Report from Danlí, Honduras - July 29 - August 3, 2011

July 29, 2011 - We left home around 3:00 p.m.  I say “we” because my wife Noma got to accompany me on this trip for her first visit to Honduras.  On this trip it was cheaper for us to break up our journey by spending a night in Houston on the way down and also on the way back.  So, as I was saying, we left home around 3:00 p.m.  Our flight out of OKC was scheduled to leave at 5:53.  It was no surprise that the plane was delayed.  That seems to be a regular occurrence for me lately.  This time, however, it was understandable; weather in Houston from tropical storm Don caused Continental to delay flights headed in.  We left approximately 40 minutes late.  It occurred to me that this was another reason for breaking the flight up so that I had more than an hour to make my connection.   We finally made it to our hotel in Houston around 9:30.  We didn’t stay up too late; we have an early day tomorrow.  By the way, the temperature in Houston was about 10 degrees cooler than OKC, but the humidity was really high with the rainy weather.

July 30, 2011 - Up at 4:50 in order to get to the airport in plenty of time.  Our flight leaves at 9:05 a.m. and that may sound like overkill, but the Houston Intercontinental Airport was extremely busy all the time, so we had good reason.  Everything went well and our flight left on time.  We were very happy to receive a last minute upgrade to first class at the gate, so the three hour flight was made more comfortable than it would have been.  When we arrived in Tegucigalpa (around 11:05 a.m., local time), for some reason the jetway was not extended and we had to walk from the tarmac some distance into the building.  I will tell you though, it was an enjoyable walk.  The temperature in Tegucigalpa when we landed was 73℉; that’s approximately 30 degrees cooler than what it was in OKC when we left yesterday.  Nice!  

We were met at the airport by three of our brethren, Luis David Argeñal, Jairo Irías and another brother I had never met before and I am sorry I did not catch his name.  Jairo and the other brother are both new students so I’m sure I will have it in this report later.

We arrived at the Hotel Granada in Danlí around 2:15 p.m.  We checked in and spent the next few hours relaxing.  Worship is at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday’s at the El Zarzal congregation.  This evening brother Jairo Irías preached.  As I stated above, he is one of our new students.  He is also the brother of our director, Nery Irías.  Brother Jairo did an outstanding job.  The whole congregation made us feel very welcome.  They always make me feel like one of the family, but I was very appreciative of the way Noma was welcomed.  They were extremely glad she was there.  After worship we returned to the hotel for a late supper and then to the room.  Tomorrow we meet for worship and Bible class.  It has been a good day.

July 31, 2011 - And the band played on!  In the large conference room that we used for the graduation for IBH last February, there was a party last night.  Our hotel room is right across the way.  The music was loud enough to make conversation and television watching difficult in our room.  Finally, however, the music died down and the party ended and we were able to get some 2:00 a.m.!  Well, we didn’t have to get up early, so it wasn’t as bad is we might have thought it would be.  We did not have worship until 10:00 a.m., so we were fine.  The afternoon was free for us, and basically we got to enjoy watching the rain outside.  Tomorrow, classes begin!

August 1, 2011 - Chapel began at 7:30 this morning; actually, Noma and I arrived a few minutes early and the students were already in their seats and brother Nery Irías was going over some of the orientation material.  After everyone having a chance to introduce themselves, including the teachers, I gave the “first chapel” address.  We have nine students beginning our two-year program.  Three of these men are married and six are single; they come from various parts of Honduras.  All students and all the teachers were present today.

After chapel and a break, we took some pictures of everyone and then Noma and I left to do some sightseeing around town.  We walked to several places and she got to see some of the beauty of the city.

In the evening, three of the teachers and their families joined us for dinner at our traditional Monday evening spot, the restaurant Ovi & Ser, for some good food and fellowship.  Afterward, we returned to the hotel for one last night before heading home.

August 2, 2011 - Jesús Paguaga picked us up at the hotel a little before 8:00 a.m. and we started the two-hour drive into Tegucigalpa.  It has been much cooler here in Honduras than in the central U.S.  In fact, as we crossed over one mountain pass, I noticed the dashboard thermometer drop to 19℃, which works out to about 56℉ (nice). 

We had a good (uneventful) flight to Houston, where we spent the night at our hotel, just one flight leg away from home.  

August 3, 2011 - The last leg of our journey took just a little over an hour once we were airborne.  We arrived home around 2:00 p.m., safe and sound.  We want to thank everyone for their faithful and thoughtful prayers.

God bless,

Donnie Bates

Posted on August 3, 2011 .