October 21 , 2006
Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras
Why hello there. Just thought I should let you know that everybody is alive and kicking. Well, alive, anyways.
Things are procceding on Project Hope. This past Friday we held interviews for some candidates for the position of Rural Development Program Coordinator. At this point, the front runner is currently an instructor at the national university campus here in Santa Rosa de Copan. We hope to have final news on that front by the end of next week. In September, we had a luncheon with a group of candidates for the program itself. Kids walked, road horses, buses and caught rides in the back of pickups to make it to Dulce Nombre where we held the meeting. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the youth, to answer questions and to ensure that people had a clear understanding of what we are really trying to accomplish. Questions that we faced dealt with topics like visiting rights, ability of the kids to maintain involved in soccer clubs, will the kids have to do their own laundry, where will their food come from, etc. We had a good turnout of kids and parents.
The farm which will play a crucial role in Project Hope is also one step closer to being completely and legally ours. The title is currently in the name of a friend of ours and his ex-wife who passed away a number of years ago and we finally got papers from one of his now-adult children living in Chicago which will allow us to transfer title.
Going back in time, this summer we had a couple of groups visit us. First, 3CM brought a group that visited some other projects in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. When they arrived in Honduras by bus, they were already a tired group. Still, they did a fantastic job of building a jungle gym at La Roca which the kids love. Some of the neighbor kids basically live on it.
We took one day to take some of the kids out to the farm to rebuild the bridge that crosses the creek that runs across the front. Ryan, Colin, Juan Ramon and Diego stayed late into the dark to finish the bridge -- with a large bullfrog surprising Colin under the bridge. The second group to come was Dr. Brian Brodie and his family, who came to study Spanish for a couple weeks and introduce his family to the work he has been helping us with since 2001.
This past weekend, we participated in a conference of NGO's at Copan Ruinas. We had the priviledge of presenting Project Hope to about 250 attendees from US, England, Canada and of course Honduras. Then on Saturday, we were one of four members to sit on a panel on strategy and vision for water development in Honduras -- although certainly not because we were the most technically advanced on the subject.
La Roca continues to proceed as normal. Art, music and drama classes continue for the kids and beauty class continues for the ladies. We lost our instructor for the baking class, so that one is on hold for a while.
In the coming month, we nee to locate a family to look after the boys as house parents. That also means that we need to locate a rentable house that will suffice for our needs. And finally, our lawyer in Teguc needs to get in to action and finalize our tax exemption in terms of income taxes. He successfully obtained our exoneration from sales tax (which should be harder to my understanding), but he's been dragging his feet on the other.
So there we are. We're looking forward to a strong finish to this year and an exciting launch to Project Hope in the year to come. We always welcome your feedback, so feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.