Thursday November 5, 2015
November 3, 2015 On Saturday my niece Kate joined us in La Esperanza. We had a fun Halloween walking through town and enjoying delicious food and the local culture. Halloween is not celebrated here but the next two days November 1 & 2 “All Souls Day and All Saints Days” are so there were many celebrations and events happening. The next day we took our bikes to her friend’s house for storage while we bused to her town of Colomoncagua which may be an indigenous word meaning hills, mountains and water. The almost 4 hour less than 30 mile bus ride into the mountains near El Salvador was another adventure. What a rough road! Kate manages the local municipality medical clinics that are supported through a charity organization. She rents a room in a house and we were welcomed to also stay there in an empty bedroom. We attended a work meeting with her Sunday then enjoyed a late lunch with several of her Honduran co-workers. Her current project is conducting a census of all the families in the very remote areas and encouraging them to visit the clinics for medical care as many of them walk across the border and receive their health care from El Salvador.
Monday morning we met with about 15 census takers that she hired for the project and rode by truck near the border where we were broken up into teams. I along with all the others stood up in the small pickup bed but soon felt that it was very uncomfortable to hang on. So I moved down to the inside passenger seat thanks to Kate. We have seen pickup beds packed with people on the roads. But we were off road on a 4 wheel drive truck and it was really hard to hold on. We then spent the day using a very rough hand drawn map to find these very remote homes. We climbed up then down through the dirt and rocky jungle paths, streams, on and off rain and managed to find 11 houses, some very crude and found most people home. Unfortunately there were kids everywhere as most don’t attend school after a certain age. There is an elementary school to grade 6 but after that nothing unless they can find a way to live closer to the city. Most families need their kids’ home to help with the chores. A lot of the families support themselves by selling off a cow or two on occasion. It was a very humbling experience to see how others live with little or no chance for the kids. After the exhausting day we recovered at a local store that operates a very small restaurant in the back. They also have beer which was a real treat.
November 4, 2015 Jocelyn is doing much better with the medication. Whatever it was inside her seems to have been knocked out. Yesterday we visited a few clinics with Kate and picked up 5 water filter for the local elementary school. We also picked up some other medical supplies that Kate had ordered. Today we took a long hike to a waterfall right on the Honduras/El Salvador border. The waterfall is in a beautiful jungle setting with a river separating the two countries. Tomorrow we will bus back to La Esperanza and prepare to continue our ride south.
November 5, 2015 We left Colomoncagua at 6:30 this morning by bus for a return to La Esperanza while Kate left at 6 for another town. I am very proud of my niece Kate for the work she is doing in this remote area of the world. She graduated from college a few years ago and immediately came here to help where she could. She previously worked in a local orphanage. We had a really good visit with her and had many interesting and fun times. We are so envious of her fluency with Spanish. After another almost 4 hour bus ride we arrived and found a hotel. A few weeks ago while eating an ear of corn a front tooth became loose. Today we visited a dentist who fixed the problem for 100 lempiras (about $4.50). This tooth had a previous root canal and crown. The dentist removed this and re-cemented the post to the root.
Tomorrow morning we will retrieve our bikes then continue south to El Salvador.