An Update from the Gumbo Writer

honduras gumboMy blog life has been hanging on life support. In the past, I wrote regularly as Madame Gumbeaux or simply, Laurie, at Honduras Gumbo, which is now offline. I quit paying the yearly fee to keep the Honduras Gumbo alive. Most of my inspiration came from living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When I moved stateside five years ago, I assumed I wouldn’t want to write posts regularly anymore.

Now, I am living in the North Country. North fits my viewpoint. I live about 30 miles north of New Orleans, Louisiana, my former home before Honduras. Today, it feels like North Country to be sure. The city of New Orleans started cool in the mid 40s this morning. Here? It was just a tad above freezing. It was cold in my house, even with central heat. I had to wear slippers to walk on my wooden floors this morning. Outrageously cold. No frost or ice, but still too cold.

Aside from fretting about the cold, I am keeping busy in Louisiana. I tutor most afternoons with Sylvan Learning Center. I teach English as a Second Language for adults, too. In my English class, I have students from Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. Also, I volunteer once a week at a local food bank.

Occasionally, I take trips to Honduras or other countries. Since I don’t have a husband or children, my time is my own. I can come and go as I please, which I do.

My last trip to Honduras was in August of this year. I went for a very short stay, just a few days in order to close bank accounts. For years I kept my accounts open with Ficohsa, a Honduran bank, because it was cheaper to keep offerings available to folks by using my account to send money for people there. Ficohsa Bank has two branches in the New Orleans area, so I could easily make transfers there or even online with minimal fees.

However as time passed, I saw little need to keep it open. In fact, every year, the IRS wanted information about those pesky little accounts. So I went southward to close them. The bank would not let me close them in the US. Two saving accounts were closed readily. However, the third account, a certificate of deposit account, is still in limbo. A lawyer in Tegucigalpa is working on it. Hopefully, that last account will be closed before the year 2020.

In contrast to the frustrating banking business, I was very pleased with the state of my former ministry in Honduras. My former assistant, Maria, manages the children’s project under the supervision of another ministry, His Eyes. They built a two story building for the children. There, the children are fed five days a week, with lessons and recreational activities, too.

In addition, the new overseers have adopted a holistic approach, helping the poorer families with improving their housing and daily living. All children receive shoes and school supplies. His Eyes expanded the children’s ministry to another town, too. I am happy with the progress. Thanks to all who encouraged me or even sent donations while I was working there. It’s good to see things moving along five years later.

I hope to write weekly blog posts. I enjoy writing, even if I am not in Honduras anymore. In the past, I had readers who regularly stopped by for a serving of the Gumbo. As far as readership goes now, a few stalwart readers are dropping by the blog when I post. Aside from a few family and friends who see my links on Facebook, the majority of my small readership comes by way of Steve Cotton’s blog from Mexico. He lists my blog on this blog roll at Mexpatriate in the Key of Steve. Thanks, Steve!

Published by Laurie Matherne

Welcome to Gumbo YaYa. My writings are an eclectic blend. A Louisiana gumbo is a composite dish of roux, rice and whatever else the cook wants to add. Yaya is a Creole term for ladies all talking at the same time. The Gumbo Ya-Ya features my writing on spirituality, travel, culture, and humor. Grab a bowl of gumbo here and dig in!

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