Our first blog post, delayed by lack of accessible internet…

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Well, it’s Sunday, and we have had a hard time having reliable internet access.  This afternoon we find ourselves in El Restaurante Herradura (translation:  Horseshoe Restaurant) eating lunch, watching the World Cup Final, and catching up on email.  We’re so sorry for the delay!

We’ve been up to a lot since we arrived on Tuesday.  After an uneventful trip to the grocery store in San Pedro Sula to buy provisions, we drove up the hill towards Quimistan, the van loaded down with suitcases, backpacks, and lots and lots of grocery bags.  Of course, since our bags were on top, it started to rain!  Luckily, no harm was done, and we were able to settle in quickly.  We’ve had rain every day, and it has definitely cooled things off in the evenings for us.  We sat down with Maynor Tuesday evening to plan out our visit, and boy we have a busy schedule – stay tuned for updates.

First thing Wednesday morning, we headed over to Santa Clara to visit the White Dove School, and Ardyn and Christa, too.  It was great seeing the children and everyone there, and we were able to give them flouride treatment before we left.  On our way back to Martha’s house for lunch, we stopped by Las Brisas to see the Bio Sand Filter that the previous team.  In order to get to the house, we had to walk across a “hammock” bridge (una puente hamaca).  Fortunately, none of us fell into the river!

Thursday brought us to the town of La Montañita – we started to walk from house to house to perform a rudimentary census (“How many people live here?, How many children are in school?, Do you have a church affiliation?, etc).  After the sixth house, we met a woman who volunteered to get all of the information for us!  Since she knows everyone in the town, I’m sure the residents will be much happier to see a familiar face knocking at the door & asking questions rather than four North Americans. 🙂  We learned that this community has been busily embroidering tortilla cloths (mantas) for us to take back to the US – right now we have about 75 (!!), and we should have a few more by the time we leave on Friday.  On our way up that morning, we spied a soccer field in the middle of the mountain, so we headed back down there for lunch to look around.  All I can say is, the goalies better be very talented, because it would be really hard to retrieve the ball once it went over the edge!  In the afternoon, we assisted Dr. Constantino and Enferma Edith with a medical brigade.  Maynor and Jenn were filling prescriptions like mad, while George, Kandace, and Justin helped pass out reading glasses & sunglasses and played with all of the kids. 

On Friday, we set out for the town of Nueva Esperanza, about an hour and half up into the mountains from Quimistan.  We stopped in Pinalejo to pick up Sonia, the teacher in Nueva Esperanza.  After an extremely bumpy ride, we arrived at the school in town.  Since classes had been cancelled for the day, we didn’t expect to see many students, but of the 46 school-aged children in town, at least 10 came out to play with us.  We were able to pass out almost 40 pairs of reading glasses, and a similar number of very stylish sunglasses as well!  On our way back to Quimistan, we stopped in the town of Buenos Aires to take a few pictures – from there, you can see Quimistan as a tiny speck!  We also could see Guatemala in the distance – very cool!  As we were driving, we noticed lots of beautiful plants, including coffee and cardamom, and flor de izote, which is used to make polyester, and also happens to be the national flower of El Salvador.  When we returned, Gary invited us to watch the cows getting milked, which is an amazing operation in and of itself.  We were also invited to feed two new calves!  We then headed out to help feed the families in Tijeras that evening, and cleaned up to go to church at La Cosecha, where the power went out about 5 times during the 2 and a half hour service.  Talk about determination!

Saturday morning we drove to Tela, a beach town about 3 hours from Quimistan.  We stopped at a Burger King in El Progreso, and Kandace enjoyed a Hershey Pie with glee.  Once we arrived in Tela, we went to a bank to change some dollars into Lempira, as there is a rule preventing money laundering which prohibits the ease in changing money we used to enjoy in Quimistan.  After a very very long wait, we were on our way to the beach.  We ate at “Steakhouse Restaurant” which was beachfront, and then walked along the beach for a while.  Even though it was overcast, it was beautiful.  Justin and Pablo wanted to go to Punta Sal, but it would have entailed an expensive 30-minute boat ride, and some of our group weren’t quite ready for that level of adventure.  After hitting a few shops, we piled pack into the Expedition and headed for home.

So far this morning, we went to Martha’s Sunday School, and met with a woman in Tijeras that seems like a fantastic candidate for another Bio Sand Filter, which we hope to construct and transport to her home on Wednesday and Thursday.  We’ll be heading to the Promesas gathering in a little while, and on to La Cosecha for church at 5pm, followed by dinner at Goyita’s – we hope fried chicken is on the menu!

Thanks for reading all of this; we hope that future updates will be more frequent so they won’t be so long!

Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!
George, Jennifer, Justin, & Kandace