Monthly Archives: November 2009

Our Chicken Pen!


Tomorrow is election day in Honduras.  A new president will be chosen for a single four-year term.  The current presidencial term continues in peaceful turmoil with a usurper in power and the legal president a virtual prisoner in the Brazilian embassy.  We here at the orphanage are more interested in the real lessons of life: a chicken pen sturdy enough to hold the chickens in check so that we can plant a garden; growing food for the table.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving Day we can see the new bean sprouts rising from the soil in the little garden visible in the top left picture.  In the large open patio where we’re standing in the two bottom right pics we’re surrounded by new little corn seedlings sprouting all around us.  The rocks you see in the large pile to the left of Sulma in the top second right pic were removed by hand day after day, everyone helping in our quest for self sufficiency: we’re still clearing out rocks.  I could only spend a couple of hours working today.  Because of the election all PCVs are restricted to our homes from noon today until Monday noon.  Next Saturday I’m taking the six oldest children and the nun to a hands-on educational organic farm above Siguatepeque so that they might see and learn how they can develop the space where they live.

Dia de Gracias 2009


“This Thanksgiving feast is happening at the orphanage because one day while we, the kids the nun and I, were working digging up rocks and planning our garden Sister Edith asked me when our Dia de Gracias was held (there is no Day of Gracias celebration in Honduras).  Looking up I told her it was on the last Thursday of November.  This was in October.  She told me: “I would like to cook a turkey.”  I asked her if she had ever cooked a turkey before.  She replied “no.”  But she liked the idea of a day of thanks and wanted to learn.  I asked my PCV companera Regina if she could teach the nun how to cook a turkey: my cooking skills are limited to meat loaf and jello-type dishes.  The rest is history.  I would like to ask everyone to try and forget about the materialistic throw-away society from which we are temporarily absent and concentrate on the goodness of folk who put the welfare of those more unfortunate than ourselves at the forefront.  Dollars are a fleeting solace, the spirit of human kindness lasts forever.  Thank you for wanting to participate in the very first Thanksgiving dinner with the Fundacion Senor San Jose’s children of the orphanage who have never tasted turkey before, and who daily ask me what turkey tastes like.”  I sent this email to the ten PCVs who elected to join in our celebration.  The kitchen in the bottom right was provided to us by a friend who lives across the street from the orphanage.  We then transported all the food (three turkeys with all the fixings) and after a prayer from Sister Edith we fed the children first.  This Thanksgiving Day the spirit of the occasion rose in all of us as we joined in a blessed event eternally grateful to be allowed to share bread together in thanks.


The days have been busy and my foot is healing, slowly but surely.  Our chicken pen at the orphange is nearing completion.  School classes are out for the winter until February.  I am, however, giving private English language lessons to three other groups, which keeps me busy four days of the week.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, I leave for another medical brigada high in the mountains above the city of Comayagua at an aldea called Valle Bonito.  Truly a beautiful place; I have been there before.  Two weeks ago I was with a brigada at another mountain aldea organized by an entirely Honduran medical team and we attended to 415 medical patients and 80 dental patients that day.  Next week I have a four-day workshop in Choluteca, Honduras’ southernmost departamento noted for its hot weather and the following week I have a return appt with my orthopedist in Tegucigalpa.  I finally received my new replacement camera from the states, sent by my wonderful daughter Andrea: now I have to figure out how to use the dang thing.  Finally, my own pictures to accompany the narrative.  Just in time to record our Thanksgiving dinner at the orphanage.  Truly something for which to be thankful.