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Sept 11, 2005
Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras

Dia del Niño: Honduras celebrates Day of the Child with fervor. It is a political event with candidates visiting as many parties as possible and supplying piñatas decorated with their colors, shaking hands and moving on to the next.

We start the party off with real food -- 'arroz con pollo' (a rice, vegetable and chicken mixture) that was prepared by Alma, 2 mothers of kids that hang out at La Roca and Marvin. The idea is to make sure they eat something healthy before they fill up on sugar. Of course, then the party launches in earnest. We started the process with 1 piñata, and ended up with about 7 donated from various sources including Melo Bueso, the mayoral candidate. Pepsi donated 3 cases of pop and various members of the local community supplied candy. Since we had lots of piñanatas, we divided them between the little guys and the bigger kids to ensure that everyone could retrieve candy without fear of death by stampede. The picture at the right is the larger kids shortly after they got up from a major pile-up. THANKS A BUNCH to the group from Olds that came down last summer, to Cari & Suzy who came this spring and to Claude who came this summer -- all of them loaded with treats and prizes that went over very big with the kids.

We finished up our computer course on Tuesday with an exam and then Thursday by taking the kids down to the internet cafe to show them how to use the internet. What did they want to find on the net? Games, of course. Thanks again to Drew, his dad and some friends of his dad's for getting us 5 notebook computers for this program.

Wednesday we had a meeting with 17 of 20 adult males from the village of Ceiba Rabona for a day of training and organizing prior to starting the water project for their community. These guys (and 2 girls) set out from their village at 5:30am to arrive at San Juan de Opoa by 9:15am; spent the day learning about their project and how to organize a committee to look after it afterwards; then set out at 3:15pm for the +/- 4 hour trek back to their village. On Thursday, they were to start digging sand and gravel out of the nearby river and hauling it by horse up the side of the valley to their village.

We obtained quotes from 4 suppliers and settled on one between Santa Rosa and El Salvador. The quotes came in under budget, but we'll see how it all settles out since I know that the sand and gravel that we need for the other side of the valley will be very expensive to haul into site. We committed the first $3,000 on Friday for the purchase of cement, etc. This project is going to cost in the range of $22,000 and we are still seeking donations to cover the costs of this critical project. We appreciate the critical participation of the British Columbia Medical Association in our various water projects.

I was unsuccessful in trying to contact the owner of the property that we are seeking for the training center this week. I realize that politics is ramping up again (he is another mayoral candidate) and this weekend was busy with Dia del Niño celebrations and neighborhood meets. Check out Project Hope for full details on this project.