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Honduran Abundance

I'm away on a mission trip in far-western Honduras this week, and the project I'm on is to supply rural mountain villages with access to clean water. Below is an excerpt from one of my emails reflecting on how things are going.

Yesterday (Monday) was a full day: delicious breakfast, then into the pick up truck for a long ride up to the village we are serving. The long ride is in the cab of or riding in the bed of the pickup truck, going up and then down a mountain on switch-back, dog leg narrow, deeply rutted roads. Think being a tennis ball inside a clothes dryer, on wheels. But it's also some of the most gorgeous countryside any of us have ever seen. We spent from about 10:00 to about 3:00 working alongside the villagers on the trench line. There are photos and videos on Facebook of 14-year olds lugging 75 pound sacks of earth straight up a hiking path, while we huff and puff to fill those sacks. Humbling!

Back down the the mountain, into town to shower and eat at La Llama del Bosque. Some stayed up to chat more, others of us fell into bed.

The rural poverty of far Western mountainous Honduras is starker but somehow gentler than the urban poverty we saw in central Honduras. Mostly we drive through land that is being farmed, and that's mostly coffee and corn. There are chickens and sometimes pigs and sometimes livestock.

A recurring theme for me - this is my 6th time on this trip - is that Americans have one of the highest standards of living, but one of the lowest qualities of life, of anyone. What I mean by that is we have so many material comforts and conveniences that people here probably don't even imagine exist. But we have so little "down time," so few times our pace is gentle, our conversations leisurely. I try not to romanticize the people here and certainly don't want to romanticize poverty. There is a lack of material goods and medicine and school supplies and even things we'd consider necessities like electricity and clean running water. But there is also an abundance here: an abundance of time, an abundance of gentle eye contact, an abundance of cheer and hospitality and non-cynical laughter. We think we're blessed, but after only two days, I think it's fair to say that we are the ones receiving the blessings from those who are richly blessed.


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