Saturday, September 17, 2011

The End is Near!

The end of the Gifts for Gracias Christmas Project, that is!

If you are mailing in gifts or other donated items, you have until October 1st to get things into the mail and on their way to us in time for the shipment. That's just two weeks away!

If you are in Florida, and want to personally deliver items to the Florida address, you can safely do that until about October 10th. If you want to personally deliver items to the Maryland address, you will have an additional couple of weeks.

I will be randomly selecting the winners of the give away on October 1st, so if you haven't yet contacted me to let me know of your participation in the project, make sure you do let me know before then!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Odd Green . . . Caterpillar?

Boo brought me this slug-like caterpillar she found, so that we could share it here on the blog. She also took the pictures - didn't she do a nice job with that?

Here you're looking straight down on the back of the bug.

The underside of the bug - Boo said this picture was hard to take, because the bug was very quick to get itself back on it's feet. Boo also said the feet were more like suction cups.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Boys and Puppies

Lots of "awwwwww" factor in this post. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bridge Construction Update from Paca-someplace

I recently posted some pictures, about the beginning of the current bridge construction project. With today's post, you'll get an idea of how old those photos really were - just look at how much progress has been made! In the photo above, you can see one of the bridge towers already completed on the far side of the river, while closer up you can see the second tower under construction. The concrete pour of the second tower was completed this week, and the concrete is currently curing. The next time the men head out there, they'll be removing the panels which formed up the tower for the concrete.

Some views from the work:

Off the edge of the photo at the top of this post, to the right, was where the men mixed concrete on the ground, and loaded up buckets.

Buckets are carried from the mixing location, over to where the tower is being poured.

Buckets full of concrete are handed up the scaffolding, from man to man, until they reach the top. Russell oversees the pouring of the concrete. If the concrete isn't poured in correctly, the wall panels could blow out, the rebar (metal bars which add support from inside the concrete) can be pushed out of place, and other bad things can happen.

This week, the men are working on the water project in Mongual, and Allen took the camera along today, so there might be an update on that soon. Meanwhile, today is the 8th of September - so if you're planning to take part in the Gifts for Gracias Christmas Project . . . and I sincerely hope that you are planning to take part . . . you need to get rolling on this! The last day to mail is October 1st, remember! I'd love to get some feedback, from people who have already sent gifts, or those who are planning to. It's hard for me to gauge how the collection is progressing, from down here in Honduras! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Feel free to ignore this post

This is the year of the giant grasshoppers. We've seen these before, and we've been told that they come every other year. However, I blogged about them the last time we saw them, and that was in 2008, so I know it was three years ago, not two. My kids asked me to blog about them again, so that we have a record of their visit we can refer to, the next time they show up.

The grasshoppers are almost gone now, so I took the new camera out and worked on learning to take some close up shots, before they all disappeared. It was windy, so the tree branches kept swaying, making a clear picture difficult to come by. If you're not into grasshoppers, please feel free to ignore this post.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Bridge Allen DIDN'T Build

On a recent trip to Copan Ruins, Allen saw this small bridge crossing a river that runs alongside the main road. Sometimes people think the hanging bridges we build look scary - but I assure you, they look great to the people who are used to using bridges like this one!

You can't really tell in the pictures, but the span of that bridge is around 100 feet! It looks to be mostly held together with twisted wire.

Care to walk across?

By the way, don't forget that we are closing in on the deadline for donations to the Gifts for Gracias Christmas Project. Please join in, if you possibly can. It's a tough year for donations, and every little bit helps! Thanks!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The bridge project in Paca-someplace

In spite of the fact that most of you will never try to check my spelling of Honduran place names, and in spite of the names themselves often being ridiculously difficult to spell (the capital of the country is Tegucigalpa, for goodness sakes!), I have hesitated to write this post about the current bridge project, since I'm pretty sure I'm going to spell the name of the location incorrectly. But, honestly, I'm doing my best here. Pacallales. Or Pacayales. Or something. Pronounced pock-aye-EL-es. Or something like that.

Allen and Russell have spent several weeks working in the place mentioned above. They stay there for four or five days each time, because of the distance and rough terrain between that place and Gracias.

Here are some photos from the beginning of the work, involving moving supplies to the construction site. Some of the supplies were purchased, but the sand and rocks were collected from the riverbed, and carried up the hill to the bridge site.

Going down to the river for rocks and sand

Climbing up from the river, toting rocks

An accumulation of laboriously collected rocks!