I will apologize in advance for typos. I am using a Spanish keyboard and it has already taken me 20 minutes just to get to this point. Please bear with me.
We began our day, well some of us, at four fifteen a.m. because someone forgot to change her clock to Honduran time. Everyone else was awakened at five thirty for a breakfast of pancakes, bananas, and fresh squeeze orange juice. Students did their chores after that and we were soon on our way to the village.
We had decided at junta the night before to do our initial prayer service as the cross dedicated to Mary Ellen Kellen Seivert in El Junco, last year`s water project. Fr. Cosgrove did a great job with it. The village of La Florida was all assembled and waiting for us when we arrived. The village leaders and Angel give a little welcome, and I thanked them for allowing us to help them. Angel divided the students into two groups and the work began. By the way, Miguel did a super job of translating in both languages!
I know last year`s missioners will love hearing what I have to say next, this year`s work is not as difficult. There are mountains to climb, but they are not nearly so difficult nor steep. We carried rocks in both directions. One group carried bags of sand downward to where they will make the water collection site. After that sand was gone, they pulled rocks out of the creek bed and stacked them in preparation for dam building. The other group carried rocks and sand up the mountain to where the platform for the water tank will be built.
The missioners were great about trying to talk to the villagers. It was not long before practically every missioner, both young and old, had a trail of Honduran children working alongside them or trailing behind them. It looked like a mother duck with her ducklings.
We saw a few villagers from El Junco who came by to say hello. Alvin was the first to show up.
We ate chicken, rice, and tortillas which was cooked by the ladies there. Then we visited with everyone for a bit before climbing onto the bus for our return trip. That trip was a little noisier than the one on the way there. I think they all know they have made friends with these villagers. The people of La Florida are very hospitable and friendly. I can already foresee a tearful goodbye when we leave.
This afternoon we rested a bit and then tackled the chore of emptying the bags of the supplies we packed last Sunday. We are still short the ten bags but hope to fetch them soon. Liam, Pat, and Bruce are being very good sports about it. The unpacking went quickly. Everyone pitched in to make short work of that job. When I left the compound to do this blog, most of them were in the courtyard visiting or playing cards. Some were taking their first shower of the trip, while being teased about possibly running out of water by some of the men.
I will try to blog tomorrow after our trip to the malnutrition center. Oh yes, I almost forgot. We took along a thermometer so we would know the heat we were enduring. Today it was one hundred nine degrees in the sun and ninety two degrees in the shade. Most of our time was spent in the sun. Our rest breaks were in as much shade as we could find.
Everyone is healthy and starting to mix together with their fellow missioners. I believe they are forging some strong friendships through their common mission in Honduras. I look forward to keeping you abreast of the news.