The missing bags got here! They arrived this afternoon with one of the workers from the ranch who had volunteered to stay the night in Tegucigalpa and then make the 9-hour drive down today! What a sacrifice! We found out later that strangely enough the “missing” bags had been in customs the whole time…how’s that for an inconvenient language barrier? 😛
The food is amazing! Lots of rice and homemade tortillas and fresh fruit and fresh coffee! There are three ladies who do all the cooking for the ranch. They only speak very little English, so as we’re moving down the food line we have to say “uno” or “dos” or “nada”.
After lunch we walked over to our “central supply”, which was actually just an old cattle shed next to the pens where the weaning calves were kept. Fortunately, many of the previous missions groups had left a fair amount of gloves, suture, needles, drugs, and other miscellaneous medical equipment to supplement what we had crammed in our luggage. It was so nice to actually get to DO something! The apprehension of the trip the past few months coupled with the two and a half days of traveling was starting to take its toll on my sanity!
After dinner we all hung out on the porch – literally! The ranch had rigged up a bunch of hammocks for our personal use all along the porch. These hammocks were nothing short of amazing…I couldn’ve slept out there every night if not for the mosquitoes! The geographical place where we were, called the Agalta Valley, is a lot greener and fresher-smelling and beautiful than in the cities of Tegucigalpa and Juticalpa! It’s more of what you’d expect to see in a travel brochure or tourist guide. Even with the beauty all around us though, it only serves as a measly disguise to the overwhelming poverty that plagues this country, both in the city and in the country.
On a veterinary note: There are lots of Brahman cattle here. I would guess that over 60% of the cattle raised here are Brahman. It was not unusual to be driving down the road and see small groups or even single cattle grazing by the side of the road (or on it) with no herdsman in sight. We asked Marta about this and she said oftentimes they will let out their cattle in the morning to go find the best grazing and then the cattle will usually come home on their own at night.
Tomorrow we visit our first village – El Ocote!