Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Running Water, and the bigger challenges

We now have what is called a Tinako, a large water tank out beside our house. That means that we get showers and running water not a lot, but sufficient – anytime we want! It was a little difficult before, since the water only comes and goes for the community connection at random times, sometimes every night, sometimes one evening in the week. Terrible thing to plan a shower in the morning and get stuck with a sponge bath. The good part though was if you heated water on the stove for a sponge bath, at least it was going to be warm – and you knew how much you had, so you wouldn't just have it stop in the middle of showering! Elder Spradlin also created us a new toilet paper holder to celebrate and it is quite impressive!
Our wonderful neighbors have now had the first discussion with the elders and we are so excited for them. They have a pastry cookbook and so we are going to make an apple pie together from it, funny when that was what they chose, and that we are doing it on the 4th of July!
When we worked with the missionaries last week on English we noticed there was a problem with some of them making it to their meetings on time, so this week I took a dessert with me and anyone that was there on time got some. Inspiration! I challenged them to memorize a verse in English and be there on time for next week, and told them I would again have treats. We will see if our Elders who were late today decide to get there earlier next week. We stopped on the way back home for a haircut for Elder Spradlin, about 75 cents, the barber asked about English lessons and we invited him to attend the class next week for the missionaries. He says he will be there, so maybe it will not be just English, but introducing this great guy to our missionaries.
We went out and spent one afternoon playing with the children from Seamay, stopped in a couple of homes that had a lot of children outside, and then on the streets, stringing beads and making necklaces, singing and playing games. Probably one of the funnest parts of serving a mission here is playing with children and families! The hardest part is when we feel totally incapable of helping make a change or a difference for their future. Ideas are needed here for how to rise above the poverty, how to improve living standards for the people in a permanent way. There is too much acceptance by people of things, just being the way they are, no vision of a different tomorrow, so no idea on how to create a better life. Once they have the ideas they need to watch them in action and we need people who make a long-term commitment to progress. We have met some people here who have that vision, I just hope many others will join them and they will find success and a willingness to open their minds to new ideas and progress.
My friend who works at the Centro de Salud, kind of like a small hospital for the community here, is now working in the kitchen. For the last two days she told me she has had nothing to do, they ran out of gas for cooking because the municipality did not pay for the gas, so they have been telling all of the patients they would have to get their food elsewhere. So she goes to work and sits there. The laundry there has a washing machine, but their dryer burned out. Since it is very rainy and cloudy now it is hard for them to do patients bedding, but then they do not have enough to start with. I can't imagine a small clinic in the US with some of these problems. Our heart has broken for the 5 year old little boy in one of the outlying communities that was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma by the American Doctors who were here. It is a treatable form of cancer but he will most likely die from it, due to the runaround given by the doctors and administrators here. The treatment in the capitol would be free, but he and someone from his family would have to get to the capitol, and then have a place to stay and food. Issues that are insurmountable here in the Polochic Too many children die here from lack of proper medical care.

Lots of rain and cloudy skies this season, makes the internet connections very slow – so if you don't hear from us, we are still alive and doing well. There is a much brighter future, it is just playing peek-a-boo still!

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