Another 2 days in Puerto Lempira, La Mosquitia.

As I reached for a tea cup this morning, pausing for a second to decide which one I felt like using, it made me think about La Mosquitia again. There are no choices there, you get a cup and you use it. Is that really so bad?

The morning that the dogs woke us chasing the horses was bright and sunny. I woke up sweating because when the power shut off, so did the fan. I went out to the front porch where Rose Mary was sitting, enjoying the breeze. She picked some lemon grass and some other small fruits. She made tea from the lemongrass, it was delicious.

This is one of the teachers dogs. Not only was her eye infected, she was old and pregnant. Next time I will take some meds for the animals.

She was pregnant too. She managed to stick her head in the loaf of bread and inhale many slices.

They all got peanut butter sandwiches from me.

I also pulled as many ticks off of them as I could. So sad.

While we were waiting for the Mayor to come get us, the laundry lady came with her daughter in her cayuco. The little girl, Hila was more interested in what we were doing.

Could barely get her to smile

So pensive.

The weird thing, staying at the teachers house in Kaukira, there was a tower in her backyard, we had a 4 G signal the whole time we were there, however it was always a mad dash to charge our phones because power was for a limited time only.

The Mayor and his wife and Speedy Gonzales picked us up the next morning in the fastest boat in La Mosquitia. Today I tried to wear a hat but not having a ponytail to help hold it on meant I had to keep one hand on it at all times. I wish they had speed limits on rivers. We loaded all of our luggage into the boat as we were going to be staying in Puerto Lempira the next night. We went to Kaukira first to get 60 gallons of gas and a cooler of drinks and snacks.

Nidia the nomad, taking care of business with a phone in each hand, hundreds of miles from civilization.

Little girls playing in the boat while we waited.

We passed the area we went to the day before to look at the health clinic and soon we were in a large lagun again. From there we saw waterways in many directions, veering off into the jungle or mangroves. We passed through a few small communities and came upon one Nidia named Bali wood. Most all of the homes were on stilts over the water. If they weren’t on stilts they were on the waters edge. There were children playing, cows grazing, horses, chickens and pigs everywhere we looked. Luckily we had to go slow through here as it was very shallow.

No toys so they play in the boat.

Not very seaworthy

The whole horse family on the shores of Bali wood.

One of the homes

People on the bridge crossing to the other side.

Barbershop

Watching the ships go in…

More of Bali wood.

These two homes were connected.

Animal pen

Building something new out front

After we got through this area we turned right and were on a large swift river. If we had turned left we would have gone to Nicaragua. The river was gorgeous with many small communities dotting the river banks. We saw dozens of families in their cayucos, just barely above the water. Speedy slowed down when we got near them so we didn’t swamp them with water. Most of them were carrying fruit, supplies, a chicken, even saw a dog.

I noticed this tree and Nidia said they were nests so Speedy turned around so we could go look at it.

These are the nests of the Montezuma Oropendola bird.

 I thought I was on the set of Avatar, this area was just magical. Click HERE to get more info on this bird. I have never seen anything like this before. 

These were growing all over the river, as were water lilies.

We were still hauling A$$ with Speedy at the controls. The Mayor wanted to take us to an area called Tuburus. The community is divided by the swift river. The children on one side have to take a boat across the water to go to school. The banks are steep and quite slippery. Last year 3 children drown, this year they’ve lost 2 so far. They asked the government to build a bridge but they are not interested. They said there aren’t enough people. We would like to build a school on the other side because building a bridge would be a difficult and expensive job.

Bathrooms at the school

Just a cow in your yard. There was cow poop everywhere.

These children aren’t naked because they didn’t feel like wearing any clothes. They are naked because they don’t have any clothes. 85% of the photos I took in Tuburus couldn’t be used because I didn’t notice the nakedness of the children when taking the photo but looking at them to post I could see it.

They ran from me at first, they were afraid of my camera. Once I showed one brave boy his photo, then they were all interested.

Such cute kids.

Standing in front of the school

The Mayor was tossing candy for the kids.

This is rice, home grown. It’s not something I’ve ever considered growing but I get it now, there are no stores, rice is a big part of their diet, so they grow it.

Cow patties on the kindergarten porch.

They got giggly when they saw their photos

Most of the homes are close to the river but there are still many tucked further back in.

A grandmother (Abuela) came to see who was visiting.

View of the side that has no school.

He posed for me.

They all watched us leaving.

When we left here we went in the same direction we came from, past the tree with the hanging nests, very slow through Bali Wood because the tide was out and it was really shallow.

On the way home we passed this boat laden with bananas and plantains so we pulled up alongside of them and bought some of their stuff.

Just a family out making a living

Bananas, plantains and fish. A floating market.

Once we got back into the Lagun, Speedy started speeding again. We went back to Kaukira, got more gas and an elderly man joined us. It was late afternoon as we headed across Lake Caratasca in a totally different direction. We were going to the village of Krata where they needed a new kindergarten built.

These two were the first kids I spotted. The little fella was naked as a jaybird.

One of 2 bridges over the marshy areas.

I really liked this house, so nice and neat.

He was very scared of the camera and almost running from it. He didn’t smile when I showed him his picture.

This guy loved it..

These ladies weren’t sure they wanted me to take their picture but when I did and showed them, they had the biggest smiles on their faces.

This man walked with us to the school. On the path were some palm fronds that had probably been there for months, if not years. He stopped and moved them off the path, I assume because there were visitors. I doubt they get many visitors, especially no white girls. He was from Nicaragua, spoke English and has lived in Krata for 31 years. He asked me to take his photo.

The desks in the kindergarten. The floor is dirt and when it rains, it’s muddy. The children have no shoes. None.

The school has a metal roof but it doesn’t meet at the peak, it’s open about 4″ between the metal so the rain pours in. The school doesn’t have one single piece of paper in it, no posters, no books, pencils, paper.

This is the other school, it was pretty neat and clean. This is their water supply, hand crank for water.

They also asked if someone could buy some nails and donate some money for gas. The community wants to build a small dock, they have all the wood they need but don’t have money for nails or gas to go get the wood. This is their view. Gorgeous.

Leaving Krata after dark and we had a bumpy dark ride back across the lagun to Puerto Lempira.

I was never so happy to see the dock! My back was killing me. From here we unloaded our luggage and checked into our hotel right on the shore of the lagun. Nidia and Rosemary showered and went down to the restaurant, The Mayor and Vice Mayor were there. I was too tired to go anywhere so I just laid in the room in front of the fan. That was after I took a nice cold shower.

No water shortage but BRRRRRRR

The next morning we lazed around. The Mayor had things to do during the day and wasn’t going to have us picked up until later on. Nidia and Rose Mary and I went for a stroll. I wanted to buy another card for my camera so I didn’t run out of room with photos. (I forgot my other 32gb card). We found a store and I got a card. From there we went to a restaurant where they had breakfast. Nidia needed to get a Claro chip for her phone so we walked to the Claro booth in the town square. Nidia asked the lady at the Claro booth where she could get a pedicure. The woman’s daughter was with her so she sent her with us. She was a sweet girl named Sharon. Sharon found a beauty salon and Nidia had her pedi and I sat beside her and charged my phone. I was almost giddy when I saw they had electric.

The supermarket, ready for the holidays.

This was the owner of the salon’s son, he was a cutie.

We sat in front of the hotel waiting for Eric to come and get us.

Around 4 PM he pulled up and we all jumped in his truck and set out for Mistruk. This is where we planned to distribute the things that we brought on Monday. However, Island Shipping could not get their boat in the channel because the tide was out and the water was too low so everything was pushed back a day. We had to go to Mistruk and tell them this.

It is a beautiful drive to Mistruk, all on a dirt road, nice red dirt. Every now and then we would come across a small village and then back to barren land with rolling hills and sparse trees. It would have made a fabulous golf course.

The whole area was like this except when we got close to Mistruk, then it was more jungle like.

As luck would have it, we got a flat tire. Of course we did. Eric was trying to change it when a truck came from the other direction. The guy stopped and helped Eric change the tire. I thought he was just some random guy but found out later he and Eric know each other. He drives the truck (bus) from the Nicaragua border to Puerto Lempira, hauling people.

He had 2 passengers with him. They had to dig a hole to set the jack in to get the tire up enough to put a new one on. We were finally on our way.

This is the school in Mistruk. It would be the location of our distribution of goods to the community.

This woman was washing her clothes in the stream.

When we finally got to Mistruk the whole community was waiting for us. They thought we were bringing things for them.

This was in the “restaurant” right on the water.

These boys got a kick out of their photo.

Loved this lady, what a sweetie.

The community listening to the one teacher tell them what was going on. See the little girl that’s a blur in pink towards the back? After I shot this pic, she pulled her pants down and peed all over the floor. Nobody even noticed.

The guy on the left in the white shirt speaks English, Spanish and Moskito. He is a teacher in the school and was very helpful.

She is so cute and she had on shoes.

The sign says “Show your love for the children, do not pollute the future.” Not a clue why there is a crocodile or alligator on the sign.

We left there late and went back to Puerto Lempira. After we got cleaned up we went to the hotel restaurant for dinner. We took our last bottle of wine up there and drank it while we ate.

Not long after that we were sound asleep, waiting to be picked up early the next morning. More adventures await us.

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2 thoughts on “Another 2 days in Puerto Lempira, La Mosquitia.

  1. Meredith Morrow says:

    As alway, the path you are on just amazes me. You are a remarkable woman. Beautiful photos. Especially of the children whose little faces just beam.
    Well done, my friend.

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