We arrived 2 weeks ago to house that is owned by a woman from Durango. (Terry Anderson) We were originally renting it with the intentions of looking at all that the island has to offer. Long story short, the house has worked out perfectly. Close to the colonia, room for a dog, (big concern given security issues on the island) and the kids love having the space to play in the yard. A new concern is those darn killer coconuts. We have a tree that has produced over 100 nuts that smash potted plant, crack tiles and certainly have potential to take someone out. Our local arborist showed up with a few sections of rope and a machete. The job is not done but at least it is underway.
The work that Henry and Frances have been doing here over the past years is so evident to us. People around the island do a double take when they see this good looking bald guy driving the truck that islanders recognize as LW4R’s. I smile and wave at the confused onlookers and they do the same. Many outside of the colonia are aware of the work that is being done as well. An article in the local publication was printed last month which certainly heightened awareness around the island.
Prior to our arrival, a large concrete storage tank was recently completed and pipe was run to many homes that sit close to the top of the village. Our timing could not have been any better. God allowed us to witness the impact of water being brought closer to many. As we walked up the hill, there was a great deal of excitement. The families that lived on top of the hill were about to get water. Until now, families at the top were required to walk down the hillside 200 meters every 8 days to get water. Everyone in the family participated in this exercise. We witnessed children as young as 6 walking with old plastic containers (coke bottles, milk jugs, anything that did not leak) down the hillside to a faucet. Those families that are fortunate enough to have their own faucet will fill anything. Refrigerators make for good storage containers when they are turned on their back!
At roughly 5:30pm, on our very first day here, we found ourselves standing on top of the hillside with the sun just about setting and a nice breeze blowing. The anticipation of what was about to take place was even greater than the six pack opening at Purgatory!. No longer were women and children going to be forced to make the trek down the hillside for their water. Once the valve was opened, they would get water right outside of their house every eight days.
The LW4R team was in place. The tank was full, and the customers were ready to receive their water. The valve was opened and the pipes were flooded. Within seconds, we could hear cheers from families closest to the tank followed by those further on down the line. It was truly an amazing moment. Something so simple, something that we all take for granted, made for so much joy in the life of many here on Roatan. And there was Henry, taking no credit, but rather pointing upwards, thanking God for this great miracle.
We have wasted little time getting involved with the other component of our mission. Kerry and the kids have committed time to a school within the colonia. As one could expect, the kids were the least bit happy about attending a third world school where nothing but spanish is spoken. It was even a little daunting for Kerry. Given Kerry’s willingness to bring her skill and passion of teaching english, the school was more than willing to include our children. All three are attending a third grade class with the intention of learning spanish. Sink or swim!! Kerry is not only teaching 100+ children in the school two days each week, she is providing an english class for teachers as well. Amazing how much they want this!
The journey to Roatan has been very long and our anticipation of life on the island has grown with each passing day. Now that we are here, the emotions are hard to describe. We look forward to sharing the day-day with you. More to come soon. Thanks so much for your prayers and support. We could not do this without you! God bless.