My day is starting, but it sounds like outside with a riot of noise with various roosters crowing, dogs barking and at least three or four different types of birds welcoming in the day.
Monday morning we had two sets of Elders up and made flour tortillas with beans and rice topped off with jello cake. Two of them had had birthdays in the last week, so it was a lot of fun to celebrate with them.
There have been different groups of Americans in in the last few weeks doing humanitarian projects so we have had a great time visiting with them. One group helped a Branch Elder's quorum build furniture for their elderly, and helped a school further up the mountains build tables and benches for their classrooms. The difficult line here for service is to help the people grow, but help them become self-sufficient, not dependent on outside aide. The Church is currently working on a chicken-egg production program and home gardens with several members. The main key is going to be education and time, both things that we obviously have no control over!
We went and visited our little two month old in the hospital and found out that she had gained a pound in the last week. Two months old and her weight is up from 4.12 pounds to now being at six pounds. I think we can call that blessings by the ounce!
We have been visiting one family and encouraging them to put their 12 year old daughter/grandaughter back in school. She has only completed third grade, but the children live with the grandmother and she is kept home to be with Grandma, during the mornings while her older brother and younger sister are sent to school. Many of the people here do not realize or place any importance on education, and even more so for girls. Last night though when we went to see them the young girl told us she will be starting back to school next week after Easter Break! We will take her some school supplies on Saturday to help encourage them to follow through.
Sunday we went to Chulac District to the Sajunte Branch, on the way back down we saw that there were still members outside the Buena Vista building so we stopped to visit with them. They have an Elder in Honduras on his mission and we have been trying to help them communicate with him by email, since they have no internet or computers where they live. Hopefully going to help their District President set up email with the Missionaries serving from the District. It was so much fun to take the computer in and type up their messages to him, then we took pictures and I emailed it all to him so he will have a message from home.
We had a double Zone Conference last week for the missionaries from the Polochic and Senahu Zones. It is always a joy to get to be with all of the missionaries and President and Sister Watts. Plus Sister Watts always puts together amazing food for the Zone conferences!
My Brother-in-Law has asked for prices here, so here is some of our shopping. We are very blessed in that when we do our trips out of the valley to Coban, Peten or the capitol we can stock up on nonperishable items like soap, rice, beans, flour and sugar. Those things all cost a little more here because almost everything is transported in. Plus things like peanut butter just aren't available here!
On the market it depends a lot on what is in season or available, some weeks you can't find different things, and sometimes you can. Tomatoes, Cilanotro, Onions, Potatoes, Hot peppers are always available. The prices fluctuate some between venders. So here are some average prices.
Mangos – 13 cents each. Bananas, average size – 3 for 13 cents. Small 6 for 13 cents.
Small Roma tomatos – 39 cents a pound. Cucumbers (when available) 26 cents each.
Eggs, 13 to 18 cents each. Rice – 52 cents a pound.
Avocadoes 13 cents each. Cilantro 13 cents a bunch.
Frozen Chicken I can get for about a dollar a pound. I don't feel safe buying the fresh killed chicken off of the market, nor do we really want to buy it and kill and clean it ourselves!
Ground Beef -this is something most people here don't buy, but the butcher makes it up for me out of the leanest part, NO FAT - 20 q a pound, about three dollars. He also sells every other part of the cow imaginable for lower prices. The beef here is extremely tough, so it takes a lot of effort to tenderize.
We have a local woman who comes by our house every week and sells us fresh ground cocoa and chili for 1 quetzal (13 cents) an ounce that she makes.
So since today is market day I am off for my tomatoes and cilantro!