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First the prayer request – oddly enough, we’re having cold, cloudy, rainy weather smack dab in the middle of the dry season. This would be difficult enough if Allen were working on a regular construction project involving pouring and drying cement – but this week he’s actually trying to keep a trench in the middle of the river pumped out, so that he can pour a wall in that spot to support the middle of the bridge.

They’ve already dug out the trench, and have been pumping water out to get things dry . . . and last night the river rose a foot!

I really don’t even know what to pray for on this one. Allen needs a couple of hot dry days, with low water levels in the river. I hate to ask for that, since rain at this time of year is, in every other way, a huge blessing.

So, I guess this is one of those times to pray for God’s will – whatever that might be in this case – and that He will be glorified, whatever the outcome of the situation might be. Hmmm, sounds like a good prayer for every day!

And now – for the first, semi-occasional, possibly never-to-be-repeated “Ask Trish a Question Day!”

Go ahead and ask in the comments section. If I think your question is in bad taste, or too personal, or I’m too embarrassed to answer, then I won’t put your question up. How’s that for being in control? However, in other cases I will post the question here in the post, and answer it for the world to see.

Hopefully this will be fun on a cold, drizzly day when I can’t take any pictures to post.


Our first question, from AB (who I happen to know lives in Canada):

Q: So what are you doing on a cold, drizzly day? Does the weather make your usual chores much more challenging? Do the kids love to play in the rain?

A: Well, only Ben is at home with me today, and he’s snuggled up in a blanket, reading a “Boxcar Children” mystery. The temps are all the way down in the 60’s, so we’re much too chilled to think that playing in the rain is a good activity! I know you understand how relative temperatures are from your time in the arctic, when a day above freezing was a warm day! We’re the same in reverse. This is hot chocolate and soup weather for us!

Now, one nice thing is that the rain is making our chores easier. I don’t have to water the garden, which would normally be a daily (or even several times/day) activity this time of year, and the cows are feasting on wet new grass, so they aren’t bawling at the kitchen door for the supplemental food we would normally supply them when the weather is too dry for the grass growth to stay ahead of their appetites.

Thanks for starting us off with a question, AB!

The next question is from Anonymous:

Q: My question is How many kids do you have? I read your blog occasionally, and i see a new kid almost every time.

A: LOL! I don’t have quite that many kids! When they were little, I used to tell people that it seemed like more kids than it was, because they were always moving around so much. Anyway, there are six kids, plus a daughter-in-law. Five are birth kids, all born in the US, then there’s the youngest, who is Honduran by birth. He’s not officially adopted, but he’s lived with us since he was a year old, so he’s a member of the family in every way but genetically and legally.

I actually wrote a post about the kids a short time ago, to help with this confusing question – and it is confusing, because, on top of everything else, several of the kids use more than one name! Here’s the link, which I hope will clear things up for you!

Thanks for the question!

Anne Dye asks:

Q: My question is 3 parts- 1- What were you before you became a missionary. 2- Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine you would be where you are, doing what you are doing now? 3- Can you imagine doing anything else now?

A: 1. I was mostly a housewife and homeschooling mom just before becoming a missionary, as my kids were 4, 6, 8, 11 and 13, but in my pre-kid days I was a professional harpist and a piano teacher. Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that one, huh?

2. I actually did think some about being a missionary as a child, and when I met my husband (in college) one of the things I really liked about him was that he grew up on the mission field (in southeast Asia) and that he was thinking about being a missionary. Turns out we were married for about 16 years before we actually started to work on the field. It was good, because I had dangerous pregnancies, and it was best that I didn’t try to have babies in a third world country! I really didn’t like living in the suburbs though – too tame and boring. In many ways, I’ve felt like I was born to be a missionary!

3. Well . . . I have a very good imagination . . . (LOL) but seriously, we really do love our lives here, and I’m sure not wishing I lived in the suburbs again! I do sometimes imagine (fantasize) about a life with just a little bit more solitude in it.

Thanks for asking!

Here’s another anonymous question:

Q: On the last question, it said you taught piano and were a pro. harpist. How long did YOU take piano lessons and how long did you teach before going to the mission field?

A: I started studying harp when I was ten, and continued through college. I started piano a bit younger. I taught piano for about 12 years. I forgot to mention, in my earlier answer, that I also directed handbell choirs for several churches, for about 5 years. There isn’t much money in that, however, and after I had my second child I had to give that up, as it was more of a hobby than a job.

Thanks for participating in “Ask Trish a Question Day!”

Cindy in California – you asked an excellent question, but I’m afraid I can’t answer it publicly, for fear of hurting some relationships. I’d be happy to discuss this by email, if you’d like.

icklepay asked:

Q: Hi Trish! I notice you have excellent English skills. Do you plan to write a book one day? Do you speak other languages? Harpist? Really? That is awesome!

A: Thanks icklepay! I have often thought about possibly writing a book. I’ve always loved both reading and writing. Before coming to Honduras, I found it hard to imagine that I would have anything to say that would be interesting enough to write about. I guess I can’t use that excuse anymore, huh?

Regarding languages, I’ve never had much success with other languages. I studied German in high school and college, but never gained real fluency. My Spanish isn’t great, but I blame that on my age. I was 39 when we moved to Honduras, but we were living on Guanaja, an English-speaking island off the north coast. I didn’t start learning Spanish until a few years after that, when we decided to move to the mainland of Honduras. My brain’s kind of old for language learning . . . but hopefully the struggle is keeping me young, or something.

Gracias and danke schön!

Karen wrote:

Q: I always have aspired to living abroad someday, maybe after retirement. When I watch House Hunters on HGTV you see so many Americans moving abroad. I wonder about the quality of health care now that we have Faith and she has special medical needs. How are the hospitals in that region. It’s funny that the best research on optic nerve regeneration is out of China and bionic vision will probably come put of Australia. Don’t necessarily think of US medicine as the best anymore.

A: There is great variety in the quality of healthcare here. The available care is very poor in rural areas, and the government health care is best avoided anywhere in the country, if you value your health. In the big cities there are some good private hospitals, and some good doctors, and most testing services are available inexpensively. You will not find any cutting-edge health care in Honduras, and if I needed major surgery or life saving treatment (fighting cancer comes to mind) I would definitely not want to handle that in Honduras. Having said all of that, as long as you only need standard health care services, you could do very well here, and very inexpensively, compared to the US. I have missionary friends who are staying here for their retirement. The wife recently had successful surgery on her eyes (Lasik, I think it’s called?), and it was an easy out-of-pocket expense on a missionary budget.

Laurie said:

Q. Nice snazzy website now. Very trendy, Trish. My question is about the Rotweillers pups? How many puppies are there now? Where are they if not with you?

A. Thanks for the compliments on the website! My kids would laugh and laugh to know that anyone thought anything I did was “trendy.” If it really is trendy, then it was totally an accident. LOL.

Regarding the puppies – we sell them. Rottweiler puppies are in high demand up here. We don’t exactly make money on this endeavor, but it helps pay for the cost of dog food for the adult dogs which are our security force. Currently we have 2 adult male dogs and 5 adult female dogs which are permanent fixtures in the family. We also have an adolescent male (an unfortunate lab/rottweiler mix) who is unwell, and he’s living with us until he’s all better, then we’ll probably give him away. He’s sweet, but we really have our hands full with the two adult males we have. Oh, we also have a litter of three labs, about a month old. They’re so sweet, and we know we’re going to keep at least one of them, but even sensible Allen is saying “Oh maybe we should just keep them all!” That tune will change once they’re big enough to poop everywhere and destroy things. LOL