Sunday, June 1, 2008

Friday's Trip to Mejía

Mejía is a small village outside of Yoro. When I say "outside" I mean 90 minutes in a four wheel drive on a dirt road in the mountains. But the drive was not that bad, even in the light rain we were having. The rain did slow us down and make things inconvenient. Apparently there is some sort of tropical storm passing over Honduras.

Mejía is a fairly large village. There are 25 homes in the lower, central area I call downtown, and another 55 homes in the surrounding hills, which are obviously the suburbs. I estimate an average of 4 people per home, so that's 320 folks in the greater metropolitan area. Humberto has identified and trained a farmer named Jerónimo to be the pastor of a small church in Mejía. I intoduced myself as Sitting Bull, but nobody got it. As we entered the village, we stopped first at his house.
His house is one of the nicest village houses I have ever seen. He has a screened porch and nice quality interior. Here is a picture of their kitchen. The wood-burning stove is built into the wall and floor and has a chimney going up through the roof. Hanging on a stick above the stove is raw meat, as there is no refrigeration. The next picture shows a work table with meat grinder. Most of the doors and windows were open, and adolescent chickens wandered through the house freely. The only people that seemed to notice the chickens were myself and the youngest boy who liked to chase them. He was about four years old, so I was in good company.
We went to look at the three rivers near the village to assess their suitability for a microhydro electricity generation. First we went to the big river. It had plenty of flow (gallons per second) but no head (vertical drop). Both are required to generate power, at least using the equipment we have. I took this picture of some cows crossing the river to gage the depth.

This river was just too flat ("plano" en Español) to be of use. I was disappointed, but there were still two rivers to go, so perhaps they would be adequate. As we went along, we picked up additional helpers. This fellow, in particular, was brimming with character. His hands were calloused and his teeth were bad, but his countenance was filled with joy and enthusiasm. His name, as best as I could understand, is Abaran Edilberto Armindare. He dresses like the stereotypical village farmer: straw hat, short sleeve button down shirt, rubber boots, and machete slung over his shoulder.
More blogging after lunch...

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