Granted the unexpected boon of little to do for my last week in La Moskitia. Went a wandering with camera in hand….
It has been a year since my Grandfather died. When I was a child, falling asleep at night, I would beg my mother to tell me a bedtime story about Honduras. There was the time Grandpa chopped a huge snake in two with his machete – when he found it inside the crib with his infant daughter (my mother). The cedar chest with the deep machete scar still exists today. There were stories of danger, of family, of joyous games, and of many surgeries and time spent working to heal those in sickness. My Grandparents were, and are, my heroes.
I only wish that Grandpa was alive today – now that I am here living and walking where he walked for 35 years. I wish I could go hear him tell stories of times past, and ask his advice when times are hard.
Since it is his 1 year memorial (january 28th, 2011) I thought I would post the obituary and some of the wonderful pictures my cousin Elly gathered for the funeral last year. Memory Eternal Grandpa Marx!
January 14th, 2012
I have become utterly spoiled this last week. Everything has been so wonderful. I love living here and having all my friends here around me. I am currently in a happy food coma following a delicious dinner of Miskito food and coconut candy so I shall allow the slight laziness of bullet points.
Some wonderful moments this week:
- The simple joy of having my brother Stephen and my friends Taly and Uri (henceforth to be simply known as “my people”) to talk to and share everything with
- Understanding, and speaking, more and more Miskito. Just enough to convince people that I actually can speak the language – at which point they launch into a loquacious spouting of incomprehensible words.
- Going for runs with the spectacular sunset over the savannah every night
- Taking foggy morning walks (ok I won’t lie, we only actually got up early the one time) with my beloved Natalya and discussing existential questions as the moon and southern stars slowly dissolve into sunrise.
- Getting a small break from my normal duties because two sweet sisters (and med students) Martha and Molly arrived to help out this week. Perfect timing for me to spend more time with my people.
- Watching Taly learn how to run Preclinica in record time – completely running her section of the clinic one morning. Taking blood pressure, temperature, and weights like a pro and getting to know all of the patients as they passed through.
- Our new doctor, Dr. Ovelio, arriving this week and helping out in the clinic as he learns the ins and outs of the hospital – and smiling genially at all. He has a wonderful smile.
- Visiting our last traction patient and seeing how his eyes light up when we walk in the room with a new calendar to brighten the dull walls, or a magazine to help wile away the hours.
- My people are staying in my house above the OR. Since Molly and Martha were here we all (including Kristian the schoolteacher) hung out in the common room, drank tea, and played some ridiculous card games late into the night.
- Watching Taly’s face as she watched a woman give birth for the first time. Seeing the wonder in her face as she cradled the tiny babe.
- Today was the best day of all. There were only a few patients to be seen in the clinic so I was excused from the hospital before lunch. We all washed clothes and hung them to dry in artful arrays around the house. Then we PLAYED SOCCER (only my second chance so far to play in Honduras!) with some of the local boys. I played on the Ahuas team with the Hondurans and thus was able to school my brother several times. It is a good thing that I am not overly competitive or I would have exulted over him. I was wishing I had cleats instead of tennis shoes when I looked over and saw that the boy next to me was barefoot. We all played well, despite the ferocious heat. Finally we collapsed on sidelines, parched, only to have one of the boys quickly shimmy up the nearby coconut palm (incredibly high) and throw down enough coconuts for all of us. Someone ran to fetch a machete and soon we were drinking delicious coconut water. I managed to skin both knees and block quite a few goals. It was a perfect day.
This image is making its way across facebook right now. A good thing to remember in the chaos of buying presents for loved ones and acquaintances.
Not that buying presents is bad. I believe that giving gifts and showing love is a wonderful aspect of Christmas. Yet it is also important not to forget that there are those in desperate, actual need. Maybe there is something – just a small check to a charity, or an afternoon spent in a soup kitchen – that can be done for the truly needy this Christmas season.
Ok so I don’t actually mean this last weekend – I mean to say the weekend BEFORE this last weekend, but I’m really not sure how to translate that yet…
Anyhow… here are the aforementioned pictures from the previous weekend. Pictures from the area where we went rafting and rock jumping, hiking in Pico Bonito, and of course the amazing waterfall.
We all took turns taking pictures, but I am rather proud of a couple that I shot. The med student gets full props for any of the group shots. He is really good at macgyvering ways to point the camera at the group and set the timer. Good times.