Wednesday, May 04, 2005

3rd Post Sleepless and Starving

The days run together. Still not sleeping much going on 5 days now and it is starting to get to me. The food is scarce here and that's not helping much either. Imagine standing blindfold at the rear-end of a jet airplane when it's gearing up for take off....that's what it sounds like in my room as the rain falls hard on my little rusted tin roof at night. It's been raining every night and intermittently during the days. That's why they call it the "rainy season"! My room is pitch black at night. I tried to sleep with the lights on to keep the cockroaches away (as many of you suggested) but then I was swarmed with night bees. They come first one and then the next until there are so many with their buzzing so loud it sounds like they will eat you alive. I opted for the silent roaches and I don't get up till daylight even if I think I might wet the bed!
A disturbing occurrence yesterday, still not settled well with my stomach, I reached for my suitcase in the morning, sitting on the extra bed, covered with dead bees and suddenly out popped the giant spider, it had found a home under my suitcase! Unfortunately for him my suitcase broke his legs. Now trust me I was not analyzing the legs I was screaming my head off it scared me so much. I ran outside as if the thing could fly, and looked for help but alas there was no one. For those of you who know me well you know I don't kill spiders. Now I was in a let it suffer or to kill it, thankfully though I think it died while I was deciding so I swept it out the door. When Jenny came by I showed it to her and she said "that's not a cane spider it’s a tarantula, bite yah they will and leave a big rotten hole" in her Jamaican English accent.
Enough with the bug thing which is an on going war...sorry got carried away there.

As for the lice and the children....well I ran the oil thing by the women who tend to the children, and the Vaseline, and the mayonnaise, but they would have none of it. We had trouble even getting them to let us cut their matted hair short. Jenny and I finally pulled the doctor card and told them it was medically necessary in order to put the medicine on them. Now, what medicine you ask.....well let me tell you.

We drove to San Pedro Sula down the mountain over the pot holes and through a mudslide. (With all the rain a huge mudslide closed the road for a bit, they opened the road but the mud kept falling till it no longer supported the water main and that collapsed leaving the towns down stream with out water). When we got to San Pedro Sula we went to the pharmacy and told him we had no money but we needed medicine for the children we were caring for, could he please give us some on credit. He agreed quite willingly and proceeded to fill our little wish list. We will worry about how to pay him later. The work Dr. Youngberg has done over the past 40 or so years has really been respected by the people who knew him and they support the plantation as much as they can.

A little about San Pedro Sula: It's a big city crammed into an area the size of Butler. (for those who haven't had the good fortune of visiting Butler it's about the size of a pimple on the butt of an elephant). They have fast food joints (actually they tote the largest KFC in the world complete with a life size statue of Colonel Sanders at the door...much of the chicken for KFC comes from Honduras I've been told), there are 3 giant supermarkets complete with armed guards in the parking lot and guarding the water. Water is a big deal here. Not much clean water anywhere. If you don't keep your gate closed on the driveway (everyone with a home has these big iron gates) people on the street will come asking for water. This happens more in the mountains than the city so I'm told. San Pedro is not short on shoe stores and the gas is 3 dollars a gallon. They have several butane engines here...kind of cool and environmental.
People drive insane!

Okay back to the lice story. So now we have the medicine but we can't treat them if we're not going to clean the bedding. Ah the bedding.....It consists of little foam mattresses and make shift blankets 2ft by 3ft, nestled in little cubicles built of plywood that sit up on tables (better than the floor! right?). The grown children have little cots like mine. Well, the women say it takes three days to dry the foam and the children will have nothing to sleep on. So I said fine we will buy new foam and start over so we have 2 beds for each child that way you wash one and have the other clean and ready. Okay that's great but what about the blankets...well we can't afford to buy them blankets so we'll have to make due with sewing together old clothes. Everyone agreed and we asked a man in town who was going back to San Pedro to get the foam. Several hours later he came back with out foam. It was $120. We had scraped together 50$. But a beautiful thing happened. When you’re doing your part the Lord does his! A bus load of Gringo's from Utah showed up out of the blue with bags of clothes and blankets new and donated by Wal-Mart. (okay for those of you who know me I still hate walmart but maybe there's a place in my house for a toothbrush or two from them). We didn't know they were coming and it was late like 7pm. They were Mormon dentists who were just passing through not even staying over night! it was kind of funny I heard all this commotion outside.... gringo this and gringo that, I thought they were still pissed about the hair thing so I peaked outside and I see this guy in scrubs running through the jungle out back totally lost. Long story short I took him to where the kids were sleeping and found this whole bus load of good meaning folks hugging the children and carrying them around, giving them toys. I barely had the heart to tell them they better delouse, de-scabby and de-worm before getting back to the states.

Ever feel like you were trying to move a mountain with your big toe? Getting people to make change around here is just like that. The people who run this plantation do a good job considering all the obstacles. It is no small feet to feed forty families with barely any income. Unfortunately the people have no hope and minimal education so they don't have aspirations. They are happy to do a little work for a little rice and beans. They don't want to a lot of work to earn a steak with a side of fries. If you know what I mean. Just as cutting the hair was huge, so huge one mother came and took her child, sick with asthma, back home because she was told we were going to cut his hair. (If you’re confused we also serve as a children's hospital to Pina Blanco.) So in trying to clean the clinic it's been rough going.

One quick funny story before I go, first there are no rest stops on the highway so people just go on the side of the this lady from the kitchen was telling me how she had to pee so bad on the way back from San Pedro last week that they pulled off the side of the road. Her husband came over and was trying to hide her "bonkie" and she kept yelling "no no ...No one knows my bonkie hide my face"! I had to chuckle

Until tomorrow......

Ps thanks for the emails and the advice!


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