Thursday, July 31, 2008

Folk Art

Months ago I mentioned the drawings and paintings we sometimes see on buildings in remote villages in the mountains of Lempira. Finally I've found the pictures I knew I had somewhere, of a few examples of this folk art. I've advised my family to be on the lookout for more examples when they travel, and to get photos when possible.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My leaky roof

The landlord's workmen were here again this week, working on the roof of the house. First they replaced the broken clay tiles on the roof above the carport. This carport is where we store all of the donated items until they can be distributed. Currently everything is placed up on wooden pallets, and covered by tarps, because of the many leaks. It's not a great solution, but we don't have much choice, as there isn't enough room inside the house for all of the stuff - plus, there are plenty of leaks inside the house, as well!

This is the ceiling of the carport (I'm standing on the front porch, looking out to the carport through the arch), after the workmen caused one of the ceiling tiles to fall. Soon after this picture was taken, a second tile (the blackest one in the photo) also fell. As you can see, all of the tiles have a lot of water damage. The two that fell were the worst of the bunch. Those two tiles have now been replaced. There is a gutter which runs along the side of the house, just where the porch meets the carport, and it has a low spot right here! It doesn't take much rain for water to just pour down out of the gutter in this spot. We're waiting to see, with the next big rain, if this particular water problem has been solved.

The roof of the actual house is a flat slab of cement, and it leaks very badly in a number of places, including the kitchen, master bedroom, powder room, and the office (a room we use for tool storage, since we certainly can't keep a computer or important paperwork in there to get wet).

For all of the time we've rented this house, the owner has stored construction supplies in piles on the roof. There is also a small shack, used for a storage shed, on the roof. This week, the workmen removed all of the piles and have emptied out the shed. I'm pleased to see this. In the past, when we have complained about the leaks, the workers have put tar on the exposed areas of the roof, but did nothing where the piles were located. Now, at least, they will be able to access the entire roof, when they attempt their repairs.

Here's the current condition of the kitchen ceiling. Since it rains most every day this time of year, this spot is constantly dripping. The stain has spread well beyond where there are actual leaks.

Here you can see that the water has also damaged this wall in the kitchen. Most of that damage was actually done before we moved in. The landlord assured us at that time that the damage was from previous leaks that had been repaired. We were skeptical, but now that I have seen the quality of the repairs, I think he might have actually been telling the truth!

You can imagine how much this situation makes us yearn to move into the buildings we are currently constructing on our property. Not having to arrange furniture based on the locations of water leaks will be so delightful! Not having to look at nasty mildew stains on the ceilings will be nice, too.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A First Glimpse of Gorgeous with her Chicks

Check out the little guy under her feathers!

Chicken Excitement!

Now that our chickens have hatched, we feel comfortable counting them . . . there are TEN! Really that is an impressive number of chicks, don't you think? Originally eleven chicks hatched, but one died the first day, possibly attacked by the other hen or the rooster. The twelth egg I eventually opened, and saw that a chick had developed within, but had died before hatching.

This morning, when I came out of my house, I heard chicks making especially loud, urgent peeps. At first I thought they were just hungry, but then I saw that a chick had managed to get out of the chicken house (which is really an old dog house). The previous occupant of the house had chewed some small holes in the sides, that we hadn't noticed, but the chicks had found!

I jumped into action, moving the other chickens and the dogs out of the area, and started "Operation Look Like a Fool Chasing Tiny Helpless Chicks Who Can Run Really Fast." I first discovered that not one, but two tiny helpless chicks had escaped from their house. They had also slipped under the wire of the chicken coop, and had myriad places to hide in the yard and on the carport.

My house helper, Mirna, arrived and joined right into the spirit of the situation. Christopher had to be dragged from his bed to grudgingly help. Chris brought loads of bricks from the pile in the backyard, and tried to stop up all the holes where the poor helpless babes could slip under the fence, while Mirna and I did our Keystone Kops imitation, including one scene where a wee chick ran between my legs! Too bad there wasn't a video camera around . . . I could've won big bucks on one of those funniest video TV shows!

For about half an hour we chased those miniature troublemakers around the yard, in and around and under everything!

Eventually it was Christopher who managed to catch both chicks and return them to their oblivious mother. I guess with ten babies to manage, it's easy to misplace a couple of them. Mama Gorgeous and family have now settled down to a breakfast of mashed egg and rice inside their newly secured house.

And I need a shower!

Ohhhh, and I'll try to get some pictures of the chicks posted later today or tomorrow. They're adorable (though rather troublesome)!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

House Issues

The landlord was in town for Lempira Day, talking again about wanting to sell the house we are renting. Of course, since the last time he talked with us about this, in February, until now, he has not sent anyone to view the house, so we haven't been feeling overly concerned about possibly having to move out in a hurry.

The timing was especially bad for this visit. I'd been away from home for six weeks, so the house wasn't at it's cleanest, and then we were in the midst of hosting a huge team, which was eating all of their meals at our house. To accommodate feeding such large groups (45 people this time, including the team, translators, and my family), we move most of the living room furniture out of the living/dining room and squash it into my bedroom. Then we move all of the tables we own into that large open room. This means that my bedroom is a mess, and any other room in the house which would normally have a table in it (we use these as desks) has piles all over the place, of stuff from the desk.

The landlord wasn't happy about this state of affairs, and I can understand his point of view . . . if he'd wanted to show the house right then, it wouldn't have looked good for buyers. However, Allen brought up with the landlord the fact that almost every room in the house leaks badly, and that the carport ceiling is almost ready to fall in because the ceiling tiles have soaked up so much water from the leaks in that roof. So, even if we had the house clean and picked up, the house wouldn't show well because there are huge mildew stains on all the ceilings and many of the walls, plus buckets and towels are sitting in strategic locations throughout the house.

Today the landlord's workmen came to see what they could do with our roofs. They started with the carport, pulling down a lot of broken clay tiles. In the process, they also caused two of the (probably asbestos)ceiling tiles to fall. Happily, there was no one under these water-logged tiles when they came crashing down!

Now it has started raining, and we have several large holes in our roof (instead of just leaks). I honestly expected the workmen to just leave, with the explanation that you can't work on a roof in the rain. But, so far, they are still up there, and I've placed as many buckets as I can find under the open holes in the carport roof. Sadly, most of the buckets we own are already in use, catching water from the leaks in other parts of the house.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Buried Treasure!

A few years ago, when we moved from the island of Guanaja, our computer died. It had loyally served us for several years in a non-computer-friendly climate, weathered a brush with Hurricane Wilma, a very rough ride on a cargo boat during a tropical storm, followed by a truck ride to Gracias . . . and somewhere along the way it gave up.

Because I'm fairly incompetent in all things computer, I didn't have backups for the information on that computer. Most regretted was the loss of many of our pictures from that phase of our lives.

We kept the hard drive from that computer, and on my recent trip to the states, Miguel, husband of my good friend Rose, was able to recover the pictures and documents for me! Here are some of my favorite pictures from that collection, all involving our son David.

Ain't he cute?

Monday, July 21, 2008


We didn't know when to expect our eggs to hatch, since we were on vacation when Gorgeous began her family. Yesterday Kirstin discovered that about five eggs had hatched . . . today we have at least nine chicks in the nest!

They are soooooo adorable, and we are all very excited about their arrival. I'll try to get some pictures soon. With the visiting team, and the big Lempira Day festivities yesterday, we've been a bit busy here. Tomorrow Allen will be taking the team to spend the rest of the week in San Rafael Lempira, and then I should have more time to blog!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lempira Day is coming, and we're already celebrating here!

Lempira Day is such an important event in our city, and the carnival and street fairs have been going on for days, even though the actual holiday isn't until Sunday. Today the parades started, and already this morning we've taken some wonderful pictures to share, from the Kindergarten Parade. With the visiting team arriving tomorrow morning, I don't have time to write much today, but here is a link to the post about Lempira Day from last year, in case you want to know what we are celebrating!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Breaking News from the Hen House

While I was away on vacation, our family was given another rooster! With our existing 2 to 2 hen to rooster ratio already being waaaaay too heavy on roosters, something had to be done. So, the new rooster and Mr Pincher made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of the monthly pastor training school in June.

That leaves us with the original pair, Gorgeous and Handsome, and of course sad-looking little Baldy.

Baldy, who came to us looking like this, I promise.

For the past three weeks, everyone in my family has been away from home, and a Peace Corps volunteer was housesitting for us. Anna cared for all of our animals, including the chickens, but apparently she never collected any eggs. To our delighted surprise, we returned home to find Gorgeous sitting on a nest full! We had intended to let the chickens try to hatch some eggs after our vacation, so the timing on this was just perfect.

From the look of things, she is sitting on eggs laid by both herself and Baldy. I don't know enough about chickens to know how unusual this would be. We're really looking forward to the outcome of this unplanned educational experience at our house!

Gorgeous with her nest full of eggs. Sorry it's a blurry action shot, but Gorgeous wasn't liking the idea of moving off her eggs for the picture.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blogging Will Now Recommence!

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that my entire family is now back at home. We're busy today: unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning the house, oh, and running the Pastor training school and preparing for a team which arrives on Saturday. I'll write a real update as soon as things are a bit more organized here!