our soccer coach, Johny, used to have a parrot and then he disappeared. We thought he had wandered off and perhaps he did...to the rafters for that is where we found the remains of his decomposing body this morning, nearly a month after the fact.
So here's an example of injustice, greed, political corruption and a general screwing of the poor and powerless and it just fills me with raw anger. Stay with me here because some of this gets tedious but I think it's necessary for understanding the problem we're facing. Very often I get asked about how the people here in the garbage dump survive, what do they do for a living? Well now you're going to find out. Many men work as day laborers in construction, a few as night watchmen and quite a large number buy green bananas that come in from the plantations of Tocoa and then sell them throughout the La Ceiba area on the back of rusting-out pickup trucks. However, the largest form of income by far here in the community is connected in some way or other to the garbage collection process. No one scavenges directly off the dump anymore, those days ended almost 10 years ago when the city privatized the dump had it covered over, converted into a landfill and barred the reside…
This past week students everywhere had off from clases, in honor of what, I'm not sure; surely it's not for putting in long, consecutive hours at the 'ole schoolhouse. These people call off school for just about any reason and when they aren't out for ridiculous holidays then it seems the teachers are on strike for some trite reason or other. Never being ones to pass up a chance at an outing with the kids though, Konrad and I rounded up 17 of our very favorites, put them on a random bus heading east and got off at the entrance to the local water park. Let me tell you, it was a blast; the kids had never experienced anything like it and they were simply giddy all day long...and well behaved too. I was happy - it was a good day.
ok they did more than just float under a watery mushroom, there were lots of slides too but i was too lazy to get up and take pictures so all of these fotos are taken from the comfort of my seat.
actually everyone seemd to enjoy it except cristian.…
So I believe we experienced a sub-continent-wide, nearly 3 hour long blackout last night...and I didn't even realize it until it was almost over - that's how observant I am. I have a good excuse though; our soccer team won. We have 2 teams you know, U-12 and U-14 (the U-12's are the ones pictured below getting ready in the cattle truck); yesterday the U-12's lost but our U-14's had a a near perfect game with a win over our now bitter rivals, The Tigers. The very first game we ever played was against The Tigers, we lost in a hard fought match 2-1; the second time we met we played much better and led the entire time 1-0 but those wily Tigers scored in the last few minutes of the game to tie it up and they only reason they were able to so was because the dopey referee allowed the game to continue on for 10 minutes beyond regulation play. This time however we dominated in nearly every way but at half-time we were still tied 1-1, so in an act of desperation I agreed to …
Ok, not entirely but I did get my hair all lined-up. That's when they do down here, they have someone razor around the edges of your hair-line, straightening everything out...it gives you a hip, gangsta kind of look. I don't like it. Some of the kids here though told me I needed to do it so I thought I'd give it a try; I looked up David who lives in the community and cuts hair for a living and I had him line me up. It looks alright, I guess, but I'm waiting anxiously for it to grow back in.
Ok, we're not Quakers but Mennonites just don't have their own rhyme about school like the Friends do. Anyways, we're into our 3rd week of tutoring and it seems to be going quite well. Youth from the church, the Mennonite, non-Quaker one, come out to the community 3 times a week and give 2 hour tutoring sessions to a specific group of kids that have been marked as failing by their teachers. Our scholarship high school students are also required to participate and though they complain I think deep down their grateful for the extra help. We use the big, empty building that I have the keys to and it's glorious - Thursday it's utter mayhem in there with our Bible School but on Tutoring Days you can hear a pin drop. I love the sound of learning.
neto with his tutor, walter
another shot of neto 2 of our high schoolers, cristian & sergio