April 30, 2012

Moss

It was very damp up in the mountains, with heavy fog rolling in every night.  We never really dried out while we were there.  The moss shown here also grows in the trees, and we found that the Lencans had cut down some of the longer strands and hung them in the church building.  When I asked why, I was told they were for decoration! Because we were eating and meeting there at night with the doors open, by morning the moss was filled with sleeping moths.





April 27, 2012

Lenca Pottery

We had the amazing opportunity to see the Lenca women make their pottery....the same way they've been doing it for hundreds of years.  

All of the items are hand made without the use of a potter's wheel.  They mix clay and ash in proportions that are unmeasured.  Everything is by feel - a sprinkle of ash here and there after kneading the clay.  

Notice how colorfully they dress!


No kiln is used - just an open fire.  No wonder they have so many respiratory issues.

After removing the pottery from the fire, they bury it in a pile of leaves.  That turns it black.  Designs are made by rubbing ash on the unbaked pieces.

This lady cleaned and wrapped my plate.

Smile!  It took several tries to get her to pose for the camera.

April 26, 2012

Kids

I'm convinced kids grow up faster in the country.


April 24, 2012

Home

I'm home!  I'm thankful for the work that was done along with many adventures, but it's so good to be back.

Today I am loving:

  • Toilets
  • Toilets that flush
  • Toilets that flush toilet paper
  • Toilets that you can sit on
  • Showers
  • Clean water that comes right out of the faucet
  • Hot water on demand




April 23, 2012

Ready To Come Home

<it´s been quite a trip.  <hard to describe with words, but amazing, fulfilling, and difficult are good adjectives to start with.

<our bags are packed and we´re waiting for the van to take us to the airport.  We´ve heard there are snow and rainstorms back east, so we´re hoping that planes won´t be delayed.  We´re all mentally ready to get back home. <our work is done and we´ve said our goodbyes.

Two more team members down this morning with stomach bugs.  Cipro is the hot commodity!  <i feel like a rich woman because i have an entire bottle of it in my backpack - love having team supplies with me.  =)

Yesterday after church we played tourist and visited the Valley of the Angels. < i was able to get another stuffed bullfrog.  And a map.  <i´m convinced that the places we went aren´t on any internet map.

<heard yesterday that our group is part of only 8 white people who have ever gone up to the Lencans in that area. glad that our presence brought help and relief adn friendship.

time to go.  looking forward to seeing everyone!

and sorry for the disjointed conversation.  too little time and too many thoughts.

April 21, 2012

Don´t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

That childhood tuck-in joke now holds new meaning.

We are back in Tegucigalpa <8with internet access<9 adn what a journey it has been.  The <hotel MacArthur is the next best thins to heaven right now.  We all opted to skip lunch so we could showe!.  Truly, showers and toilets are beautiful things. =)

This week we treated 900 adults and children during our 5 cliincs.  <i believe that´s a record given the size of our small team.  <it made for some long, exhuasting, and exhilarating days!

<our time with the <lencas was an especially unique experience. The mountain-top church adn bunk house was at 9000´ Çsurprise!), so just getting there was an adventure. < no one expected it to be so cold and damp...the first night you could see the fog rolling in jsut as it was getting dark and we were unpacking and setting up with flashlights.  The people were very friendly, more on the quiet side, and very thankful for our help.  Can´t wait to share pics.  We did take a side venture one day and watch the ladies make their famous pottery. 

. <on the way back down we brought with us a young couple and their 2-mo old baby who weighed 6 lbs.  <it had a previously undetected cleft palate.  Baby will have to be stabilized before surgery can be considered.

.<<in one of the Talanga clinics i saw a young woman who looked approx 8 mos pregnant, though she didn´t know how far along she was.  <no prenatal care, and looked pretty sick.  She hadn´t felt the baby move in a week and was having some severe cramping.  although the care was free, she couldn´t go to the hospital because she couldn´t afford to get there.  <hope Teams paid for her transportation to the hospital <$50 each way<) that afternoon.  We have not heard an update but <i fear the baby was lost.

. An old <lencan woman came in with a long list of physical ailments, but all she really wanted was a cup of water. After drinking it down quickly, she took my hand, leaned in close, and fervently began to pray for ME. Unbelievable.çç

We have prevailed over bed bugs, stomach ailments, fatigue, a bad rash <8that would be mine<9, heat, and damp cold.  Worth it all.  <it has been a privilege to help these people.

April 15, 2012

Day 3

Greetings!  There really is a place in the Americas where it is warm!  =) 

Yesterday we held our first clinic and <iwalked away shaking my head ...i am working with such an amazing, skilled group of people.  <loved watching jack translate and manage intake, loreto haul supplies with a willing heart, margaret and rita run the pharmacy like they´d done it a million times, dr. marty light up with smiles when the kids came through, laura work so quietly and thoroughly, and dr carlos, who cares so deeply for his own people.  i couldn´t ask for a better team.

We were told that 200 people from the community would be coming from teh surrounding area, but Dr. <marty adn <i did the math...given our team size, we knew we were good for 125-150 max.  We saw 205, which i believe qualifies for miracle .3.

The people are so poor and so grateful for our help.  Body aches, back aches, bone pain, stomach pains, fatigue, sore eyes, headaches...nearly every patient came through with a long list of needs.  where to start?

A young 4 yo came through my station with his grandmother. She was worried because his stomach hurt.  <i´m learning to zero in on my history/physicals, andmy hunch was right.  This kid won´t eat, and when he does, he is very picky... eats only rice, sauce, coke and soft bread balls...jaw hurts.  BINGO.  Rotten molars.

Another woman came through with huge anxiety issues and subsequent headaches, bone ache, gut ache, fatigue, and breathing difficulties. the vitamins, TUMS, and benadryl would offer her minimal, temporary relief. (no lorazepam on hand, so bendaryl would have to do - at least she might get a decent night´s sleep.) The real problem was fear for her daughter, who is currently in the States with no work and little news.  At that point all <i could do was pray with her.  Tears were streaming down her eyes and my heart went out to her as she  had to deal with these worries on top of her struggles to eat and live.

April 13, 2012

Day 1: made it!

We made it!!! <our landing was smoother than ever as we skimmed the top of the mountains before dipping down into Tegucigapla. i personally thanked the <united pilot! 

We made it through customs with all of our medical supplies without a hitch. the agents checked everything, quetioned nothing, and took nothing. miracle ·1. <<our baggage was loaded up into a pickup and my bag was piled onto the very top and not tied down.  ecstatic to find it actually made it to the hotel. miracle ·2. 

<it rained recently so there are some flowers blooming.  but it´s back to being hot and dry. <no kidding, the smell of burning garbage, dust, smoke, and city pollution brings a smile to my face.  This is exactly where <i am supposed to be and that´s a great feeling.

<i LOVE my teammates!  <it´s going to be one incredible time.

Headed out to find food.

<love you guys!

<nope, no spell check...and yup, the keyboard is in spanish.  and all of the tabs-instructions on the blog are in spanish.  Go ahead and laugh, because i am!

April 12, 2012

Honduras Day 1: Bon Voyage!

6:32 am     Elsie runs upstairs to my side of the bed to say good morning.
6:36 am     Elsie runs upstairs to my side of the bed to say good morning.
6:59 am     Elsie runs upstairs to my side of the bed to say good morning.
                
Why is this 4-legged ball of fur so needy?  Could she possibly know that I am leaving tonight?  There aren't any obvious clues.  My luggage isn't even packed.

MY LUGGAGE ISN'T PACKED!!!!!!  I'm not packed AND the laundry's not done.

I am to be at the airport in 10 hours, but I believe my adventure has already begun.  =)

April 11, 2012

Flowers and Fingernails

We planted Love-in-a-Mist from seeds saved from last year.  The seedpods are as exquisite as the flowers.

And Emily's half-polished fingernails?  I'm not nearly good enough to Photoshop those out, and despite my great efforts, I couldn't get them out of the shot.  But my complaints about her polish got me nowhere.

"Seriously, Mom?  They're international!  They're all shaped like different countries."

April 10, 2012

Blues and Pinks

The rain stopped, and it was a dizzying day of color!  We are a tough bunch here in the Northwest, and we live for days like this. There's nothing quite like reveling in the blue sky and sunshine!

April 9, 2012

Perfect Poundcake

Aunt Jo's poundcake...a piece of heaven.  As you might recall, this is the payment I bargained for on a recent transaction.  I came out way ahead.

No recipe, because it can't be replicated.

April 6, 2012

Egg Cups for Easter

Sometimes it's best to use and enjoy old treasures rather than leaving them carefully wrapped up and stored on the top shelf.  So out they come, just in time for Easter brunch!

Soft boiled eggs - contributed by the ladies - are hard to beat!

April 5, 2012

Lemon Reamer

It's not often I get to indulge in a new kitchen utensil, because I've collected quite a large stash already.

But my old glass reamer broke, and that began a 6-month journey to find a replacement.  The new ones may be lighter and less breakable, but they hold no improvement in function. Wooden, plastic, stainless steel, multiple parts, multiple sizes, and even one that requires the lemon to be turned inside out to work... really?!

My last resort was a specialty kitchen shop in downtown Portland - lo and behold, they had all kinds of them!  They were so shiny, all stacked up and catching the light, they took my breath away. Once again I found myself in a store full of people, wondering why they weren't fighting me in the isles for these beautiful things.  Hello?  Do you see these? Do you folks realize what you're passing up?    

Unbelievably, the design is now even better. See the circle of little knobbies?  They keep every bit of seed out.  Ingenious!

April 4, 2012

Like Chalk and Cheese

She lives on the other side of the world, so her notes and emails are always so welcomed.

I especially enjoyed a few lines from a recent poem, describing her two moms:

    Each so different from the other
    Like chalk and cheese, really
    One more generous and giving
    The other quite matter of fact
    Stoic you could say, yet oddly sentimental
                                                    --Ann Bennett



April 3, 2012

Homegrown Parsley

I'm happy to report that before we dug the garden up today, I found a whole handful of parsley starts! (Yes I know, it doesn't take much to excite me these days.)

Several years ago my parsley went wild, and I dried enough to last us three years.  I didn't think too much of it until I used the last of it in a pot of chicken noodle soup.

Now before the chorus joins in with raised eyebrows to remind me that you can buy this in stores, you know, let me say that homegrown, home dried parsley is NOT the same as store bought.  Ask any French cook.  Or send me to France, and I'll ask for you.  =)

April 2, 2012

Flowers North and South

One of these pictures is from Camas, the other from Tegucigalpa.  It's an easy guess... =)