POSTCARD FROM HONDURAS
Mark Richt is nearly 1,400 miles away from the Georgia Bulldogs’ practice fields this week, touring impoverished areas of Honduras served by the Christian charity organization World Vision International. It is his third visit to Honduras , but the first time any media has accompanied him. This week AJC reporter Steve Hummer will be providing daily postcards as the Bulldogs’ coach views the world beyond the narrow focus of football. Look for an in-depth report on Richt’s journey in Sunday’s AJC.
GRACIAS, Honduras — Much of Tuesday’s tour involved areas long served by World Vision, but Wednesday was all about showing the “before” picture of poor rural life in Honduras.
It was an emotion-charged day for the Richts as they visited locations where World Vision had only just arrived. Several times Richt and his wife, Katharyn, choked up while surveying the scene around them. The place that seemed to evoke the most reaction lay at the end of a half-mile hike from a school in the village of San Antonio.
At walk’s end was the main community water source — a two-tiered catch basin collecting a trickle of milky, almost opaque water from up the hillside. The top basin was for drinking water, the lower one for washing clothes.
All the need around him seemed to light a real fire in Richt. Meaning that if you are a Bulldog, prepare to hear and see appeals from the coach and his wife to help out this cause.
To a gathering of school children in San Antonio, Richt said, “I coach American football and our fans are very passionate about our team, just like Honduras’ fans are passionate about their football versus Mexico [there was a big match between the two Wednesday night].
“I’m going to challenge our people to get involved to help this community. I think they’ll take the challenge.”
The Bulldogs just gained a whole new set of supporters. Knowing that happy fans make better donors, Zack Aspegren, World Vision’s National Director of Philanthropy declared, “Believe me, I am an Oklahoma Sooners fan, but this year I am a Georgia Bulldog fan, big time.”
– Steve Hummer