On Jan. 27, Al, Dave Jonah and I left Vermont driving to Newark (5 ½ hour drive).  The weather conditions were rain, slush and possible some ice.    Luckily for us, driving south it was just a lot of slush on the highway. 

This is bad news in case any of you do not know ….About an hour or so into our drive, we were contacted by cell phone with some devastating news about our family of volunteers from 2011 – the Irish-Kassel family – one of their twin 16 year old sons – Zeke Kassel – had been in a terrible accident at 8am and died.  We are all so shocked and saddened and our hearts go out to the family.   The family of five spent the 4th week last February doing multiple projects with H2H-T.  Whatever projects needed to be done, they all enthusiastically participated!  I have asked for a basket of fruit, breads, cookies, etc. to be delivered to their home from All of the Hands to Honduras volunteers.  Maybe there will be more we can do later. 

We arrived in Newark and spent the night at Dave’s mother-in-laws house in Boonton (and Ellen fixed us a yummy dinner).

Early up on Sat. Jan. 28 to the airport for a 9:00am flight.  We met Lois Knapp and Bertil Agell in Newark as they flew from BTV at 6am.  Good flight to San Pedro Sula and a very decent landing!  We met Norm at SAP as he flew in from Atlanta.  Giovanny from Cesar Mariscos met us at the airport.  Two suitcases did not make it but we were assured that they would drive them to Tela on Sunday!  We rented 2 vehicles and away we went.  Everything looked the same – beautifully green, maybe more traffic than previous year. 

Hotel Sherwood looks great – lots of new touches – new mattresses! And new pillows! And even some new towels!  Yeah for Sherwood and Pedrina.  Cesar Mariscos looks equally beautiful and fun to see how much Rodrigo has grown.  We arrived about 4pm and 5pm, 4 of the Tela Rotary came to greet us and meet about the 3 de Mayo ag instituto classroom project.  We had a very good visit and got started on the details of the project.

After they left, heavy rain came but  we were determined (and hungry) to go to the Italian pizza café just down the beach.  Walked in heavy rain through the big puddles but a yummy pizza is worth it.  Big lightning storm, winds, big thunder and more rain.

Sun. morning brought sun, swaying palm trees, Honduran tipico breakfast and delicious fruit.  Plans were to meet the Rotarians and the director of the Ag Insituto and drive to take a look at the project site.  It is about 15 minutes from hotels through some beautiful countryside on a quite bumpy road.  It will be a favorite site again as is very interesting.  The project is to complete a school classroom that was started 3 years ago.  It is about 26 ft by 20 ft and has the cement block walls up but no roof, no floor, no windows etc.  The ag instituto is for students age 6th grade and up.  70 students and they walk to the school from as far away as 3 miles. The school is a technical school and teaches students a profession in agriculture.   We believe there are many opportunities for work with this school. Tomorrow I am going to the bank to change travelers checks to pay for the materials for the roof as that is going up immediately.  We met with the community person who will put on the roof.

We also went to Las Palmas to check out the school and the latrines.  Project there will be to paint the latrine building that H2H-T built last year.

Next stop was the Hogar Materno Expectant Mother Center at the hospital.  BYW – nurses are on stike there – I think this is throughout Honduras but not sure.  So impressive and we are so pleased with the building.  We will begin painting this week after we sweep it.  It looks so good!  And no the electricity still is not connected!  More later…..

We may be go to 4 de Enero  Health Center this afternoon to check out that project.  If not today then  tomorrow!

So far, we are very comfortable here in Tela.  People are happy.  From all we speak with, we are ok here.  And it feels good to be back in tranquil Tela.

Hasta pronto!  Please email me with any questions.