Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Quick update-
Yesterday was a tour of several orphanages (an HIV/AIDS orphanage, a Honduran government orphanage, and one of the best orphanages in Honduras). That's an entire long post, so more on that later.

I got a cell phone today. For those readers that are coming down to Honduras- email me and I will send you the number.

Today was a half day in Monte de Olivas, a squatter camp, with the medical group. Again more on that later- I'll do a huge post very soon. The rest of the day was spent with Claire, one of the long term volunteers, running errands for a New Year's party that we're having tonight for the volunteers. Tomorrow is pretty much a national holiday, so all of the locals are off. Therefore, all of los gringos are going to the beach at Tela for a day of some rest. I know that the long-termers totally need it and I'm looking forward to sleeping in a bit.

Lots of fun and also depressing stories soon- I've got to clean and prepare for the party.


Monday, December 29, 2008


Quick updates from day one with the medical team, I´m on the shared computer at the hotel so it has to be really fast.
1. A woman had a seizure in the middle of the day in the clinic. It really woke everyone up.
2. I received a drawing of an interpretive ¨arboro de Navidad¨ or a HondurĂ¡n child´s impression of my description of a Christmas tree. It was pretty amazing.
3. I helped diagnose patients, got to listen to a pretty bad wheeze and generally had a blast. By helping diagnose patients I mean that I got to do what I do best, which is constantly ask questions.

I´m a liar and didn´t get a cellphone today, therĂ© wasn´t time to pick one up. Also, this computer keyboard is in Spanish, please forgive the strange punctuation and random accents. There was a lot more to today, but I´m going to give others access to the computer.

I almost forgot about the woman who gave her two year old coffee because he liked it. The lack of education is astounding. Not only was she wondering why he had diarrhea after drinking coffee, but also why he was grumpy and fretted a lot in the afternoons.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

First Day!

Well it's almost 10:30 and the day is wrapping up. Last night the flight arrived uneventfully to an airport filled with reggae-styled American Christmas tunes and the constant smell of this area of Honduras- burning trash. When everyone got through Customs (there were several of us on the flight) we headed out to the parking lot to load up the car and head to El Progreso. Unfortunately, one of the tires was completely flat. After about 45 minutes of jacking up the car and figuring out the method of removing the spare tire from underneath (secret to a Honda Pilot- there's a winch to release the tire. It's operated by the lug wrench), we discovered that the spare provided with the used car was made for a Toyota, and wouldn't fit on the 5 pronged Honda wheel. We all learned a vital lesson about purchasing a used car, especially in Honduras- check the spare tire! About 45 minutes later we were finally rescued, the car abandoned until we could find an appropriate wheel (it got fixed today). I got to the apartment at about 11:30, ate some pizza, and completely failed at falling asleep- the adrenaline of arriving was far too much.

Today I was incorporated as part of the "staff", or the group of returners and long term volunteers that shepherds around the rest of the trip members. All of the staff members (I'm kind of an -ish member) are living in the apartment. There's about seven of us here, but each of us has our own room, which is really nice. I actually have my own room and bathroom (for now). Tomorrow I will start with the medical team. I had a chance to talk with the leader and the doctor tonight just to start getting a little headway on the effort.

The day started at 5:15am with a shower and an attempt to write on here. Unfortunately, my computer restarted in the middle and lost what I had been writing. The staff had an early planning meeting at 6:30, after which we went to Hotel La Cascada where the entire trip (15 people plus the ~15 person medical team) is staying. After breakfast, we did orientation, then went to the market for a scavenger hunt of sorts. I won't reveal the details here, in case we do it again when the WM team comes down, but it was a lot of fun. We then went to Siete de Abril (the squatter village that SHH works with) and learned how to make tortillas. Then, it was off to lunch and a long set of soccer games with the residents of Siete and the girls of Copprome. The evening was composed of dinner and a lot of group meetings and icebreakers.

This will probably be my longest and most boring post (good job if you've made it through). It's just to give you an idea of how packed every part of the day is going to be. It might not look like much written out like this, but every minute there's something to be doing- normally planning the next move.

I'm exhausted and have to be up way early tomorrow as well. This is totally cutting it short, but I'll probably post a short (hopefully more amusing) tale tomorrow at about this time.

PS Tomorrow I'm getting a Honduran cell phone!


So my computer restarted itself and lost everything that I wrote earlier. I'm in Honduras and safe. More to come later.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

On the Plane in Two Days!

It's Christmas and I've explained to almost the entire family what exactly I know and don't know about what I'm going to be doing over the next month.  Here's a broad overview, for those who missed it.
1. I will be flying out of Reagan National on the 27th and arriving in San Pedro Sula that night.  
2. The Ohio State team of medical students will already be on the ground.  I will be shadowing them for about a week.
3. The second week is completely up in the air.
4. The third week the William and Mary winter break team will be flying in. 
5. I return to the States in mid January.

While I am down in El Progreso I will be trying to determine if SHH should establish a permanent medical facility in the area.  The facility would expand what the OSU team is already doing and supplement the work that other NGOs  (non- governmental organizations) have already done.  Sounds boring written out like that, but wish me luck- it'll be quite the adventure navigating all the obstacles ahead.  Check for an update late on the 27th or on the 28th- I'm sure that there will be plenty of stories from the flight(s).