Sunday, July 4, 2010
Montaña de la Flor
Hello Blog Readers,
What a spectacular day we had. As you can see from the above photo of Richard and Francis Seivert, the 2 docs, and the chiefs of the tribes, the meeting with the Tolupan in Montaña de la Flor ended on a very positive note.
Our day began at 4:30. Those Seiverts really like to get going early. It was a very smart thing to do, though, as Francis well knows. It took us around 4 hours to drive to the mountain over very rutted roads. We drove through streams approximately a dozen times. Once Sr. Val came close to getting stuck, but she gunned it, and we shot right out of there. We all breathed a sigh of relief because pushing a truck through one of those streams would not have been fun, and we'd all have gotten quite wet.
Dr. Miguel Cuello - medical doctor with Task Force Bravo, Dr. Teri Kemmer - USD nutrition professor/retired military, Vanessa - a nurse, Marny - Illich Foundation, Marta - Cerro de Plata Foundation, Sr. Val Knoche - translator who spent 32 years as a missionary in Honduras, Richard Seivert - president of MHL, Francis Seivert - team leader of all mission teams, Linda Reichle & Carolyn Bickford - representatives of MHL travelled in two trucks. After a brief stop for a breakfast of fruit, yogurt, and sandwiches, we continued to a small village where we visited a little girl with osteomyelitis. She has a rod in her leg and it is much shorter than her other leg. The doctor examined her, and Marny will follow up with the required work of scheduling appointments and arranging for the girl's and her mother's transportation into Tegucigalpa.
Upon reaching La Ceiba, our friend Julio reintroduced Richard and Francis Seivert to Chief Julio. Chief Julio presented a pipe he had made to Seivert in thanks for his continued support and the support of the Le Mars Rotary and Mission Honduras LeMars for the water projects, and to MHL and Kids Against Hunger for the life-saving food packages that have been sent to them. After greeting the other chiefs - Thomas and Alvero, all moved to the meeting room. Francis, Richard, Dr. Cuello, and Dr. Kemmer welcomed everyone to the meeting. They then spoke in turn to ask permission of the Tolupan to allow them to do a nutrition study of the children, and to bring medical teams in through Task Force Bravo. MHL also plans to bring in Plumpynut, in conjunction with Drs. Kemmer and Cuello. Pumpynut is a nutritional supplement for extremely malnourished children, of which there are quite a few on the mountain. The Tolupan leaders were extremely grateful for this opportunity for their people. All people in the meeting signaled their agreement through a show of hands.
We spent some time touring the school on the mountain and speaking with some of the people. Two village leaders requested water projects for their villages. The village leaders of the three completed water projects voiced their gratitude, relating that MHL and Rotary has done for them what their own government has not.
The trip down the mountain was also bumpy, but the treks through the various streams proved quite easy for the drivers. However, Seivert and Linda were almost bounced out of the back of the truck and into the stream. Fortunately, they were holding on tightly enough to avoid being bucked out.
We said a farewell to all of our Honduran friends. I am sure we will be seeing more of all of them, as we all work together for the poor in Honduras.
This evening we enjoyed a meal at Chili's. At this point most of the group is either already in bed or taking a much needed shower after that dusty ride. I plan to join them shortly. It was a wonderful day. The agreement that was reached today with the Tolupan promises to greatly improve the health and well-being of the people of Montaña de la Flor, thanks to the efforts of a group of caring and dedicated people, most especially Francis and Seivert.
Tomorrow Francis says we can sleep in a bit. We'll eat breakfast around 6:30 and then head to Esquias for the next leg of our journey. Hopefully, I will be able to continue these blogs there, but there may not be internet service there.
Posted by Gehlen Mission Honduras at 9:28 PM