The roads have never been worse since we’ve been living in Honduras. Potholes filled with mud vandalize the dirt roads just outside the hospital. The rainy season has taken it’s toll on them, and the pothole-fixin’-fairy hasn’t been to this part of the jungle in many months. Traveling anywhere right now requires a mental and physical preparation. It’s like punching yourself in the gut over and over. I have to perform a ritual of calisthenics to stretch my neck and back, arms and wrists, as I physically ready myself for the jostling, jarring, combat of a truck ride to town. “Do we really need groceries that bad?” I ask myself. I’m sure the sea can provide all the sustenance that we might require, I’ll just swim out with my spear and harvest the bounty of the ocean. Or ants. Ants are edible. We have lots of those. –Any excuse to stay off that forsaken road.
But last week I had an important reason to brave the roads. One of my patients was pretty sick. It was late in the day, and I had ordered some labwork on him. I snuck away to a medical staff meeting, and when I returned he had gone home, without discussing results or the plan. Worried that he had a serious infection, I tracked down one of our hospital’s pastors who knows everyone, and knows where everyone lives. I gathered some meds, and we hopped in trusty ‘Goldie Matilda’ (our gold-colored Nissan pickup, fondly named after Heidi’s late grandmother).
After a couple miles of bucking-bronco and fish-tailing in mud, we made it to our destination. We crossed a soggy soccer field/cow pasture on foot, and hailed Don Ignacio’s home, across the fence. His sweet wife came out and welcomed us, ushering us past their outdoor cooking area and into a clean, humble casa. Don Ignacio (‘Don’ is like saying ‘Mister,’ a title of respect) was curled up on a little sofa, looking rather feeble. His wife shared our concerns. I checked on him a bit, then prepared a syringe of antibiotic, and proceeded to plant an ‘inyeccion caballo’ (horse shot) in his hip. His wife graciously made us up some fresh lemonade, which we sipped while we visited. (Side note: You need to understand that the hospital compound where I live has a water treatment plant, which chlorinates all the water I drink. Consequently, I haven’t detected any parasites in my stool over the last couple years. As I was sipping this tasty, yet untreated water, I was envisioning a very close personal relationship with our toilet in the near future…)
I returned the next day with my son, and we had another nice visit. I gave him a shot, and in return they gave us a bag of bananas. Don Ignacio was feeling better. He shared his testimony of faith in the Lord with us, and also how he and his wife met. My son chatted with them, and then we went home.
The third day, my son, Will, drove us to the house (this is part of our 13 yr old teenager-in-Honduras education program, one of the perks of living in the rural jungle). Don Ignacio was feeling much better, looking spry, and he eventually busted out his guitar. He played us a couple songs, in a beautiful Latino style. Will, in turn, shared a couple American style praise songs with him, and finally we left.
We were honored and humbled to be invited into his home, to be privilege to his stories, testimony and music. And we were blessed by the hospitality of his wife. It was an experience we will cherish.
On to some photo-journaling:
We are having fun with the life cycle of this caterpillar. I think it’s called a ‘Pseudosphinx tetrio’ a type of Hawk Moth. It’s colors make us think they’re poisonous, so we’re not cuddling up to them too much. They decimated a tree outside our house, eating it bare. Below, the Chrysalis stage. Our son Will, the animal lover, keeps opening the container flap in anticipation of them ‘hatching.’ He’s doing this so they can get away from us, because he knows that we want to harvest one of them for our butterfly collection.
You see (maniacal laugh) we first capture the butterfly. Then, we place it in the ‘pouch of death,’ otherwise know as a large zip lock baggie. And then… We place it in the freezer, for a slow, but relatively painless death. Finally, we stick a pin in the deceased arthropod and place them in a glass frame box, for our viewing pleasure.
And Voilá, you have a moth…
One night a couple weeks ago, we were sitting at the couch watching a movie on the computer as a family. Eventually, Owen says to me, ‘Dad, stop shaking the computer.’ ‘I’m not son.’ ‘Please Dad, stop it…’ Well, about 10 minutes pass, and we get a text from some of our missionary-mates down here saying there was just a 7.6 earthquake several hundred miles off the coast of Honduras, and there is a Tsunami warning. Minutes later, we have a brigade of trucks headed down to the Orphanage (which sits about 30 feet above sea level) to evacuate the kids and staff up to the hospital grounds, which sits higher on a hill. We all hung out in the Cabildo (multipurpose room, see below) for a couple hours while waiting for the Tsunami to hit, but alas, there was no significant Tidal Wave (apparently it caused the Tsunami-measuring buoys to raise 2 inches!!). This was a pretty exciting night in the deep, dark jungles of Northern Honduras!
Below, some of you may have heard about the protests in Honduras regarding the recent elections. Well, this is one of the less impressive protest blockades that we encountered one afternoon on our way back to the hospital, from the city.
Below, this is Bert. I have coffee with Bert most mornings, he greets me with interesting webs. sometimes he makes this ‘X’ and sometimes he makes an oval, or squiggles. I’m hoping one morning I’ll sit down and see ‘Terrific.’
OK, more bugs… This guy below was mostly dead, just moving a little. I think it was one of Aragog’s sons. He is actually a Huntsman spider (not tarantula).
Last week on a trip to the city, a little boy was selling these two Iguanas on the side of the road. Most people buy them for dinner. Our motives were a rescue mission. We took them home, unbound them, and let them loose in the back yard. BE FREE!
Bougainvillea in the morning light
Funny faces with Brittany and Oneisha, while playing some Frisbee at the Children’s center. Maria and Daniela running, with Ultimate game in the background.
That’s it! See you soon. I’ve got a good snake pic next time…