Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back To School - SALES!

This is the first post of 2011 about the Gifts for Gracias Christmas Gift Project. Yes, it's July - the end of July - so it must be time to start talking about Christmas, right?

If you're unfamiliar with our project, here's a brief overview, from our website:

This will be our seventh year to distribute Christmas gifts in and around the city of Gracias, in the department of Lempira. This department is officially recognized by the Honduran government as the poorest area of Honduras. The recipients of the Christmas gifts will again be the pastors of the area churches and their families, and also children in our nutrition centers, special needs program, in the local hospital, and in 14 orphanages.

We hope that this will be an opportunity for you to reach out to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Soon I'll be posting the updated info for 2011, regarding mailing addresses and deadlines, but even though I don't have that all pulled together for you, I wanted to go ahead and post a quick reminder about the project, because it's almost time for Back-To-School sales to start. School supplies are a major need here, and we like to use them as the backbone of the gifts for school aged children. If you have the opportunity to purchase some extra school supplies to donate to the project, why not do so now, while the good sales are on? Some donors make up complete gifts for us to distribute, some send a box of one or two items in bulk - like spiral bound notebooks, boxes of crayons, etc. Either way, we're delighted to receive these offerings!

As in previous years, we will have locations in Maryland and Florida to which donations can be delivered or mailed. I'll have those specifics for you very soon, so watch for those.

Also, and this is very important - donations were down significantly the past two years. If there is any way you can help spread the word about this project, through your church, school, homeschool group, or any other way I haven't thought of, please do so. We really need all the help we can get with this! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things change

We've lived in Honduras for over ten years now, in two different locations. I have a lot of memories.

I can remember buying milk from a nearby ranch. A kid on a pony delivered the milk to our house, in cleaned out bleach bottles which had been tied to the saddle. I had to pasturize the milk myself - and I learned how to make cottage cheese.

I can remember having internet access only once each week, and that access was excruciatingly slow. In order for me to connect, we had to have good weather (a boat trip to the city was involved), the electricity and phone lines had to be working, and my in-country ISP had to be up-and-running. Too often one of those factors wouldn't be in place, and I'd just have to try again another day.

I can remember when I couldn't purchase any cheese, except for the local homemade (very salty!) cheese. No mozzarella, cheddar, or other such exotic varieties.

I can remember when fresh vegetables were only delivered to our town once a week. We'd have salad the first day, cooked veggies for a few more days, then we'd be back to canned (or home-frozen) until the next delivery.

I can remember purchasing meat (pork, beef, or fish, fresh butchered or caught that day) out of a wheelbarrow.

I am remembering all of this (and more) in contrast to my recent experience, when I found that I'd purchased (in the states) a digital camera but not a memory card to fit into it. Last week, when we went into Gracias for Lempira Day, I happened to see a digital camera store right across from the central park, so I dropped in and found that they had the exact memory card I needed! The price was quite reasonable, as well!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Helicopters! It's like an invasion around here!

This morning we've had quite a parade of helicopters flying over our property and landing in Gracias. It's exciting (especially for David), as we generally see very little air traffic here - though most of what we do see is helicopters, since there's no airstrip nearby.

After wondering for a moment about the reason for all the helicopter traffic, it hit me - last week when I was in town, one of the local hotel owners mentioned to me that the entire Honduran congress would be visiting Gracias for the holiday this week - Lempira Day!

Lempira Day is the biggest event of the year here in the city of Gracias (which is the capital of the department named after Lempira), so this holiday already draws large crowds, but having the congress come in for the event is unusual, for sure. It happens that the current head of the congress is the representative from this area, so that might just explain the reason for the field trip.

Some of our family will be heading in to the city for the festivities tomorrow, so we should have pictures to share (I've borrowed back our secondary camera from Russell). With these extra-special guests, we're expecting that the city will put on an especially good show this year!

Oh, and in case you've not seen the previous posts with pictures from past Lempira Day parades, follow this link to see some of the fun! Also, here's a link to my first post about Lempira Day, which explains what the holiday is all about.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ohhhhhh BUMMER!

I can't believe I did this! Over the course of the past 8 years or so, I've bought three digital cameras. All of them have been Fujifilm cameras, and they all have come with memory chips, and they've all used interchangeable chips.

The new camera, which Kirstin brought down to me, is also a Fujifilm camera, but it didn't come with a chip, and it doesn't use the same size chip as the other cameras. So, I have no way to use the new camera, until I can get a memory chip to fit it. Allen thinks we might be able to find one locally. I sure do hope he's right about that.


Friday, July 15, 2011

They're HERE!

My visiting daughter, Kirstin, and the items she brought in her suitcase have arrived. Things like my new camera, new underwear (for several family members), bagels, etc.

I've been a bit disinclined toward blogging since I haven't had a camera. I'm planning to sit up tonight and read about all the nifty things my new camera can do . . . I'm thinking it just might jog me back into the blogging mood!