1. Slept on two chairs in the hotel. It was definitely better than the airport terminal floor
2. Pigged out on my last American (a.k.a. synthetic and crappy) breakfast.
3. International flights are crazy!!
4. Planned on reading en route…crashed instead…haha.
So, we all finally arrived at the airport in Tegucigalpa in the early afternoon. This is where we met Mart(h)a (Latin Americans don’t pronounce the “h” sound in names). Marta was by far one of the most memorable people I met on this trip. She was short with curly thick hair pulled back in a ponytail. She had a wide grin and a laugh that seemed to bubble up out of her and infect all those around her. She was fun, but was also no-nonsense. She had a system and it was in our best interest to do EXACTLY as she said. She was very dedicated to looking out for us poor “gringos” and making sure we didn’t get pick-pocketed or kidnapped or financially accosted, all real dangers for the natives of Honduras, much less the average naive tourist. The amusing thing was that I think the airport security would have taken care of us merely from the fact that we were even associated with Marta. Everybody there seemed to know her and she them. She told us that she and the bus drivers come up here every two or three weeks to pick up a new group to take down to the ranch to volunteer.
Fortunately (or so we were told), we “only” lost 3 of our checked bags – 2 of which contained some pretty essential medical supplies worth upwards of $2,000. Thanks to Marta’s connections though, we were told that they would be brought down to the ranch hopefully by tomorrow or Monday.
So, after this we set off for our midway stopping point in Juticalpa, about four hours away, in an old school bus. I wish I could have videotaped the whole drive. Better yet, I wish we could have taken one week just to travel that 4 hour road – just to talk to the people we passed, ask questions, and take fantastic pictures. On the way I was able to make better acquaintance with one of the young doctors, Dr. Kendall. He said that I “might get to the point where I do some neuters”. This did disappoint me a little at appearing to be such a little “pee-on”, but it also clearly exposed to my own heart my tainted reasons for coming on this trip and how they needed to change to reflect serving the people, not gaining surgical experience.
The Honduran countryside is so beautiful! I’m afraid I might be falling in love with this country…if only I knew the language better. 🙂