How long does it take you to move your home from one location to another? Some might be able to do it in a couple of weeks or a month. That is not how things work in Honduras.
In fact, there is a saying here about getting things done in this country. We are not sure whether it was started by foreigners or nationals. The saying is, “Nothing is done fast here in Honduras!” This was illustrated to us recently when we had some visitors from the states. After spending some time in a mall, one of them said, “I need to run into this store and get a few things. I will be back in ten minutes.” As he was leaving, I turned to his wife and said, “It will be more like twenty minutes.” Sure enough, it took him over twenty minutes to purchase the items he wanted and leave the store.
Getting back to the subject of setting up a house, it took us over a month to find one we liked. Once we found it, the owner said that he would need a month to fix it up. Due to no fault of his own, it took him longer than a month. When we moved in, there were still things that needed to be fixed.
One of the reasons why it takes so long is because of the traffic in the capital city. A simple ten-minute trip can take a half an hour or longer. There is road construction everywhere in Tegucigalpa, and it changes daily. Recently we were making a fifteen-minute trip to the mall. That day a ramp was closed to get on the bypass, going the opposite direction that we were going. All the traffic that wanted to go that direction had to go our direction and then loop back. We were delayed at least ten minutes.
So, if we want to go buy something for the house, a quick trip to the hardware store could take several hours, depending on traffic, construction, and possible “fender benders” (there are a lot of them here). By the time we get back to the house, a large part of the day is gone.
Multiply these factors throughout the country, and it is amazing anything gets done! We had a washing machine delivered to our house along with some other items on June 29th. The washing machine did not work right from the moment it arrived. We contacted the salesman the same day. He said he would send a technician. Instead a representative from the store arrived the next day. She explained how the washing machine was supposed to work, but she could not get it started either. They contacted a technician from the factory who was on his way to our house a few days later, but never arrived because he was involved in a motorcycle accident. Finally, on July 10th we were told that a new washing machine was being sent from another town, just 77 miles away. It did not arrive in the capital city until July 17th! It was not delivered to our house until the next day, because they did not have a vehicle to bring it to us.
It was so funny the day it arrived. We were just about to leave for a Bible study and children’s club in Centroamérica Oeste when the phone rang. The salesman said he had the washing machine and was ready to deliver it. We asked if it could be delivered the next morning since we were about to leave. He said that it had to be delivered now because he was borrowing somebody else’s vehicle to deliver it. He assured us he would be there in fifteen minutes. We realized it would probably take him a half hour to get to our house, plus he would need time to unload, take the old one out, and install the new one. Although we were wanting to get to Centroamérica Oeste early to do some visitation, we realized that if we did not do the visitation, we had the time. Sure enough, he called us later saying that he was stuck in traffic and would arrive as soon as he could. As we expected, he and his partner took about an hour of our time. We barely arrived at the study and club on time, but that was no problem. Everyone knows how it is here in Tegucigalpa.
If you drive in a big city, you may already understand what it is like for us. However, for a couple that is used to living in a rural area of Tennessee, living here has certainly been an adjustment. The work is finished on our house for now and we are living in it, but we have not completely moved in yet. There are still boxes on the floor and things that need to be purchased and/or installed. However, we are thankful for what the Lord has provided. We know He will continue to provide and use us for His glory.