Sunday, February 14, 2010

Honduras - Days Six & Seven

(Note: Not a real time update)

Yes, yes … I know … I missed a day. But it was such a full and busy day! :)

We’ve continued to build. We began with a plan to eliminate thatched roofs and dirt floors … both accumulate parasites and end up creating health issues. The floor part has been conquered by the raised platforms for housing. The roof part is proving to be more difficult. We came believing that we had a workable solution, but after getting here, realized that it really isn’t practical, feasible or maintainable once we leave. Since the goal is to not introduce chemicals or building materials which can’t be found here, we’re now brainstorming for a new plan. Soooo … we have three days left to come up with an answer. If anyone out there has any brilliant suggestions, email them to me or Anthony. I only trek up the hill to use my phone once a day (in the morning), but have a fairly reliable email connection.

Today we did the equivalent of a junior high sex education class. AIDS is considered generally epidemic in several population groups occupying the northeastern part of the country. Additionally, Honduras has the highest rate of adolescent pregnancy in Central America. In self-contained communities like this, it is somewhat less of a concern … but as more of their young people venture out into more metropolitan areas for education or employment and then return home, it becomes more of an issue. So, in spite of a few uncomfortable moments, we did it … Mark with the men and Amanda and me with the women. Re-use of needles for antibiotics and other medications is common as well as those in rural areas attempt to self-medicate. Such a fine line between creating fear and creating empowerment.

With some trepidation we have introduced some ‘outside’ products. Toothpaste and toothbrushes, as well as bars of soap, have been added to the daily routine here. Our local team members will see that supplies are replenished monthly. It’s always a struggle to determine when the good outweighs any potential negatives and too often there is no way to effectively measure the outcomes.

The guys have completed the system to bring water up from the river. Yesterday, for the first time, the women could access water through a manual pump as opposed to having to carry it up. The supply will be limited and they will have to determine what uses the ‘easy’ water will be put to and which uses require the walk to the river. Actually the supply is pretty unlimited, but the flow is minimal and will only provide a certain amount of water in a given time.

Speaking of time, it has flown by so quickly. Only two more nights here … then a night in the city … then home. It feels like we only arrived yesterday.

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