Sunday, April 5, 2009

Was it/Is it worth it?

Since I have been back, I have been asked in different forms, was it worth it for me to have gone to Honduras. The obvious answer is yes it was - and since I am going back, it still is worth it. It irritates me somewhat though, when I tell people yes it was worth it, that they don't believe me. Oh you are just saying that so that you dont have to admit defeat. And that isn't it at all. There was a big adjustment period that we all had to go through, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that bad. It could have been alot worse.

I still get the whole what are you doing to your children line of questioning, and then I get an attitude when I give them an honest answer. I am giving my children a chance at a family. Me being here in the US, along with the kids, and my husband in Honduras - what kind of family life is that? I know that there are people who are living this way right now, and it is so hard, and it certainly isn't a long term solution. I am also giving my children a chance to see how other people live. I am a big believer that traveling, and experiencing other countries is a HUGE educational experience. While they are being homeschooled (I love SONLIGHT), they are also going to a (private) Honduran school. Why both you ask. I think that even though the Honduran school is below US educational standards, it is a way to re-inforce spanish in a way that I cannot. My children can learn to speak it with the correct grammar, as well as write it and read it. Next year Andre will begin his career classes in his school. He is at an age that come next school year he can choose a career and they will begin to teach him that. He is looking into Auto Mechanics right now, but he has a whole year to decide. Again, learning a trade while in Honduras could help him when he comes back to the US for college. He will have some education in a trade where he can work while going to college. (unfortunately he wants to learn Marine Biology - and that just isnt a career that they teach in the Honduran high school system, LOL).

Everytime someone asks me if it was worth it, I sit back and I think about the 8 months that I was there. Even with all the issues that we had to deal with - and there were alot - alot more than I have posted on here - and each and everytime the answer is yes.

I love to hear the little ones speak spanish now. I love how to them (and to me - because if you are going to move to Honduras you HAVE to be able to look at things this way) that everything is an Adventure. A month with no running water, no problem. It is raining hard enough that we can all take a shower out back. Lather up, and let the rain do the rinsing. Or the creek is right up the street - perfect place to take a bath. We need to wash the dishes? Load them up in a bucket, and haul it up to the creek to wash. Kids adapt to just about everything, and mine are no exception. And I am proof that adults too can adapt.

Growing up anytime my mom asked for help in her garden, I always told my mother that my hands were not made to touch dirt. Flowers are pretty and nice and all, but I am not a garden person. However I now have a notebook filled with plans for garden when I get back. Granted its for a vegitable garden to help cut down on our food costs, and to help up the amount and varieties of veggies we eat, but it is still a garden. I am nervous to begin this garden because I have no clue what I am doing, but again - everything is an adventure. I hope to get my kids involved with it so that they can learn how to garden and can teach there friends and others.

This move has changed me in so many ways. It has made me think about so many different things. But more importantly, I found my home. A place where I feel at ease, where I feel content. And it actually has nothing to do with my husband being there. There was a time when we were first adjusting to everything, we had some major issues, and there were days that I asked myself did I move thousands of miles just to end up thinking of divorce. And I did some major thinking about if my husband and I were to seperate, and the one thing that was clear was I was at home. Even if we did seperate, or something like that, I would not leave Honduras. I would not leave my home.

I still feel that way - not about leaving my husband, we worked through our issues, LOL - but about Honduras being my home. I know my mother is here, and my brothers (ok my sisters too - but they don't count since they dont talk to me) and my extended family are here. I also know that this is where I was born and raised. Laurel is my hometown, but it isn't my home. I don't feel comfortable here anymore. I don't feel at ease anymore. I feel like a visitor, and that is what I am. I just want to go home.

I asked the little ones still in Honduras (Mickey, Isa, Johan, and Lana) if they wanted to come to America, or stay in Honduras and this is what they said -

  • Mickey said that she wanted to stay in Honduras but she wanted to have someone she knows stay in America so that they can send stuff she wants in the mail. Especially macaroni and cheese, and chocolate cupcakes and play food and dress up clothes.
  • Isa said she wants to stay in Honduras but she wants (these) special cupcakes from America.
  • Johan said he wants to ride in the airplane again but still stay in Honduras. (guess he just wants to fly from La Ceiba to San Pedro to Tegucigalpa then back again??)
  • Lana - she didn't answer my question, she just kept telling me that she wasn't done talking to me yet, LOL.

I then asked the older two about going back to Honduras, and suprise suprise,
  • Jordan said she is ready to go back. I thought for sure she was going to say she wasn't ready yet. She hates to say good-bye to her friends (dont we all?) but she misses her life in Honduras she said. Which really and honestly suprised me. I thought for sure she would have said no she wasnt ready. But I do know she misses her brothers and sisters in Honduras. I also know she wishes that she hadn't left early to spend that extra time up here with her father. (She wasn't supposed to come to the US to visit her dad until November, but he was in Guatemala in August and asked if he could take her for those extra 3 months since she wasn't in school down there yet, and I said yes. So instead of being with him from Nov. - Jan, she was with him from August to January. Before this she has never been away from me for that long, and that far. It was VERY rough on her, and very hard. It also wont happen again.)
  • Andre is ready to go back, but he wants to wait another month so that he can finish out the school year. The school has accelerated his classes so that he can complete his school year before we leave, but he will be missing out on a couple of fun field trips and a dance. And he has to say good-bye to Madison, his 'giiiiiirl-friend'. (oh how I love to give him a hard time about having a girlfriend) Sadly though, I cannot wait until the end of the school year. We bought the tickets in January for May 5th - and at the time that I bought the tickets he was not going to be going back with me, but staying with my mom for another school year. But things change, and he is going back with us. He keeps talking about all the fishing he is going to do, and his machete's and bike and how he will get to see Pedro again and so much other stuff. So he is excited too.

My mom is even going back with me for 10 days. When she comes back, she can maybe post a guest blog about her experiences and what she thought about our life. (she will be back on her birthday. Poor mom, saying good-bye to all the grandkids and spending the day flying, and then landing at 2AM on your birthday. Having to spend your birthday recovering from vacation)


Lizzi said...

Jen, I would love to send your kids a small package!!! I'm sure it is crazy expensive to mail stuff down there, but my kids would get such a kick out of it! You should e-mail me! Please!


Heather said...

I love this post! I lived in kenya, came back to the usa, then went back and no one could ever understand why i wanted to go back, and I didnt even have family there. There is just something about living in another country that makes life so much more fulfilling. Then I went to Brasil and instantly I was in love. We spend so much time and money on legal paperwork just so we can go back and forth to Brasil as we please. I too cant wait to move there, and am so living through your posts!


Adrians Mama said...

I, too, love this post. I really dont understand why ANYONE would give you attitude about the choices YOU make for YOUR life! Anyways though i commend you as i am sure it wasnt easy but it is great to have the family all together!!!

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

I'm sure the people making the comments have no idea of what your life there is like. They probably just know it is a "poor country." They don't have the experiences that your children will! What great memories your kids will have! Also, they will have a better worldview, knowing firsthand how MOST of the world lives, valueing what's REALLY important. They will also have a strong connection to both cultures, both languages, and will have the ability to live in either country if they so choose. Be strong, and don't take what they say personally. They probably don't have any idea that what they are saying is offensive, in their minds, "why would anyone want to live anywhere that's not the states, it's so great here." You know what you're doing is right, so go with it! I'm so glad that you are feeling at home there! I am eager to hear about your attempts at gardening! I'm excited to get my stuff in the ground soon! Maybe even this week!
Here's a few blogs to check out before you head back (gardening, frugal living, making stuff from scratch/at home, etc.)
and of course mine:
Hope that helps!

CancunCanuck said...

Sometimes the arrogance of people from first world countries astounds me. As if the "American" or "Canadian" or "British" way of life is the ONLY way worth living. These are the people who have no idea of the real value of life and family, they only value the material things they are surrounded by. (Sorry, people questioning your decisions based on their own close-mindedness ticks me off!). You do what you do because you know it's best for your family. The "American" way is not the only way, nor it is the best way for everyone. I think you're doing a great thing, as long as you and the kids are happy and learning and exploring and growing, then to heck with the detractors! Boo yah. (You got my knickers in a knot, lol!) Rock on sistah mama.

Anonymous said...

I like your post.

All it matters is that you and your kids are happy, healthy and together!

Things are easier when you take them as an adventure. That's the way I live my life! Adventure doesn't mean that you don't live a normal and responsible life. It means that you're able to try new things with a positive attitude.

The American way is NOT the only or correct way. But, it is the only way that ignorant people know.

Ginger said...

Well i think its great that you are doing what you have to in order to keep your family together!! i did the same thing as you and packed up everything with my son and moved to Tocoa to be with my husband. We are both back in the states again but i would do it again in a heartbeat! I think i will being going back down there sometime this summer with my son! so you should email me and we can keep in contact and maybe exchange stories! sounds like we have some really similar experiences considering our husband our from the same town and all! but either way email me please! and maybe i can bring some things you need down with me! my name is Ginger!

Amie Vaughan said...

i totally agree with you about the states not being 'home'. i may not live in a third-world country, but i am way more at home now in scotland. i love to go back and visit with jen and the kids, and i do miss people-- but i have no interest whatsoever in moving back. so i've got your back on that issue! ;)

Rebecca said...

I can't fathom anyone giving you a hard time about your family's choices. It's such a rich experience for your, like you's family.

I hope you are successful in your gardening adventure. I can't wait to hear about it!

Olancho Bound Gringa said...

I can only admire you for your strength & courage that you have showed going into this adventure. What stories your kids will have to tell when they are older! Life is but an experience. How dare people try to judge you for trying to keep your family together. Stay strong!


La Misionera said...

You are giving your children an experience that has no price! I am going to do the same thing you are doing, and I have no doubt that my children will grow up to have a BETTER education than they would have received in the US. I have learned so much from my mission work in Honduras and it has improved my life drastically. I have learned what really matters, and what I can do without. This is something I would have never learned in the US.