Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Friday, June 22, 2018

Sensuality in Sustainability

I could never pick just one reason I thank God each day for introducing me to my soulmate. But I can think of an awesome reason God sent her to Honduras. One of the most powerful contributions Lane has made to Río de Agua Viva has been the bonding of Water With Blessings to our team's mission.

AHMEN's Río de Agua Viva team has been all about sustainability and teaching Hondurans they can be the solution to their own societal problems. We can say that better now than we could when we began in 2013.

Our team rallied around Lane and the quest which led our team to a 4-year partnership with Water With Blessings, a clean water cultural project based in Honduras specializing in empowering women with their own mobile water filtration unit. WWB works all over Honduras but now also has a presence in the indigenous Garifuna and Miskito communities where our team works. Lane is also working on an approach to modify the WWB Water Women training for use with children.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The River Branches in 2019

The time after returning from a team to Honduras meanders as one might think it would.  The ins and outs of reverse culture shock filter the body and mind like a fishing net.  One ingests an entire experience, but only a bit can be retained.  We look to keep the nutrient, but occasionally an added bonus or, less welcome, something toxic remains.

When dealing with cultural acclimatization we must keep in mind that memories develop as our minds process the eleven days of almost 24-hour footage we tend to capture on service trips.  I am most introspective immediately after my return.  This one has been no different.

Last year I returned from Honduras to accept the National Education Association's Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding award.  This year I return to compete as one of nine finalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.  The question of "where do we go from here" perpetually searches at the bottom of my dusty trunk for my 3rd Eye's glasses.

In order to tell the story of this year's Río team I will take a few weeks to answer this question from a personal and spiritual level. However, one answer is not as murky as the others. I will continue in subsequent blogs to describe the impressive membership of this year's team, but today I want to share the exciting news that our river grows.

AHMEN's Río de Agua Viva team has always flowed from the headwaters of AHMEN's Community Empowerment Program. Next year will be no different; however, next year, the affluent streams of each workshop location will be given priority over the main tributary.

Next year I will not be the only team leader leading the only team schedule for Río de Agua Viva. Next year the parts of our leadership team will each focus on an individual workshop area across the map of Honduras. We will lead our community development seminars in each of the following locations:

Michael Franklin - Intibucá (La Esperanza)
Greg Thompson - Atlántida (Jutiapa, Sambo Creek, Corozal)
Ken Hanson - Gracias a Dios (Raistá & Las Marias)
??? - Colón (Cusuna & Ciriboya)
??? - Yoro (Yorito)

The fact that my first team back to Honduras without my Uncle Tom here on earth resulted in a united plan to sustain AHMEN's Community Empowerment Program is no coincidence. Buttressing each workshop location with a volunteer support team has been a dream of ours for years now. The significance of our return is an eddy keeping the river flowing.

How we move downriver depends on you. Contact me today to learn how to join, donate or contribute your time to one of the several channels of AHMEN's Río de Agua Viva team. We're going on a boat ride! Are you comin'?

Together, we are the difference.