Real contentment has nothing to do with either prosperity or poverty. Contentment is an inside job, the result of knowing God and living life against the backdrop of eternity.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


This place is gorgeous. Kels and I arrived yesterday afternoon, met some awesome people on the plane, took a nap at our tight hostel then explored the city. It is extremely refreshing to be able to walk around the cobble stone streets, buy a freshly squeezed lemonade, buy what tasted like fried cheese grits, eat more fresh mangos and breathe in the ocean air. I bought some new sandals (my rainbows broke on the way to media luna) and even tried on a new dress.

We´ve met many friendly people and travelers, walked the wall that surrounds the old city like a barricade and ate delicious crepes for lunch. Que rico!! Everything is relatively cheap and tomorrow we will explore more of the city. More to come!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

see you soon

Our last week in the Ro, here are some shots that have wrapped up our time on this beautiful island.


how most people feel about this island

Land's End sunset with the original 3

7th grade LOVE

tearful goodbyes

senior thugs/talent show

Pastor and wifey :)

the only street sign in Roatan is where we live


meester saaack

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7th grade international relations

So one of my best friends, Laura, is teaching the same grade in Bangkok, Thailand.

Of course we decided to have our students write pen pal letters to each other. HILARIOUS. Here are some of my favorite entries:

Non: What do you look like?
Maicky: My face is like.. well.. I have a big smile and like to make people happy.

Junior: What do you look like?
Michael: I am SEXY.

Shaq: Do you have pets?
Marlon: I have a dog and a monkey. But the monkey is my little brother, Andy.

Kate: My favorite food is KFC.
Morelyn: My favorite food is Bojangles supreme.

Kaweewat: What do you look like and what is your family like?
Angela: I have cinnamon skin color and a retarded brother named Jonahy.

Junior: I don't good in English.
Michael: No, it's not hard, just practice with spelling bees.

Ohm: I thick English is easy.
Tai: English is very easy, when are you coming to Roatan?

Monday, June 6, 2011

delicate adventures

SOOOOOO as many of you know, Ms. Kelly and I will be embarking upon our journey to South America next Tuesday. Peace out Ro. Hello Colombia!!! I can't wait for the coffee. Amongst other things like mud baths, volcano hikes and sleeping on the beach in hammocks for $1.

We have the privilege of returning to Florida before flying into Cartagena where we will be visiting with Kelly's papa during our layover. We decided we will eat Chick-Fil-A. Spicy. Chicken. Sammy. Yessss!!

We appreciate your prayers during our travels! Here is a short itinerary:

Cartagena, Taganga, Parque Tayrona, Santa Marta, Bogota, Medellin

Lima, Arequipa, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Machu Picchu

We'll be back stateside around July 16th!


The way to South America...

Friday, June 3, 2011

bologna sandwiches

We had our last mentoring meeting yesterday with the boys of French Harbour. They ate lots of hotdogs, cake, cookies and fresco as we said our goodbyes, gave lots of big hugs and played lots of fun games. It's hard to believe we probably won't see many of them again.
Little Harry Jr.


Ms. Kelly with Fabrecio

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

bhajo naam - praise the name

Exam review has started, our last week of tutoring has come and we finally ate at The Deck Cafe in Los Fuertes. We've had a lot of extra time with our half day schedules and I'm not going to lie, it's been nice. Our time is usually spent riding home on our school bus, exercising, being owned by Billy Blank, visiting friends and for me, reflecting on the past year.

Kenny got a hold of my camera... 
Today was an exciting day with the French Harbour boys because they received their pen pal letters from their unknown friends in High Point, NC!! Some of them had girls, some of them had boys and it was hilarious helping them read the letters and piece together sentences in response. "Do you have a girlfriend?" "Would you like to snorkel with me when you come to Roatan?" "Are you for Barcelona or Madrid?" LOVE.

We took our class pictures today. I know I talk about them all the time but these 7th graders are the coolest kids I know. I'm going to cry like a baby on our last day of school.

7th Graders!

Pen Pal Letters


i can't wait

to get my hands on this book.

check out the link below to download the first two chapters.

much love.

Veneer. 2 free chapters.

paya bay domination

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What is LOVE?

Recently, a best friend emailed me at some absurd hour of the night and in the message box read:

What is love?


I thought she was joking or tired or referencing a song from 1997 we had both just remembered in a conversation prior to 1am.

Nope. I answer the question in my complete honesty and then I produce a thought provoking question in return for her in a mere attempt to learn something from one another. Mind you, we have been friends for 12 years now. I like it.

My first thoughts came from lyrics, naturally. Music speaks to my soul and I find a lot of truth and comfort in song. I typed in 'love' to my itunes library. 140 titles/artists returned. Wowzas. Just to name a few: All you need is love, One love, Skinny love, Let your love flow, Crown of love, Your love is extravagant, Amazing love, How He loves us, Love your love the most, Somebody to love, Your love is my drug, Bleeding love and the list goes on and on.

This got me thinking about the many different types of love that people perceive and experience. Donald Miller recently cited that love is not an emotion but a need. He writes, "A scan of a persons brain who is experiencing the mystery of love looks surprisingly like a scan of a persons brain who is experiencing a cocaine rush." Interesting.

Ms. Kelly kisses every single one of her sweaty 1st graders as they exit the classroom because she wants them to know that she loves them despite the temper tantrum that happened during recess. My parents sent huge boxes of supplies and goodies to Roatan to show me that they love me and support me in all of my endeavors. We tutor the French Harbour boys in the afternoon because we love God and want to share God's love with his children. The love list is endless.

The only logical thing that I believe love boils down to is that God loved us so much that he sent his only perfect Son to earth, to endure the pain and suffering of man, reveal the glory of His majesty and then be brutally sacrificed for our transgressions on the cross. God is love. Jesus is love. I can only give love because I have received love and forgiveness from my heavenly father.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Love keeps no records of wrong. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love your enemies. Luke 6:35
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Above all, love each other deeply. 1 Peter 4:8

I would dare to say that we are all on a constant search for love. We "love" our cities, our jobs, our pets, our gym classes, our favorite bands, our addictions, our boyfriends and girlfriends. The word gets thrown around like a rag doll.

I think this quote sums up what I believe about love.

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. Because in the end, love wins. Love always wins." -Tuesdays with Morrie

Friday, May 20, 2011


So my morning bus ipod shuffle mix was a rocking good time. Usually, I find myself skipping over tracks, half asleep on Juan Angel's shoulder and trying not to spill my water bottle all over my pants.

The run down:

Hanson - MMMBop
Avett Brothers - Talk on Indolence
Mumford and Sons - Roll away your stone
Coldplay - Swallowed in the Sea
Kid Cudi/MGMT - Pursuit of happiness
Don Henley - All she wants to do is dance
Beatles - 8 days a week

And then. The Temper Trap. LOVE LOST. Why I have never listened to this before?

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

To Texas I go

I can't believe the school year is almost over. I've been having so much fun with my students. I am trying to remember what is truly meaningful and squeezing out my last bit of love toward these amazing children of God.

I think I've learned more from them than they have learned from me. I love the fact that I can be so open and honest with them about everything. Being able to share my walk with Jesus and then see them walking with Jesus has been incredibly inspiring. I just found out that one of my 10th graders will be living in Austin next year and going to a high school that I will be servicing with College Forward! Awesome to see who the Lord has intentionally placed in our lives and that I can continue to pour into her as we both venture to the great state of Texas.

I haven't publicly announced my move but I recently accepted a position with Americorps! I will be working for a non-profit called College Forward where I will be assisting disadvantaged juniors and seniors in high school get into college. I am so excited about this new endeavor and God inspired opportunity. The Lord revealed to me that I still have a strong passion for higher education and college access after many of my seniors came to me asking for SAT prep help and general college questions.

If you know any connections in Austin, let me know! I'll be there in August.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

young, wild & free

Things I will miss about this place:

Trekking to church in our bathing suits, falling off of ledges into the ocean and never wearing shoes

Friday happy dances with my 7th graders

Eating absurd amounts of homemade popcorn with K. Swope

Exploring the Tamarindo fruit juices... (aka POOP)

the best soda ever! not.


Playing with the French Harbour boys every Tuesday and Thursday

Realizing that life is good when: you're fresh out of Tigo internet, you're fresh out of saldo minutos on your cell phone, the power just went out and there is no way to connect with the world that it's just best to light some candles, bust out the guitar, shake the egg shaker and beat on the djembe with your friends

Friday, May 13, 2011

how poor we are

from Paul Coelho's blog, I loved it.

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad”.
“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.
“Oh yes”, said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.
The son answered:
“I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
“We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden and they have a creek that has no end.
“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.
“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.
“We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
“We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added:
“Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

more love. more houses.


The link above will take you to another fundraising website for a house that Dwellings is building for the sister of the family who's house was built in March.

Thank you ALL for your help and support.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

fight the good fight

An excerpt from Furtick's book, Sun Stand Still:

"All the good stories start with adversity. All our favorite plot lines are made up of major conflict. Of course, we wouldn't choose to write our own stories that way. We want our stories to jump straight from the promise of deliverance to the after party in the Promised Land. We like to watch other people cross through the middle of the Red Sea with an evil empire closing in. But we'd prefer for God to build a bridge over our troubled waters - and destroy our enemies before they get within striking distance.

It doesn't work that way. It can't work that way. Because you'd never see how strong God is if there were no opponent for him to overcome in your life."

After a humiliating defeat against the town of Ai, Joshua is stricken with self-pity and depression. He blatantly questioned God's purpose and wondered whether he would ever recover from his setback.

The Lord said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?" -Joshua 7:10

After realizing and coming to terms with many of my own personal set backs, failures and inequities, it's hard to not cry about past defeats. But what God calls us to do is stop whining and obey Him completely in the present moment. As I was reading this part of the book, I looked out of the school bus window and across the horizon. I saw the blazing sun rising over the pink waters of the Caribbean and said to God, "I'm frustrated and tired of failing." Right then, a homeless man was walking on the curbside and on his shirt was a 5 letter word: (You're not going to believe what it said)


Alright, thanks God. You know what you are doing. And again, your timing is perfect.

It's so hard to do sometimes. We fight with all that is in us only to realize that it's not about us or our strength. It's not about our good works or our self-righteousness. It's not about continuing to wallow in our sin and knowing that the Lord's grace will cover us. It is about handing over our lives and CHOOSING DAILY to follow and to glorify Him.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

hands of time

1. I can't believe it's already April.
2. I am extremely excited about my upcoming visitors and Semana Santa! (holy week)
3. I am constantly blown away by the Lord's perfect timing.

Me: Yeah, I got this under control, me, myself and I, I RUN THIS!
God: Ha. No you don't.
Me: What? Yes I do. I'm the jam.
God: BOOM. Roasted.
Me: Aw, snap. You're right.
God: See? I told you so. I got your back and I'm so intentional with your heart because I love you.

My prayer since last year has been that, 1. I would draw closer to God and 2. That He would reveal to me a pure and holy passion. He is faithful and it was right under my nose for a solid few months until I realized it. After contemplating several (more like 13) different ideas and desires for "life after Roatan" I stumbled upon a dream job. The application took months and after several scratchy phone interviews, I was offered the position last week. HALLELUJAH! Kelly and I jumped up and down for a solid 10 minutes, celebrated by drinking coffee and then jumped up and down again when she received an acceptance email to her sought after teaching position in Spain!!! CELEBRATIONS.

Austin, Texas, you better get ready.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

bo VAY

Happy 25th Birthday, Sarah Elizabeth Bove.

A short poem:

From 7th grade and broken art
You sure knew how to steal boys hearts
Heading up to good old PHS
Driving Mustangs with such finesse

Road trip up to Boone for a night
Futons, Klondike and card games until light
Singing Celine Dion in showers
San Francisco sketchy flowers

Golden Gate Bridge bike riding
Trekking up hills and almost dying
80's parties, breaking chairs
So many more memories with you to share

Can't wait for you to get to the Ro
We're going to have a great time fo sho
Buy some sunscreen and until then,
Do it up right, Happy Birthday Best Friend

Thank you for being amazing.

I love you.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rachel in the Ro

My first visitor in Roatan, Ms. Rachel Cooper.

I introduced her to the true Honduran experience: Half day of classes, Father's Day celebrations, broken down cars, and hitchhiking in the dark back to our humble abode. Bienvenidos!

Paya Bay
We got up early Saturday morning and rented motos to cruise around the island. We drove through the gorgeous Flowers Bay, into Coxenhole and ventured to the east end. After a lot of dust and bumpy roads, we finally arrived at the beautiful Paya Bay. Enjoyed some lunch, hiked through the "naturalist zone 3 beach", swam in the ocean, built sand castles, fixed tan lines and enjoyed the glory of God's creation. Kels ran out of gas half way up the dirt mountain so we went ahead to fill up a water bottle full of gasoline to assist her. Classic.

I felt extremely sexy riding around the mountains, all motorcycle diary-like, wind blowing in my hair, singing Third Eye Blind, breathing deep the salty air and accelerating on the straightaways. We stopped at Parrot Tree to enjoy the sunset and some plantains. YES. Daylight faded faster than anticipated and riding home on a hopping weekend night in the dark was less than desirable. Taxi's flying everywhere, no street lights, no stop signs, no traffic laws. Just you, your moto, your sound judgement and God's grace. (Mom, I promise we were careful) 

Parrot Tree Sunset

Sunday church. We took a water taxi from West End to West Bay after dropping off our motos. 

It was our last service to make a joyful noise unto the Lord with our wonderful pastor Jeremy. (Tear) He, his wife Melissa and their twin boys have been absolute blessings in all of our lives and we will miss them as they head to the states for 3 months. 
Church Familia
Poor Ray had some bad experiences with the food here in the Hondurdur. She ordered some chips and salsa one evening at a new beach restaurant. What came out? Lays potato chips and some diced tomatoes with vinegar. Fail. 

Honduran chips and salsa

Traditional Sunday nights in West Bay include crab races, a live band and fire dancers on the beach. 

Rachel accompanied me to the mentoring program on Tuesday and did such a great job. GO TEAM BLACK! Bebe, Gerald and Menfi. Love. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

bathroom confessional

If you've ever been to Megaplaza (Roatan's only "mall"), you know that there are a slew of public restrooms located in the center of the strip. These areas are very well maintained and convenient, oh the luxuries we take for granted in the States. What a first time gringo wouldn't know is that you have to grab your toilet paper, located on the wall outside, before you enter the stall. This situation leaves room for several potential embarrassing moments to ensue:

1. If there are other guests using the rest area, they ALL know what your intentions are (#1 or #2)
2. Having to ask your neighbor to grab you some TP from the wall.
3. If you do have to do the "doo", how much do you grab? 
4. Thoughts: 
"Take generously?" 
"I don't want to be wasteful, take sparingly?" 
"Everyone is looking at me, they all know. Crap."

Ohhhhhh booms. The end.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

light up the sky

Our Family

Friday was an all around phenomenal day. Kelly's 1st graders all made 100% on their spelling tests, I got  a callback and phone interview with a dream job and most importantly, our wonderful Los Fuertes family received a Brand. New. Home. There wasn't a dry eye in the house as we all prayed blessings and love over Juliana, Daniel, Isabelle and all of the children. Juliana was especially overcome with joy and emotion as we thanked her for the amazing hospitality. Words can't describe what happened at 3:30pm that day. Thank you again for all of your continued support. YOU made this happen.
alejandro, alejandro
machete man