We know we haven’t written for a couple weeks. Lo sentimos. We’d like to say we’ve been extremely busy, and well, that’s at least half true…
Nolan swiftly recovered from his bacterial infection and was back at work in no time. He finished up his first topo study last week and is now in the design process which involves manipulating the most complicated excel spreadsheet you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s a masterpiece to behold really. They’ve finished his office at the municipality (yes, he will have an office) and is just now waiting for the computer to get hooked up. He’s also going to start work next week with PLAN, an ONG, or NGO for those of you speak English, that does all kinds of work. He’ll be doing more topo studies with them. I might be working with them eventually on food security and nutrition projects. We also both met with the president of the patronato (kind of a mix of a neighborhood association with the power of a town council) of one of the barrios of Intibuca. He wants us to do a road survey (as if we knew how to do that) because they want to pave their roads, and help with fixing their water system, as well as some educational charlas on water conservation, leadership and community hygiene. He actually used to be a PC Spanish teacher so we had a good time chatting with him.
I have been busy as well, touring a bunch of the local aldeas where my women’s groups work. Last week, we both went to a community called Cofradia in the municipalidad of Yamaranguila just south of us. We visited two groups, one that makes white clay pottery and the other that makes woven baskets out of pine needles, amazing stuff. Both groups are located up in the pine forests, in a beautiful but very poor and isolated community. The tours of the communities are fun but exhausting. The people we visit usually feed us and welcome us into their homes, but bumping around all day in the back of a pickup truck makes your butt and back quite sore. Most groups just need help selling their products. They make good quality items for very cheap prices, but there is little tourism or market for their products here. I’m trying to figure out how to help. I’ve also been designing a new logo for another group I’m working with. They make jellies and canned peaches and other fruit products and need a new image to help market and sell their products.
Cestas de pino (pine needle baskets)
Weaving tejidos (textiles)
In other news, we’ve officially decided to stay in our current apartment for the duration of our service. It’s in a good location, is safe and secure, is near people we know, is clean and it saves us a lot of time and money in moving and having to furnish a new place. We signed a lease just today. We’re hoping to get a sofa bed to put in the living room for guests and we still need a refrigerator. We’re also thinking about painting the walls. I hauled some dirt back from one of the communities I visited this week so I can start planting herbs, veggies, and flowers in pots on the patio. If anyone wants to donate seeds, I’ll take anything and everything you can grow in a pot. Especially basil, which you can’t really get here.
We also received some wonderful care packages, thanks Moms, with some spices and other goodies so we’ve been trying to cook more elaborate meals. We made campers, meatball subs, creamy chicken and rice and brownies, just to name a few things. We have the fixin’s to make hummus, we just need to find some pita bread around here. We did find a good bakery with French bread and everyday it seems like something new is stocked at the supermarket. Our task for this weekend is to figure out how to make good refried beans from scratch. We’re also BBQing with some volunteers on Sunday for the 4th of July – can’t believe it’s that time of year already. You don’t realize how much you rely on the changes in season and national holidays and vacations to give you a sense of time. Here it’s like one continuous season so all sense of time is lost.
Also, for those of you interested in sports, we were able to watch Honduras lose all three of the first round games in the World Cup. Sadly, the Seleccion (that’s what they call the national team here) didn’t score a single goal, although we think they improved by the last game. We bought ourselves some snazzy jerseys though to support the team. Sadly, the US also lost to Ghana, so now we don’t know who to root for.
We’re officially allowed to travel starting on July 15th so we’re already planning some trips to visit people in other parts of the country. The newspaper is saying this year will be a bad one with lots of rain in September and October so we want to get some travelling in before we’re stuck at home.
We hope you are all doing well. Don’t forget, emails, letters, care packages and visits are all more than welcome!