Thursday, March 5, 2009


So over the past few days we have spent some time on the north coast. We went up last Wednesday for a retreat for our group, then picked up some of the other volunteers friends, then headed back up for a few more days of R and R. The beaches were beautiful, and we really enjoyed out time there. The retreat was at Sambo Creek, a Garifuna village (the indigenous people) right near La Ceiba. The town was small and quiet, and it was the prefect place for a retreat. We then headed to San Pedro Sula to pick up Melissa’s friend, then the next day we drove to Tela. Well, almost to Tela (on the north coast also). About 20 minutes south of Tela, we broke down! Of course I was thinking, call AAA, but apparently it doesn’t work like that here. We happened to beak down outside an aldea, and the people there were really helpful. One man came out to help us out, and about an hour later we were being towed to Tela, so a mechanic cold check out truck out. The tow was a bit unconventional, but it certainly did the job. We got there about 40 minutes later, and settled into a hotel. Over the next few days we enjoyed the sun, sand, and really good fish. We went on a tour of a mangrove forest that was based out of another Garifuna village, and it was great for us to see the local culture. Apparently there are about 28 families that live in thatched roof huts, and they are all (men, women and children) fishermen! There isn’t any farmable land there, and poor transportation, so they subsist basically on fish, plantains, rice, beans and coconut products. We had a great traditional lunch, then enjoyed the beach for a while. At that point we were notified out car was ready, so we got back to the hotel so they could drop it off. We spend one last night and then headed out early. However, the car had other things in mind. About 5 minutes out of town, it broke down again! The mechanic came to the rescue and towed it back to his shop, then gave us a ride to the bus terminal so we could head back and get to work. Joe and Sean are still on the north coast, so hopefully they will be picking it up for us on their way back. It was quiet an adventure indeed!

I’m not sure if everyone has head, but I recently accepted a job offer in Burlington from Fletcher Allen Medical Center. I am very happy to accept the position, it is on a General Medical Floor. The only thing is that I do have to leave a bit earlier than expected, because the position starts on April 6th. I will probably post again before I come back, but I just wanted to let everyone know that in some point in the near future I will actually be employed! Thanks to everyone who wished me luck on the interview and who supported me throughout the process!

The beach at Miami near Tela

A rediculous looking bird

Our alligator friend

Mangrove forest

Feeding time for the pelicans

The beach at Miami, a village near Tela

The sign reads ´The throwing of garbage is prohibited´but there is a huge pile of trash behind it!

Melissa VS driftwood... the driftwood won!

Melissa, Mike and Zac checking out the waves

The beach in Tela, we burried Mike

the view during the tow

Our tow experience

The beach at Sambo Creek

Pico Bonito, in la ceiba

A bird sitting on the powerlines

Mike and I went for a drive one day and discovered his gorgeous lake

Saturday, February 21, 2009

this week

Hello all!
Things are going well here. This week we have been on the move! Sunday we went out to one of the barrios that we don’t’ spend time in usually and met with a couple people there about working on a community center for them. Apparently this is the poorest barrio in Talanga, and its pretty evident. The man we met with said there are lots of drug problems and the teens really have nothing to do there other than fall into pretty bad stuff. There are a couple of really dedicated and pretty inspiration guys that live there that we met with that are working on turning around this community. They have started a soccer league to give the kiddos something to do, and are working on getting the community center there up and running. The only problem is that there are holes in the tin roof, there is a dirt floor, no windows, no door. Basically its just a frame of an abandoned house that they want to get use out of. The other problem is that apparently there is no water for this community. I honestly didn’t know that this existed in Talanga, and an very saddened. The reason, come to find out, is that the mayor bought a defective pump for this particular area, and won’t buy a new one or try and fix the old one. Yea… So people have to walk down to a stream and get some water with this buckets, then haul it up a steep incline to get to their houses. Pretty sad. So anyways, we are going to start working on the community center, and we are really happy to help them out. I think its an ideal opportunity, people that are trying to help themselves, and just need a bit of support with logistics and possibly about $100 dollars total to put a cement floor in. Sounds good to me! So we will continue to meet with them, and the Elms College will be sending in reinforcements for a week in March and they are going to help us with some of the leg work! Hopefully I can take some pics later and get them up before and after!

We have also been going to the clinic a lot this week. Tuesday and Wednesday we went like regular and helped the nursing students. There is also a doctor that was there this week, so we have been helping with him, doing translating and triage and whatnot. Its has been really nice to work with him, because I think it’s a different perspective, and he brings a lot of energy to the project. On Thursday I went back out to Guiamaca to the clinic to help the doctor, a nurse and a group of a few others go to one of the small villages there and do a clinic. We had a great turnout, and worked most of the day seeing patients that otherwise would not have been seen, because of money, time, mobility, resources, etc.So that was a really good experience for us to reach a lot of people, and also to learna lot that we otherwise wouldn´t be able to had we not left the town clinic. Hopefuly I can get involved in these types of clinics again. We actually did a few house visits, and one woman wanted to pay us. We told her that wasn´t necessary, but she insisted. I saw a huge orange tree on her property and asked that we were payed in oranges, and she was more than happy to oblidge! 10 oranges later we hit the road back to the clinic! haha
It was areally a great time, and i´m happy we went.
Take care all!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Hello all! Here is a very much overdue blog; sorry it’s been a while! We have been pretty busy, and then I had to go home for a bit, but now I’m back in the flow of things.
In the beginning of February there is a day for the Virgin of Suyapa, which is a huge day in Honduras. The back story is apparently an idol appeared out of thin air a few times to someone and when the person looked at it, it was of the Virgin. Anyways, every year they have a big ol’ celebration at the beginning of February, and this year we attended one of the masses. The actually day is on the 3rd, but for several days leading up to the actual feast day they have services for different parts of Honduras, so that not all the Catholics in Honduras will try and go to mass on the feast day. We went a couple days before, and brought three busses of people from Talanga. It was really nice to see just how excited everyone was to go to this mass and see the idol they have on display there. The Basilica of Suyapa is absolutely beautiful as well, so that it itself was really nice to see and experience a mass in. Prior to mass there were about 20 priests hearing confessions, and true to Honduran form, mass started about an hour late. I think that the priest did a great job with it, and the people loved it and were very moved by it. As you will see in one of the pictures I can hopefully attach, the people came from all over and expressed their devotion in many ways. There was one woman that entered the church on her knees, and continued on her knees, shuffling her way to the front of the church and in front of where the idol was displayed. It was a beautiful testament to the faith that the Honduran people have, and it left me in awe of this elderly woman enduring physical discomfort to demonstrate her faith and her spiritual journey.
Also, here in Honduras they have woman’s day that they celebrate once a year in January. For our domestic violence group we took a bit of a break from the usual bible studies and discussion and the women decided to put on a play about domestic violence for us. There were about 5 of the women involved, and it was really well done. The theme was empowering women, and the scenes went from a woman and her children being physically and verbally abused, to the woman calling the police, to the women being liberated and are happier. It was a really nice depiction of the struggles that many women face, and I think the women really enjoyed being able to lead the group and put something together for all of us. They did a great job, and we were happy they felt so good about the work they could put together.
Thanks for all your continued support!

Our cat might have a problem..... (for those of you who are unsure, hes holding a cheap Mexican beer!)(Its still closed, don´t worry!=)

The chaos during the setting up for the mass and the procession

The view from inside the Basilica looking out at Tegucicalpa

a woman that waddled to the altar of the church before mass on her knees

Rosa and Alejandra during their women´s day play

A gorgeous sunset one night as seen through our new razor wire security system

The sign announcing the feast day and is events

The Basilica of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This week

So Tuesday, as you all know, we got a new President! We went to Guiamaca as usual, and worked for a few hours. Then, at about 10:00 our time (11 on the east coast) and went over to the rectory to watch the events unfold! Melissa and I went, along with the nursing students that were there, a few nuns, a priest and a few Hondurans that work for the church or are close to the American priest that resides there. It was a great ceremony, and although Obama's speech was dubbed in spanish, it was still touching to hear. I think that it was interesting to see the new President take office in a foreign country. When Honduras, for example, gets a new president, I doubt many people in the States could tell you about the inauguration. However, the news here was everywhere. On election day the front pages of every new paper in Honduras were plastered with pictures and quotes for our candidates. The next day, of course, Honduras rejoiced to see our liberal president elect. I think there are a lot of issues that will effect live down here, but none as obviously or openly as immigration. Although its obvious that republicans and democrats have different schools of thought when it comes to immigration, the people here have the opinion that Obama will completely reform any laws that once existed regarding border patrol,and open up the gates for immigrants. Its a huge issue that effects the economy, the social structure, well, basically every aspect of lives here. They were also very happy with Obama's approach to economic reform, meaning that the immigrants that are in the states now will be able to, at some point in the future, send money home for their families to live off of.
As we watched our new president take the oath I couldn't help but feel proud of our country. We really do have a hugely powerful country, one that hopefully will be on the upswing again before not too long.
Wednesday I went to talk to the Doctor at the medical center in town. Although the doctor is new there, he was welcoming and spoke with me for a while. I explained to him that i wanted to learn more about what they do there, the people that come to see them, the health of the Honduran people, etc, and he said I could certainly spend time with him and the staff there. I was pumped! Thursday morning I got up, and being the person that I am even arrived at the health center early. I then proceeded to wait an hour and a half for the doctor to present himself, while being virtually ignored by the nurses and other staff at the center. When the doctor finally arrived, along with a medical student, he completely ignored me! I couldn't believe it. I said good morning to him as he passed, and barely got a flinch from him. I then waited for 15 more minutes, to see if he might acknowledge me, and after he looked right at me and took the first patient in, I left. It was quite the frustrating experience, but I guess he just didn't want our help. His loss!
Today we had a scrimmage with our baseball teams against the other team from town and another team from a town about an hour and a half away. Laura and I went to pick up the kiddos from Rio Dulce, and there were 12 of them, which it is a great turnout! we were so excited, because the kids were so excited, that we forgot to get the gloves and balls! Eventually we went back to get them, and the proceeded to the stadium. We then played our tournament, and gave the kids lunches. They loved it. We loved it. And our team won, so it was really good reinforcement for them! All in all it was a great day!
Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The week

Hello all! Things are going really well here, I am happy to report. Monday we had our weekly Domestic Violence group, and the women were all in good spirits. We had about 12 of them, and many brought their kids, which I have to admit, i´m becoming quite fond of ( its hard not to fall in love with them!). We somehow got into a conversation about cooking, and they asked me if I was able to make tortillas and beans and whatnot. I informed them that I could, and their response, without missing a beat, was that I would make a good wife one day. Its intersting to see how minds work so differently!
Tuesday and Wednesday Melissa and I spent in Guiamaca, at the clinic, working with some nursing students that are there for a few weeks to learn about public and community health. They have an instructor there also, but Melissa and I ahve been pitching in to help translate, and fill in for the teacher when possible. It has been really nice for me to be able to teach the students, and I think i´m learning also. They are all really nice girls, and I ahve had a lot of fun with them. Its good for me to brush up on the ´school´way to do things. Its also been kind of fun to be able to to share with them my experiences in public health, working with this population, and the interesting diseases and coonditions we have encountered here. Friday we took them for a tour of the AIDS hospice we visit, and i think they liked seeing the different social services availabe here. They raised some great questions, which made me think of all kinds of things I hadn´t yet considered. We will be working with them for a few more weeks, so I will be sure to keep you updated. Hope everyone is doing well and keeping warm!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Sunday Luis, one of the men we work with in town, took us to Cedros, a town about a half hour away. It was an absolutely beautiful town, and they were also in the ferria, so we could see the town and the people celebrating. Here are a few pics... enjoy!