Up the mountain on Thursday
Today the team split up as usual into two teams. Our assignments were in two separate communities located on opposite sides of the road halfway to Yuscaran. The bus could not navigate either of these roads. The plan was to take the bus as far as we could go, split into two groups and take 4 wheel drive trucks to our final destinations.
We had some confusion as to which duffle bags of medicine went on which truck, who was supposed to be on which truck, and where the lunches were—but finally we all loaded up and headed out. I was repeatedly offered a ride inside the truck by Paco—who was quite appalled that La Doctora wished to ride in the back of truck. However, my previous experience riding inside the truck meant one’s head frequently hit the inside of the cab as the springs were not all that great-==and most importantly, I could get the best pictures from outside. And I was most determined to get photos.
Our drive took us over an hour. Much of the road was over deep ravines, some of the road was washed out at points, and we were grateful for the motorcycle that preceded us and investigated the turns and bridges. Periodically Don and I would wave at Fred and Clint who were riding in the back of Dr. Lee’s truck who followed us at a respectful distance. His truck had very little power and needed a good run at some of the hills.
The church is a marvel. Two missionary teams built that church—and it is superb. The floor is a lovely laid tile with an inlaid cross; there is a cross behind the altar, grillwork fills the windows, and there is an absolutely spectacular view. The workers were well prepared for us and had the area set up with tables and chairs.
Patients arrived slowly at first but then we had plenty to see. Clint, the newly minted physician sat with first me and then Bill. Finally we had him see the patient with Ellen, the interpreter, and have Bill oversee his diagnosis and treatment plan. I saw an 8 year old girl wearing a T-shirt saying “It’s all about Me, Me, and Me” Again we completed the medical portion of our visit and I translated the T-shirt for her—“Todos los Mundos es por Mi, Mi y Mi”. The mother laughed and said no, that was usually not true. Another small boy had a T-shirt that proclaimed “ this is the important choice’ I translated that as well—and the little boy looked most surprised as the choices were all about video games.
We did not break for lunch until 2. I was too hot to eat much; Sammie Lee, Carol and Don declined most of their lunch. I passed out the plates of food to the workers and the patients. Don the pharmacist patiently poured out the tamarindo juice for the workers and the patients. Later we learned that the other team’s lunch had fallen off the back of the truck and that they had then backed over it—creating very squishy sandwiches.
The day passed quickly and suddenly it was nearly 4. The pharmacy finished up their work with the help of Fred—and I had the opportunity to read some of my Bilingual books to the children. The adults were just as interested in the story as the children—and I gave my books at the end to the pastor/lay preacher at the church. He had read several of the books –to himself at lunchtime.
I spoke to him at the end of the day—about how important education is for the children. That is, indeed, my first love, giving children the love of reading. Reading transformed my life and I wish to pass that opportunity on to others. When I see their faces, I see myself as a child===not really knowing that life could be different than what I knew—but reading provided an insight into an entirely different world.
We were all pleased to see Dr. Lee’s truck at the end of the day. I distributed Carol’s stash of lunch items including canned sardines. There was much laughter as I explained that my husband loved canned sardines but I did not—and therefore the sardines were only for a man.
Once again, Paco was most appalled that La Doctora would wish to ride in the back of the truck because a deluge of rain was a good possibility. Since we had dispensed most of our medicine, our duffle bags and coolers fit into the back of just one truck and so we had twelve Hondurans hop into the back of the truck with Don, the pharmacist and myself.
Two of the ladies chatted with me—as much as possible while bouncing and trying to see each other above the heads of eager children. They told me it was a 3 hour walk to Yuscaran, the nearest large city by taking shortcuts down the mountain. We dropped them off at various parts of the road; some of the paths seeming little more than cow-paths up the mountain. Parts of the road appeared more washed out than before and it was clear that a significant rainfall had occurred within the last hour or so. None of us wanted to be on that mountain road in the dark.
When we arrived at the main road, the bus had already left with the other group. Dr. Lee and Paco drove us all back to Zamarano—and wished us a good trip—bien viaje.
Tomorrow we pack up and go to Tegucigalpa to catch our plane for home on Saturday.
As always for me, the last day is the best day.
more photos are on smugmug at