April 28, 2007

Danlí it is

So as many of you already know, our site for the next two years is Danlí in the department of El Paraíso (southeast Honduras). We got here on Thursday afternoon after a 4 hour ride from Siguatepeque. Luke´s counterpart luckily brought his truck (although tiny) and his counterpart, my counterpart, us two, all our luggage, a bunch of plastic crates, and some dude (who rode in the back the entire way) fit into the truck. The four of us were crammed into the cab and talked, or should I say listened, to Luke´s counterpart talk about the entire history of Honduras, the educational system, US influence in Honduras, HIV/AIDS, global warming, and the association that he works for. He is a very interesting guy with a good reputation for working with potable water projects, just happens to be a talker.

Anyway, we arrived in Danlí and got settled into our hotel. The city is big at about 75,000 but doesn´t feel that big. It´s relatively safe and surrounded by hills on 3 sides. We took some pictures today and will blog them hopefully sometime this week.

Yesterday (Friday) Luke traveled to the town of El Paraíso which is 30 kilometers from Danlí because the offices of the water board association (who he´s working for) is there. He said everyone in the office seems to be really friendly but wishes he could understand Spanish better than he does. Luke says that as far as he can tell at this point the group JAM (Juntas de Agua Municipal) is the association he will be working for. They provide technical support to the small water boards that are formed in the rural areas of the department of El Paraíso that need systems to deliver potable water. Luke will be functioning as the engineer for these communities as they orginize and try to find sources of funding to build or rehabiltate systems.

I spent the day walking around the hospital with my counterpart, meeting about 25 people and trying to write down all their names and a little note about their appearance so I could remember them. Sounds like I´ll be working a lot with groups of young people of high school age and kids in 4th and 5th grade on HIV/AIDS prevention. My counterpart seems to feel that the school kids in the city of Danlí already know enough about HIV/AIDS due to the fact that there are several universities and lots of organizations that are always sending people to the schools to give charlas (presentations) so she wants to focus the prevention education on the rural areas around Danlí. There is also an HIV/AIDS support group that is looking for ideas so I may get involved with that. They currently have a small green house project where they grow plants and then sell them.

We´re headed back to Santa Lucia tomorrow for 5 more days to finish up training and swear in as volunteers then next Friday we´ll be in Danlí to stay!


saleh1109 said...

Holla friends,
It is so great that you got your site for the next two years(Danlí),and have a good information about what are you going to do there, I am proud to hear that you passed the hardest part of your volunteer works in Honduras and I think you are going to do better in future couse you are being living in one place.
I am desirous to read more about you and your life in Danli.
Saleh Alsagoor

Dorianne said...

Hey Guys,
Good job on making it through this first important leg of your journey! From what you've said, it sounds like you will be really welcome in Danli. Annie- are you happy that you'll be getting to spend time in the more rural areas outside the city? So maybe you'll get the pluses of a bigger city in addition to the more rural experiences you were both hoping for! I'm sure everything will fall into place and you'll feel right at home in no time!
We're thinking about you this week as you make your move.
Dory & baby BOY

Kyle said...

Hey Luke and Annie,

we are really excited that you finally got your location! (we're a little sad that it is further away than La Paz) I think that you will only be about 2.5 to 3 hours away from us though.

We are getting settled into our house now and looking for a vehicle. you'll have to let us know when you get settled so we can come visit you.

You are pretty close to the nicaraguan border too, so maybe we can take a trip over there sometime.

Anyway, we are excited for you and we'll stay in contact.

take care,
Kyle & Crystal