Honduras / Travel

“Utila” in review

These last few days have been a whirlwind of constant motion.

On Wednesday of last week I had the sudden urge to do a little exploring with the last week I have here in this beautiful country. So I called up my friend in the peace corp who was already planning on going, Invited my host brother, Roger, and early the next morning we found ourselves by the side of the road waiting for a bus to the seaside town of La Ceiba.

And that is where the adventure began.

To start the day off, we missed the first two buses heading directly to the coast because the decide not to stop for us. This forced us into backtracking to a larger city and taking another bus over two hours later.

Aside from the slow start, the bus ride was pretty decent as far as Honduran transportation goes. God answered all of the prayers for safety that I did and didn’t offer up. Something He is very good. As I have discovered continually over this past summer. We then boarded the crowded ferry destined for Utila and made safe passage as well.

Then the chaos began

I knew that the island would be especially crowded this weekend because of a local music and dance festival called Sunjam that is held annually on a tiny cay neighboring the island. But little did I expect the massive influx of Hondurans, Europeans, and North Americans alike, who collectively left the streets, restaurants, and hotels absolutely saturated with bodies and void of extra breathing space.

The two hours we spent lugging our backpacks around the island (which is a lot bigger than it looks) bear testament to the unfortunate lack of housing courtesy of Sunjam. But despite the intense heat and the myriad of mosquitos that infested the tiny room we finally found, I still managed to get a great night’s rest. Roger on the other hand didn’t sleep a wink.

The next day went a little better. We swam a bit, did some exploring, and at a lot. Yet, through a series of unfortunate events, the room we slept in before got rented out to someone else right under our noses and we once again found ourselves wandering the streets in search of a room.

Which we did eventually find.

In the loudest and most drunken part of a town well know for its debauchery.

Yet somehow, the new room was more costly and in worse condition than the one we had spent the previous night in. That being said, I spent the majority of my night tossing and turning on my well-burnt back, while Roger slept like a babe.

"the man"

The following morning we rose late and rented snorkeling gear for a day of exploration in the world’s second largest reef system. I had heard tales of the bay island’s underwater beauty, But little was I prepared for the universe of creativity that God has locked away under the tranquil waves of the Caribbean. I wish I could have taken pictures, But alas… no waterproof camera here. So you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say that we serve an intense and creative God. No one born in this world could possibly have dreamed up such a diverse and intricate ecosystem as can be found off in the reefs of Utila.

It was this same day that I ran into the wonderful people at “Rio Coco Beans.” You can read a little more about that HERE if you like.

That night, Roger and I took advantage of the vacuum that had been created by all of the people leaving the island for a day of partying. We found a good, cool room right on the ocean front and both of us caught quite a bit of sleep that night. That morning we both decided to forego the 6am ferry that would have allowed us to spend another day at another beach called “Tela” and instead decided to a little church service held weekly at “Rio Coco Beans.”

The service was

Refreshing.

After so many weeks of community-less existence at my home-site. As a group we read through the first eleven chapters of John in order to glean a better view of who this guy named Jesus who claimed “Godship” rally was.

Following that beautiful time of discussion, God introduced me to a young follower of Allah who had been around the coffee-shop the last few days, and had been  listening to us for the last two hours. God really used him to open my eyes to different aspects of Islam that I had previously not delved into. I feel like I left that conversation stronger in my faith and with a fuller view of who this guy we all call “Jesus” really was.

We finally finished exchanging  contact info, collected our bags, and got in line at the dock, only to discover that tickets to the mainland were completely sold out for the next two days. I was personally fine with being “trapped” on an island paradise, but Roger on the other hand absolutely had to be in town that night to apply for his university that year.

But, like always, God was in control, and out of nowhere appeared a another tiny ferry offering to take 30 more people before it docked for the day.

Roger and I were ticket numbers 29 and 30.

Our God knows how to take care of His children, does he not? even the faithless ones. And that night he continued to protect and guide the two of us to our home in Taulabe.

With empty wallets, sunburns, and a generous handful of new and interesting friends.

….wow… that was… a lot longer than I thought… and sorry for the lack of pictures :p

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4 thoughts on ““Utila” in review

  1. incredible as always…..it has never ceased to amaze me over the years just how in control our God is. and we worry about the dumb stuff when He’s got it all in His hand. great post nate!!

  2. Nate, it was a pleasure having you with us that Sunday morning (and the other days as well). I am always amazed, as you said, at how God works the plans out as we go. If you are ever on Utila in the future be sure to come by. Thanks again for sharing your experience! May the Lord bless you and those around you. Until next time…

    Dustin Insley and the Rio Coco Cafe team!

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