Destination: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Date: September 2017
Activity: Moving in!!
So it’s been awhile since I have posted and there is so much to report. We’ve had so many adventures but our latest is our current move to San Pedro Sula Honduras! San Pedro Sula is nestled in the Sula Valley about 45 minutes from the Caribbean coast line. Most friends are familiar with the island of Roatan (a cruise port) and though SPS isn’t on that same level of relaxation, it definitely is a beautiful city of Central America.
About a year ago Trent came home from work and began introducing us to the idea of moving to Honduras. It took us a little time to warm up to the idea. (Especially after a google search…don’t search San Pedro Sula on the internet!! It may just scare you half to death!) However, we got the kids on board and after a few delays our family made the flight down in September with 6 kids, 16 large duffels, 2 car seats, 1 pack n play, 10 carryons, and 1 guitar we made it!
Our adventure started off with a week at the Hilton Princess in downtown SPS. It is a beautiful hotel with a great breakfast (my kids would like me to add!) Our first night there we got settled into our rooms and went for a swim. As the kids were swimming with Trent, I admit, I laid on the lawn chair nearby and silently wept. It hit me at that moment that we were really doing this. This was not a vacation, and we plan on staying for at least a year, but our next visit to the states wouldn’t be for three months. That’s when we planned to go home for Christmas and our oldest son’s wedding. (I know I’m a wimp.) The language barrier, smells, humidity… everything was hitting me right in the face all at once, and I wept.
Our next day was so filled there was no time to feel sorry for myself. I had to find a home and get comfortable. So the apartment search began. We had narrowed it down to two apartments when we were in the states. Unlike the states you can’t just have a realtor take you to see what is available. The owner has to be there to open up the apartment they are trying to rent. Finding owners with availability to do that, was a little difficult. Luckily we went to the smaller complex first and looked at a guy, named Mario, apartment. Mario was so great. When we told him we were looking at his complex or the larger one called Panorama he said, “Well you will definitely want to live in Panorama and I don’t blame you! That is where I am moving myself!” He quickly got on the phone and called some friends he had that were available to show us more apartments in Panorama. He was so honest and sincere. I loved it!
When we arrived at Panorama it was a no brainer….this is where we needed to live. The security, the activities, the views, it was all meant to be. Our first aparment we looked at was about 5,ooo sq ft. It was huge! Even at that size it was still just a three bedroom aparment with tons of extra living spaces. I will say it looked promising but the price was waaaaay above our budget and we were afraid of what the electric bills for AC would be, so we moved on. The next apartment was like an oversized closet. My heart quickly began to race with anxiety because it was so small. I couldn’t imagine having all 8 of us live there, no matter how hard I tried to make it work in my head. Sadly those were the only two we were able to see that day. Mario was trying to get ahold of his friends, but we weren’t going to be able to see their places until the weekend passed.
Sunday was a great escape from the pressure of trying to find a place. Since we needed a day of rest we gladly got dressed for church and made our way to the congregational building where Panorama would fall into. Meeting the people of this congregation was a soothing balm to my soul. So many of them spoke English (our area encompasses many schools including the University of Honduras so there are many educated people.) The kids made friends and so did Trent and I. (More on church in future posts).
The rest of the week was a blur. Mario came through for us Monday and we were led to two apartments that would work and fill our needs. The one that ended up being the winner was the one with the bath tub, so we could bathe the babies. We signed our contract Tuesday, began shopping for furniture and had it begin being delivered Wednesday on… By Friday it was time to check out of the Hilton and that evening we spent our first night in our new apartment.
Since I’m a little bit of a freak and love challenges I set a goal to have people over for dinner on Sunday evening. There are 5 gringos we’ve met here in SPS that we wanted to have over for dinner to reciprocate an invitation for dinner we had had the first Monday we had been here. So Saturday was crazy getting food and the kitchen all set up! I am happy to report I reached my goal and we had a lovely dinner Sunday evening with our new neighbors!
Personal thoughts…. Though SPS and Honduras is a poorer country in general I can’t dismiss the beauty. It is really a beautiful city. It may be due to the all of the greenery and flowers but it hides a lot of the ramshackle places that are so evident in other big cities of Central and South America. Though we hear it is dangerous here, I have felt very safe. There are police or security all over the place. Most stores are locked and unlocked by a guard as we enter or leave it and there’s even an armed guard in a security tower overlooking their version of Costco. On street corners there are also police that will advise you not to go into that area if it is too dangerous. I find that a very helpful! I am grateful for this opportunity to live here though I know it is not going to be easy.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Safe and Happy Travels!