Monday, January 14, 2008

Pictures finally!

We are back from our trip to the banana plantation in La Lima and a visit to the Mayan ruins in Copan. It was a long trip but well worth it.

It was a very interesting tour of the banana farm and the harvesting, cleaning, and packing operation. The bananas we saw being washed and packed and loaded on Friday are probably being unloaded from the ship in Miami today and will soon be on their way by truck to various locations.

There was a bit of tension between the union representative and the management who were on the tour with us and they didn't want us to take pictures of the production/packing area--and the students were saddened by the sight of the women working the 10 hour days packing 30 boxes of bananas per hour in order to earn 300 Limpares for the day (about $15 US). We are confronted by poverty everywhere we turn in Honduras. After each of our group dinners we box up the left overs and find someone to give them to before we have gone 30 steps from the restaurant.

We carried on to Copan on Friday afternoon and arrived in time to stroll around a very pretty well lit old town with stone streets, a very nice central park, and lots of street vendors and restaurants. Maribel Gomez found us an inexpensive but nice hotel with wonderful plants, flowers, patios and a large veranda on the roof where we could all sit and talk while observing the beauty of the surrounding hills. Saturday morning we went out to the tour the ruins early in the morning to avoid the heat. That worked out really well; we had an excellent tour guide and learned a lot about the amazing Mayan culture that existed in that area at one time.

It's Monday and we are back in the schools now. The students are enjoying their work here at the International School and at the Kingdom School. Tomorrow night we are going out for dinner with a small group of young North American teachers from the International School (mostly Calvin and Hope grads) so they can share stories of their experiences of teaching in Honduras. On Thursday we are going to squeeze in a hike at La Tigra which was rained out earlier.

Thanks to Erin we have now finally posted some pictures and if we have time later today we will try to post some more.

Jim Rooks

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