Weather, Food and Friends

Dear Friends and Family,

It’s early Thursday morning, almost at the end of our third week here at TLC.

The weather has been interesting over the last week. Several evenings and nights with torrential downpours which make quite an explosive noise on our metal roofs. The rain has brought out some interesting insects and many rana (frogs) even a few land crabs! My garden in front of our casita is beginning to be pretty wet.

It’s been terrific to have our good friends (tres amigos) here from Virginia this week – Jose, Jim and Bill.

It was sort of funny, my third-year entrepreneurs class, recognizing an opportunity, made cheeseburgers after Church on Sunday afternoon and targeted gringo sales prospects. For 30 lempira (about $1.40) they provided very tasty and somewhat American cuisine as an alternative to rice and beans. They sold over 50 burgers, here on campus and at Los Valles, the small community about 2 miles down the road! Profit margins of 60% were reported!

This week my eight business students presented the results of their home community market studies. Each gave a power point presentation of their local market and a couple business possibilities. Ideas from needs in their communities generated a possible Kinder-care, bodegas, internet services, eggs and poultry business and a butcher shop.

We will try and see what makes sense over the next month or two.

Bill and Jim have been working with my business class this week in class and out of class. Bill has been doing a lot of accounting tutoring (some late nights) as the class anxiously prepares for their first test tomorrow.

Jim has led a couple discussions including a class yesterday on NGOs and service organizations. That topic is particularly interesting since several of the girls want to start organizations to provide social services in their communities. Abigail is focused on young people with Down’s syndrome particularly and wants to create vocational opportunities for them. She explains that in their class-based society these people are seen at the very margins and that by providing employment opportunities she can help them and also help her community see their worth. Pretty remarkable and a bit humbling to see a young woman with so little herself, be so concerned about others.

Chris’s classes are going well. Jose has been helping her students with English and reading. The girls love Jose and his Puerto Rican accent! And the chocolates he brings them!

Jose has also been leading the four of us guys in a project this week. We are making benches for the comedor. The Honduran workers tell us we will not get our workshop diploma if we don’t complete 6 benches by tomorrow. (two are complete, but we have the wood cut for the other four – might be close depending on hardware constraints!)

Dinner last night was a bit modest, beans, cabbage and corn tortillas. But the students surprised us with pineapple pastalitos for dessert. Very tasty!

Chris has begun coaching four of the students who are going to serve in July medical brigade from the states. This is a team of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who come and serve in very rural areas for several weeks. Our students, with their excellent English, serve as translators and assistants on the teams. Chris is teaching them medical terms and a bit about general principals of health care.

We will all be sorry to see our team leave Saturday. The students just love having teams here. But I am happy for them to get back to more food choices and their families!

Saturday morning many of the students will leave TLC to celebrate Mother’s Day at home. Those who within three – four hours of campus, will head home for Sunday time with family.

Blessings from Honduras!

Dan and Chris

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