April trip report to La Moskitia, Honduras
This trip was an interesting one for me. having skipped a year since my last trip it felt like a family reunion of sorts. i always look forward to seeing particular team mates, but i did not realize how much i need them and these missions in my life until i couldn't go last year. this was also my first trip as an rn. it was awesome to have a better understanding of pharmacology, it made it so much easier to explain medications to patience. i also moved up in my spanish speaking, not good enough to do real translating, but good enough to tell people how to take pills and what those pills are for.
if we dont' go then the honest folks who dont' have any access to health care will suffer. anywho, i also got to hold a monkey. it was very cute. i think jen has pictures.
We had a wonderful trip. the group got along well, and was well organized. the medicine has improved as we can do some lab tests, and went way up into the jungle. I particularly loved being with my daughter, who is now a working nurse (yay). Because we are so out there, with little to do after work except be with each other, I get more close time with her than here at home. Ben Coplan email@example.com
|La Mosquitia, Honduras with an AHMEN SIFAT Workshop in 2013? La Musquitia beginning in 2013: AHMEN Community Empowerment Program.
Wellington, the pastor from La Musquitia, Honduras who is attending the workshops at Cusuna with 7 other agents. They do an incredible effort to come and also paying around $50 per trip to come to Cusuna.
They have proposed several times to start a program in the area to facilitate the access to other interested.
This is a very exciting potential for the AHMEN SIFAT Initiative and Byron tells us we need to put this in the planning for 2013. For anyone wanting input, etc. in this, contact: Michael Franklin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report from AHMEN SIFAT Team to La Mosquitia, Honduras, April 2012
This is from Bud McKinney, the Road Manager for the team.
Welcome Home Brigadiers
Well, as Jesus and I say every time we leave Honduras "we did it again". It is our deeply felt hope that everyone arrived home safely and happy, satisfied in their desire to truly help just a few folks in Honduras.
I hope this does not sound as patronizing to you as it does to me but I have to admit most sincerely "This was, without exception, THE best Medical Brigade I have had the opportunity and pleasure to have traveled with.
We had exceptional weather and we made the most of it, a few things fell apart but each and every one pulled together and made things work. I AM AS PROUD OF YOU GUYS AS I AM OF ANY ENDEAVOR I HAVE EVER PARTICIPATED IN.
My heartfelt "thank you" gos out to everyone both Honduran and North American and once again renews my commitment to "Juntos Podemos" (together we can)
News from Sandy and Sister Eleanor of Cruzadas
From Time to time we get information on various subjects that teams need to know about. This notice comes from Sandy in answer to two questions.
1. How old can a vehicle be and still get into the country. 9 years or less!
2. What about candy in the Christmas Shoe Boxes?
No problems with candies in the shoe boxes. Candies and cookies inside the boxes should be put in plastic bags. They are considered part of the Christmas present.
#9C Meet Emilio
Do you know the name of the only Spanish speaking country in Africa? It is a country like most with various tribal or rural languages but with one national language. This Spanish speaking country is Equatorial Guinea on the western coast of Africa.
Did you know that there were three countries on the western coast of Africa with the name Guinea? If so, your knowledge of geography is way beyond mine. Let me introduce you to one of my English students: Emilio.
He was born in a rural village of Equatorial Guinea, where he completed his primary school education. Then he went to the capital city of Malabo where he lived with his brother and studied what we would call middle school and high school. Like in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, students receive their “bachillerato” for completion of high school, and they have a major area of study.
For Emilio this was science, after which he went to four years of university where he majored in agronomy. Right now Emilio is studying Administration of Agronomy, a four year program here in Honduras at Universidad Nacional de Agricultura.
Like many of the students here, Emilio is on full scholarship. The two universities have a plan for reverse exchange where students from Honduras would study in Equatorial Guinea, but that has not yet begun.
Right now there are eight students from Equatorial Guinea who are living and studying here at the university with the plan to do the entire four year program, including English. Emilio says that classes here are easier than they were in Africa. Emilio says that there are many similarities between Honduras and Equatorial Guinea. The weather is hot in both places, and much of the vegetation is the same.
Both countries were colonized by Spain and both are very Catholic. He says that the food is similar, but that they eat more rice, bread, and pineapple in Africa than here. Emilio depends on public transportation both here and in Africa.
He says that in Equatorial Guinea there are few motorcycles and few bicycles. Emilio is 26 years old and has one son who is two years old. Travel to Honduras took 24 hours and touched three continents (Malabo in Arica to Madrid in Europe to Guatemala/El Salvador/ Honduras).
He communicates with friends by cell phone, Skype and Facebook. With his mother he depends upon his cell phone since she doesn’t have a computer. He misses his family and friends but he doesn’t know when he will get back to Equatorial Guinea, perhaps at the end of his first year in December. For now I will continue communicating with you by internet.
Perhaps we will see one another in December or January. Then again, Equatorial Guinea seems like an interesting place to go. Variety is the spice of life!!
Click here for the Training Exercise
Tuesday started out routine, but then an opportunity arose to get out of Olancho and see something new in Honduras. I had been to Lago Yajoa (the only lake in Honduras), but that was two years ago when a group of Peace Corps volunteers went to the micro-brewery for a retreat.
We did take a row boat tour of one end of the lake, and had excellent guides to point out the birds, fish, monkeys and other life in and near the water. This would be with an entirely different group of people and a chance to see a zoo I hadn’t known existed.
The timing was perfect because my externado classes had finished their finals with my grades already turned in, my advanced classes didn’t meet again until Thursday, and my Food Technology students surely wouldn’t mind postponing their oral final.
I taught my kinder class and then caught a ride to my house to shower, pack, and go wait for the bus which of course was 45 minutes late. Our bus overheated just outside Juticalpa before we had even climbed any hills, and after not finding the part we needed we were given a different (much more comfortable and air-conditioned) bus.
As with most everything else in Honduras, it was all taken in stride. For the next several hours we had ranchero music, romantic/popular music, and Christian songs. Half of the 30 students on the bus sang with all types of music, and it was a generally pleasant time.
Both busses had to stop several times for the guys to pee, and I am still wondering if they have smaller bladders than the females, whether they like to urinate in groups or whether they just don’t have as much control over their actions as women do.
We took a side dirt road up the hill before we got to Tegucigalpa, which is pretty with lights at night, and avoided all the traffic as we connected with the other highway which is finished and divided part of the way and even has pedestrian overpasses in many places. We got to CEDA (Centro Educacional de Desarrollo Agricola) a training center where we had a late dinner (no grumbling from the cooks), a small bonfire and spent the night in comfortable accommodations.
Wednesday morning, after breakfast we drove the two hours to the zoo which is in a remote area with plenty of room to expand. The zoo had a variety of animals that can live in a hot climate with many cages labeled with detailed information, just what the veterinary and natural resources students needed. I will let the photos give you an idea of what we saw and how close we could get.
There were caves within the park but a good fifteen minute walk away, and you could find signs of Christian encouragement throughout the park. After two hours there, we headed to the lake for a lunch of fresh whole fish and fried banana chips, much like French fries but thinner.
We left there at 3 p.m. and arrived back at the university before eleven. Never once in either direction did I hear “are we almost there?” I have pondered the rationale in spending so many hours in a bus just to visit a zoo for a couple of hours.
But these students had never been to a zoo and thus had an opportunity to see animals that had been unseen except in books or on television. I remember the Seattle Zoo from when I was a child, and my own children have been to a number of different zoos.
We are lucky to have so many opportunities in the USA. I also remember that students from Gilroy went to Ashland, Oregon, just to see Shakespeare performed and that was a seven hour trip each way.
So maybe this isn’t so unusual. Given the choice would you take two afternoons off to lounge around the house or head off with university students to spend hours on the bus just to visit the zoológico?