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Author: Christina Mueller
Report Date: 18-Apr-2005
My friend Katie and I decided to take advantage of our 4 day weekend by traveling to La Ceiba to relax on the beach and hopefully find some more adventures along the way. Upon arriving at our hotel, La Quinta, we were treated with the utmost respect and kindness. They took our bags to our room, filled our glasses with ice, set up the air conditioner for us, gave us water, helped us with our travel books, and were at our service for the rest of the day. God truly blessed us there! That night we decided that we wanted to see the WHALE SHARK, and we made plans to travel to Utila (an island in Honduras) on a ferry the next day with great hopes and expectations of seeing the 40' animal! Katie and I arrived in Utila on Friday morning expecting an island comparable to Roatan, instead we found an island which was laid back, and was mainly comprised of Australians, Europeans, Americans, and a few Hondurans. We were the majority instead of the minority. The majority spoke English! We rented bikes the first day in a quest of finding the infamous caves that we had heard so much about. We were told by the natives that it was quite dangerous and that people could get stuck in the caves, but we decided that we would try and find them regardless. We traveled on our bikes for over 3 hours without finding the caves:(
On Saturday we traveled with a new friend to a private island to spend the day snorkeling and lying on the beautiful beach! We were the only ones on the entire island:) While snorkeling, my watch, which I had bought in Roatan after ruining my other one scuba diving, decided to break as well. The alarm started going off while we snorkeled, and it did not stop. One of the ladies recommended throwing it back to the sea, so when Katie and I returned to Utila I threw it back into the ocean from the dock in front of our hotel. We thought that was the end of the watch! But, upon returning to our hotel that night, we discovered it lying next to our door!! Someone had been watching us, and someone had gone out into the ocean to retrieve my watch and place it next to our door. We were terrified. I decided that it needed to be thrown back into the ocean, so we traveled down with our candles and threw it back into the ocean. It did not reappear:)
That night we discovered what Utila was all about as we talked with several people who were scuba diving instructors or who took frequent vacations to the island. The majority of the people who live there have a passion for diving and for drinking. This is an everyday occurrence. As I talked with one of the guys I asked him if he could choose to do anything in the world, what would he do. He told me that he loved how he was living his life on the island, and would choose to do the same for a long time. His life was comprised of scuba diving in the morning and drinking in the afternoon and all through the night. Everyday was the same.. there was no change in their lives, and no one was searching for something more. I asked him if he thought that there was something more out there to live for, and he told me no. I asked him if he believed in God, and he told me that he believed that there was something out there... that there was a powerful source out there that he prayed to when he needed help. We talked further about God, about life, and about living life abundantly. It made me extremely sad as I continued to talk with him and the rest of the people I met on the island, for I saw how much they were trying to fill up their lives with things in order to fill the space that God could only fill.
On Sunday Katie and I set out determined to find the whale shark, and after traveling in the deep sea on a little boat with Captain HaI was starting to feel a little sea sick. The whale shark was sighted by two other boats before us, and we missed it by seconds. After missing the whale shark, I started feeling even more sick, and I hung over the side of the boat as I threw up multiple times as my captain laughed and wondered what was wrong with me. I guess that I was not made to be a sea maiden!:) We had to turn back as a result of my sickness, so we ended up not being able to live out our dream of jumping into the ocean with the 40' whale shark:(
Yesterday we traveled back with great happiness, for we were ready to be back with the people we loved, trusted, and shared the same values and passions. I learned a lot through this trip, and I developed a greater appreciation for the people I live with, for the people I attend church with, and for the city itself. I am so grateful that God has given me amazing friends as well as a great Christian family here in Honduras. During my vacation to Utila, I learned how we all need to stand strong in our convictions, and to stand strong in who God desires for us to be for there will always be those who try and sway our thoughts and our decisions and if we are not solid in what we believe, or if we are not ready to stand strong, we will fall. I also learned that God desires for us to truly know Him and understand Him more. He wants us to see that He can fulfill us so much more than any other thing on this earth can. He wants us to see that He is everything... He is LIFE to all that know Him, and He desires for us to live a full and abundant life. I learned that in our mistakes, God gives us grace, and He brings us right back to Him. Not a day passes by where we do not see His great and unfolding grace. I am so thankful to have such a loving, grace-giving, and faithful Savior.
Republished with the permission of the Author - Christina Mueller