Day 10, June 23, 2011
Today was an eventful day! We got up and went down near the children's center to check out the agricultural part of the property. Since the Hospital Loma de Luz is nearly bankrupt, they need to make some cha ching in order to support itself and the people they have to care for (ended with a preposition..dang it! haha). SO (started with a conjunction...dang it!) they are growing all types of plants and have animals, too, to make profit. Brad is in charge of this, and he showed us all of the things there. It was cool to see his passion for agriculture and farming and everything. He showed us what a banana tree really looks like (its not like a palm tree with bananas...thats what i thought it was like! haha its more like a bunch of layers circling around like a plant all in its trunk. Then we got to learn about palm seed oil and how it is the best oil there is. Unfortunately, the plant only grows in tropical climates (originally in West Africa) BUT it sure does help them on the farm. Brad was also showing us his techniques for farming and making his own fertilizer, etc. He gave one of many examples of how he can increase the number of Hondurans he can employ. He said that if he stops buying fertilizer from big companies and hires 2 men to make fertilizer there, it is not only more effective fertilizer, but he's taking that money and instead of giving it to a big company (which isnt bad in itself, but what im going to say next is BETTER for Honduran economy), he's going to employ 2 men who can now provide for their families. SO even if it costs the same, it is helping more people survive, which is cool.
He then showed us the new chicks he got (so adorable) and then the different coops (sp?) they have for the different ages of chickens. The chickens bred for eating are bred already in a way that at 9 weeks of life, they are too big for their legs to support them and their lungs and organs can barely support them. SO at 6 weeks, it is more humane to slaughter them, then, rather then waiting til they get bigger at 9 weeks where they're suffering more. I know this sounds gross or inhumane, but it is a part of life and its a necessary means. Therefore, they had chickens that they had to "euthanize" (to put it lightly). That meant that we had the opportunity to do it. I wont go into the details as some people are queezier than others, but if you want to know, you can ask me personally. Anyways, i sucked it up and cut one of its heads off and plucked it, just to experience what its like for some of these workers to do this all of the time. Don't worry, we didnt just kill them to kill them. That's inhumane. They had to be slaughtered in order to feed people: some for the children in the children's center and then others are sold to people. Therefore, people can be fed at a low rate but the hospital is also making money so that it can stay open and ultimately save people's lives and help people more. Thus, it's just a cycle of life. It's gruesome, but "sea lo que sea" (it is what it is). I told myself that i wouldnt hold myself back from experience here, so i wasn't going to not try this daunting task at least once. Now i can say that i've prepared dinner from scratch.
Then, we went to the Rio Esteban school. I got to see Usher and Johnny and other kids, again. Johnny played his guitar for me..He was shy, but I got a video. I'll try to post it, but im having trouble posting videos. I'll at least have a picture. One of the feisty little girls also put on sunglasses and literally started rapping..hilarious. I'll try to attach a video there, too. If not, i'll at least include the photo. We got to play soccer with the kids and go over the songs to prepare for the Knowledge Olimpiadas (Olympics) tomorrow. We got to get oriented with the kids, as that is where we're going to spend the remainder of our trip. We were thirsty, so i bought some "topos" which they made at the school. Topos are just bags of flavored ice and you bite open a side and eat from there. 1 lempira for 1 topo...aka 4 cents per topo (barato, eh?).
We then left and were heading home with the group from Ohio, but the director of the school, Bictelia, and her daughter who helps with the school, Delmi, and another teacher said that before we went home we'd "have to see the beach." We thought she just wanted us to see the ocean, so we just said "okay" and seemed kind of confused. Then, she had us go up on this little beach house/cabin and there were plates all set up. She had planned and prepared a big lunch for us! It was really a "goodbye and thank you for helping us" lunch for the Ohio group, but we got to reap the benefits of their farewell, too haha. It was a FEAST. We ate chicken (which was rough to do initially...but it was deliciously prepared, so I couldnt resist). I even got to try "ensalada de caracol"..no no, i didnt just write my first name and half of my second name...caracol means "SNAIL" in spanish. SNAIL SALAD. and guess what? it was GOOD. haha The snail really didnt taste like anything. Then Bictelia gave us all REALLY NICE bracelets that a guy in town made. She gave one to everyone. She is literally the sweetest woman i think i've ever met. This was all just for helping in her school!
I then discovered that when people in Honduras smile for a pic, they dont say "cheese" bc thats not a word, so they say "whiskey" which opens their mouth up like cheese does for us in english. it was really funny. Bictelia explained that all to me! haha
We then came back and started packing up all of the prizes the kids would win in the Olympics tomorrow. We packed it all in the car then we ate dinner and winded down by watching "chariots of fire"...and thats all!
It's cool to see the different aspects of life and how God works in all of them. No matter if it is to sacrifice the life of a chicken to ultimately benefit his children or sacrificing your possessions in order to give people you love a nice lunch. God is good all the time
PS We found a huge, smushed toad on the road in the morning...so that's what one of the photos is.