Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Honduras: Days 6 & 7

Sunday after I posted P had a fairly significant bike crash (down a hill in the pitch dark on a bike with no brakes and no helmet.) We always wear helmets even in the driveway at home, but things are different here and we all get a little too comfortable going with the flow of culture! Thankfully, he avoided major injury and/or an oncoming car from the road at the bottom of the driveway...but he did get a reminder of his crash...in the form of over 50 ant bites on his arms and face. Apparently, when he flipped over the handlebars he avoided a cement culvert but landed in an anthill instead.

The greatest gift from Sunday afternoon/evening was time with the missionary couple's grandchildren. The two boys and a girl, aged 9,8 & 5 live a normal, middle class life here. Because the focus of our recent international travels have been to serve impoverished people,  I appreciated the opportunity for my children to meet and play with children who were different from them culturally, but not because they were 'less fortunate.' These children were bilingual, very bright, exceptionally polite and totally schooled my kiddos in soccer!

Teaching compassion without any condescension is a goal of mine. As our children are exposed to the world I hope they realize different or diverse absolutely does not connotate better or worse. I am motivated by a quote I saw two years ago on a t-shirt that said: "To love the world God loves, we must see the world God sees." As we travel I realize that this isn't just about geography. It is about seeing people, regardless of their package, language or circumstances as children of God.

My husband spent seven hours in the operating room with an extremely complex case. The children and I enjoyed a LOT of down time at home. (My bag of tricks is running very low.) In the afternoon we drove about 20 minutes up into the mountains to see real coffee plantations.

Not sure why they are posing like cranes, other than the fact that they are silly 8.5 year olds.
It was not at all what I had imagined. Entire communities surround many of these farms with concrete block and/or adobe houses. While they certainly aren't built to American standards, they are substantial and a definite step up from the leaky tin roof shacks the most impoverished people here live in.

What coffee beans look like when growing on the plant.
Coffee beans ripe for picking. They actually have a sweet fruity taste in this form.
Letrina de trabatadores (bathroom for the workers) on the coffee farm

One of the other striking things about our trip up into the mountains was seeing young and old participate in the work. School aged children participate in the harvesting sometimes, as the families are paid for the weight of the beans they pick. The more hands picking, the better the payout.

When I was asked about minimum wage standards I was informed that it is equivalent to $350 USD per month.
The overseer's small home on the coffee farm was full of animals: three dogs, seven chickens/roosters, two ducks, a turkey
and this cat that thoroughly delighted my children when he stole some lunch out of the outdoor kitchen sink.
We were able to watch the National Championship game last night, albeit with Spanish commentary. Hearing the commentators shout "Touch-dooooooown, Alabama!" was quite entertaining. (I was thankful for social media to fill in the gaps on more than one occasion.)

My husband operated all day today. He is seeing patients who would have had to wait four months to be seen otherwise...many of them with cancers that need treatment quickly for better outcomes. Tomorrow his cases include a four year old with a complicated abdominal tumor.

Because we are on the compound without transportation (and it is unsafe to leave the grounds on foot) we are doing a lot of this...

Our big outing was a trip to a small neighborhood grocery store. Although I am not known for my culinary skills even in my home kitchen, I felt led to offer to cook dinner tonight for our host. I went to the store open minded...and did the best I could with limited produce, packaging that left much to the imagination (I had to ask two people if I was in fact purchasing beef) and the kitchen of an 82 year old widower. Of course, during the meal our host informed me that the strip steak was a little tough because I had actually purchase ox. Awesome!

Determined to create some adventure, my R insisted his Dad pull one of his teeth tonight. Apparently, his experience in Guatemala last year with Raton the Tooth Mouse convinced him that the mouse pays better than the fairy due to conversion rates.

We are all feeling a little homesick, especially since our school started back today...but we are hopeful for what the next few days here may hold!


Sitesx6 said...

I prayed for your husband's work ( I also prayed on Monday when you asked for prayer for the liver cancer patient). God bless his hands today.

I was thinking, maybe a fun scavenger hunt on the grounds would keep your kids busy for a minute. :)

Enjoy the day. God's healing touch through your husband's hands today. (I'm praying)
Kelly in Michigan

Sara said...

OX!!! That's hysterical. Been praying for all of you.

Texas Turnaus said...

When we first moved abroad, I couldn't remember the word for beef for the life of me! So I went to the meat counter, pointed at what I thought was ground beef, and said "mooooo?" The meat man STILL laughs at this today (2 years later) and when he sees me in town, he Moos at me!