Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The fine art of kidnapping

Here I am in Honduras. Been an interesting trip so far and it's only Tuesday.

Today we went to an area by a river that floods at least once a year. The woman driving us had a bullet-proof SUV and two armed bodyguards. We talked as she drove. Seems the violence has grown increasingly worse in the city and you have to be extremely careful. One of her friends and her toddler were killed as they were at a shopping mall in a robbery that went wrong. This was only last week.

Kidnapping is also on the rise. You have to bargain with the kidnappers because if you don't, chances are the loved one will be killed even if you pay the ransom. The professionals are the ones who usually don't hurt the victim because they are all business. They are in it solely for the money and the victim is their commodity.

When the gangs kidnap, they are more desperate and more violent.

On the way back from visiting this community by the river that had flooded three days ago and dumped more than two feet of mud and water into people's homes, the air conditioning in the SUV quit. Since the front windows don't roll down for security purposes, it started to get pretty steamy inside. Fortunately, it wasn't too long of a ride.

Where we are headed tonight there has been a huge outbreak of dengue fever. If it's not caught in time, your blood platelets drop and you go into shock and can die in 2 days. Note to self: Get mosquito repellent.

The talks about the women's program have been good and informative and I have a good feeling about all of this. The group we will be working with are dynamic and very dedicated and into women's rights and training women to become self-sufficient and financially independent. The biggest thing they do is give the poor women self-esteem so they believe, finally, in themselves.

That's something you can't put a price on. Or list as a budget item.

More later, including photos, when I get the chance to post.


Norah Wilson said...

Wow, Bonnie. Kidnappers and Dengue fever and failing air conditioners -- yikes! Take care and be safe. Will be watching for your updates.

Bonnie Vanak said...

Thanks Norah! I'm home and it's good to be here!