One thing that we look forward to each year is interacting with the families we come in contact with each day. Each morning we visit the local store to purchase our needs for the day, and we always purchase containers of rice, beans, sardines, and snacks for families that need a little break. This year, our great friend Sid Neuhoff gave our “food fund” a great send-off and because of Sid, many added families were helped. We look for Sid to visit Honduras with us one year!
This year, we did not come in contact with as many different families as we have in past years. Our work this year was concentrated on one family in particular. If you want to find a family in need, you don’t have to look very far. David Hartley has a special “knack” for finding those that need it the most.
One evening, on the way back from the jobsite, David yells, “STOP RIGHT HERE!”
Inside, David found three children, with the oldest being four years old. Mom and Dad were still working in the fields. In this economy, you work whenever work is available. We left what we had that evening, and stopped by again the next evening with more!
Hopefully we will be able to help this family even more on our next visit. Their original home was washed away in October 2011, during the severe rains that resulted in catastrophic flooding of southern Honduras. Many families were affected by flooding and have yet to recover. If we all help a little bit, we can make a lot of difference.
As stated earlier, each year the circle of friends gets larger and we would like to visit everyone we know as well as our past projects each year, which can’t always happen. This year, our friends from the Rotary Club of Choluteca joined us for dinner one evening at El Potrillo. The staff at El Potrillo was excellent, as was the breakfasts and dinners we had there.
We also enjoyed dinner several evenings with Teresa and her great staff at the Barcelona Hotel in San Marcos de Colon. Their fried chicken is known all over southern Honduras!
Ann and Sharon were able to visit Jayacayan, the site of last year’s project. Jeremy and I were able to attend the Choluteca Rotary Club meeting Friday evening. Our Tennessee District Governor, Dick Bowers, was also there as was the others representing Lawrenceburg Rotary Club, who coordinated this year’s effort.
By sneaking out of the Rotary meeting early, I was able to catch up with David Hartley and Keith Clodfelter who were having dinner with the Osotro family, that we have known for years.
Each year, we look forward to taking a day off to explore. Friday started off with a visit to downtown Choluteca and its many streetside vendors.
Ever wonder what happened to all of the Datsun B-210’s? They are now taxi cabs in Choluteca.
At the straw market, you can find just about anything you would want, especially fresh fruit.
After a few hours in Choluteca, we headed to Coyolito, where we would catch a boat over to the island of Amapala, also known as “Isla de Tigre.”
We visited this island on last year’s trip and felt the need to see it again. I have always said Amapala would be a great cruise ship port and I just learned that representatives from NCL, Carnival, and Princess Cruise Lines were on the island exploring that possibility the day before we were there!
We boarded the boat at Coyolito with Romario and who we will call Captain Smiley. He never stopped smiling the entire day!
The boat ride to the fishing village and restaurant is about 45 minutes. I am not sure what the exact charge per person normally is, but we paid $100 US for all eight of us for the boat for the entire day.
I cannot remember, nor could pronouce the name of the beachside restaurant, but here it is.
The food was awesome! Not only cooked to order, but caught to order. Very possibly the best shrimp I have ever had.
Huge portions too!
Early Saturday morning, we left Choluteca for Tegucigalpa, anticipating extra traffic on Saturday morning. The traffic was even worse than anticipated. There was still time to enjoy a Big Mac inside the Tegucigalpa airport before our flight to Miami.
A long, great day seeing the sunrise in Choluteca, and the sunset in Miami.
It is truly amazing how many of the same places and same scenes can create different, yet wonderful memories year after year. We will be returning to southern Honduras again next February, and who knows…maybe before. If you would like to join us, or just participate financially, lending a helping hand in Honduras is a truly rewarding experience.
Trey Lewis is VP Sales & Marketing for Ole South Properties Inc, Tennessee’s largest independent home builder, 615.896.0019 direct 615.593.6340 or email TLewis@olesouth.com. Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.