Lauren's Peace Corps Experience in Honduras

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed and experiences described in this travelogue are mine personally. Nothing written here should be interpreted as official or unofficial Peace Corps literature or as sanctioned by the Peace Corps or the U.S. government. I have chosen to write about my experience online in order to update family and friends; I am earning no money whatsoever from this endeavor. Please do not copy or forward any of these contents without my permission.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Adobe homes and cell phones

This is ¨Mom¨ again, writing for Lauren as she is busily preparing a report this morning. I was able to see first hand the stove that greatly improves the quality of life for those dear folks who live in the aldeas. Without the stove, the small dwellings are continuously filled with smoke, which the entire family has to inhale 24/7, needless to say it is very unhealthy. The stove may have the appearance of being a bit primitive to us, but it is a godsend to those lucky enough to get one. The cost per stove is $25, (500 lempiras) a small fortune for most of the people here.
I am donating $50 to the Peace Corp, earmarking it for the stove project here, the PC will match any funds contributed (all donations are tax deductible too) That small donation on my part will mean that 4 more families will get the greatly coveted stove. :) Are you sensing yet that I will probably hit some of you for a little donation as well? ;)
I will be sure to take photos of a home without the stove, and one that has one. Many of the people who have one, share the benefits with their neighbors. These people may be poor but a more generous group of hearts I have never seen.
Yesterday Lauren and I went to the wedding of a couple who live in the aldea. The house was simple and rustic, with a packed dirt floor covered with fresh pine boughs which made the atmosphere festive and fragrant. The bride must have spent the entire week prior preparing, she cooked large pots of food and opened her home up to the entire community. There must have been a hundred folks there inside and outside, it was one of the sweetest and warmest gatherings I have ever experienced. I had brought a deluxe gingerbread house kit with me for Lauren for Christms, I thought it might be a fun thing to do with her kids here. But after a busy Christmas, we never used it. So we decided it would make a perfect addition to the wedding. The house was not so different from the dwelling of the bride and groom, so instead of ¨snow¨we used lots of spearmint leaf candies to create lush greenery around the house. :) There was more than a pound of every colorful candy on it too....and we even put an edible "latrine" behind the house. haha Needless to say it was a tremendous hit....they had never ever seen a gingerbread house before and they were just delighted with it. It was so much fun watching it get eaten right down to the icing "glue" that stuck to the aluminum. Until this, every gingerbread house i ever made for Christmas, sat untouched for several weeks, then thrown away, too stale to eat.
To see it get eaten and enjoyed so much was far more rewarding.
¨Rewarding¨ is probably the best word I can use to describe what Lauren´s life must be like on an everyday level. Everything she does for these folks is greatly appreciated. The fact that she cares enough for them to be here for their benefit is some kind of an honor to them.
Her weeks are filled with meetings....with the youths as well as with Miriam, her counterpart, to plan and discuss ongoing projects, such as the library, latrine and stoves.
The first art lesson went well, tomorrow we will proceed to shading, using a light source to create light and shadows.
Also while in Santa Rosa last Friday, Lauren and I found some wonderful cake decorating tools, so the cake decorating class is a go, sometime next week.
Tonight we will be meeting with Miriam, to discuss a fund raising drive amoung the citizens here for the library land mortgage which is $50 (1000 lemps) a month.
Lauren is hoping that the building will be completed before she leaves in 2007, it is moving along, but as everything else here, it moves slowly. I saw the piece of land which the new library will sit on and it is lovely. Situated across from a pretty church, and just a few blocks from the town center.
That´s about it for now, I want to post this before I lose it. The electricity flickers on and off here sometimes. ;)
Love and hugs to all of you back home reading this. Lauren sends her love as well.

6 Comments:

  • At January 9, 2006 at 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It warms my heart to read your entry-you have such pride for your daughter and it sounds like she is having a wonderful experience and is a fabulous experience. I hope mine will be as wonderful as hers.

     
  • At January 10, 2006 at 7:25 PM, Anonymous Vee said…

    Wonderful descriptions of a World unknown to the likes of us lucky folk.Obviously the work by Lauren and others is greatly appreciated,and much needed to!
    You are to be admired.
    Vee xx

     
  • At January 11, 2006 at 11:52 AM, Anonymous Marty said…

    Hi Ginger! So great to finally get to read about your trip! In my technologically challenged way, I thought I'd hear from you via straight email. Today I just happened to be cleaning up my inbox and ran across Lauren's blog address (I need to bookmark it so I don't forget it every time!) so I was able to link to it and read all about things finally. Sounds like you all are having a wonderful time despite the challenges. You must be so proud of Lauren, and it's great to hear you are able to help contribute to and participate in the experience yourself!

    Everyone here had a good Christmas. Erin took good care of Queenie, even made friends enough with her to be able to spend more time cuddling with her. She wants a cat so bad! Steven dropped by and told us about your big ordeal geting down there and the accident. We're so glad everyone was OK! By the way--thanks for the Honduran coffee--Mitch is really enjoying it! By New Years most of our family had passed around a bad cold so I had it really good by then and had to stay home on the sofa. Erin went down the street to a teenager party and sleepover. Hunter enjoyed all the fireworks but I'm afraid it kept Casey up barking half the night. They are now finally off to school and the normal routine. Some kids(?) went "four wheeling" around the neighborhood the day after New Years and drove through about 5 yards in Beechwood Point (including ours) and 3 or 4 in West Bay, leaving some nasty tire tracks and churned up earth in their path. Oh well, so much for our effort to grow grass--LOL!

    Sorry you missed this month's WWC meeting--we did some belly dancing!! I've tried calling Steve a few times to set up dinner but can't get hold of him--no answering machine picks up either. Guess I'll have to leave a note in the mailbox--LOL! The weather here has been so unseasonably warm and nice at times. Caryl and I even went kayaking for a few hours on Monday. We may be volunteering at a soup kitchen downtown tomorrow so I've got to get out and shop for some of the food soon.

    Glad things are going well and you are enjoying your time there. Can't wait to see the pictures of everyone! Say hi to Lauren for us and keep us posted. It truly is nice to experience something like that to appreciate all that we have here. Take care--Marty

     
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