May 14, 2007

Luke´s update/new mailing address

Hey folks. Thanks for checking the blog. I think Annie (scroll down to read her entry) updated most everyone on the goings on here. The big challenge now is looking for a place to live, there isn’t such a thing as a renters market here, but I think we will be able to find something as a few houses are empty around town.

We went to the post office here in town and opened a PO Box so from now on, you can send any mail to us (packages included) to the following address. To those of you who sent us pacakges that we still have not recieved, we´ve haven´t given up yet. None of the volunteers we´ve talked to have had problems receiving packages so we´re hoping we´re not the first. (We also put the mailing address in the bottom left hand corner on the blog so you can also scroll down to find it there.)

OUR NEW MAILING ADDRESS:

LUKE Y ANNIE GINGERICH
APARTADO POSTAL 69
DANLÍ, EL PARAÍSO, HONDURAS
AMÉRICA CENTRAL


The first week was pretty slow. Hopefully things will speed up and my Spanish will get better, the language is still a big challenge for me. As far as work goes there really isn’t a whole lot going on yet, and most likely won’t be for awhile. I went to the “strategic planning” meeting for one group of people I am going to work with. It was a 2-day meeting and I went for the first half a day, but couldn’t stay for the rest without going completely nuts. It was the slowest meeting I have ever been involved with. So I politely told them I was leaving and to call me when there was work to be done. It´s hard because I don´t speak the language well enough yet and the generally inefficiency of organizations in Honduras is difficult to get used to. I went to try and get some information from the Danlí office of the Honduran agency in charge of water and sanitation (SANAA), but I was unsuccessful in getting any good info so I will go back tomorrow. I got a name of an engineer to talk to at SANAA, so hopefully I can get passed the secretary this time.
Annie and I are also going to talk with the Salud Ambiental (Environmental Health) people in Danlí tomorrow who have suggested that they might have some work for me. And a volunteer I talked to who lives nearby works in a community with no water, so options are definitely opening up for work, poco a poco.

One of the biggest challenges as an engineer is going to be transportation. Most of the communities I am supposed to work with are quite a ways from Danlí in rural areas, and Peace Corps does not allow us to drive or ride on motorcycles (or drive a car or pickup), but everyone here rides motorcycles to these rural areas, a motorcycle just makes sense, a horse is too slow (and I don’t have anywhere to put one) and you would just ruin a car on the roads here. I can’t help but think my 4Runner would have been perfect for my current job, but I am sure it has found a good home in a scrap heap somewhere. The transportation is really kind of aggravating. It is like Peace Corps gives us training to help bring water to the rural poor of Honduras, but then makes it as hard as possible to actually do the job.

Vaya pues, I better get going, the championship of professional Honduran soccer is on the TV and I feel like I have a cross-cultural responsibility to watch it.

Hasta luego,
Luke

2 comments:

Kyle said...

Hey Luke & Annie,

fellow gringos here just dropping by to say hello and give you some words of encouragement.

I'm glad to hear that you are finally getting to know your site and figure out what is going on. We feel your pain about the misquito bites and opressive heat. I can't wait for more rain storms to roll in and cool things off.

I am curious how the PC expects you to travel to travel or take supplies to your project sites. If you can't drive anywhere, what are your options? That is crazy. I am also accustomed to the long meetings you speak about, although thankfully mine are in english mostly.

Keep up the good work you are doing and we are looking forward to meeting you sometime. We are still looking for transportation, but when we get a vehicle (4x4 Truck or SUV) we will let you know and try to plan a trip out to meet you two.

Take care!

Kyle(&Crystal)

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