Monday, March 25
(A shout out to our President Alex Clouzet who is going it alone in Guatemala and who hasn’t been able to be fairly represented by a blog!)
We are back online! There is no internet at the ADRA training center where we are staying so we just got a cell modem. I can’t get any pictures up tonight. Being a responsible guy I left my phone cord at home and Dr. Nelson is asleep so I can’t use his.
The last two day´s have been productive in the extreme. We have visited three different districts (what we would call counties) and several different communities within those districts. We have met with two mayors of two of said districts, teachers at two schools and multiple people from all of the different communities. Several of these people showed us into their homes to view their living conditions with specific interest to their stoves.
I practically had to drag Dr. Nelson from one community we were visiting and into the truck to take us back to ADRA’s center for lunch. He was in his element. While I recognize that this is not a vacation I am still thoroughly enjoying myself. Translating is great. Although, trying to translate for Dr. Nelson as the mayors charge through their eloquent, excessive, evasive and somewhat off topic speeches was trying. Politicians are politicians everywhere. After succeeding in obtaining their verbal support and agreement to work with us we got out as fast as possible to get back to talk to the real contacts, the people.
The top recurring themes are education, water and sanitation. People do seem to be aware of certain health issues and actually seem interested in addressing them which can’t always be said for very rural communities.
No matter how practical and experienced you are, will the sheer scope of it all ever completely lose its potency. When you arrive somewhere excited to help and are greeted with the realization that in your chosen remote little section of somewhere far away there are literally thousands of people in more dire need than you will ever know, is it possible to remain unchanged?