Thursday, March 17, 2011

Honduras trip

Still in Honduras. It's been a successful trip, with good stories and very sad cases, like this child here, whose parents had a cup of rice in the house to eat for the week.

Yesterday we went to an island to see some cases and how we can get food there, as there is a high rate of malnutrition. It was a lovely boat ride across the Gulf of Fonseca, a bay shared with El Salvador and Nicaragua. The turquoise water sparkled, the sun beat down hot as a breeze from the Pacific rippled across the waters.

And on the island, I got sick. Oh boy. Not fun.
I'm a little better, taking it easy and not eating during the day just in case. Being sick on an island in the middle of nowhere when the only nearby bano is a latrine is not fun...

We also met this mother, who could not stop crying because her little girl, whom she is holding, is very malnourished and ill. She needs an operation to save her as she keeps losing weight, but she's been on a waiting list for free surgery from the state since she was born. In the meantime, she keeps getting thinner and thinner and her mother keeps crying and praying.

There were some uplifting moments as well, such as seeing Naomi again. We met her last year when she was 2 months old and in danger of starving to death. We got her enrolled in a nutritional program, got her milk and this is Naomi today, nice and chubby! I didn't even recognize her! It was quite gratifying to see her and her mom so happy.

All week we have been south in San Lorenzo and Choluteca. Today we headed back to Tegucigalpa to fly out tomorrow, but there was another strike by cab drivers and this one started turning violent. They were throwing rocks at cars.
Police advised people to avoid the area near our hotel.

So while the military was moving into place to quell the violence and open the roads, we spent part of the morning at Valle de Angels, which is a tourist spot. We did some shopping, had a lovely lunch (well, the rest of the team did!) of pizza. I took my slice of pizza, cut it up and fed one of the many stray dogs in town. I usually never do that, but today I just felt like it.

Now I am waiting for a ride by our guide's friend to the local church, where I am having a Mass said for my cousin, Margi. She was buried today and because of this trip, I didn't have a chance to attend the funeral. So I'm having a Mass said this afternoon for her. It was so sweet of our hostess, she made a few calls and the arrangements. It's a little comforting for me since I couldn't be at Margi's funeral Mass.

Flying back tomorrow, hopefully no more cab strikes and good weather and I'll be feeling better. Until then, adios!


Norah Wilson said...

Oh, Bonnie, this just wrecks me. You are such an incredible person. I know how soft your heart is, and I know this will take another chunk out of it. But at the same time, how heartening to see that baby thriving now! And I know the appeals you'll write will raise lots of $$ to help the people of Honduras. Of course, I was just destroyed reading about the mass that was arranged for your cousin. Candle burning here for her tonight. Hugs and love.

Bonnie Vanak said...

Thanks so much, Norah!