By Ellen Tobin
Ellen and her team from University of Maine are in Honduras conducting research on bio sand filters. Here is an update they shared earlier this week. We are glad to hear that all is going well so far!
The team arrived safely in Tegucigalpa at noon on Saturday. Upon meeting up with our friends from Pure Water, we jumped into two pickup trucks and made the four hour drive to Trojes, stopping once in Danli for groceries. We arrived in Trojes around 6 PM Saturday. Tired from our day of travel, we ate dinner at the hotel, debriefed our day of travel, and gladly settled into our beds for a long night of rest.
Sunday was a glorious day starting with fresh fruit for breakfast followed by a local church service. Despite being three times as long as our typical one hour service, and our knowledge of bible trivia being suspiciously nonexistent, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were touched by the enthusiasm and hospitality of our gracious hosts from Pure Water and the church. After church, we visited with their pastor and enjoyed hearing about the enthusiasm and youth surrounding the church. After church we ate lunch at our favorite restaurant, Las Marias. Updated menus with pictures made for an interesting meal decision as our group became a bit more adventurous with our ordering. Following lunch we returned to the hotel to prepare for the coming days of field study. Finally, we culminated the afternoon with a game of sunset football (soccer) verses our Pure Water companions. Despite taking a decisive loss, our team had fun and enjoyed the friendly competition.
Monday July 24th was our first day in the field. We divided our group into three teams to visit three schools each.
Highlights for each team are as follows:
Barbara, Nick, and Pat: Barbara was a superstar in the field, efficiently and gracefully navigating the schools and taking water samples. At the first school Pat left a note in Spanish for the students summarizing the trip. The teacher said that it was a great opportunity for the students to correct the evident grammar mistakes. Nick’s highlight of the day was his first experience riding in the bed of the pickup truck surrounded by the consistently spectacular mountain views.
Ellen, Julia, and Jon: Julia and Jon sang and played guitar with the children at one of the schools. They were able to get to two of their three schools as a previous mudslide was blocking the road to a third school.
Cathy and Cordelia: Cathy and Cordelia were appreciative of their driver Samuel who built a bridge with wood so that the team could cross and get to the school. Cordelia was happy to be able to successfully translate and communicate with all people that she interacted with in the schools and communities. This was highlighted by sharing the classic Dr. Seuss tale “Juevos verdes, con Jamon” (Green eggs and ham).
Paz, Amor, y Bendiciones,
Barbara, Cathy, Cordelia, Ellen, Jon, Julia, Nick, and Pat
Stay tuned for updates from this team!