September 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Water: Statesman Journal: Patrick Allen says it sometimes is difficult for me to believe that it has been seven months since I left home for Miami and predeparture staging for the Peace Corps to go to Honduras

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Peace Corps Honduras: The Peace Corps in Honduras: September 22, 2004: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Water: Statesman Journal: Patrick Allen says it sometimes is difficult for me to believe that it has been seven months since I left home for Miami and predeparture staging for the Peace Corps to go to Honduras

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.185.151) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 3:14 pm: Edit Post

Patrick Allen says it sometimes is difficult for me to believe that it has been seven months since I left home for Miami and predeparture staging for the Peace Corps to go to Honduras

Patrick Allen says it sometimes is difficult for me to believe that it has been seven months since I left home for Miami and predeparture staging for the Peace Corps to go to Honduras

Patrick Allen says it sometimes is difficult for me to believe that it has been seven months since I left home for Miami and predeparture staging for the Peace Corps to go to Honduras

Water project keeps volunteer busy in Honduras

PATRICK ALLEN
September 22, 2004

It sometimes is difficult for me to believe that it has been seven months since I left home for Miami and predeparture staging for the Peace Corps.

I think of all of the things that can happen in half a year, and it is amazing to think that I am a quarter of the way through my service in Honduras. I never put much stock in colloquialisms, but it really is true: time does fly when you are having fun.

Moving to a new city always is an interesting and exciting experience.

Moving to a new city in a new country with a new language is an interesting, exciting and somewhat daunting experience.

It also can be a truly rewarding experience. The opportunities to meet new people and try new things are unparalleled.

The first month or so was pretty much a whirlwind of new people whose names I almost always forgot, new stores and markets with new produce and products, new weather patterns with rain every day at the exact same time.

In the past three months I have been, it seems, getting busier and busier. This is both one of the nicest things about the water and sanitation project and one of the hardest.

It is hard not to try to take on more projects than you can handle.

I have found myself of late having to tell communities that they will have to wait for a couple of months until I have the time to work with them. This is hard to do when you know that they donít have any potable water to drink right now.

My largest project at the moment is for the municipality of Guajiquiro, about three hours from my home of Marcala. The project will serve about 2,700 people in five communities in the southern, and very dry, part of the municipality.

So far, we have been surveying the conduction line (the pipe that will bring the water from the river to the tank for the communities) which, for this project, will be almost 28 kilometers long ó they usually run about 4 to 6.

We have been staying in the communities while we are surveying. The first town we stayed in had no electricity except for a small solar panel and a car battery. Only a few of the houses had water, and most of them were only partially completed but still had people living in them.

This superficial poverty belied the unfailing hospitality of the people in Nueva Esperanza (New Hope). I have never felt more welcome anywhere than I felt upon arriving in Esperanza. The house we were staying in was opened up to us as if it was our own.

Everyone we were living with was open and interested in talking and learning as much about me as I was of them.

Another project I have just started is the improvement and expansion of the water system for the town center of Chinacla, the municipal seat of the municipality right next to mine, about five minutes away.

Melissa, the volunteer who lives there, and I will be trying to find out as much as we can about the existing system. It was built 20 years ago, and there are no records, no plans and only one person who remembers building the system.

They say that the first year in a country is the slowest. I really hope that this is not true. My first seven months in Honduras have gone by so quickly that if I reach one year, and my second year comes and goes just as quickly, I think that my service will be over before I know it.

The coming months should be filled with old projects, a couple new projects and some time spent traveling around Honduras. It should be a fun couple of months.


Patrick Allen can be reached through education editor Dana Haynes at (503) 589-6903.





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Story Source: Statesman Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Water

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