Rebuilding in Honduras - Log
Sunday (Domingo) 5 Nov 00 -Anne Kennison, Cipperly Good and Wallace Good meet in Revere MA at the Comfort Inn. It is 10 PM; so we plan a 3:45 AM wake-up to catch our plane. The weather is cold and rainy, nearly sleeting. Honduras sounds like such a wonderful destination!
Monday (Lunes) 6 Nov 00 - Wake up @ 3:30 AM; we must be too excited. Check out and ride to the Boston Airport; wait in a lo-o-o-ong line. Anne leads the way and gets our baggage checked in by 5:15 using her firm no-nonsense demeanor. After a short delay we are airbourne, arriving in Miami FL none the worse for some intermittent vibrating bumps along the Eastern seaboard. Then our next plane is taken off line; glad it was not in the air with us! We wait 1 1/2 hours quite patiently. We board the plane and fly over many beautiful islands arriving in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, by flying up the broad green Rio Ulua valley between steep volcanic mountains. Its 1:30 PM CST as we meet Eleana (our guide) and Mario (our driver). We name and ride Big Blue, the Father Blanco's pickup, to the Project Office. There we meet the staff and settle into the upstairs apartment. Eleana helps us connect to the WEB; then we walk around this ten year old middle class neighborhood. Boys play soccer in a park, little groceries (pulperias) appear once every few blocks, and there is construction everywhere. But unlike Vermont, every home is surrounded by a cement wall and iron gratings; while a few roosters, cattle, goats and horses roam free in vacant grassy lots. As the sun sets quickly at 6 PM, we return to the office lane and reenter through our own iron grated gateway. At 7 PM Fr Blanco retrieves us for a tasty spiced beef dinner in his lovely home he shares with his wife Rosa, along with several pretty cats, Joaquin (the dog), and a parrot named Perro. We retire to our rooms at 9 PM, very excited and tired.
Tuesday (Martes) 7 Nov 00 - We waken at 5:30 AM to roosters crowing at the sunrise. At 7 AM we are treated to a delectible pancake breakfast with guava spread. By 8:30 AM we are on the Faith, Joy, and Hope site at El Ocotillo, in front of the Frank Griswald Medical Clinic. As we look down the road, we are immediately shown the completed work of the February Vermont Team on the Main Street! We walk up the grade passing homes graced with lovely dooryard flower gardens, as we are assigned to the Faith&Joy Episcopal Church detail. From the church site we are given a spetacular view of the project and its surroundings. Under the watchful eye of Senior Mason Jesus Saavedra and Helper "Lupe"; we mix two batches of footing concrete - two wheelbarrows pebbles, four wheelbarrows sand, two bags cement and twenty-five gallons water. We transfer 1 1/2 batches by wheelbarrow and bucket to the South end of the East wall footing; all by lunchtime. During the same period Rosa Blanco attends to many families needs at Frank Griswald Medical Clinic; while others work on the new sewer system
We returned to the project office for a chicken luncheon feast, followed by Fr Galeano's birthday cake! Later we toured central San Pedro Sula, stopping at the armed guarded grocery for snacks and special drinks. Upon our return, the website was updated 90% successfully, before strolling to dinner with the Blancos. Rosa was so excited; she had just been featured with the whole project in USA Today! She still created a lovely meal of sausages, omelette, soft tortillas and fried platano, followed by her favorite ice cream - Moose Tracks! We spend the evening conversing in Span-glish with our gratious and patient hosts. We retire and crash by 8:30 PM, truely exhausted - remembering "Drink Agua!"
Wednesday (Miercoles) 8 Nov 00 - After a lovely "Continental" breakfast with Rosa Blanco, we drove to the site, dropping Wally at the gateway to walk in taking entrance photographs. Working at the cement block "factory"; Wally helped Junior move the semi-dried blocks. There are three types - U shaped "uno"; double holed "cuatro"; and three holed "cinco". Anne and Cipperly scraped cement off the palettes and oiled them, much like preparing a baking pan for cake. Their hands were black by the end of the morning session, completing five stacks - head high. The kids were all out of school, because of teacher's inservice, so some of them came to the factory and repeated Cipperly's name over and over.
As we returned to the clinic to ride back home, Eleana, our interpreter, asked if Wally could come quickly. They had a little boy, Jose Elias Mejia, in the Frank Griswald Medical Clinic, who had cut himself with a knife just under his right eye. Wally cleaned the wound with peroxide, after Eleana told Jose, "This will prickle!" Appling Betadine and two bandaids for first aid revealed a deep cut - Jose should get stitches or have a life long scar. Jose rode back to San Pedro Sula on Cipperly's lap; she felt like a little mother. He was a brave boy; we never heard a cry or peep all through the ordeal. They gave him new clothes at the clinic, a cute striped t-shirt, jean shorts, socks and buckle shoes. They also gave him a water bottle, which he clung to the whole ride to the hospital.
After a lasagna lunch, we went to the Good Shepard Episcopal School, and met some students, and two American missionary teachers, Vicki (FL) and John (PA&NY). The Good Shepard Cathedral is connected to the school; there we met Dean Macdonald. The sanctuary contains a massive, inspiring Honduran-crafted crucifix. Then we went to the Little Rosa Ministries, guided by Zachary Dunn of Potomac MD and St Albans Parish DC; visiting all the girls. We delivered Duane Peterson's gift to his sponsored little girl, Brenda Zamora - a stuffed cow, a Ben & Jerry's T-shirt, Cat in the Hat in Spanish, and some cards. The ministry is only to girls, as a boy's home predates it in Tegucigalpa. Additionally, the ministry maintains its own Medical Clinic, and is building a private school adding one grade at a time. Both are open to the local community, further expanding the ministry. Presently two Cuban missionary physicians staff the clinic; like Faith and Hope, receive a grant from the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund - to create a local herbal pharmaceutical garden. The goal is to give the girls a middle class upbringing, so that they can achieve an unimpoverished life after they leave the home.
At 7 PM we join Rosa Blanco for another wonderful dinner of eggplant con pollo, rice, platano and ice cream. She has Marlene with her tonight to learn the operation of a household and hosting. We certainly are eating well here! We retire to our rooms at 9 PM.
Thursday (Jueves) 9 Nov 00 - We recieve an E-mail from Thomas Good, before breakfast, describing the proper procedure for inserting pictures on the WEB page, Gracias pour Internet! After a breakfast of eggs (sunny-side up) and toast with guava, we complete our plans to visit Tela on the weekend, as the Diocesan Retreat at Muchilena is on a much deserved break! Mario takes us to El Ocotillo by another way, so we can see haciendas that raise the poultry and eggs for San Pedro Sula. Upon arrival at Faith & Joy, we implement Anne's brilliant idea - work the first 1/2 of our time at the Faith & Joy Church construction site and the second 1/2 under the roof at the cement block factory. First we meet different church site workers - Wall Mason Luis Trochez, Helper Oscar Licona, Helper Carlos Guerra and Footing Mason Matias Inestroza, as well as Quartermaster Victor Santos and lovely Architect Lidia Esmeralda Sabillon. We carry "cuato" cement blocks into position for the northern end of the West wall, backfill the completed Church's Foundation and move footing cement to the eastern end of the South wall - there is progress! About 11 AM we say, "Adios"; and walk down to the factory, where our friends from Wednesday greet us warmly. Mario and Eleana are dressed for shopping, but are cleaning and oiling palettes, anyway. We create quite an industry and work group, with Anne performing quality control. By 12:30 PM, we have completed three stacks and are ready for lunch.
Back at the office we receive another grande y excellente almuerzo of beef flautas, rice with beans, fried whole potatoes, fried platano and sweet roll dessert. In the afternoon we visit the farmer's market Mercado Guamilito to look for Honduran crafts. You will all be surprised at what we found! Mario returns us safely through rush hour traffic to the office at 5 PM. We stroll around the neighborhood, life repeating itself. At 7 PM we visit Rosa for yet another hot meal and wonderful spread of steak with onions, potatoes, tortillas, and candied stewed papaya!! We tell Rosa in our best Sp-a-n--i-sh about our day and visit to market. She gratiously encourages and helps us speak. Upon returning the girls retire, but Wally updates the Web page, finishing at 1/2 past midnight, Celebration!
Friday (Viernes) 10 Nov 00 - After a breakfast of To Die For pancakes with Papaya Compote, we show off the updated pictured WEB site to the staff full of giggles and excitement. Each day we pass a beautifully manicured residence institute of the state, Aldeas "SOS"; created to rehabilitate drug addicted adolescents. Soon we are onsite again, this time making reinforcing rod and wire parts for the church's columns and beams. The shop was previously the temporary open air roofed altar! About eleven Wally is called to the clinic to examine Jose's progress, having received some 15 stitches at the emergency clinic. His eye is swollen shut, but clean and dry - no signs of pus or infection. Wally returns to the church to continue work, but his cover is blown. At noon work stops for the weekend, but four new patients arrive at the medical clinic. While Anne and Cipperly wait for lunch, Wally offers care suggestions, referrals, and physical examination. Then we climb to the top of Cistern Hill for a panoramic view of El Ocotillo and the project.
We return to a luncheon of beef roll, rice with beans, tortillas, avacado egg salad and brownies. Every meal is satisfying and hearty. Cipperly and Wally go to the farmer's market, quickly collecting the goods at the previously agreed prices! Anne remains at the office preparing for our trip to Tela early manana. After an afternoon walk and run around the neighborhood, we return to see Eleana proudly entering her newly acquired pick-up; it's her first day of driving! Inside Fr and Sna Blanco explain contracts to the four new owners in the project, receiving housing today. This is what it is all about, building community and homes, not just shelters. After a dinner of ballada (a hot tortilla filled with sausages and eggs) and our favorite papaya compote, we retire joyfully anticipating our trip to the seashore at Tela - manana. Cipperly and Wally update the WEB page, then to sleep!
Monday (Lunes) 13 Nov 00 - After a light breakfast including the fruits we harvested at Tela - mangosteno and manzana rosa (apple-pear), we met a new driver and traveled with the Texas Team in buses to the site at 8 AM. By noon we had mixed and transported a triple batch of footing concrete; picked and shovelled trenches; set up entrance reinforcing rod pillars; and stacked drying blocks. At the community center, we met our cook and members of the British Amos Trust Team and ate tortillas with refried beans, eggs, chicken and beef bits, and mango stuffed cookies. Then we enjoyed Father Blanco's Birthday blessing and "baptism". The main street of El Ocotillo was full of life and surprises. Lindbergh and the Perez Chavez Family invited Wally into their homes for photos. After another hour of work on the church, we headed to San Pedro Sula for banking and quick shopping. The Teams ate dinner separately; then collapsed in bed exhausted but joyful.
Tuesday (Martes) 14 Nov 00 - After our mutual breakfasts, the Vermont and Dallas Teams meet and ride to the site. While Dave scrapes and oils four stacks of palettes with a little help from others, the larger crew takes on the work at the church. Bishop Ottley, Interim Bishop of Honduras, visits the church with Padre Blanco. Several of the men help Luis frame and fill the entrance columns with cement. Jesus and Lupe build the walls on the footings we poured last week, as more pillars and beams are constructed at the altar. Laurie oversees the latest trench building for the footing that will support the altar itself! As noon and lunchtime approaches, Rosa visits the site - well protected - and Cipperly says "Adios!" to her young maestra and new amiga. After another huge meal of chicken and bean tostados with multiple sauces, Wally demonstrated the WEB site to the masons and the teams. As the Vermont team prepared to leave for the last time, the children clamored for pictures, "Mi Photo!"
We all went on a shopping spree in the afternoon at the farmer's market, then returned to our mutual abodes for dinner, showers and rest!
Wednesday (Miercoles) 15 Nov 00 - After a lovely breakfast of guava toast and juice with Rosa, Cipperly and Wally gifted our hosts and then visited the Museo de Antropologia in the center of town. The top floor was dedicated to prehistory through the Mayan culture of the region at the time Columbus arrived. We had to leave to meet our plane, just as we returned to the first floor and Columbus' landing! We arrived safely in St Albans, Vermont by 3:35 AM on Thursday, having dropped Anne at her home in Essex Jct.
Meanwhile, the Dallas team returned to El Ocotillo with many supplies, continuing to build. The log of their activity is forthcoming. After much progress at the church and reorganizing the clinic, they returned safely to Dallas Sunday (Domingo) evening.
This page was last updated 21 November, 2000, by Wallace H Good Jr. Please send feedback! Select links from navigation bar below: