that´s where we are, Gracias, Lempira, Honduras, once the capital of all the Spanish empire in Central America. now a sleepy, picturesque colonial town in the highlands between Copan Ruinas and Comayagua. Today, we went to La Campa, a small town farther up in the hills where they make Lencan pottery. Sadly, my camera battery died after about three photos, and I wasn´t able to get many shots. Also, we forgot it was Sunday, and most places were closed. We´ll go back again next time. Heading to Copan Ruinas tomorrow.


for the english only people…

We are currently in Honduras, staying in El Progreso and working at the clinic in La Guacamaya just outside of town. Jane is seeing patients, and I am translating. It is extrtemely difficult, as neither of us is truly proficient. We finish each day completely exhausted.

Still, it is gratifying, espercially to see the improvements in the community thanks to the work of Salud Juntos (the non profit Jane is part of) in helping the community negotiate with the Ministry of Health to change their clinic from a building that housed an Eyecare brigade for two weeks a year to one which now has a full time nurse, a doctor three days a week, and two prometoras to give health education to the community.

When we first got here, we went to Punta Acote, a community north of here, where we are helping to pay for the building of another clinic.

The goal of Salud Juntos is different from the typical NGO in Honduras. Most of them come down with a brigade of doctors and travel around spending a week here and there treating patients, after which they leave til the next year. We are more interested in building a sustainable, locally controlled health infrastructure that can then be supplemented by specialist brigades.

Tomorrow is our last day at the clinic. Saturday, Jane and I are going to Gracias, the first capital of Spanish Central America in the 1500s. She flies home on the 3rd and I will spend another month taking Spanish in Guatemala.

Hasta Luego!

pues, estamos ahorita en punta acote, yoro, honduras. juanita esta ayudando en una clinica con su grupo, ¨salud juntos¨. yo soy el fotografo oficial. vamos manana en la tarde por la guacamaya, donde estabamos trabajando hace dos anos. yo tengo un grande ¨poster¨ hecho de fotos que yo sace de los ninos de la guacamaya, y de la victoria, una aldea arriba en las montanas cerca de alli. voy a dar lo a ellos en la clinica.

and we’re off!

tomorrow morning to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. We’ll be working at a clinic in Punta Acote for a week and then heading to Guatemala for a few days of relaxation. Jane flies back the 3rd, and I am staying for intensive Spanish classes until March 6th! Voy a hablar como puro Guatemalteco!


I would be a lot more upset over the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat yesterday if the Democrats had had a supermajority that acted like a supermajority. A real supermajority would have walked all over the Republicans. Instead we have a bunch of DINOs and Joe Lieberman doing the Republican Party’s dirty work. The only way to get real Health Care Reform and the WPA-style Public Works jobs bill we need is and has always been reconciliation. ( The Democrats can get 51 votes in the Senate for much better legislation than they can get 60 for. Then let the Republicans try to cut jobs and take Health Care away from the citizenry. They don’t have the cojones.

That said, shame on you, Masssachussets Democratic party, for dropping a ball that was glued to your freaking hands.

still proud of my vote

By Barack Obama | NEWSWEEK

Published Jan 15, 2010

From the magazine issue dated Jan 25, 2010

In the last week, we have been deeply moved by the heartbreaking images of the devastation in Haiti: parents searching through rubble for sons and daughters; children, frightened and alone, looking for their mothers and fathers. At this moment, entire parts of Port-au-Prince are in ruins, as families seek shelter in makeshift camps. It is a horrific scene of shattered lives in a poor nation that has already suffered so much.

In response, I have ordered a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives in Haiti. We have launched one of the largest relief efforts in recent history. I have instructed the leaders of all agencies to make our response a top priority across the federal government. We are mobilizing every element of our national capacity: the resources of development agencies, the strength of our armed forces, and most important, the compassion of the American people. And we are working closely with the Haitian government, the United Nations, and the many international partners who are also aiding in this extraordinary effort.

We act for the sake of the thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti, and for their families back home; for the sake of the Haitian people who have been stricken with a tragic history, even as they have shown great resilience; and we act because of the close ties that we have with a neighbor that is only a few hundred miles to the south.

But above all, we act for a very simple reason: in times of tragedy, the United States of America steps forward and helps. That is who we are. That is what we do. For decades, America’s leadership has been founded in part on the fact that we do not use our power to subjugate others, we use it to lift them up—whether it was rebuilding our former adversaries after World War II, dropping food and water to the people of Berlin, or helping the people of Bosnia and Kosovo rebuild their lives and their nations.

At no time is that more true than in moments of great peril and human suffering. It is why we have acted to help people combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Africa, or to recover from a catastrophic tsunami in Asia. When we show not just our power, but also our compassion, the world looks to us with a mixture of awe and admiration. That advances our leadership. That shows the character of our country. And it is why every American can look at this relief effort with the pride of knowing that America is acting on behalf of our common humanity.

Right now, our search-and-rescue teams are on the ground, pulling people from the rubble. Americans from Virginia and California and Florida have worked round the clock to save people whom they’ve never met. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen quickly deployed to the scene. Hand in hand with our civilians, they’re laboring day and night to facilitate a massive logistical enterprise; to deliver and distribute food, water, and medicine to save lives; and to prevent an even larger humanitarian catastrophe.

Greater help is on the way. This will be a complex and difficult rescue and recovery operation, and it takes time to move all of the resources necessary into such a devastated environment. But more American rescue teams, doctors, nurses, and paramedics will arrive to care for the injured. More water, food, and supplies will be delivered. An aircraft carrier has arrived. A naval hospital ship has been deployed. And additional aircraft and heavy equipment will restore communications and clear roads and ports to speed relief and hasten recovery.

In addition, in this new century no great challenge will be one we can solve alone. In this humanitarian effort, we’ll work closely with other nations, so that our work on the ground is efficient and effective even under what are very difficult conditions. We’ll also join with the United Nations, which has done so much to bring security and stability to Haiti over the years, and which has suffered terrible losses in this tragedy. And we’ll partner with the constellation of nongovernmental organizations that have a long and established record of working to improve the lives of the Haitian people.

It is also important to note that all of these efforts will be bolstered by the continuing good will and generosity of ordinary citizens. Governments alone are not enough. Already, a record number of donations have come in through text messaging. Money has poured into the Red Cross and other relief organizations. I want to thank the many Americans who have already contributed to this effort. And I want to encourage all Americans who want to help to go to to learn more.

And, lastly, in the days, months, and years ahead, we’ll need to work closely with the government and people of Haiti to reclaim the momentum that they achieved before the earthquake. It is particularly devastating that this crisis has come at a time when—at long last, after decades of conflict and instability—Haiti was showing hopeful signs of political and economic progress. In the months and years to come, as the tremors fade and Haiti no longer tops the headlines or leads the evening news, our mission will be to help the people of Haiti to continue on their path to a brighter future. The United States will be there with the Haitian government and the United Nations every step of the way.

In the aftermath of disaster, we are reminded that life can be unimaginably cruel. That pain and loss is so often meted out without any justice or mercy. That “time and chance” happen to us all. But it is also in these moments, when we are brought face to face with our own fragility, that we rediscover our common humanity. We look into the eyes of another and see ourselves. And so the United States of America will lead the world in this humanitarian endeavor. That has been our history, and that is how we will answer the challenge before us.
And because everything that ever happens in the world of politics can be tied to the West Wing, I would like to quote Jed Bartlet: ” Let me tell you something. We can be the world’s policeman, we can be the world’s bank, the world’s factory, the world’s farm, but what does it mean if we’re not also… They made it to the new world, Josh. You know what I get to do now? I get to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving. This is a great job.”