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June 15, 2003
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras

Well, our palm trees our planted front and back, our mango tree is planted and six orange and lime trees are waiting to go into the ground. On Monday we poured the back curb along with the drain line at the top of the driveway. Who cares??? I do. Every time it rained hard, I had to haul dirt and gravel in the wheel barrow to fill the 2 - 3 feet deep ruts and holes that develop on the hill of the driveway from water pouring down the slope to escape the area at the back. By week's end, we also had the foundations poured (including big rocks left over from the 'Great Wall of Santa Rosa') for the storage shed and industrial class shop.

One day Ricky and Fran (the 18 and 16 year old neighborhood guys continuing to work for us on construction projects) stuccoed the front of the porch wall in front as shown in the picture above, and we then were able to paint a 6 meter "La Roca" sign that is quite visible from well down the street. This sign was done with the help of Mike from the Peace Corps as well as my 14 year old neighbor, Juan, who is our resident artist.

We started a new business venture with left over mora juice from last weeks party -- making pilones (basically blackberry popsicles). The first batch were given out to volunteers that went to the neighborhood pulperia (convenience store) to haul back 5 gallon jugs of waters. A demand was quickly thereafter established for the purchase of said delicacies. I'm not certain, but am hoping that the fact that the juice had kind of started to ferment before I made the first batch had nothing to do with the popularity of the otherwise kind of healthy snack. On Friday, Mary Anne (another Peace Corp volunteer) donated some of her time to help the kids bake a very healthy and nutritious snack in our kitchen. Amazingly, there's often more boys than girls hanging out in the kitchen working with Mary Anne. Alma also made another batch of healthier pilones on Friday -- this time out of shaved fresh coconut and dairy milk -- and I'm happy to encourage anything that takes the place of the crap sold to the kids in the pulperias.

Laura Pencer, a Canadian AFS volunteer from Ottawa, has grown our math tutoring program fantastically and added a twist with the introduction of bracelet making time at the end of the class. We picked up a bunch of bracelet beads in San Pedro a few weeks ago and she came down early one afternoon to teach the kids how to make bracelets. Now, when math tutoring class goes at the same time as adult English class (Tues & Thurs at 6:00 - 7:30pm) we're always held up at the end as kids scramble to finish bracelets that they are creating after spending an hour first working on math problems. This program is up to 17 kids with some stashed under the kitchen cabinets to find space to work in peace (the whole program is run from the kitchen even though Laura now has more math students than I have adult English students).

Tela: On Wednesday, Alejandra (a local board member and friend) and I went to Porte Cortes to meet with the deputy director of the national port authority. The night before I stayed up till about 1:30am working on a powerpoint presentation after giving up on the idea of translating the entire 3CM website as a way of introducing our operations to this agency. The results of this meeting surpased our dreams and I appreciate all the prayers that accompanied us! This gentleman's response was very supportive and he suggested a route that we might take that would include them as partners in the sense that they would rent the facility to us for a symbolic figure as a way of supporting the venture. Now we need to prepare a proper proposal for the port authority along with some discussions with the national department of tourism who may also be interested in the facility. So, on Saturday I jumped on a bus to head to Costa Rica to meet with the Canadian embassy that controls Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica to see what kind of Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) support we can find and Alejandra plans to venture to Tegucigalpa this coming week to see if she can get a letter of support from the Honduran Ministry of Tourism.

We were also able to obtain 3 months worth of chlorine for San Juan de Opoa at a very good price on the way back from Porte Cortes. We delivered one barrel to SJO on Friday morning and I will take out the second around July 8 just before I head back to Canada to work for a month to pay some bills.

Apart from the normal programs of art, theater, music, English and football... that's the kind of week we had. This coming week I will meet with the CIDA rep on Tuesday and hopefully get this web site entirely translated into Spanish before returning to Honduras by bus on the weekend. I will also be discussing the options for using our centers and launching pads for the Jesus Film project in Honduras in cooperation with the programs that have already been launched in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Prayer requests:

  1. Praise for the great meeting in Porte Cortes on Wednesday and continued travel safety.
  2. Meeting on Tuesday with the CIDA rep., David Morris, re further projects and Cida funding.
  3. Going to need lots of cash to develop Tela, so God please bless people so they can bless us.
  4. Going to need a fantastic director for Tela with lots of initiative, patience and a heart for God. Sailing abilities a bonus...
  5. Need funds to finish construction of the warehouse / shop in Santa Rosa de Copan and then a false ceiling in the center itself (fortunate to only cancel one class so far due to excessive rain noise).
  6. Need to sell my home in Canada as my renter left one year early and I need the funds from my house to continue our project in San Pedro Sula.
  7. Christian volunteers to help us achieve our ultimate goal of helping to make Christ real to people we're helping.
  8. Opportunities to speak to groups in Canada when I'm back (July 10 - Aug 10 more or less).
  9. That one day I'd lose this cold. I don't think its bad enough to qualify as a "thorn in the flesh", but it sure is a "pain in the neck".