Here are updates from some of our team from the Roma and Urraco campuses. Please read our other post to find out how you can help.
Jason and Sarah Furrow
A Message from Roma Campus
From Earl and Sharon Washburn
The building of a stove and oven on Roma campus.
The situation here is ever-changing. Currently La Ceiba is totally shut down at 5 p.m. No gas, food stores, banks, pharmacies are open after 5. Only two people can be in the car --with their masks and gloves on. All need to be in La Ceiba or at least past the checkpoints before 5 pm. If anyone violates the curfew rules the car will be taken for the period of the curfew and the person gets to spend the night in jail. Earl and I can drive out on Wednesdays only. We have not ventured out except to buy milk from a farm.
Our greatest concern is for people who will have no way of getting food. The longer this "lockdown" goes on, the more serious it will be for the poor of Honduras. Dr. Melvin, who brings us food every two weeks, recently sent us a message that the people of El Naranjo had blocked the road with logs and burning tires, demanding food from the government. Melvin had programmed this the day to bring us food. He faithfully waited 2 hours on the road until the soldiers came and ended the protest, then drove out to us.
We depend on Dr. Melvin for food, which is becoming more difficult even though he is a doctor and can go everywhere. He buys what he can for us and brings it to us 30 minutes outside La Ceiba. He has to pass through 3 checkpoints to verify who he is.
The most stressful thing for me is deciding how to ration food. Otherwise, things are good. To save on gas we are building an outdoor stove and oven. It takes a lot of gas to make tortillas. We are digging vegetable beds around the house to grow eggplants, cilantro and red bell peppers. We will also grow papayas and bananas. The kids are going up the mountain looking for food, challenging the monkeys’ food territory (the monkeys throw sticks at the kids).
Neider, Karen and Sarai, the three who live with us during this time, have much homework to do for the school they attend, so they are keeping busy. This is their last year of high school. We are praying the Ministry of Education will let students graduate. Our other activities are puzzles, chess and reading.
God bless you and keep you in His care. Thank you for praying for us.
~ Earl and Sharon
A Message from Urraco Campus
From Travis and Brandi Long
The kids showing off their lovely Easter egg drawings.
The pandemic has hit here just like everywhere else, and the government acted quickly to limit travel in March. Soon after, the total lockdowns started in the big cities and eventually became nationwide. Since the 17th of March, we have only traveled down the mountain twice, both trips for essential groceries.
We are thankful that the government has allowed the local pulperias (small, family-run shops in the villages) to remain open—they have helped us when we were running low on food and could not get to the city. We aren’t able to buy construction materials either.
In April the government came up with a system where you are allowed to travel on a certain day, based on your ID number. I was thankful that we did not have any issues while traveling in the city, but we had to wear masks/gloves the whole time. Because of the limited window everyone had, the lines for grocery stores and banks were extremely long.
The biggest adjustment here in Urraco is probably that the schools have been closed for almost a month now. Our IER students (7th-12th grades) have continued receiving their assignments online, and we thankfully have had a decent connection to the internet. Because the government closed the elementary and middle schools, and we operate under the Urraco public school, we have not had classes for our younger kids.
Brandi is planning to hold some "review days" for her English and elementary classes to make sure they retain what they learned before classes stopped. All in all, the kids and the workers who live on the property have stayed in good spirits. They have all adjusted to our new normal fairly well.
Both trips to the city we have looked to stock up on cleaning supplies but none of the stores are selling things like disinfectant wipes or hand-sanitizer. We have had to be careful with what we use, but God has provided everything we need and we still have extra supplies in storage.
Thankfully our team here has not panicked or become fearful. We have been washing our hands and practicing good hygiene, and we're thankful we are not in a concentrated area where the virus has spread. We are thankful for everyone's attitude, and it is great to see their faith in God calm any fear!
~Travis and Brandi