Monday, January 5, 2009

Quick Story

So today I finally got keys and was able to go out of the apartment on my own. Clare dropped me off at Dr. Galo's (a local gynecologist that has been very helpful to the OSU medical students) and I waited for about forty five minutes to see him. We had a brief meeting, exchanged phone numbers, and set up a tentative appointment for tomorrow, when he would be slightly less busy. I then called one of the taxi drivers that SHH uses and trusts and began to wait in front of the church. I hadn't yet met this driver, Alan, but I knew that he was wearing a blue shirt and was kind of chubby. After about ten minutes, a chubby Honduran taxi driver wearing a blue shirt pulled up and the following happened:

Me: Alan?
Driver: Si!
(I get into the car)
Driver: Donde?
Me: A la apartemento.
Driver: Que? Donde?
(I pull out my cell phone and call Alan's number, there is no ringing in the car)
Me: Alan? Tu esta Alan? Como te llamas?
Driver: Danny?
(I run out of the car repeating "No" about twenty times as I run back towards the church.)

I feel bad for the guy, he could have just been a nice, confused taxi driver looking to make some money. But with a bunch of gringos living in an apartment, we try and keep knowledge of our location limited to trusted drivers. I was also stupid for not asking his name right when he pulled up, but I was feeling pretty sick and just wanted to get back to the apartment and lie down. Oh well, no harm done and lesson learned. When Alan did pull up, I made sure to ask who he was before getting in and I got back to the apartment safe and secure.

The apartment is actually one of the safest places in El Progreso because it is owned by one of the most powerful mob families in Honduras. Downstairs, on the first floor, is a gynecologist's clinic, and the doctor that runs it is a part of The Family. Interestingly, he is the only gynecologist in El Progreso to do abortions. At night we are totally safe, there are huge Rottweilers that roam around the property. During the day, a bilingual school is about 200 yards away from the entrance, so the sounds of kids playing are constantly in the apartment.

I think it's time for some lunch and more research. Hopefully there will be another post later- I have more free time now that I'm able to work on my own.

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