction has been flying along! Allen has done a great job of hiding a huge warehouse in what looks like a nice-sized adobe house.

Here is the view of the building, as it looked yesterday morning.

You can see how the front door and four windows will look like the front of a house. There will be a porch, the length of the building, on this side.

Now, if you look inside the building, you can see that in actuality this is a huge warehouse!

If you look closely at that picture, the bottom of the window below where Allen is standing is 8' off the ground. That building has an immensely tall ceiling, and will give us an incredible amount of storage space! We're excited about it!

Below is another view of the interior, showing the opposite end wall, which is mostly completed.

As the block laying was going on, we also had a workman starting on the finish of the building. Mortar is smoothed over the blocks, but left with a somewhat rough stucco finish, to give the appearance of an adobe building. Later these walls will be painted.

By yesterday evening, the laying of block on the exterior walls of this building was completed! There is concrete work to be done around the front door and windows, and concrete bands to be poured across the tops of some walls.

Once our lumber is delivered, we will begin putting up the roof!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Kitchen Sink

I thought today I'd bring you along as we process ideas for utilizing our new house. We've been thinking through each room, talking about storage solutions (only one bedroom has a closet), lighting issues (half the rooms have no exterior light), traffic flow (with such loooooong narrow rooms, this is complicated), etc.

One interesting dilemma involves our future kitchen sink. As you can see in the picture below, it is a single bowl sink, with two draining boards. We actually have a sink just like this in our current house. We don't have an automatic dishwasher, of course, so we place a dish drying rack on one side of the sink. On the other side we sit a large dishpan full of clean rinse water. Then, we can fill the actual sink with warm, soapy water, and spend an hour or so washing dishes.

Now, the one thing this sink does not have, which our current sink does have, is counter space anywhere near it. That empty space next to the sink counter is where either the refrigerator or the stove is meant to go. So, the question is: "Where do we put the dirty dishes, as we are working our way through washing them?" With eight family members, and frequent guests, we create a lot of dirty dishes. They have to go somewhere.

I must admit, though, that we aren't overly distressed about this dilemma. The sink in our current kitchen has such a bad plumbing problem (the repair of which would involve tearing into the concrete wall behind the sink) that we are actually putting a dishpan into the sink, rather than putting water directly into the sink, and then carrying the dishpan outside to dump dirty water out in the yard. If we allow water to go down the drain in our current sink, it just flows out onto the kitchen floor, creating a big mess! Surely whatever we resolve to do about the pile-up of dirty dishes in the new house will be an easier solution than what we are having to do now - right?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lots of Moving Going On

Remember the Hayes family, who have been planning to come and work with us? There have been lots of hurdles for them to jump, to make this whole thing work out, but, if everything comes together for the next couple of weeks, they should be arriving here, in a truck with their three kids and all their worldly possession . . . right as we are moving into our new house in early October! They will be driving down from northern Mexico, so you can see that they are appropriately adventuresome to be joining us here!

The arrival of Alan and Faith Hayes may seem ill-timed, but actually we are hopeful that they will arrive right as we move, so that we can have Alan's help in taking down our satellite dish. (This situation with my hubby being Allen and Faith's hubby being Alan is going to require some concentration on everyone's part, so please, stay sharp here!)

While looking at rental houses for our family, we are also scouting out a place for the Hayes family to live. We've seen the exteriors of several houses that might work . . . hopefully we will be able to see the interiors very soon!

Those of you who pray for us, would you also pray for Faith and Alan and family, as they close things down in Mexico, and begin their travels south? Thanks so much! You can check on their updates at their blog, The Hayes Zoo en Mexico

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Phew - I'm glad that decision is made!

Since I previously griped in this blog about not being able to pack because I knew nothing about the house we'd be moving into, I thought I would take a moment to announce that, now that we have decided on a house, I am happy and motivated about my packing. I've always enjoyed packing more than I've enjoyed unpacking. This move will be our 13th move in 24 years of marriage, so I think I know a little about my strengths and weaknesses in this area.

I'm a great packer of breakable items, and rarely experience loss in this area, in spite of moves in containers onboard ships, with my boxes of stuff loose in the hold of a Honduran cargo boat, and even one move along a dirt path by wheelbarrow!

I'm good at figuring out how to make the best of my limited supply of boxes. For this move, all of the books were stacked by size, wrapped in plastic bags, and tied with strong twine. It's gonna make reorganizing my bookshelves a bear, but it sure did save on boxes!

I'm amazing at finding ways to make a house work, in spite of it's flaws. I know that sounded pretty conceited, but I've had a lot of experience in this area. Over the years in the US and Honduras we've lived:

  • in two small mobile homes, parked one in front of the other (one was used for storage), which didn't have electricity or indoor plumbing.

  • in two side-by-side houses. Neither was big enough for our family, so we had bedrooms in one house, and daytime activities in the other.

  • in a 3 bedroom house with teeny tiny bedrooms (we put up a tent on the roof, so our college-prep daughter would have a quiet place to study), and not even one bit of storage space in the kitchen.

  • in an unfinished 8000 square foot home, which Allen had built but hadn't been able to sell.

  • in the upstairs classroom space of a community center.

Our main challenges in the upcoming house seem to have to do with the lack of a yard, and the fact that there's not much space for the containerloads of stuff we sometimes receive. Since Christmas is coming soon, we'll have to deal with this issue before too long.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just a few pictures

I'm very busy packing today, so I thought I'd just quickly share a few pictures Allen picked up recently. I would not characterize these as the poorest homes . . . out in the mountains these would be fairly average living conditions.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A house we could rent

We actually did see a house today! Not at 8am, of course. We were there at 8, but the watchman had gone to get something to eat, and he had the keys. We drove around and saw (the exteriors of) several other houses, but around 9 we got a call that we could come back and see the inside of the first house.

It was a pretty nice house, although odd. The building is currently being used for offices, so of course that adds to the odd feeling. But, the layout of the house is such that it feels more like an office that could possibly be used for a house, rather than like a house being used as an office.

Inside the front door is a front room which is sort of like an enclosed porch. It has some interesting framing on the doorway and window opening into the next room. I suppose we would use this room as a place for Allen to meet with Pastors and other visitors.

Front room of house, looking into main part of house

Moving into the next room, you come upon a very formal set of stairs up into the main part of the house. The paint colors are . . . typically Honduran.

These steps lead to what is either a narrow room, or a wide hallway. The three bedrooms and the kitchen are off this room. The photo below is taken from the back of the house, looking toward the steps at the front of the house. In this photo, two bedrooms (each with full baths - with tubs) are on the left, and the kitchen and master bedroom are on the right. The bedrooms on the left have windows to the outside, and windows to the hallway room. The kitchen and master bedroom only have windows to the hall, no exterior light at all, because that side of the house is built right up against the house next door.

Below is the kitchen. It is quite large, and (as is typical for Honduran kitchens) it has very little storage space. But, there is room to put our work table in the middle of the room, as an island, and there is a lot of space at the other end of the room (not pictured) where we could put up some kind of storage, or we could put our dining table there.

There is also a large bodega inside the house, which we would likely use as another bedroom. There is a full bath in the master bedroom (actually in the bedroom - there's no dividing wall. I can't believe we didn't get a picture of that), and another full bath off the main rooms, for a total of four full baths (three with tubs, one with a shower).

One downside to this house is that it doesn't have a yard. There is a strip of garden across the front, and a few planting boxes along the driveway, but no yard at all. This will be an issue with the dogs and the chickens, but probably something we can figure out.

Driveway, with steps to the roof.

Only part of the roof is flat cement . . . much of it is clay tile, which is cooler and easier to repair, if there are leaks (we're sort of experts on this topic now).

The biggest downside to this particular house is that it won't be available for rent until October 1st. This, of course, is a month away, and the timing is not good for Allen. Basically, if we rent this house, the kids and I will have to move without Allen's help.

The house is a good price, okay location, easily adaptable to our needs, and large enough to be comfortable. I think if it were available immediately we would jump on it. With the wait of a month . . . we'll have to talk with our current landlord, and see if this is doable.

Soooo, what do you think?