Nov 30, 2003
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras
Monday was fairly basic with getting the guys going on the stucco for the shop and teaching a couple other youth how to finish the decorative wire on some jewelry that we are making as a project. Sewing class went as normal with a continued good turnout, although I had to fix one of the machines again and that still left us short 2 other machines due to lack of parts, etc. I think we need to invest in new sewing machines...
Tuesday was continued work on the shop -- installing concrete anchors for our security grills and teaching a couple of the guys how to install the plug-ins and light switches. Accounting, although not my favorite activity, was actually a nice break for a few hours in the afternoon. I was actually fortunate that afternoon to catch the mayor coming out of his office and obtained his signature on the form we needed to get the gravel and a couple street lights from city for our basketball court. Just before leaving for the mayors office, I discovered that a 3 year old child has busted the rear passenger window in the Rodeo with a rock. I don't imagine he was trying to break anything -- he was just bored and got tired of throwing rocks at the chickens.
Wednesday was chase day. I was trying to take care of some legal requirements for APROCOLA -- we have to 're-register' with a new government body who will regulate all non-profit organizations. So I was trying to get everything put together for our new lawyer to take care of this before next Friday (deadline). I also needed to put the minutes from our Annual General Meeting in legal form to ensure that I could prove proper authority when dealing with the Port Authority on the property in Tela. This little excercise involved 3 trips to the lawyers office due to faulty computer disks, etc. I also called the Port Authority Wednesday afternoon to arrange an appointment to present our form application for the Tela project. That night I played Yaughtzee with the kids in the kitchen.
Thursday was another legal type of day. I had to take our accountant to San Pedro with me at 6:30am. We went to address some registration and municipal tax issues in San Pedro Sula. On the way, just about 20 minutes on the San Pedro Sula side of La Entrada we were flashed down and waived over by another car that was driving behind us. I already know 2 horror stories that started this way and this region has a far less than desirable reputation, so I pulled over with considerable fear. It turned out to be 2 guys interested in buying my Rodeo. I had met them in a service station in La Entrada the week before and they wanted to know how much I would drop the price. Talk about relief! I dropped the price further than I intended simply because I was so happy it wasn't bandits wanting to steal it with all our stuff inside, or worse.
When we finally got to San Pedro Sula, we were able to resolve the issue at hand and I was able to buy some materials for necklaces as another part of our jewelry project and to exchange the busted drill press for another one. While driving back to Santa Rosa de Copan, I became more aware of unfamiliar noises again in the Rodeo, so immediately after dropping off the accounting I went to a shop and had new breaks installed while we checked the wheels and axles to find what's up with the truck. The breaks were the only problem we could spot. Thursday ended with a party worth writing about. A Honduran friend of mine hosted an American Thanksgiving dinner for a few American volunteers in town -- and me. The food was on par with any Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving feast I've had. Thanks Trini.
Friday did not go well. The easy part was getting three young guys to start building necklaces. For them it was work, even though they had fun coming up with different designs and color combinations, and they were paid for it as it is part of our jewelry project with Individuality.ca. Then I couldn't get in touch with the people at the municipality that I needed to see in the morning and felt like I was wasting time when so much needs to be done before I return to Canada next Sunday. Then after a funeral for a neighbor and uncle of a friend of mine (he was murdered on Wednesday), I waisted more time trying to reach the people that are critical to coordinating or providing the raw materials we need to pour the basketball court on Monday. Next, when I phoned Porte Cortes to confirm next week's meeting to present our formal application for Tela, I was informed by the General Manager of the National Port Authority that the building will not be available under any conditions and therefore they do not see the point in meeting. Wow! Talk about the abrupt death of a vision.
However, Friday night I was greatly encouraged! A group of youth had borrowed our video projector for a church project. I went to check it out. At a hall downtown there must have been close to 750 youth packed in for a Christian concert and a guest speaker. If this were the only use of our projector I would still consider it a good investment. It was incredible to experience the fellowship, the energy and passion in that room and to recognize that there are other Christians in this town interested in working with youth OUTSIDE OF THEIR CHURCH WALLS. I set an appointment for Tuesday at 7:30pm to meet he organizing committee of youth at Lily's restaurant downtown.
Saturday involved more of the same: working on the roof, working on the jewelry project and trying to stay warm. We were able to receive one load of gravel for the basketball court concrete, but it was not usable since we had no sand to mix with it. We also arranged for a neighbor to bring in all of the cement. At the moment, our main room in the center looks somewhat like a bodega -- 75 bags of cement, shovels, picks, hoes, drill press, grinder, etc. All of our "stuff" is still in the room, but the day is fast approaching when it will all be moved over to the bodega. I'm just waiting for the finishing touches on the roof. Saturday night we designed Christmas presents for the board of directors of APROCOLA and 3CM.
That necesitated a trip to the market Sunday with a truck load of kids to find coconuts and horseshoe nails... We then spent the afternoon cutting and cleaning out coconuts. By 4:00pm I kicked out all by my most trusted helpers (not really -- they were just my father-less neighbor family and one other 11 year old) and we set about making the best stir-fry I have ever made. With a little terriyaki sauce it would have equaled any I have eaten. I am sure it was healthier and more than any of the kids at the table have eaten in a long time if ever. To me that was Christmas dinner and we all had a really good time. We forgot to save some for their mom who was at home washing clothes still, so she sent back an 8 year old to ask for a peanut butter sandwich instead (my peanut butter sandwiches are famous in Osorio). Tela Shmela. It's too hot there anyways. We finished off supper in time for me to catch church at the Good Samaritan church that had hosted the youth congress Friday and Saturday. The church was predominantly youth. Cool!
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Praise: God is still in control with or without the Tela project in the form we were chasing
Praise: We were finally able to install steel doors and window grills on the warehouse (almost finished)
Praise: We were able to get all the documents together prior to the deadline for the registration of all non-profit organizations in Honduras. (Praise also that we "accidentally" found out about this requirement)
Better mechanical health for (or better yet, the sale of) my Isuzu Rodeo. I've decided that when I return after Christmas, I am simply going to trade it in to some car dealer in San Pedro Sula.
Christian volunteers to help us achieve our ultimate goal of helping to make Christ real to people we're helping.