Honduras update from Jill
We are once again privileged to hear from Jill Sherman, one of the WOV Columbia-Willamette team members, about their continuing trip in Honduras.
Today we woke to clear blue skies and warm temperatures, at least those of us who did not set the alarm incorrectly and woke an hour early to the pitch black! The guilty party shall remain nameless, but she is writing this note.
After a lovely breakfast (we are all enjoying the Honduran coffee) we headed out in our faithful vans. For security reasons we drive around in vans with tinted glass so no one can see in. We feel like Very Important People! Appearances can be so deceiving.
Our first stop was up another bumpy dirt road into a little village. It seemed rather poor and simple but then we walked into this clean impressive small factory with two huge beehive wood ovens. The owner bakes Rosquillas – a ground corn treat sold in local markets (most of our group found them quite tasteless but we made happy smiley faces and quietly disposed of them in the bushes later). Tina employs several women to help her make these five days a week and is doing very well with her business. She works very hard but is a true success story. Again we all so enjoyed the green and beautiful countryside – favorite flower of the day were these brilliant blue morning glories. We made our driver stop for a photo. (Obnoxious women tourists!)
Next stop was back on the main road (paved!) where we visited a young woman, Fanny, and her family. She and her husband, Dennis, are raising watermelons and other crops as well as running a small “7/11” in the front of their home. Their home was quite lovely – had some appliances, distinct rooms, and even a flush toilet! Oh happy day! Their only child, Maria, is able to attend private school so they are doing well. Baby number two is on the way.
Lunch has been on the fly – sandwiches in the van and more snacks than we can shake a stick at (if we were crazy enough to want to do that!). Back to FUNED headquarters to watch a training session for a new Support Group – 9 people banding together to get a loan and a start at a better future. The young woman who led the training, Dunia, was excellent. Very warm and well prepared. The emphasis is clearly on personal responsibility and the importance of repaying the loans on time.
Our final stop – via bumpy dirt roads – (does one sense a theme here?) led to a beautiful tomato field. A couple run this project which was in this lovely little valley surrounded by mountains – rather idyllic. Both agricultural projects we saw today have extensive drip irrigation and are very well managed. During harvest up to 100 people are employed to handpick the tomatoes which are then either sold in Honduras or San Salvador.
Today was a day of success stories and very heartening. Although the loans are to individuals, the number of lives impacted ripples put onto the community. Once I heard sponsored children called channels of blessing to their villages. This is so true of these people also.
The subject line also tells of our happiness at seeing 3 apparently healthy good marriages – not at all the norm here. We continue to be humbled by the privilege of being with these dear people and their allowing us into their lives for a brief time. However, as we move through the roads and villages there is still dirty water, darling children in sometimes shabby clothes, and quiet stories of poverty. The need is great but so is our joy at being here.
We blessed women returned to our charming hotel for our own personal Happy Hour and then a good supper. God is good – all the time.
Off to bed – blessings on you all.