This blog post is part of a series recounting the trips of volunteers to the clinic in Ahuas, Honduras. This post is a letter sent to the BWM in December 2012.
Good morning on a early cool winter day! As I type I hear the quite munching of a contented horse outside the open study window… and now there is the far off church bell at 5 a.m. announcing an early prayer service today. A rooster answering across the still morning….. It’s the last Friday before Christmas and we look forward to a busy Clinic. Grace has been here for 3 weeks, lending a hand as an internist, and her husband Obadiah, and Luke, rolled in yesterday. Wayne flew them in on the MAF Cessna 206 from Roatan.
Teresa and I feel more comfortable here after three months, of course still with daily challenges of many kinds. We commit each day to the Lord in a pointed fashion; so much that goes on is outside our control. Support from many friends and church groups has been humbling. In the things we received with Luke and Obadiah is a quartz clock that a hispanic Grandview patient of mine sent down, after hearing of a need for clocks in the clinic. Teresa’s mother is making cheerful curtains for the clinic.We treasure that kind of support. Many folks remind us of their daily prayer. And so we carry on, trying not only to “carry on” but to encourage, to improve the care/campus, and indeed to enjoy the life that we and so many Miskito enjoy in this area of La Mosquitia.
Today we plan an early D & C on a lady with early miscarriage, then a drainage of a deep leg abscess in a 6 yr old boy from Brus. Two other very sick pediatric patients came in by 4 hr boat trip from Brus yesterday afternoon, 9 and 12 years old, with severe spectrum of symptoms, but now looking more and more just due to P. vivax malaria. Dr. Ovelio leaves today for Tegucigalpa, keeping a visa appointment at the U.S. embassy for a spring U.S. trip; on the return MAF flight from Ceiba we expect Dr. Melissa back for a week or so before she leaves for good for a 2 year OB/GYN social service stint in Puerto Lempira.
Christmas celebration preparations are less intense in Ahuas than 20 yrs ago. A cantata is planned in Ahuas; several churches plan feasts with killing of one or more cows at each location. We’ve heard some tambaku folk dancing at night, but limited. We plan to share with the reform and traditional Moravian Churches here in Ahuas on Christmas, but walk to Paptalaya for the Christmas Eve candle light service (donated some money to help with the candle purchase yesterday). Since this weekend is the only one with our kids here, we’re organizing a motorcycle/bike trip to distant Liwa Tnata (translated End of the Worm) to do some monkey hunting very early tomorrow morning. Many folks, often kids, bring up items to sell before Christmas, some edible roots (kalim), a large river turtle or two, bananas of various sizes, limes, oranges, some hulled rice.
Lots to talk about. In January a series of surgical or construction teams begins. We’ve had significant contributions to upgrade the inpatient kitchen, do a make-over of Dr. Ovelio’s leaky house, buy a used pickup, and the Moravian Board is sending down a large drill unit for wells. Projects of potable water in Ahuas and biodiesel from local palm trees take time, but are promising. Big clinic maintenance challenges are a daily fact. Grace took on our pharmacy cleaning and organization/inventory–a huge task. The tractor is back working after a valve job and welding of a hydraulic line (thanks to pilot George) but the backup Perkins 50 kw generator still not starting after new battery. Solar cell/battery backup system doing an amazing job.
So we near the end of 2012. We thank God for his work here at the Ahuas Clinic. It’s humbling to be a part of that. Thank all of you for your support in many ways, for your prayer specifically. May your Christmas be joyful too as we celebrate God’s ongoing presence in this troubled world.
Christmas greetings to you all,
Benno and Teresa