1. The mountains

The richest person on earth cannot buy them, but there they were, grand and majestic, at your disposal. Lush green hills and ridges that surrounded Buena Vista were to me the epitome of a luxurious life.

Buena Vista from the mountain ridge

2. Avocados

Oy, the avocados were plentiful. I mean, how can that not make you happy. We had huge bowls of guacamole multiple times for our meals. AWESOME!

Guacamole - heavenly

3. The sound of rain

I love the sound of rainfall, on the ground and on clay-based roofing. Honduran rain made me think of my home country. Living in American glorified boxes that are apartments, I don’t get to hear it very often. But there, you can even hear them drip on your sleeping bag when you sleep… I love how refreshed the earth is after a rainfall.

“He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.” Psalm 72:6

4. No electricity

How liberating it was to be free from the ties of modernity. There, nature dictates the rhythm of life. You can’t do much after the sun sets, the rest is sweet, and you wake up when the sun rises (or before). The day is day and the night is night. The moon shines very brightly too that you get shadows from its light. I could use this electricity-fast more often or longer.

Bright moonlight

5. Riding in the back of the truck

Soo much fun –  more fun than any rollercoaster ride! It wasn’t so dusty and the view was breathtaking. Some things to do on the ride: wave hello to people you pass by, enjoy the view of herds of cows and donkeys on the street, dodge branches and trees, and if you’re a girl, make sure to hold down your skirt.

The view during the ride

6. Working with my hands

I really appreciated how much people work with their hands there, from cooking, washing clothes, washing anything, fruit and lettuce picking, construction, writing… It’s so much healthier!

7. Chaotic city experience

I got to go on visitations in Talanga, a more city-like town about 45 minutes from Buena Vista. We visited a family who hooked us up to a local TV channel to advertise the clinic we would hold a few days later. On the way back, we took the public bus back to La Ermita, where the rest of the medical team was working. Every time the bus stopped, vendors would come on to the bus and sell food, snacks, etc. The school kids got on the bus and filled the aisle. We had to push through the crowd to get out. Again, just like chaotic Jakarta. Not the most comfortable for sure, but I was amused.

8. Friendly people and kids

Enough said.

9. The lifestyle

The rhythm, the food, the daily activities – everything was just teeming with health. I felt so healthy. I even said, “I’m starting to feel too healthy” towards the middle of the trip. I covet the life there…

10. Morning prayer

A few of us would meet and pray at 6:30 AM every morning, led by Erick, VIDA’s evangelism coordinator, committing the day and laying out whatever burden that is in your heart. Precious times.

11. Meeting the VIDA staffs

Amazing people with amazing testimonies. I admire each one of them. They come from all walks of life, many left behind worldly ambitions to pursue something higher. They are so happy and positive. Things don’t go according to plan, they don’t seem to get stressed out. Always bearing about a cheerful disposition and showing love to people – I learned many things from them.

I also love their model of ministry there, from the glimpses that I got to see. These are a few of them.

Joseph, Annie, and their two daughters Olivia (8) and Maya (3). They moved to Honduras to be missionaries about two months ago and will be there for at least 5 years. Joseph is the chef at Buena Vista. I got to spend 2.5 days in his kitchen.

Monica, the first Adventist woman engineer who is sold out for ministry that I have ever met.

Naomi, world traveler, organization extraordinaire.

Jose, director of VIDA Internacional. His life is for this ministry. Amazing testimony. Also studied engineering once upon a time passed.

12. Super long devotion

The sun rises at about 5:30 AM. For some reason, waking up to beat the sunrise was super easy there. I think it was something about sleeping in open air. There were no windows for the dorm we stayed at. So we were pretty much sleeping in open air, exposed to anything that could and would come in through those gaping openings on the wall. In fact, one day we found a snake…

But I loved the direct access to the sky for devotions. It’s like your prayers don’t bounce back to you. I was joking that maybe I should take off the windows of my apartment.

Another thing that was a blessing in disguise for me: malaria pills. I was taking those pills, per my nurse’s recommendation, and I was suffering from their side effects. I took the version that has psychosis as its side effects. Yeah. Nothing too bad, I didn’t get depressed or anything, but I was having vivid dreams. Thankfully they were not nightmares or crazy ones, but I was just too aware in them that I didn’t feel rested. After two pills (= two weeks of side effects), I decided to stop. There’s no malaria in El Suyatal anyway.

Since sleep was torture for me, I would rather be awake than asleep. So for many days I would wake up at 4 and not want to go back to sleep. That was a blessing.

Dawn. On the mountain ridge behind Buena Vista

13. Massage at the medical brigade

Thanks to CAMPUS Missionary Training Program, I wasn’t useless in the medical team. On the last day of outreach we all did medical ministry in Talanga. I was stationed at the rest and relaxation booth to give anyone who came by a 5 min back massage.

Truly, “in our life here, earthly, sin-restricted though it is, the greatest joy and the highest education are in service (Education, p. 309). It was a most incredible day for me and it deserves an entire blog post (and so are the next two points).

14. Naomi’s devotion on character development

Naomi, VIDA staff, gave the morning devotion on Sunday which summarized and answered one of the main questions I asked myself on why I went on this mission trip. Will write about this soon.

15. A personalized curriculum of true education

God had a 10-day curriculum for me in Honduras. And I’m craving for more.

Amazing place.

Needless to say, I LOVED HONDURAS! I didn’t want to go back to the US. I felt privileged to be there every single day and there were many moments where I was overwhelmed with gratefulness. God willing, I’d visit again. Many thoughts are being processed right now, mainly about ministry and how I would change the way I live my life. I’ve caught the mission trip bug – this is only the beginning.

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