Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Honduras 2012: Life isn't easy there

I've talked about how life is simple there in Puerto Lempira. It is simple in the short term. One doesn't have to worry about a schedule. There is no pressure to keep up with the fashion or society. No make-up. No straightening irons. No phone calls. In that sense yes, life is simple.

To live there and live as most of the people live, it isn't that simple. Not only is life full of hard labor but there are many cultural/societal norms that make life more difficult. Drugs and theft are common there. There are few if any male role models for young men to model their lives after. It isn't uncommon for young ladies to fall into the temptations of such life styles. It is sad and a life that I would love to take our sponsored daughter out of at least until she has passed the age of most of these temptations and can go back and become a role-model for younger girls.  

Aside from peer pressure and social norms. Daily life is hard work. 
The cook washes dishes here... 
After each meal the pots are completely black from the open fire they are cooked over. After each meal she scours all the suet off. It's hard work. 

 The chickens, cats, and dogs walk freely around the kitchen. They hop up on the table to get water out of dirty dishes waiting to be washed and steal left over scraps of rice.
Water for washing, cooking, flushing, cleaning, drinking and bathing comes from this well.
 Moses, who sleeps in the breezeway at Mama Tara's,
 keeps water drawn and available all day. He uses a dilapidated wheelbarrow to haul buckets back and forth.

The older girls did the laundry. And they did it with a smile or at least that I saw. It is hard work.
Would you want to wash your clothes in this water? Honestly I wouldn't either. But that is what they have.
This is the common barrel of water that the kids drank from when they were thirsty. They would scoop this bowl of water and drink the clear brown water until their thirst was quenched. 

Speaking of wells. This "puddle" is a well of another nearby orphanage. Makes you thirsty right? ???
 The little ones nap on this tile floor daily.
 They sleep through all of the screen doors slamming, the dogs walking through, the older children running and yelling... yet they sleep.
 Notice between the "couches" one of the dogs napping too!

 Neighbor kids seem to be somewhat "on their own". They often appear from all directions on our walk back to the House of Hope. They seem to just be coming out to see what we are up to. Rarely was there an adult in sight.

 Home Depot doesn't deliver in Puerto Lempira, but Alex Waits and his Rhino do!
 Some one asked me before we left if there was a Home Depot nearby to get supplies if we need them... Not realizing they were serious I laughed out loud for a second and then quickly realized they weren't joking... clearing my throat: "No, actually there isn't..." I wasn't sure what else to say. ;)
  Trash services? It is done this way... Pick it up, put it in a piles seperated by metals and nonmetals (optional), light a match and watch it burn.

When we were digging trenches by hand one of the person's on our team asked "Why don't we rent a back hoe?" I thought to myself, "REALLY? Where in the world do you think we are going to rent a back hoe?" But I realized she had never been to the port of Puerto Lempira and hadn't been into 'town' to see for herself that this wasn't an option.
The only way into this issolated area of Eastern Honduras is by plane or boat. There are no roads from the rest of Honduras, not because it is an island but because La Maskito is a forgotten place full of indeginous people who are thought of as 'less-than' by the rest of the country.

 In previous posts you have seen the dirt run way... it is not like a 747 is going to make it into town.
the airport
The port is in a large but shallow lagoon.
Behind the pier you can see the cargo ship. This is as far as this boat can come. I am not good with measurements but it is probably at least a football field's length out from shore. The water is only 3-4 feet deep. 
The best way to get these barrels full of supplies to shore is to throw them off the boat, tie them together and walk/drag them to shore.
I don't know about you but I don't think a back hoe could be brought in that way? lol

Getting food and supplies brought into town is difficult and time consuming which makes things more expensive. For most people getting what we consider daily necessities becomes cost prohibitive. 

If you just can't fathom flying into town on a 18 seat plane you could come in by boat. Looks comfortable huh?  I was told that from La Ceba (where we would have been coming from) it was an 8 hour boat ride on a boat like this!  No thanks! 

Life here is certainly complicated and hard. 


Courtney said...

Such an eye opening post. Makes you really think about all that we have.

Kristi said...

Thanks for a glimpse at daily life there. I long for the day that we can go and experience it with you...