June 3, 2007

Hello all

Be sure to scroll down and read my latest blog on the Honduran educational system. Also, check out our book list (books we have read thus far while here) in the right column (last two things in that column).

Here goes the weekly update…

I spent a lot of time working on the course I’ll be implementing hopefully this week with 5th graders in a school in an aldea about 25 minutes from Danlí. Unfortunately I didn’t realize that not this week but the next is “student’s week” so there is no school for the whole week. I may wait to try and start after that.

I spent all day Thursday at a meeting with young Honduran volunteers and young Nicaraguan volunteers working in HIV/AIDS prevention. Country AIDS statistics were shared along with activities they use in their prevention presentations. It’s nice to see young people volunteering for their own countries but at the same time makes me wonder if a foreign volunteer is really needed here in Danlí?? I’ll find my place I’m sure but it’s still hard. I don’t think many people/organizations are working with 5th and 6th graders in HIV/AIDS prevention so my niche may be there.

On Friday I went to the office and hung out all morning and at 11 am we got a driver to take us out to an aldea to visit a Centro de Salud (health center) and drop off medicine. Because my counterpart works for the Honduran health department (public hospital), they have vehicles that they’re allowed to use. Someone always has to drive us around though. Anyway, we spent about an hour at the first aldea. My counterpart knows an older woman in the aldea who used to work as a midwife so we stopped there first to see if she was home and to tell (not ask) her to have lunch ready for us on our way back out of town.

Really, it’s the most interesting thing…you can show up in any aldea and someone will feed you. You don’t need to call ahead or ask if they have time or enough food. You just stop by and let them know you want to eat. Luke has experienced this in the aldeas he’s worked in too. If it’s not lunch or dinnertime when you stop by, they’ll for sure give you coffee and some “rosquillas” (hard corn cookies) or sweet bread.

Well the midwife wasn’t home so my counterpart told the neighbor girl that if Doña M came home, she was supposed to have cooked eggs ready for us when we passed back through. While one of the employees from the hospital went to the Centro de Salud, my counterpart, another employee and I walked to the house of Doña M’s brother and his wife. We sat on their porch and of course, they had to “regalar” us something (regalar literally means “to gift”). So we got loads of mínimos (small bananas), and sacks of beans, both things from their farm. We thanked them, ate a mínimo, and then took off for another aldea higher in the mountains. We had to walk about 10 minutes from where we parked the old 1980-something Toyota Land Cruiser to find a woman who is living with HIV/AIDS and is pregnant with her fourth child. Her husband wasn’t around (she told us he was out planting in the fields) and I’m not sure how often he really is. She’s got 3 little girls all under the age of 5 and is 8 months pregnant. I’m not sure how long she’s had HIV. We found her to tell her she needs to come to the hospital on Monday to start taking medicine to prevent the baby from getting HIV and to give all the little girls an HIV/AIDS test. The little girls were running around without shoes and pretty dirty and the woman herself didn’t look healthy but she seemed very kind. The house has a dirt floor and although it looked tidy, it was pretty open to the elements. A sad afternoon but we were happy we found the woman because more than likely, she wouldn’t have come in to start taking those meds.

On the way back out of town, we stopped at Doña M’s and sure enough, she had come home and there was hot rice and beans, tortillas, and cheese waiting for us. It was 2 pm by then so we were ravenous and I couldn’t have asked for a better meal.


Erin said...


How great to be in a truly hospitable country! The homemade meals always have such an authentic taste!
How sad about the woman with HIV- I am glad you were able to get to her and offer some help! Keep up the good work- you are a blessing to all the people that you reach!

love, erin and romancito!

Raphael said...

Hi Annie, it's Raphael. What is your pchn email address, I don't have it. I'm writing because I was wondering if you could snap a some digital pictures of the higiene/diarrea charla papers you have (and any other related materials, if any) and email them to me. my email:

raphaelcrawfordmarkspchn at yahoo

Thanks, hope all is going well in Danli!


Caleb said...

Hi Luke and Annie, I hope you are doing well. Do you have a cell phone or other number that you could share with me by e-mail (calebyoder@gmail.com)?


Dorianne said...

How sad about that pregnant lady and her children- I'm sure that was tough to see. Question: Are Hondurans that hospitable (the food I mean) with other Hondurans, too, or do you feel like you get special treatment because you're different (the "educated American")? I don't mean to be jumping to any conclusions and that's why I'm asking, just something that popped into my head cause you seemed impressed by how people were expected to provide you guys food (even if, like you say, they don't have enough food or time). K, that's all. Keep up the good blogging and work down there!
Dory & Oshie