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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2008-02-12 22:58:25
Subject: Falling Dollar and Schedule

     A few weeks ago a friend send me a news article about affect of the falling dollar on missionaries in foreign countries. I read it with interest wondering if we are seeing this. In a way we are not seeing an effect because the exchange rate from US Dollars to Honduran Lempiras has not changed since we moved here. That is pretty remarkable as it had been adjusting upward by 1% or more annually. In other words, there was about 1% more inflation on the Lempira than the Dollar, so we could exchange a dollar for 1% more Lemps every year.      While we are not seeing a difference in the exchange rate, the falling dollar is affecting us. We used to be able to afford to feed the home for about $150/week. Now we are spending over $200/week and that is with us supplying the meat we eat. Effectively, we are probably up to $230/week. That might seem like a lot to some or maybe chump change (if you factor in meals out in America). Basic building materials (re-bar, cement, roofing...) are also skyrocketing as we re-stock the hardware store.      None of our meals are pre-made (ie frozen dinners). Every thing is made from scratch including most of the bread and all of the tortillas we eat. So, we stretch every dollar as far as we can. However, basic foods like flour and shortening have nearly doubled in the last three months. Some bargain items like generic corn flakes are just not available any longer.       Anyway, this is just as much a personal journal and historical record as a news blog. Who knows, I might look back at this someday and think "sheesh, I was worried about $200/week?".       School is now the central and main focus of our day; school for our own children and the four older boys. It starts at 7:30 after 90 minutes of preparation (breakfast, dress, clean-up). Our children start first. I help Hannah with algebra (I love algebra, Hannah has not quite built a passion for it). I also help Faith with her math, which is about four years ahead of where she should be...but she would not be challenged otherwise. John is right behind Hannah, but he rarely asks for any help and learns straight out of the book. They all finish math about 9 o'clock but Hannah sometimes has to finish her third or fourth written page of math after school hours. Meanwhile, Paula teaches Timothy how to read; that is not something I think I could ever have patience for. Thank God she does!       The boys trickle in between 8 and 9 and start working on their PACE's. That's when the fun begins. Most of their work is in Spanish because we still need to build up their English before they can go completely "bi-lingual" (meaning they do almost everything in English). So, we are grading PACE's in Spanish and sometimes correcting Spanish Grammar for the boys (spooky, huh?)       Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 AM to 10:45 I teach Physics to Hannah and John. It is a senior in high school level text, but there are not many junior high level books for physics. Thankfully Algebra is not too foreign to either of them. Paula teaches a host of other subjects to all of them. TTFN! (Ta ta for now)

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