A Day At The River

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Once the rainy season starts it will be impossible to navigate the long muddy dirt road down to the raging torrent the Umuya River will become. So we enjoy Mother Nature’s fruits while we can. We stand in a huge Mango grove and the kids scamper up like monkeys to harvest the succulent treats and swim in the nearby presently placid river water where we spend Sunday afternoons..

 

Ancient Lenca Pottery

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This ancient Lenca pottery was dug out of the ground by workmen at a construction site in downtown La Paz about three weeks ago. These ollas are several thousands of years old and predate the Maya culture by many centuries. The 6,000-year-old pyramid complex of the El Chircal archaeological zone is about ten kilometers from the municipalidad of La Paz, the La Paz departmental administrative center. My goal is to interview the workmen who made the discovery and view the site for photographic evidence to establish provenance.

Semana Santa 2016

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The Río Umuya has its source somewhere high in one of the 78 mountain peaks in the departamento of La Paz where I live. The river snakes down into the Comayagua Valley skirting the municipalidad of Cane. It’s in the heart of prehistoric Lenca country and the river eventually flows by right at the base of the 6,000-year-old El Chircal ancient pre-Maya Lenca pyramid complex. My friend Celeste invited me to spent the Easter holiday at the river with her family where the present-day Lenca are still swimming millenia later and where we feasted on the traditional fish soup. Even though we had to hike in a mile it was a very pleasant way to spend a very hot day amid friends. That night I slept like a baby.

River Fun 13/03/16

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The heat is upon us. After church Sister Edith packed up a lunch and we headed for the water in her new busito and my Chevy Step-sider, which of course the kids loved. The days will be super warm until the rainy season begins in May. One caveat is that last year the rainy season did not begin until September, climate change and all. Semana Santa, or Easter Week, begins next Sunday at which time the whole country takes a week-long holiday and saturates every available pool, lake, river and ocean beach. My new home has kept me busy and for the first time I have been able to work on my own garden. Love it.

 

Seven Years Ago

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Seven years ago today I arrived in Honduras as a Peace Corps Trainee. After a three-month training period I was accepted as a Peace Corps Volunteer along with 14 other Health Care Project Volunteers; of whom only 6 of us would complete the two-year term of service. I encourage anyone interested in this web page to scroll back to my introduction to Sister Edith and the children in her care that day so long ago when I met her and the kids. The situation today is quite different. When I returned from my vacation to the States last month Sor Edith told me she had received the keys to a 2011 micro-bus a supporter had donated to the Foundation the day I arrived home to La Paz. I look back with a sense of reverence to those days when there was barely enough to eat and we were worried about putting a roof on an abandoned, dilapidated adobe building, being previously used as a garbage dump, where the children were housed in their then-new home, sleeping on discarded bedding, after having been evicted from a municipal building initially provided by the alcaldía.

New Home

I moved into my new home on February 1st after a week of moving STUFF in my old pickup truck. A couple of days later when I went to the cable company to reestablish my internet connection I learned that there was no service where I live. It is a new home. It is not clear if or when my connection will be reestablished so yesterday I threatened to leave the cable company for a new provider. This morning there were two cable service trucks in front of my house with guys climbing the nearby telephone posts. Meanwhile I am reduced to frequenting fast-food providers to use their wifi service. If I have internet service next week in my home I will post pictures of my new digs.

Solstice 2016

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The thirty days I spent with family over the holidays seems like a dream. I hadn’ t returned to the States for a year and a half. My elder daughter’s family is selling their home looking over Puget Sound and has bought a new home on the banks of the Skagit River west of Washington’s  Cascades Mountains. My vacation was very, very nice. It was also nice to return home to La Paz, La Paz, Honduras Thursday. I sent by US Postage 6 small boxes of donated clothing for the children at the Home (many thanks to my granddaughter Sofia) and another couple of boxes filled with shoes will be arriving soon.

Happy Solstice

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These are the gifts I am leaving the children this year. Books. I always gave my own children books for the holidays and I follow suit with the children of the Hogar San José. The authors I have chosen for the older kids are Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, Jules Verne, Ernest Hemingway, Alexander Dumas and other lesser known authors who write well. The elementary set get color books and crayons. When I return from Seattle next year I plan to begin a Literature and Lenca History class and continue Astronomy, English and sign language classes. The children will be busy: they will also resume their marching band activities. Tomorrow I fly to Seattle for a  month. Happy Solstice and a Merry New Year everyone!