Tuesday 11th September
Porridge is tranquillity, porridge is un-changing, porridge is a constant factor in the Steve Poulson household. Potential wives come and go, visitors spend a week before fleeing his casa, but the breakfast porridge cooked on the hob is a stable constant in an ever changing environment. I shall purchase some cinnamon to spice things up for tomorrow's porridge I have decided.
Today was a Talanga themed day. A solid hour drive through the mountains and villages surrounding the capital were passed with some fantastic humming and whistling from the Terrific Trio of Steve, Julio and myself (new nickname suggestion gladly accepted). The first port of call was the house of Kevin. I use the phrase house loosely as in reality it was a tin roofed shack inhabited by several family members, chickens and flies. Kevin has been approached by a gang who requested he join. Proyecto Alas are looking to mentor him and a suitable person is being sought so that he can have a sensible and supportive voice guide him away from a sensless life in a gang. Having had a long and serious chat we met up with Ever whose recent birthday was cause for celebration. We invaded the delightfully named 'Tasties' and ordered all the doughnuts they had baked. A free cup of coffee came with each purchase which excited me until I saw it was a cold cup of instant which was them reheated in a microwave. The winner of the world's worst coffee award surely has a new winner. Ever enjoyed his treat and after a quick ride to school was off running to meet his friends with a big smile on his face.
Next up was a youth club for the at risk children of Talanga. Twenty five children from the town attended where fun games were held, snacks were eaten, races were ran and a piñatta was brutally beaten. Bryan, Sarah & Nicole, some of the children from the Manuelito children's home volunteer as leaders at the club which is lovely to see. Having met all three on my first ever visit in 2012, it felt good to see all three healthy, in high spirits and in a leadership role. The group of volunteers who run this weekly youth club recently held a local fundraiser selling hot food outside the supermarket, which raised enough funds to cover the snack costs for the rest of the year. They will increasingly try and raise money locally to cover these costs rather than rely on donations, creating a more sustainable club. They do however need the initial capital to set up these temporary micro businesses, something I am keen to help explore and support. Their next business plan is to purchase wholesale Honduran ground coffee and sell it locally in Talanga. Watch this space!
The day finished with an expertly cooked fish dinner which was prepared by Steve, Christian and I. Christian is Steve's mentee and lives at the Manuelito home. I pray for him daily having Steve as a mentor but it appears he is actually engaged and responding well to it! Miracles do happen! The dinner was cooked for Jessica and Nedi who are a local business couple and are long term supporters of the work SKD do in Talanga. Their generosity and hospitality was appreciated and I have promised them a souvenir t-shirt of the Queen's face next time I visit!
Seeing Julio and the local volunteers in action today was heartwarming. Their commitment and zeal to make a change in the lives of these kids are exactly the positive characteristics SKD and Proyecto Alas are looking to instil in the mentees. I would love to revisit the youth club and bring some wacky English games with me next time!
Alex Denton A.k.a. bébé Denton