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Archive for November, 2011

Birthday Boy

This week David celebrated his 28th birthday – our last birthday in Honduras!  There happened to be a medical brigade in town (for the past two weeks) so we’ve been helping them out when we can including on David’s b-day.  Fortunately the clinic that day was held in Trinidad and was only a half day, so he didn’t have to work TOO hard.

It was just another day in Honduras but here are some pictures I snapped of David…

Heading out for a morning run

Birthday lunch with the Brigade - they bought him a card and a treat from the bakery

Watching his beloved Hokies and shaking his keys

We didn’t get too much celebrating in this week because we were really busy with work but don’t worry, we have some free time on the horizon!

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USAID is a US government aid agency that funds and manages development programs in poor countries all over the world.  Currently USAID is implementing a series of programs in the western region of Honduras related to various themes such as watershed protection, drinking water quality, wastewater management, and solid waste management.

In the municipality of Trinidad, which includes more than 20 small towns and communities, I am supporting USAID and the municipal government of Trinidad in the implementation of a chlorination program.  Recently, a promoter from USAID gave a workshop in the community El Tigre on the proper application of chlorine at the community water tank to disinfect the water that is distributed to the taps of the community members.  Several water governance boards (juntas de agua) from all over the municipality of Trinidad attended to learn the proper methods.

Dolan from USAID in front of the storage tank

Measuring the dimensions of the chlorination box on top of the tank

Mixing the powdered chlorine into solution

In my final months as a PC volunteer in Trinidad one of my most important contributions will be accompanying municipal workers to as many communities as possible providing technical assistance in the application of chlorine in their water systems.  I hope to train several municipal workers so that they can continue assisting technically the juntas de agua and monitoring chlorine application after I am gone.

Pouring the chlorine solution into the chlorine box

Also, the municipal government is establishing a “chlorine bank” where juntas from the surrounding communities can come to buy chlorine.  They already have a similar system; however, due to lack of promotion, it is not being properly managed or utilized.  I hope to get this chlorine bank back on track as well.

View from atop the tank

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This past week David and I had the opportunity to travel to Puerto Cortes (on the North coast) to translate for a medical brigade.  This brigade of doctors, nurses, a pharmacist, and other helpers is mainly from Arizona but also included members from Virginia, Maryland, Nebraska, and Alaska.  We translated for this same group in October of last year (read about that here) only difference being last year they were based out of our town, Trinidad.

Shipwreck off the shore

The Episcopal bishop of Honduras decides where the brigades are most needed and this year that happened to be Corinto which is a small town right on the Honduras/Guatemala border.  Interesting fact: according to our driver, Henry, there are over 100 Episcopal brigade groups in Honduras each year.

Because Corinto is a small town we actually stayed in a hotel in Puerto Cortes and commuted about 45 minutes every day.  Several things we enjoyed about the hotel were: cable TV, air conditioning, a pool, catered breakfast and dinner, and laundry service!  The hotel is technically ocean front which made for some nice sunset shots however the beach was not all that appealing.

Boys acting tough (complete with temporary tattoos)

Can't seem to find a place to lay out my beach towel...

Hondurans, and their Central American neighbors, are notorious for littering; however, most of this trash was washed up (after being deposited into the ocean by rivers).  It’s really sad that there was so much pollution because of all of the Honduran beaches we have been to this one was actually the most utilized by people – we saw many runners, beach volleyball players, and dog walkers.  Later in the week we did see clean-up crews preparing for weekend visitors.

Volleyball at sunset

As described in our post from last year, there are several common medical complaints that we see during the brigades including headache, body/bone pain, cough/cold, stomachache, diarrhea, foot fungus, and skin spots.  This year was unique because we held clinic in the same town for 5 days straight allowing for patient follow-up.

Crowd waiting to check-in

One particular case was an 84 year old woman with a broken hip whose family could not afford surgery.  The woman was being cared for at home by several of her daughters (she had given birth to 15 children).  I went with a couple of the doctors and nurses to translate as they explained some basic care to the family.  Although the woman was in a lot of pain (and with no pain medication!) the doctors were very impressed by the level of care her family had given her and had hope for her recovery (and we left her some Tylenol).

Cuties! I wanted to take little Andrea home with me

Overall we had a great week and really enjoyed having some new folks to socialize with.  The boys also enjoyed being able to watch the World Series and discuss whether game six was the best baseball game of all time (the jury is still out).

This man was on crutches and traveled to the clinic with the help of his 4 year old grandson

The pharmacy

Filtering water for the crowd. The doctors brought 60 water filters, 15 of which David and I will distribute.

Brothers in their new shades.

Cutest little kitty, Micho.

Adios

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