Good afternoon from the sunny Pacific coastal town of Choluteca. We departed the Mission house at 6:oo sharp this morning for the 3 1/2 hour scenic drive to the west coast of Honduras. We climbed over towering mountains and saw about a million "Kodak Moments." We made great time, especially considering the major road work that is going on the highway. They are repairing a bridge and the detour was just a tad bit bumpy. Just a tad.... we have a couple of people that had to check fillings to make sure they were still there.
We are staying at a different hotel this year. The largest, nicest (keep everything in perspective here...) hotel was booked up so we made reservations at Casa Real (The real house). We were holding our breath since Choluteca is not exactly a vacation get away city and does not have a lot of choices. We were both excited and relieved when we pulled up to a hotel that looks a lot like a nice Best Western back home. The rooms have AC and the hotel is only a couple of years old. Nice, but not fancy. It is going to work well for us this weekend.
We arrived at 9:30 and Chad Hedgepath met up with us. Chad works with Jarod Brown with Mission Lazarus, a wonderful mission program on this side of the country. Chad is from Nashville and has been on a lot of Torch trips. He and his wife have been here full time for 10 months. Everyone had packed lunches so we were ready to go to work as soon as we got here. We were back on the buses at 11:00 for work.
We divided into 3 teams today. 1 team stayed at the hotel and packed food for a massive food distribution for Saturday. They also sorted all of the supplies we brought for the clothing/shoes/toys/stuffed animals give away. The second team went with Chad to paint a newly aquired warehouse that is going to be used for a new congregation that is meeting in Choluteca. The third team went out to Agua agrias.
Once we arrived we divided into 2 groups. One group went to the church building that we built last year and worked there. The mixed concrete by hand and poured a floor for the church building. Many of the men of the village worked with us. They (about 100 men) began work at 4:00 this morning by repairing sections of the road that lead into the village and mixed concrete. 1,200 sf of concrete was poured today via shovels and wheel barrels. Can we say "Whew!" The other team went to the school and dug the post holes and placed the posts in place for the new playground that will be built Saturday (Tricky Pat also tried to catch a chicken... let's just say the chicken is still roaming freely this afternoon). After precise, laser guided measurements (OK, 2 tape measures and some guesswork) the posts were placed into the ground and concrete filled the holes. We also took a walk about to the house site for tomorrow. It was a "over the river and through the woods" experience.
Devo is at 7:00 tonight. Tomorrow the team kicks into high gear as we build a nouse, build the playground, conduct a medical clinic, do a clothing/shoe distribution, and plant trees for Mission Lazarus. Word had been sent out weeks ago and everyone within walking distance is coming tomorrow. And for those who might be curious, it is hot here. I am pretty sure the rubber on my tennis shoes melted right into the sidewalk today. And I am also pretty sure that women were cooking lunch on the sidewalks. Looked like they were frying up some meat and eggs........... yep, its pretty hot here.
We will write again soon. We are trying to figure out rooming assignments at the hotel. Just another one of those "Welcome to Honduras" moments. Sometimes you just have to laugh. Adios mi amigos y amigas. Cristo te ama!!!