2018 Team

2018 Team
2018 Team in the original church built for Suyapa

Friday, April 22, 2011

It Was a GOOD Friday!

We got to sleep in today- if you count 6:15 am as sleeping in! It really is because tomorrow morning we will get up an hour earlier and Sunday we will get up even earlier than that! We dressed in our Sunday best and headed out to participate in the Stations of the Cross. This is a unique experience as we process through the town of Esquias to different Stations at various homes. Each one was decorated by the family of that home using flowers, pine needles, saw dust or any other materials they could find. The children were dressed in costumes and played the various parts of the people who are a part of the Way of the Cross. The gentleman who looked very similar to Jesus played the part well. Each Station consisted of readings, music, explanations, and the actual acting out of the Station. 3 and a half hours after we started the Stations, we trudged back to the compound to discover no electricity or water. The lack of electricity left us with few options for lunch so we began with peanut butter sandwiches. As we were finishing up, the electricity came back on and we were treated to grilled cheese sandwiches made by Tatcha.

We did our group photo in front of the church and then everyone changed to head to the real, dirt soccer field. It was a friendly international game of soccer and as usual the Americans got their butts kicked. Everyone agreed it was a great time anyway until the rain came and everyone had to leave. We were grateful for the rain since it helps clear up some of the smoke from the fires. The group was treated to a traditional Good Friday meal of pescado (fish) complete with the heads, fried bananas, and vegetables. We had an excellent junta and came to an agreement on many important decisions.

We’re heading to bed early so we’re ready for our last day of hard work in Vallecillo. It will be tough to say goodbye tomorrow since we’ve made such good friends with the people, but we’re excited to say hello to our families on Sunday.

Sam Ahlers: Hello everyone! As the trip is winding down I am ready to be back in America, but at the same time I could stay forever. The acceptance here is unreal no matter where we go, even if we can’t understand each other. Mom and Dad I hope your vacation living without me is going okay. Only two more days of being bored. I took over 600 pictures so far so I can show everyone how beautiful this place is. P.S. Save me food on Sunday.

Steve Swalve: Nich and Bob- Got your cigars. Only got Hondurans. Got Brandon 7 for $20. Haven’t heard from you on the blog- what’s up? Your Mom is on every day. Anything new at home? Connie- Nice to hear from you every day. Miss you lots. Got a wind chime. Stations of the Cross was cool today. Love, Steve.

Bailee Schultz: Happy Birthday, Spartz! Hope you had a great day. Pray the airport will be open on Sunday so we can come home and see everyone! Love and miss you all.

Katelyn Walsh: Today was a long day for all of us. Can’t wait to see everyone. Hope the airport is open on Sunday!

Julie Hagen: Mom- TELL GRANDMA TO PRAY THAT THE AIRPORT IS OPEN ON SUNDAY. If it’s not… There just aren’t words to describe it. Erin- do a rain dance! I AM COMPLETELY SERIOUS. Mom- if I’m not home, call OU and tell them I won’t be at work Monday.

Corinne Spears: Hey mama! If we get stuck another day, can you call Opportunities Unlimited and explain, please! I miss you all. I am ready to come home.

Katie Daugherty: I can’t believe we only have one more day in Honduras! It’s kind of bittersweet. It seems so weird to return to America when everything is so opposite here. I can’t wait to see everyone, though! Love and miss you! Happy Birthday Emily Spartz! P.S. Tell Ryan I saw a lizard just like “Lizzy” today!

Becca Swalve: Awh give Callie a kiss from me! I am so ready to come home and if we get stuck here one more night you might hear my scream in Oyens. Tell everyone hi and miss you all so much. Taylor- 2 more days! See you in Omaha SUNDAY… hopefully.

Father Cosgrove: Good Friday has gone well. The Stations of the Cross were celebrated in procession through the streets of Esquias. It started at 9 am and we finished in the church at 12. This year was no problem. It was only 109 degrees at noon. Many of the team members still had the strength to play soccer. We went to the big field and there were two teams with lots of Hondurans teaching the Iowan kids what it means to be humble. Saturday morning we have on more opportunity to dig trenches. We shall also have mass in the village. Saturday evening we shall have our Easter Vigil. Many Easter Blessings to all.

Kyle Walsh: Hi Mom and Dad. We have one day left and we were talking about some of the things we were missing. So Cos and Nick and I were wondering if you could bring a jumbo pepperoni El Fredo’s pizza, some Krispy Kream Doughnuts, and some Dove bars to Omaha? See you on Sunday!


  1. Rachael, Sounds like another full day today. Have not heard from you yet. Hope you are well. Grandma and Tami say Hi. Unfortunately, it looks like I will be working on Sunday. Hope your flight is able to leave as scheduled. Can't wait to see you Sunday night. Love Mom.

  2. Dear Bailee--G'ma turns 70 tomorrow. Becky and Liz are here. The boys are doing their normal stuff. Kal has friends over. Nolen just got back from a movie and now, XBOX--shocker I know right? Very untypical from what you have seen and been a part of for sure! What a wonderful trip this has been in so many ways for all of you! I truly hope the "simple things" will be one of the treasures you bring back and keep all your life. Wishing you all a goodnight! Love you Bai-Bai!
    L, M

  3. Steve-the wind chime sounds nice. We are getting together with my family on Saturday at the Pizza Ranch and then coming here to play cards or whatever. Will miss having you and Becca here. Love you and miss you.
    Becca-Callie made you a welcome home picture. It is waiting for you on your bed. Sure have enjoyed not having your clothes and things in the dining room and bathroom but miss shopping with you. Love Mom
    Happy Easter to the wonderful and hard-working Gehlen mission team. We are so proud of all of you!

  4. I wish I would have found out about this blog sooner! Its great to see what you guys are up to day by day, makes me reminisce fondly on the time I spent there. I hope you all are enjoying your last few days, I'm excited to hear of all the stories you bring back with you to the States.

    For Sana:

    Hey Sana, it's your brother, Shahryar. I hope you've had luck avoiding those ticks. Excited to see you when you come back.

    Peace, Love

    Shahryar, your brother.

    P.S. The Celtics are up 3-0 against the Knicks! Rondo messed around and got a triple double tonight. Whoop.

  5. Dear Julie, We celebrated Grandma and Grandpa's 61st anniversary tonight with DaKao.
    I will give Grandma your prayer request. I'm guessing you think her batting average is much better than mine. You're probably right. I hope your flight is perfect and restful. I know it will be hard to leave but I hope you can return someday and see everyone again. Love, Mom

  6. Kate- The sun came out today for a little while-that was nice! It is still cold for this time of year. The littles are waiting for Lent to be over so they can have the things they gave up. Patrick has been using your cell phone and he likes it! G'ma/pa Welte are back in town, too. It won't be long now! Enjoy the few moments left!
    See you soon baby! Moma D

  7. Steve- Glad to hear you are enjoying your time and things are going good. Sorry I haven't blogged, mom has been summing it up pretty good.

    Becca- Your bed has been comfortable the last couple of nights. I got the mower warmed up for ya when you get back. Since you are used to getting up early you won't have any problem getting up this summer when you are working at Vogels.

    Love ya guys, see ya when you get back.