Up but not running. Yet!

11 Apr

The seasons do change here in Tocoa, Honduras. Now that the rainy season is over, we’re having … the dry season. Hasn’t rained more than 3 or 4 times in the last 30 days. However, no matter the season, it is still hot. I know some of you think it is all fun and games for me down here loving on these kids, but here are a few pictures from my labors. First are some vegetables and then there are some pictures of our first aquaponics system. This system is built with IBC’s (Intermediate Bulk Containers). It should hold 50 tilapia and over 100 plants when it reaches full capacity. Jeremy Frye, missions pastor extraordinaire from the Church at Agape Outpost in Breckenridge CO, helped me cut the tanks into two parts last month. We then painted them black to reduce light and inhibit algae growth. Next we painted them with a coat of white to reflect sunlight in an attempt to keep the water as cool as possible for the fish. It seemed to work in Texas at with Bruce Hammack’s system.

After Jeremy left, I cut the PVC tubes and glued them into U-shapes. Water travels from tank to tank through the tubes. The pump is in as well as the Styrofoam boards that will hold the plants. I cut holes in the Styrofoam and even transplanted a few chive plants and one okra seedling into the system. The chives are doing great. They seem to be indestructible. Oh, we also had a leak in one of the tanks and I have to patch it tomorrow. Then we go catch tilapia from the big tank at the other facility.

All this took more time than I wanted it to due to several reasons. One. I had to work in the dirt gardens. Two. The pump for our well stopped working for a few days, but Rodney Jackson, a volunteer living in Trujillo fixed it in with day’s work. And three, I have had the mother of all summer colds. Coughing, fever, gagging, spitting, oops! TMI? Well, let’s just say the last few days haven’t been fun. Here are the photos.


The cherry tomatoes I planted back in the rainy season are finally producing fruit. Now, if I can just get the kids to stop eating them until before they turn red.


 I love hot peppers, but these are almost too hot for even me. The plant was here when I arrived in November so I don’t know what it is, but I am saving some seeds for you fire eaters who come on a mission trip. I’ve named this pepper “the attitude changer.”


 Anyone for sunflower seeds?


Here is the system. The fish tank is the back one with a raised lid. The poo-collector and the plastic lids collected by the Church at the Agape Outpost are both in the first short tank. If the water looks low, it is. Still need to do more work before filling it to full capacity.


 Here are the chives and a couple of other replants from the dirt gardens. Next week I should have photos of happy fish and happier plants. (Meaning they are well-fed) And that is all for this Food 4 Kids update. Hmm. Okay. Here are a few of my favorite kind of photos.


This is Maria. She is 11 years old and is the caretaker of six siblings that arrived last month.


This is Norma, one of Maria’s three sisters and two brothers.


It’s skooter day at Village of Hope! Yes, Esther is probably too big for that little scooter, but she said it was pink and she just had to ride it. So I had to take a picture.


I told you it was hot in that garden. See, it is not all fun and games down here just playing with the kids. Well, actually, it may be.


Yasmin, ready for school.


Nicol, never shy when a camera is in sight.

Be blessed my friends and family in the Lord. We are growing plants and getting ready to raise fish, but I for one will never forget why we are really here. 



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