We ended our first week with yet another fun-filled adventure. This morning we were met by Emma Henriquez from Catholic University, who along with her student Oscarito and her daughter Connie rounded out our team. The ride up into the mountains was as spectacular as ever. There is so much to captivate the eye, so much to take in, that I can only focus on a small fraction of what is available. Today I noticed the mature banana palms planted along the folds in the steep hillsides where water flows. Often they stood among rows of coffee plants, and their yellow-green fronds contrasted with the the deep green of the coffee leaves. I noticed too how the bunches of ripening bananas were on stems at the end of which hung what looked like a heart, reddish-purple in color and tapering to a point. It was as if the banana palms wear their hearts out in front of the world. I was reminded of the icons you can see in Honduran churches portraying Christ with a radiant heart coming out of his chest. I believe that this image is called ” The Sacred Heart of Jesus.” We were welcomed again, effusively.
We’ve established the following routine. First we make sure that everyone has washed their hands. Then we introduced our latests guests. Then ” los technos’ pass out the computers. The excitement and enthusiasm has not paled for the students, nor for us!!!! We taught a group lesson involving the typing tutor program. Then we continued writing personal essays. Evidently, students practice sentence writing in Honduras using rote repitition of provided sentences. After some initial hesitation, the students have embraced the opportunity to create their own essays about themselves, their families and Santa Rosita. This group of activities usually lasts 2 hours. Then we had the older students explore chatting on the intranet, while the younger students played math and memorization games. Finally, we passed out some markers, colored pencils, crayons and notebooks that Linda had brought from California. This second set of activities lasted another 2 hours. Dr. Henriquez is proposing that her college students visit schools like that at Santa Rosita to monitor XO use and problems, and to provide the teachers with lessons that utilize XO applications. This kind of back up and maintenance is crucial for projects like ours. We are very thankful for the support of many Hondurans and trust that they will help the Owen Project to put down strong roots and then to grow. Both of the Guevara-Grey girls were looking a bit fatigued by this point, as were we all. We piled into the pickup thinking, ” Thank God it’s Friday!!”