A departure from my usual, this post is actually a restaurant review:
Today I will be reviewing a new bistro that opened in the lovely Northern Coastal town of La Quinta, Honduras. The chef is none other than world renowned 12 year old cooking phenom, Jimmy Riley, of the Tegucigalpa Riley’s. I will elaborate on why I give this Chic new eatery 4 1/2 stars.
As you approach this beautiful dining experience, you are struck by how the Proprietors chose such a gorgeous location, perched atop a hill, overlooking vibrant jungle and the Caribbean Sea. They capitalized on the lush beauty of the vegetation, creating an ‘Open Air’ concept. They have literally made you feel like you are sitting in a little palm frond hut, cut into the brick red hillside—Brilliant!
Next, the service: We were promptly seated by the lovely maître d’, I believe her name was Juliet. Her bright smile and twinkling blue eyes made us feel quickly at ease. The table was set with sturdy flatware, candlelight (citronella, I think) and there were napkins readily available, somewhat of a rarity at many local establishments. Within minutes, our meal was served, piping hot (jungle temperature). The chef and his collaborating partners actually visited our table at one point, to welcome us and see how our meal was going. Classy!
Finally, the food itself was absolutely scrumptious. A flavorful chicken breast was served, sautéed in a savory garlic sauce, with onions and a little bit of green bean garnish. There was a side dish of ‘Cheeps,’ which was a cleverly constructed morsel composed of extruded corn meal sculpted in round, crunchy disks. An ice-cold sweet tea of fine vintage was presented to cleanse our palates, as well. It was evident that the ingredients were fresh, local, and organic (I think I saw our chicken running around earlier in the day. Doris, I believe, was her name).
My only reservation about this establishment which cost them 1/2 a star was a potential health code violation: There was actually a Human Botfly in our soup…
So, hats off to the proprietors of ‘Garden Glow,’ including Jimmy, Carolina, The Moultray and Stockton kids, and Jacob. Well done!
Heidi noticed a new mole that popped up on her abdomen the other morning. But then it moved. We can now add ticks to the array of bugs that can bite us and potentially transmit other more interesting diseases.
A few weeks ago we had some major drama here. I won’t really go into all the specific details, but I’ll share a few tidbits. This story involves a patient who was dumped off at the door of the hospital with 3rd degree burns all over his body. It involves a plane, a clandestine jungle refuelling station, an explosion, and an impossible journey over the course of several days, and through the deepest, most remote jungles in Honduras. It involves the transportation of a certain product that is prohibited, if you catch my drift. It also involves the Honduran army setting up camp outside the gates of the hospital. Somehow this story, and this journey brought this Soul to our hospital. We believe that it was no accident. Although this story ends with the man passing away, it’s not an unhappy story. For all the darkness that this fellow had embraced in his life, his final hours found him encountering peace, hanging on a cross next to Jesus, asking to be remembered.
We have had several occasions to spend some time with Deneli recently. She has had her left eye removed now due to the skin cancers, and she can barely see out of her right eye. So every time she has an encounter with someone, she always wants to touch them, touch their face. She always recognizes me, ‘Dr. Rayan’, because of my bald head. I recently discovered how much she likes to dance–she wore me out. And as Heidi and I played with her on the teeter-totter, her squeals of laughter as she plummeted downward were such a joyous, sweet, beautiful sound.
Heidi spent the last couple weeks substitute teaching for the 3rd grade class, which was very satisfying and challenging at times. She looks forward to having the 2nd grade class as well for a week, coming up. These kids are definitely her passion.
At a BBQ last night, I saw some ladies holding a cute little 4 month old Honduran girl. I came to find out that she was a little girl that we had to run a code on about 4-5 weeks ago. A ‘code’ is called over the radio when it is assessed that someone is about to die. Every doctor within earshot comes running. We were seconds away from intubating her (putting a tube into her lungs to breath for her, which generally ends very poorly). With several interventions, however, she turned the corner. We kept her at the children’s center for the last month or so, as she was malnourished and had some social issues going on. It was so good to see her thriving now. This is a life that would have ended had she not been brought here.
Juliet turns 7 on tuesday. She is excited because she has never had a ‘school’ birthday party, having a Summer birthday. School runs from February through October here.
I continue to be humbled that people come from all around to our hospital for care, because this is the ‘best’ hospital in all the land. I recently had to have some blood drawn at a lab in the city of La Ceiba, which is the 3rd largest city in Honduras. After some small talk with the phlebotomist I shared that I was a doctor at Loma de Luz. She said, ‘Oh, that place is very famous.’ She told me it is known for great care and for serving God. –This was humbling to hear; it pushes me to do all I can to help uphold the standard of medicine practiced here, and to share the reason for our faith and purpose. The sign of the gate says ‘Dios obra aqui.’ God works here
That’s all folks!
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