*This weekend and next monday there is a high possibility that movements and decisions will be made regarding the ousted president Manuel Zayala and his 2 friends Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela). Oscar Arias Sanchez (Costa Rica) will be mediating. Meanwhile mainland Honduras will continue to see protests and conflicts as they discuss the return of Zayala. There is a lot of talk about violations of human rights by the military regimes. In Roatán, however, all things are normal. Not too much protest or upheaval. It really notes that the divide between the Islanders and the Mainlanders is also political and social, not only geographic.*
Helene is seperated from Roatan by a canal. It is inhabited by islanders, no foreign merchants or resort tycoons, or bohemian caucasians tapping into the beach/island life. It is possible that a few mainlanders habitat the area. From where we are at on the west end, an hour car ride then 45 minute boat ride (depending on weather), will get you to Helene. This first picture is just one of my favorite little huts I saw hiking around the area. It is home to some of the most pristine reef, coral, fishing, snorkeling, and diving in the world.
The highlight was swimming with these kids on the public dock. Impressive swimmers for their age.
This is Alternative Missions medical center and cabins. Dierdre is the Head Nurse/Surgeon/Doctor/Dentist. She went down as just a Nurse, does incredible work and says she has done things she never would have thought she would do as a nurse. The first floor has all the medical stuff and the second floor is rooms for staff and visiting groups. The very top deck is a prayer deck. The bi-lingual school is just down the steps from here.
This last one is a Conch shell I found on the beach, was going to keep it, but it smelled horrible and stunk up my hands before lunch. My bag carries the smell well. The people walking behind me could smell the trail of stench I left behind. They mistook it for horse manure or the cows.
While in Helene I got to talk quite a bit with a missionary, Jeremy, from Alternative Missions. Jeremy introduced me to Dierdre (Nurse/Doctor) and Dominique, the director of the bi-lingual school in the area. They shared how they got involved, how they feel about their current situations, insights on the Island life, their connection with Alternative Missions and their perspectives on community life.
The construction group arrived yesterday. They will be completing their diving certification first. Once they finish their certification we will start the official build of the house. Today we finished up nailing and screwing in joints and joists to the posts, and now its ready for flooring then walls.
We hope for good weather to finish the build while also hoping that Hans' wife Daisy improves in regards to her health.