Seven years.

For those of you that have followed our story over the past three years, you know that much of our time and energy is spent advocating for the people of Las Lomitas, or more accurately, supporting the people of Las Lomitas as they advocate for themselves. Along this journey, many of you have come alongside us and fought for our neighbors, giving of your time, money, and emotions, some of you have even traveled the 8,000 mile round-trip to meet these people and pass on the Hope that is within you. Lomitans fondly remember Bobbie, Debbie, Filipe, Anita, David y Laura, "Chessy (Jesse)," Karen y Marty, and Janet.

Following our update on the meeting of national leaders with community leaders last year, we have kept pretty quiet about the community's electricity project, but by no means does that mean that movement has ended. We have made multiple trips to the national headquarters of the ENEE with and without members of Congress (no sarcasm) to confirm and discuss the future of electricity in Las Lomitas, and every time, we have felt that we need to continue to wait. As of  my visit this June, the community's and my patience had reached the limit. No more lies. It was time to purchase posts.

Thanks to the generous gifts from North American partners that came out of Las Lomitas' appeal last year, the people of Las Lomitas were equipped with a sizeable fund and informed the ENEE and political powers-that-be (and powers-that-have been voted out) that we were going to move forward as a community with donated funds without government involvement.

Then, after seven years of deception and illusion, real magic happened.

In early August, I picked up my cell phone to an excited voice rapid-firing Spanish. Nahún (Honduran neighbor) quickly told me that a truck was stuck in the mud at the bottom of the hill. A truck loaded with electrical posts for Las Lomitas. That sounded a little too good to be true, especially since I knew that the community hadn't made a post purchase yet. I had developed a Honduran-like distrust of elected officials and figured that they weren't doing anything, but a week later Pastor Erick called to let me know that the men in the community had already manually installed all ~50 posts in the 6-foot deep hand-dug holes that they had dug. After seven years of empty promises, all of a sudden the ENEE began to move forward and start in Las Lomitas. All of a sudden, they realized that Las Lomitas wasn't kidding anymore. All of a sudden they realized that Las Lomitas was a town full of people that were not just sitting down.

I met a town full of new people when I visited this month. I met 60 men that had each volunteered 10 days of hard labor. I met a town full of people that believe that Las Lomitas can move forward. People that are starting to dream about all that could be. People that are packing the little church beyond capacity and are full of Hope. People that say, "The politicians may have ignored us, but God has not." 

As the photo above shows, the project is now very well-along and may be done by now. I'll be in Las Lomitas again next week and will get a better idea of how advanced the project is and what next steps will be.

I want to extend a special thank you to all that have donated towards the Las Lomitas Electricity project. Your financial support empowered the community to move forward and finally put sufficient pressure on the government so that they would begin the promised project. I fully believe that this project could not have happened without you. As of now, all of the specialized labor and material purchases in this project have been provided by the Honduran National Government thanks to grants from the Nation of Finland for rural electrical extension. We will be in touch with each of you in regards as to how you would like to us to move forward with your donated funds.


September 15

September 15 is a special day in the Eldridge family for three reasons.

¡Feliz día de la Independencia! 
1. Honduran Independence day.
Honduras celebrates Central American independence from Spanish colonial rule along with Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica on September 15. This morning, Google welcomed me to my computer's Honduran homepage (www.google.hn) with the patriotic little drawing of the Honduran national critter.

2. International Moving Day.
Three years ago, Stacey and I boarded a plane in Dayton, Ohio - destination: San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Disembarking from that plane, we walked into our new climate in a foreign nation. After working hard to identify a community to settle in, we now call that nation home. We built our home there. We have lived alongside people - celebrating birthdays and attending funerals. We have adopted family there. September 15 was a game changer.

3. Baby on Board Day.
Exactly one year ago today, in a hot, little concrete bathroom in our Honduran home, we found out that Alida Fe was going to be joining the Gringo clan. A couple of weeks of strange illness and heat aversion had tipped us off, but a tiny white stick gave us the international symbol of a life-changing event...+.