June 8, 2003
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras
This week we finally planted our palm trees in front of the building as well as a couple bonus palms for the back. In addition we planted the first of our fruit trees with a small mango tree placed between the palms in the back. This next week we will hopefully plant another 6 fruit trees of oranges and limes. Our 2 construction workers also finished stuccoing the "Great Wall of Osorio" behind our building. I spent a lot of time in bed trying to unload my cold. No success so far -- just a lot of drugs that didn't seem to work.
On Friday I went to San Pedro to pick up an artists rendition of our proposed center in Tela in preparation for my trip to Porte Cortes this coming Wednesday. It took a bit of digital doctoring to match the windows and size to actual instead of the original that looked a bit like the White House. However, when this project is finished, Lord willing, it will certainly be an impressive addition to the beach town of Tela.
While in San Pedro Sula, I also found a much better supplier for the chlorine for San Juan de Opoa. The prior purchase of chlorine was about 50% above budgetted price and now we have a source for about 30% below budgetted price. I took a couple volunteers with me so that they could catch a bus to the coast and also took a couple of the kids from our center. One had been in San Pedro Sula twice before and the other had never been there. We had a lot of fun on the trip and drove back in the dark around 9:00pm to 11:30pm with rain for the first part. I was going to include a picture of asolid black box to show how much you can see driving at night in this country, but I figured you just have to mentally picture an inverse of Saskatchewan in a snowstorm. I returned to crash in bed -- but only after killing a tarantula in my bedroom. Although I've killed a couple spiders bigger than this guy (one in the shower on Tuesday), this was the first tarantula I've seen in Santa Rosa. Life is seldome boring here...
Saturday night was the grand "Kermes" -- apparently just another Spanish word for party. The youth in the drama class, along with a lot of work from Alma, put on a party that was attended by a fantastic number of youth and adults from our neighborhoods. While it is normally easy to fill the place with children, this is the fullest I've ever seen the center with youth and adults. Once again we sold out of food, drink, etc. and sent some kids out at about 10:00pm to find someone with a microwave to pop the popcorn that someone purchased earlier (apparently forgetting that we don't have a microwave yet). Alma, along with some neighbor women were kept very busy in the kitchen all night and we even had a couple volunteer from the Casa de la Cultura who helped out in the kitchen for a while.
The music was computer controlled by a volunteer's computer hooked up to the neighbor's stereo (aparently mine wasn't loud enough) and the decorations were completed with a borrowed disco ball and pink spotlight. We had a jail (the bathroom) where you could get indiscriminately dragged and then forced to pay a L5 fine for your escape. Apparently this is how the children are taught to properly bribe the police... The entry fee for the event was L8 (about $0.75) and I know this eliminated a million kids and I expect probably a few adults. At the end of the night, we had a profit of about L1,000 or C$90.00. Not bad and now the youth that put it together have a small pot of funds to put towards another event or possibly a trip to somewhere like the hot pools at Gracias. Notice, none of the pictures show me dancing. This is not because I was the photographer, but rather that as a gringo I do not know how to dance despite years of association with The Caves in Calgary.