Apr 28 , 2004
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras
It would appear that I have been slightly negligent in keeping this page up to date. Many apologies... Anyways, it is out of being busy as opposed to being bored that I place the fault -- and that is a good thing.
The picture on the left shows Drew, our excellent Peace Corp volunteer, dishing out refried beans for breakfast in our center. We had taken the kids out to a community about an hour away (only an hour because the roads were so horrible) to play soccer. Then due to security concerns, we decided against camping out on the soccer field and instead returned to "camp" on the cement floor of our shop at La Roca. The kids ate noodles and peanut butter sandwiches and drank coffee to stay warm under the light of a lantern. We capped the evening with a fine movie designed to scare lesser mortals. Apparently it didn't work since only one of them stayed awake through it all. We had refried bean sandwiches for breakfast the next day and, since we ran out of bread, the picture shows Drew dishing out the remaining beans onto outstretched hands (you know how guys love to avoid washing dishes...).
Late in March we had a fantastic group of volunteers come down from Canada to work on medical projects for a week. Dr. Brodie, Mr. Toth, Mrs. Ahpin, Mrs. Loewen and Ms. Irwin came from the lower mainland, B.C.; Mrs. Ball, Mrs. Cayford, Mrs. Rider came from the Cochrane, AB area; Ms. Krahn came from Winkler, MB and Ms. Davidson came from Lloydminster, SK. Given the temporary nature of 90% of any clinical work we do, we have tried to put our focus on education. Therefore, we spent the majority of out time teaching in classrooms followed by either clinical work or meetings regarding health needs.
While normally I really dislike spending time in meetings, these have had great results. Directly through the efforts of volunteers who have come over the past couple years, we have been able to raise sufficient funds to put water into all the remaining villages that are associated with San Juan de Opoa -- a neighboring community to Santa Rosa de Copan.
The picture below is of some of the residents of a small community investigating a new well that we are assisting with. Our deal is simple: San Juan de Opoa pays for a foreman who supervises the work and puts in the necessary cement and bricks, the health department provides a hand pump, we pay for all the materials involved (cement, bricks, sand, gravel, etc.) and the local residents provide the labor to hand dig these wells. At a presentation with the mayor and other city officials we were informed that not only diarhea, but also cholora have been majorly impacted by our provision of chlorine for that community. COOL!!
I left Santa Rosa with the team for a day at Tela (which contains the prettiest beaches in Honduras) and then after dropping them off at the airport, I got on a bus for Nicaragua. For those unfamiliar with Central America, let me assure you that Granada, Nicaragua is a beautiful colonial city that would be a great location for another youth center or for your vacation -- take your pick. I had 3 days back in Honduras before I then got on an airplane myself and returned to Canada. In Canada I am working with a few clients on various projects and will be heading to another client for a more extended project on Sunday. While my heart is definitely in Honduras, my bills get paid by work in Canada, so I will be working up north for a bit to look after some personal costs before returning to Honduras at the end of June.
Meanwhile, Drew (Peace Corps) and Alma (our Honduran program coordinator) are holding the fort and continuing to host the programs that impact the kids. Let me take this opportunity to give a HUGE acknowledgement to them for the work they continually put in quietly at our center. Without people like them it would be impossible for us to maintain the level of activity that we do. I also want totake this opportunity to say thanks to Mary Anne Nixon. Mary Anne was also a Peace Corp volunteer in Santa Rosa who was never assigned to work with us, but nevertheless invested an incredible amount of her own time and effort to help us build up the programs at the center before she finished her term of duty this spring. "Mary Anne, we'll never forget you and I trust you recognize the impact you had on the lives of the kids in our neighborhood. God bless your selfless attitude, fantastic energy and push to get things done!"
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for further information.
Prayer: That the Drew & Alma will have the wisdom and ability to deal with all the little hiccups that come along in my temporary absence.
Praise: We have 2 staff that are as incredible as Drew & Alma.
Matt Blough and Lucien Brodeur -- 2 secondary students that are looking at investing a year of their time to join our projects in Honduras.
Praise: What a great time we had with the volunteer group that came at the end of March.