Posts Tagged ‘travel’

More Fun at Jovenes

Ah….I already miss being there.

In addition to the roof being done, we were able to do other things to help out while we were there.

Since the boys were usually the ones on the roof, us girls found things to keep ourselves busy when we weren’t playing with the kids  🙂


One of the first things we tackled were the flower beds on the side of the building.

The ONLY things that were actually supposed to be in there were the palm trees  – good thing Dennis and Munguia found a tool to use! Some of those weeds were super strong and hard to break up.


You’ll see more of him later, too, but let me introduce Dennis. He was born without irises so he doesn’t open his eyes very much, especially outside. He was so sugary sweet to us – tons of hugs all the time and so helpful. I miss him.

Our other helper with the flower beds was Munguia, who I think is playing with an inchworm he found in this picture.


After a few hours of pulling up weeds and clearing them out, the flowerbeds looked brand new!


Our helpers did a great job wheeling the weeds away in the wheelbarrow, too.

Gabby, Cindy and I also got to help serve lunch a few days while we were there. They have such a beautiful cafeteria – I love how open it is. It was fun being in here with the kids and hearing our team up on the roof at the same time!


And besides helping serve lunch and helping with the clean up/ washing dishes…


The main cook also invited us in to learn how to make tortillas from scratch!


Of course, now I can only make a batch of 200 and we used an entire 1 lb. tub of lard to roll them out  🙂


Here’s Cindy patting one of hers out. Ours were so bad at first – we couldn’t even roll them into pretty balls! His tortillas were perfectly round with no seams, and he definitely went back and “fixed” a lot of ours  🙂  I don’t blame him though – some of our first ones were pretty ugly!

I did make sure to take a picture of my best one – I had to prove that I actually made one that looked good!


After being patted out by hand,



we took them over to the stove, where they were cooking them on 2 small skillets, one at a time.


I can’t imagine how much slower we were than when they usually make them, but they were delicious! The cook let us taste one of our creations – I think we pulled out one of the many triangle/rectangle shaped tortillas we made to taste  🙂

We also got to make sugar cookies one day, but I guess I didn’t get pictures of that. More rolling out dough by hand, cutting into cookie shapes with a cup and baking lots and lots of cookies. I’m glad we were able to help.

There was also some other cleaning up around the orphanage, especially once the tiles were all down from the roof.


Plus the most important part and the most fun:


spending time with the boys.

Still to come!

  • The boys at Jovenes
  • Crazy experience we had

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Well, these posts have been so much fun and so much work to put together! I honestly had over 500 pictures to get through, and every single one made me do one of the following:

  • smile
  • laugh
  • cry
  • pray
  • think
  • remember
  • ache to go back

If you read my original post about our trip, our main mission for going was to put a new roof on their cafeteria building. Of course, as the unofficial-official photographer of the trip, I got lots of pictures of the roof and its progress throughout the week.

But first – getting into Honduras.


The flight into Honduras is definitely a big part of the experience.

When actually landing on the landing strip, you are lower than the mountains and RIGHT beside them…I mean, it’s as if the wings are going to chop right through them OR through the houses you’re flying by.


A little scary, but beautiful at the same time. We actually had great weather both flying in and out of the country. And no delays or cancelled flights! Those were a few of the signs that this trip was supposed to happen, even with all the political things happening over there right now.

While going through my pictures, I did find ONE picture of food that I took on the day we arrived. 🙂  Once a food blogger, always one?


Yup, we ate a LOT of beans that week  🙂  But I was totally fine with it because their beans are amazing. These came out before our first “lunch” in Honduras which was actually our dinner…even though we didn’t really have a full meal that day until this point. They bring out these beans + chips in one and this awesome goat cheese+ salsa in another and they both have hot coals underneath them, which keeps them hot and bubbly. So good and flavorful and the cheese is so stringy.

The first day in the country included eating, walking around town, and resting up for the first day of the work (Thursday).

Jovenes is located about an hour outside of the capital (Tegucigalpa), which is where we were staying.


There are 3 dorms, 1 cafeteria building, a little workshop and an administration building.




The dorms actually all need new roofs, too, so we’re hoping that we’ll be able to help with those in the future.

The roof was worked on for 4.5 days. Thankfully, another group had come in and helped start it by taking the tiles off of one side so our team could get right to work.





The first day was going well until this storm came through. Every day, it seems there’s the chance for rain, but Thursday had this view (above) on one side of the building and the below view on the other.


I was actually up on the roof when the first raindrops started falling and happened to get down just before it started pouring.


Unfortunately, our first day included an accident. One of our helpers that week, Johnny, fell off the roof on the first day right after it started raining. He was standing near my dad and helping to get one of the metal sheets down when his foot slipped on the wet metal. He fell on the ground right in front of me, Cindy, and Gabby and it scared us pretty bad.

Thankfully, he was fine. A few bumps and bruises, but it could have been much worse. He barely missed hitting the ladder, the piles of tiles, and a big cement block – we were very thankful to have him okay.


We were accident free the rest of the week, and the roof moved along nicely.

We did have to leave early on Saturday to head back into town since we heard that the ex-President was apparently trying to come back into Honduras. We had heard that they would be closing the city borders so we had to leave in time to get back into town. However, even with the missed half day of work, all the work got finished.



The other side of the building still had the old tile roof on, so they were working on taking those tiles off while putting the new metal roof down.






This is Johnny and Franklin, two of our amazing helpers that week. Johnny (in the white) is the one that fell off the roof and scared us (and himself)! We’re glad he was okay and that he still wanted to work with us  🙂




What an amazing team we had. Everyone contributed and we also had a great time getting to know the boys better and getting to know each other. I already miss everyone and am ready for a reunion.

While we may have been a small group, we were able to finish what we went there to do and spend quality time with the boys.

Merle, Sadyh, Dad, Bob, Nick, Walter, Marvin, Gabby, Johnny, Cindy, Oscar, and Franklin will always have a special place in my heart. I will never forget this trip.


Stay tuned for more posts about the trip, including:

  • other things we did at the orphanage
  • a post just on the boys there
  • our craziest story from our trip – believe me, it’s crazy

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Food for Travel

One of the biggest challenges on our last trip and this trip to Honduras is packing food.

We do have access to breakfast at our hotel every morning and dinners will normally be in the hotel or a restaurant nearby, but we’re basically on our own for lunch + snacks for an entire week. Since we’ll be out at the orphanage all day every day, we won’t have access to food stands or grocery stores during the day.  We pretty much just pack a huge suitcase full of food and bring it with us.

What kinds of things do you take for a trip like this?

Well, the biggest thing for us had to be convenience, ease of making/eating, and things that wouldn’t melt or go bad.

These are just the items Nick and I bought for this week:


  • Mountain Mix Mojo bars
  • Quaker True Delight bars
  • Cascadian Farms chocolate chip granola bars
  • Kashi Blackberry bars
  • 2 kinds of Odwalla bars (I finally found them!)


  • Honey Roasted Peanut Mojo bars
  • Chocolate Almond Fudge and Blueberry Crisp Clif bars
  • Coconut Cream (yay! finally found those too), Key Lime Pie, and Apple Pie LARA Bars – my mom also bought some pb cookie, cashew cookie, and cherry pie ones that are coming with my dad


  • Natural no-stir needed peanut butter
  • Squeeze bottle of grape jelly
  • single packets of almond + peanut butter


  • 100 – cal packs of almond, almonsds + walnuts, cocoa roasted almonds
  • single serve packets of mixed dried fruit


  • single serving trail mix
  • gum


  • pita breads
  • whole wheat tortillas – both to make pb & j wraps or tuna/chicken/salmon sandwiches


  • tuna pouches
  • salmon pouches


  • mayo
  • light mayo
  • mustard
  • honey


  • single serve gatorade mix-ins
  • large container of powdered gatorade

We also have to have other things on hand that aren’t food but are necessary:


  • wet wipes
  • flushable wipes
  • face wipes
  • shout wipes
  • Aleve
  • Purel
  • travel shampoo
  • travel face wash
  • pepto bismol + imodium

Nick’s parents and my dad also bought other food items, like:

  • premade tuna salad lunch packs
  • pb + cheese crackers
  • more bars
  • fruit cups
  • applesauce
  • plastic silverware
  • juice

and I don’t know what else  🙂 It’s funny to see just a suitcase filled with food, but you do what you gotta’ do!

I hate having to rely on so many packaged foods, especially since we usually don’t eat them very much, but I am glad we were able to find relatively healthy packaged food to take.

Breakfast should be good and a hot meal to start out each day. I’m just going to try to do my best at breakfast every day to make sure I have a filling and lasting meal, have a good amount of snacks/wraps with me during the day, and then make sure I have a good meal to end the day. AND make sure we’re all hydrated because it is hot there and we’ll be working outside the majority of the time.

How do you approach travel eating/planning? Any tips and tricks that work for you?

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