Saturday, July 16, 2011

José is sick :-(

Yesterday, about 1:00 PM, José, our best worker, came and told Juan he was in pain and needed to go home.  We took him to his house and gave him L100 (about $5.00 USD) in case he went to the ER.  When we called to check on him he said the ER doctor referred him to the hospital in Tocoa because there is no surgeon in Trujillo.  Tocoa is about an hour away by car, about two hours away by bus, over some of the worst roads you will ever see. 

My SIL, Magda, is a nurse in Tocoa, so Macho Man called her.  She says there is only one surgeon on Tocoa, and he is on vacation.  The next nearest surgeon is in La Ceiba, about 3 hours by car,  4-6 by bus, depending on which bus you take.  I think the best deal is for us to put down the back seats in the Xterra and take him ourselves. We'll see.

When Juan called about 9 PM, José told him the pain was coming back, but he was going to try and ride it out until Monday, when the surgeon gets back off vacation.  I am really afraid this young man has a hernia, and I am not sure he can wait until Monday.

If José needs surgery, he will need to stay off work for 4-6 weeks.  We will continue to pay at least a part of his salary so his wife and child won't do without.  We are trying to figure out how to work around him, so we can continue with the construction.  For sure, he will have a job when he is able to return to work.

The next time you want to complain about long waits at the doctor's office, stop and be thankful that you have a doctor close by, not six hours away.  If you need surgery, most likely your need can be met at your local hospital.  If you need to go to another hospital for treatment, and it is far away, most likely you will be transported by ambulance, not told to take the bus for a six hour trip. 

I ask you to pray for José.

Americans are blessed

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Update on La Casa de Sueños

We have reached several milestones on in construction since the last time I posted on the subject.  We have all but finished the painting.  I'm just waiting for a dry day to go do the trim outside.  Juan has started making the window frames.

Marvin and Jose have learned to cut ceramic tile and lay them.

Jose learned how to cut the tile to fit around the columns

The finished job on the balcony floor

The real owner of the house inspects the finished job on the balcony floor

The welder has designed the railings for the balcony and for the security bars over the windows.These railings don't come prefab. The welder has to puut together all the pieces so they fit the space exactly nd everything is on center.

We were very pleased with the design the welder produced.  The only change is that we want the paint changed from glossy to matte

This is a close up of the medalions.  This is a security bar, so the medalions are on every otherd upright.  On the balcony railings they are on every third upright.

This is approximately how the security bars on the windows will look

Today MM started laying the tile in the great room. 

We laid out almost the whole living room floor last night; played with  tile, and moved tile.  This pattern is too busy.  This pattern doesn't show off the decorative tiles.  At 7 PM we said, Eureka, this is it!!!!

We are blessed

A Garífuna Mass

Last Sunday Macho Man, Don Miguel and my Sister-in-law decided to go to the 6:30 PM Mass at the cathedral.  When we got there we found out it was to be a Garífuna Mass.  These Masses are held on the second Sunday of every month.

The Garífuna are the descendants of slaves brought from St. Vincent to Central America in 1797 and the local indians.  They were off-loaded on Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras, or were either thrown overboard or were the victims of the shipwreck of two slave ships, actions taken by the British to prevent an uprising against English settlers on St. Vincent.  They have retained their Arawak language and much of their African culture.  The Spanish forced their conversion to Catholicism but couldn't change their form of worship.

The Mass started with Garífuna music, sung in their own language and accompanied by maracas, tambourines, and wooden drums topped with animal skins, tuned by tightening or loosening straps wrapped around the drums.  There was a lot of clapping, dancing in place, and joyful noise.  You could not help getting caught up in the joy and celebration.  Even the scriptures were read in Garífuna.  I was surprised to find that while I couldn't understand the words to the Lord's Prayer, I knew what was being said and could pray it in English.

Father Felipe conducted his homily and the celebration of the Eucharist in Spanish, which I could understand a little better.  When the bread and the wine were brought to the alter it was done with dancing, waving of palm fronds, singing, and the offering of bowls and cups made of coconut hulls, bread made from cassava flour.  It was truly a celebration!

We were made to feel we were part of the congregation.  When the sign of Christ's Peace was given, many many people came to us and wished us La Paz de JesuCristo.  When the Mass was ended, many people came to us and expressed their thanks for joining them and asked us to join them for worship in August.

I left worship feeling a spirit of joy and jubilation that is hard to describe.  I felt I had neen taught a lesson in the extent of the love of God.  My knowledge base was broadened.  I came away feeling more convinced than ever that there are many ways to worship and God loves them all.

We are blessed.

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Fourth of July in Trujillo

Today one of my friends asked if I had seen the American Flag flying from the old American Embassy in Trujillo..  Red-faced, I had to ask where the Old American Embassy was located.  When she told  me it was close to Johnny Glynn's store, I thought I knew where it was.  MM hauled me downtown to find it, and as we approached El Centro, there it was, The Stars and Stripes, fluttering in the breeze.  It was so good to see it, and it made me so proud of who I am.

As luck would have, the Flag was flying from the balcony of Mr.  Glynn's house.  MM has known Mr. Glynn all his life, and I met Mr. Glynn at the grand opening of the new eco-park on Guaimoreto Lagoon.  Mr. Glynn made a really big mistake at the grand opening; he told me anytime I wanted anything, let him know.  Anybody who knows me well knows I am a history buff; and Mr. Glynn is the man to see about history in Trujillo. . 

Mr. Glynn closes his store at 11:30 AM to 2 PM, so he and his employees can have lunch and a siesta.  At 2:10 PM I was in the store, talking to him.   Thank goodness, he speaks perfect English.  He is the second generation of Glynns born in New Orleans and reared in Trujillo.  He is one of the wealthiest men in Trujillo, and I really did not expect him to spend any time with me.  I was surprised when he invited me into his home and we talked about 30 minutes.

Then he gave me a wonderful surprise.  He looked for a copy of a dissertation done by Taylor E. Mack when he was working on his PhD in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at LSU.  He told me he has never let anyone take this book out of his house, and he let ME bring it home to read!  Me! a person he barely knows.  I am so honored.

So, tonight we are going to have hamburgers, potato salad and refritos for supper and watch fireworks on TV.  We are going to go to devotions with a group of young people here on a mission trip. And I am going to start reading Ephemeral Hinterlands and the Historical Geography of Trujillo, Honduras, 1525 - 1950,  A Dissertation.

I am having a wonderful Fourth of July..

We are blessed