14 October 2011

Lavarse Las Manos!

The 15th of October is World Handwashing Day.  Since we received a dozen emails about it from Peace Corps, we decided to do something for it.  Sam did some thinking and drew up the basic plan: we would give charlas to the schools on Friday the 14th and have a contest where the kids would present skits or songs in groups on Saturday the 15th.  There was a stage set up in the central park for our town feria, which just ended, and we were going to use that.  We also put a song, called appropriately enough, Lavarse Las Manos, on the radio for the week.  It was recorded by a PCV a few years ago and is ridiculously catchy.  Doctor Octavio loves it.

We whipped this plan up in two weeks, presented it to the centro de salud, made a few changes, then wrote a solicitud for funding from the municipality.  We had a health promoter to go around presenting with us, and I had found a truck to borrow to get us everywhere in time. We talked with several of the schools and everyone involved was excited and things looked awesome.  Then as this week went on, almost the entire plan fell apart.

Wednesday we found out that the health promoter had a meeting on Friday, so he couldn't go, and without him we couldn't use the truck.  There is a lot of paperwork involved for a PCV to get permission to drive, and it wasn't happening in two days.  That was a loss, but after our 6th grade sex ed class we talked with the sub director (vice principal) at the big elementary school and confirmed our plans for Friday.  He even promised to have the night watchman turn the water on to fill the pilla Thursday night.  However, between him and the Directora at the highschool, we decided to cut the Saturday contest because they had run out of time to create skits.  Thursday, we found out that the municipality wasn't able to fund the things we asked for, which wasn't much.  Soap and bowls and a few prizes for the competition, which was fine because it wasn't happening anymore.  I also went to the smaller elementary school and talked to the teacher there about presenting on Friday, but they were not going to have class, it was going to be a four day holiday weekend!  So I made plans to go present the charlita at 0800 Tuesday morning.  We also make our charla papers to be ready.

Friday rolls around, and unsure if the night watchman actually turned the water on, Sam rode over to the school at 0730 to check if we would need to haul the water we need for handwashing demonstrations.  There was water, the pilla was full!  Awesome!  However, there were suspiciously few kids around, and no teachers.  Sam talked to them and found out there was no class today!  They were having a four day weekend too!  We were very surprised, sometimes things change but to have confirmed on Wednesday for a presentation TWO days later on a Friday, and to show up to find there was a holiday was a bit much, even for Honduras.

All was not lost, however.  We confirmed with the high school that they did indeed have classes, and we were still on track for our original 1330 time.  We went over, and gave 3 short presentations to a total of 78 high school kids about the importance of handwashing, shared the song with them, and then we all washed our hands properly.  Success! AND we have plans for Tuesday.  Not all that we had originally planned for, but with only two weeks notice and Honduras, I think we did pretty well for World Handwashing Day.

And because I was asked, here is the song we taught them.

¡Lavarse las manos!    
*Lavarse, lavarse las manos
 C       C      F     C
Lavarse, lavarse para su salud
 C       C      F     G
Antes de comer y después del baño
 C       C      F        C
Combatimos los microbios
 C    F    G    C
Combatimos los microbios
C    F    G    C

Los microbios no se miran (pero)
     C            F
Hay muchos en el cuerpo
     C            F
Si no se mantiene limpio
     C            F
Tendrá muchos microbios (¡Qué feo!)
     G            C

* Repetir

Wash, wash your hands
Wash, wash for your health.
Before you eat and after the bathroom
Combating microbes
Combating microbes

You can't see microbes (but)
You have lots on your body
If you don't keep it clean
You will have lots of microbes.  (How ugly!)

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