Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sketchbook entries

Well, I have been home for a week now after returning from a two week stay in Honduras. I was looking through my sketchbook today and came across a watercolour I did after being there for only a few days. The great thing about sketchbooks, in my opinion, is how they can bring back memories so acutely. I remember the kind of day it was, somewhat cloudy and very hot and humid. There was a bit of a breeze, thankfully, and the sound of the waves crashing into the shore had a peacefully mesmerizing effect. These are memories that will forever be with me, and I am grateful for that. Beunos Dias!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I arrived back in Canada the other day and was struck by a number of thoughts. As I left Honduras behind and made my way back home I became increasingly more irritated. This was something happening almost sub-consciously and I was left wondering why. I soon realized that I was hearing and seeing the people around me acting in a manner that was totally different to the Honduran people I had left behind, they seemed to be complaining about the most trivial things and definitely not being thankful for the situation they were in. Even the fact that they were able to travel so freely while the native people left behind never see more than a 30-40 kilometer radius of the world around them was striking to me. Traveling and working in Honduras was a learning experience for me and I am much more grateful for what I have and more willing to help those that are in need, it is a personal growth experience that enriches both the recipient and myself. Muchos Gracias. This watercolour was painted on the beach one Sunday afternoon and the subject turned out to be a favourite haunt for the locals. I had more than a dozen people hanging about me as I painted and it was a great experience for all of us. I will remember it with fondness.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When it rains

When it rains in this part of Honduras you surely know it, let me tell you. The experience of being outside when the sky opens up is exhilerating. Today it rained so hard that you could hardly hear yourself think. The great thing is that the temperature is very warm so the rain is as well so you actually don't mind getting wet so much. Contrast that with a cold driving rain back in Canada, not so enjoyable. One more full day here and then it is back home for me. My mural is pretty much done, just a few touch ups (the wind today grabbed some sheet metal roofing I was using to protect myself from getting wet and threw it against the mural, scratching it in a few places.) I had a few of the local boys show up today wanting a guitar lesson from me, of all people! It was a rewarding experience to see them play some basic notes, and even sing the notes. Hope they go with it, maybe they will be good players someday. I post a photo of a lovely girl and her brother who will be living in the new home we built for them. Adios.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Yesterday we all had a great day at the beach. The morning was spent walking in the sand and dodging the huge waves that were rolling in. The surf was amazing, the largest I've seen since I've been down here. I decided to do the walk on my own in the afternoon with the idea that I might do a watercolour of the ocean side. Well, I found a very nice spot and set to work on a small watercolour. The next thing I knew I was surrounded by at least twenty of the local kids and adults, all very interested in what I was doing. I had an interesting time trying to communicate with them in my very very basic Spanish. It was fun having the kids tell me what the Spanish was for sky, water, birds etc. I came away with a nice little piece and some more Spanish, as well as a greater love and respect for these people. I post a photograph of the subject I painted, the painting will come at a later date. Beunos Dias!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One week in Honduras

I cannot believe that I have been down here for a whole week already. We have been quite busy, work usually starts at 7 pm and we go until 5 for 6 days of the week. Today John and I put up the partitions and framed the roof for our cinder block home. The lady and her children who will be inhabiting it are quite excited about the progress, as are we. I think that by the end of monday they should be able to move their few pocessions in and settle in. I am very happy for them, to say the least. Sunday will be a day of rest and I think that I will go exploring along the beach to see what I can find. This photo is of a ramshackle group of huts where the locals can go for an alchohol type drink. I have been advised not to venture over that way in the dark as it can be quite dangerous. Last night someone around here was firing off a shot gun. Haven't heard if anyone was shot and that troublesome rooster is still giving me problems sleeping, so he wasn't the target.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The trouble with Roosters

I am usually not one to complain but I am having issues with a rooster that roost's across the lane from where I am trying to sleep. This bird starts the most forlorn racket around 2:30 am, just when I am having my best sleep. So up I get and plug in the ear plugs but I can still hear the bird just ever so faintly. Today I came across a little boy who needed help repairing his sling shot (you see where I''m going with this?) Yeah, I figure I'll do me a little sling shot practice and alot of people will rest way better. All joking aside, it was a great day down here. I got lots done on my mural (I should say the kids mural) and will have it done well in advance of when I fly home. There is talk of me maybe doing another one for them, we will see. I believe I have mentioned how much I love these kids down here, and there parents. They humble me with their unabashed love and adoration. They are kind and considerate, respectful and fun loving. My eyes have had a veil lifted, a few more gone and I will see clearly at last. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings! I post a photo of a little girls teddy bear, washed and on the clothes line. She does not have much of anything but her Mom keeps her clothes and one toy immaculately clean. My previous post shows them washing in one of the mountain rivers.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Day in Honduras

Had a great day down here again. I have come to really enjoy the company of the children here. They are so affectionate and full of fun, as well as respect and honour. My favourite activity is after school is out when they all come over to the mission house to play soccer and volleyball. I sit there with my translation dictionary and they help me with pronunciation. The poverty is heart wrenching to see but there is such dignity amongst these people that it is so humbling for me. The mural I have been asked to do is coming along quite well and has generated alot of interest from everyone. Colour and pictures are not something you see to much of down here, I suppose it is a luxery that very few can afford.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Update from Honduras

This is my second full day here in Honduras and I have managed to pack alot of activities into that time. I am down here with an organization called "Brighter Horizon Ministries". I will be painting at least one mural for them at the school they have built for disadvantaged children from this impoverished area. I believe that I will have time to also help build a simple concrete block home for a single mom and her children. It is very hard to relate how much of an impact this has made on me. There is unbelievable poverty and exquisite happiness visible in the native peoples. More on that later. The country side is beautiful, I am very close to the ocean and the jungle. I have had a little time to paint and hope to have time to do more. I post a photo of this lovely child I came across in a squatters village.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Going South

Here is the before mentioned picture with some colour added to it. Somehow the first picture got mirror imaged when the photo was taken, this is the true orientation. I plan on working on it more when I get back from Honduras, where I am going to do some volunteer work for a couple of weeks with an organization called Brighter Horizons Ministries. They have been trying to get the people back on their feet after suffering through Hurricane Mitch, which happened quite a while ago now.The organization wants me to work on some murals with the school children. I am going to enjoy that, for sure! It is going to be something else to experience, the people and their living conditions, the weather and other aspects of life that likely will be so different from where I live. Enjoy the picture.