Update on family in danger

June 24, 2007 at 1:57 pm (June)

The four brothers and sisters of the family whose members are being murdered one by one are going to me moved from the ranch to a NPH in another country (I’m not saying where).  Last week an armed man arrived at our gate looking for the children.  Apparently the newspaper published a story about the children and wrote where they are now, EVEN THOUGH the ranch told the newspaper not to.  Those poor kids, living in eternal grief and fear.

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more on the buses

June 24, 2007 at 1:51 pm (June)

Riding the buses is Honduras is always an experience.  They are usually packed and it is rare that we actually get a seat on the way home from Tegucigalpa.  Sometimes there are 20-30 people standing in the aisle.  Recently, the police seem to be cracking down on this, presumably for safety reasons.  There is always at least one police check point on the way home from Tegucigalpa.  At the check points money often changes hands between the police and busdrivers, either bribes or fines.  To avoid these fines the bus driver and assistants have now resorted to screaming at everyone who is standing to kneel down in the aisle, so when we pass the police check point, the police won’t see the packed-in people.  The ironic part is that the very people the police are trying to protect, the passengers, always readily comply with the bus driver.  I guess people feel the alternative would be no bus ride at all, or waiting another hour for the next bus with seats available. Too funny!

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Another tragedy on the ranch

June 18, 2007 at 2:40 pm (June)

  It’s only been three weeks since the rancho boy was murdered on the bus in Tegucigalpa.  Yesterday, another tragedy happened.  The older brother of two of the boys in our hogar jumped in the posa to save a drowning younger boy.  He brought the boy to the side and then disappeared underwater, apparently from exhaustion.  (One of the problems with the posa is that the water is very murky.  Visibility is about 2 inches.  In fact we have often talked about how dangerous it is, because unless you see someone go under, you would have no idea.) Some kids who saw the event ran to tell a tio.  The tio apparently didn’t believe them.  It wasn’t until many hours later when the older boy didn’t show up to a meeting that he was expected at, did they begin the search.  By the time they found him at the spot where he disappeared, he was long ago dead. He was seventeen. 

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Adventures in Nicaragua

June 18, 2007 at 2:38 pm (June)

  No, Nicaragua is not dangerous!  In fact, the director here thinks it’s the safest country in Central America.  We found it to be cleaner than Honduras, and it seemed to be a bit wealthier..there is much more arable land.  The landscape was much different than Honduras..lots of jungle, flat cultivated land, and numerous volcanos popping up everywhere.Some highlights:

We visited “Selva Negro” (Black forest) which is a rainforest reserve/ coffee plantation.  On an early morning hike in the rainforest we spotted numerous howler monkeys who made quite a racket, and then a toucan..it was just like the one on the Fruit Loops box!  See video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8433A18w4oc Later in the day we rented horses to tour the huge coffee plantation…just a gorgeous place.

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Boys on their horses strolling through the coffee plantation 

We also visited an active volcano much to Henry’s dismay. He was certain it was going to erupt and kill us all.  We were offered gas masks to alleviate the noxious fumes pouring out of the crater.  We were too tough to take the ranger up on it.  A cross on the edge of the caldera marked where priests used to sacrifice young maidens into the volcano to appease the spirits. See video of maidens being sacrificed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciO1ofTLerE

We spent two nights on the island in Lake Nicaragua where NPH-Nicaragua is located sitting below an active volcano.  The other pequeños loved hearing about their compañeros in Honduras.  We felt they had a better life in Nicaragua…way more food and less work, BUT it was damn hot!

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Island where NPH Nicaragua is located.

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Henry and Lucas visit with the pequenos at NPH-Nicargua 

There is still evidence of a lot of political strife.  When you entered a town you would see numerous Sandanista flags dotting the landscape or PLP flags (the other major party) depending on the town. Ortega was recently elected by only 30% because there were numerous parties being represented.  There seems to be uncertainty about the future.

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Painting in cultural center, Leon, Nicaragua

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Fire, plague, pestilence

June 1, 2007 at 6:55 pm (June)

  I was just thinking a few weeks ago how lucky our family has been in terms of getting sick.  We have barely had a cold all year and our intestines have even adjusted to the water fairly well.  All was well and fine until the plague hit us.  It started with fevers a few weeks ago around the time of the big fire, and we have been sick with some intestinal malady for almost three weeks.  Every time each of us is feeling better we think we can eat something normal again…wrong!  It leads to yet more diarrhea, painful cramps, and for Lucas, more vomiting.  When is it going to end?  Henry does not have an ounce of fat left on him.  The poor guy looks like a concentration camp victim. 

Then, we were having dinner last night with two boys from the hogar, when pestilence hit.  It had just rained which triggered some massive termite migration.  Millions of them started pouring into our house through every crack and crevice.  It was like something from a bad horror movie. There was nothing we could do except swat at the winged little bastards.  They were falling in our food and from the ceilings all over the house.  We spent several hours trying to kill them all to no avail. Several ranch kids said, “Oh, those are palomillas (termites).  Be careful, they like to crawl in your ears and they make you go deaf.”  Oh great! That’s just what we needed to hear before bed, even if we didn’t believe them.  The boys would never go to sleep.  Our house was crawling with them.  Then, to top it off, the electricity went out for the 25th time this month, so we could no longer see where all their little

squiggling bodies were.   This morning there were little carcasses all over the floors and counter tops, not to mention our beds. Today, wings continue to fall from the ceiling every time a breeze blows.  Scream!!!!!!!!!!!  Its time to go home!

termites.jpgtermite wings and bodies all over the kitchen

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