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  • Samantha Patschke

May 31, 2024 – Day 4 – Change your SIM card.

My family and I decided to go to downtown Tela yesterday. The town center is about 30 minutes from where I live. I needed to get a few things. Despite careful planning, as I unpacked and organized, trying to get my house feeling homey, I came up with a list.

We ventured into town down a dirt road that my mother absolutely hates. It is funny because when we all lived in Honduras, we would travel down this road often. When we did, all she talked about while on the road was the road. It became a running joke in my family. It is hard to think about my mom. I miss her.

My kids requested baleadas /ba-le-ah-duh-s/ to start the day before any shopping. We stopped at a little cafeteria. This was a family business, 3rd generation. A baleada is a fresh flour tortilla, made by hand and filled with whatever you like. I like beans and cheese in mine.

When I first walked into the place, I saw no sign whether I should seat myself or wait to be seated. I impatiently waited for further instructions. Finally, I made the decision to sit down at a table with my family.

No one came over to ask us what we wanted, so I walked over the ladies and thought it made sense to put in my order. As I began to speak, they said the dreaded words, “ya la atendiendo”. Which in English, is the equivalent of “give me a second”. I sat back down.

When the lady came over to take our order, I realized that I was about to order a meal and I did not even know what things cost. I looked around and there were no prices listed. I asked what one baleada with beans and cheese would cost. She answered 12 lempiras. In dollars, that is 50 cents. Time to order. I decided to freestyle it. Feeling relief from the price. I just got a bit of everything. Well, it turned out my mishmash of an order just ended up confusing the lady. Eventually, the food came out wrong.

Some young boys walked in, and my judgement took me to a dark place. I felt unsafe for no reason. These kids just wanted breakfast. I took my Meta glasses and cellphone off the table and put them away. Just in case.

Finally, everyone finished their food and I tried to pay the bill. It took two attempts because the cashier was also the tortilla maker, coffee brewer and server. There were 5 of us in my party. We left with full tummies after I paid my bill, 7 dollars and 84 cents.

As we packed up and moved on out, I felt God shaping my soul. I had just ruined my own experience. I wanted things my way. I saw things only through my lens, thinking my lens was better. I was over critical and judgy. Where had my humility gone? I think I left it in Orlando, or maybe I left it somewhere here before I left. I felt disconnected from the people I was sent here to serve. What was that ladies name? Her story? I bet it was interesting. I missed it. 

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