Sunday, June 28, 2009

Coup?

My electricity was out for a while this morning shortly after President Mel Zeleya was "taken from his home" and moved out of the country by military jet to Costa Rica.

I am waiting patiently to see what will happen.

Congress says they have his letter saying that he is giving his resignation. He responded saying "he has never quit and will never quit."

The population is confused and concerned. There are no local television channels currently working to give people an idea of what is happening.

Hopefully I will be able to bake today and enjoy my afternoon hunkered down in my house with the smell of apple turnovers made from scratch.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!


I was abruptly jolted out of a sound sleep at 1:25 am this morning when one of the COBRA boys called to wish me a Happy Birthday.

I have good news, I woke up the second time to the sound of tractors. They have finally decided to pave the road where I live. What a wonderful birthday present!



Oh NO! I now I can't have my birthday party, no one can get here, or can they?

The doorbell rang and I received a beautiful floral arrangement.

Then my friend Erlinda arrived with an arm full of flowers. I pulled out my large crystal vases which recently arrived with my things from Kansas. There were so many flowers that it filled two large vases.

Then the doorbell rang again and it was my friend Mercedes who brought me a live orchid plant.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18, 2009 World Food Program - PMA Robbery and Corruption Food Stolen From The Poor

I often get angry at the in-justice in this country! Honduras!
Don't get me wrong, I love the country, I love most of the people, but there are times when my hair stands up on end at the audacity of some people as they punish the poor for their ignorance.
This time it was nurses, sworn to protect their patients, 
stealing food from them and their small malnourished children instead of helping them.


This was the months supply of food for a family of 5 which was given to her. 
The rest was stolen by the people in charge of giving it out.

World Food Program is called PMA in Honduras. 
PMA means Programa Mundial de Alimentos. 

WFP's strategic plan lays out 5 objectives and all our work is geared towards achieving them. They are:
  1. Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies
  2. Prepare for emergencies
  3. Restore and rebuild lives after emergencies
  4. Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition everywhere
  5. Strengthen the capacity of countries to reduce hunger


I found his lady and those below with their families walking on the road with their small bags of food.
Being the curious person that I am, I stopped them and asked where they received the food.
They told me they received the minuscule rations from the local nurses in a small village outside of Coray, Valle.


We had her write a note telling exactly the amount of food which she received.

As God would have it, I just happened to have the local director of PMA in the car with me, we just happened to be on that dirt road going to look at another possible project, and we just happened to run across these ladies on the road and it just happened to be the one time per month which they receive food and it just happened to be the right time of the day which they were walking with their food carefully balanced on their heads. 


The "free" PMA bag was sold to her for 25 lempira, ($1.30) which works out to be about 1/4 of a days wages in this area of the country.


Less than 20% of the food which the families were supposed to receive were actually given to them. The nurses "mis-appropriated" the other 80%.  "Mis-appropriated" is the kind Honduran way to say someone is a thief, but not calling them a thief, because they may come after the person speaking and kill them later.


I am not Honduran, I am just here to help and I am furiously indignant!  
I wish I could think of a stronger word grouping.
If I was Honduran I would be angrier still at "my" people.


How can anyone steal food from others?


The nurses which stole, have a large salary in comparison to others in the country and especially in comparison to these poor.


They dress up in their best clothes and walk miles to get food rations to keep their children from being severely malnourished.


I have been promised that the nurse thiefs will be relieved of their duties as the people in charge of passing out the food.


I can only hope that is true!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16 2009 Cubulero Alianza Eye Brigade

It was a wonderful but very HOT day in Cubulero, a small village known mostly for curiles. Curiles are these ugly little clam things that they eat raw with only vinegar poured over them. Now I could understand the excitement if it was a town known for Chocolate Truffles or Cherry Cheesecake, but these ugly things I can’t get past the smell or the view to even give them a try. UGH!!!








Victor Montoya performs all the eye exams.








I love taking photos of old folks with all their character and wrinkles. Today was a wonderful day full of those kinds of patients. Today we saw 142 people and of the 142 there were 35 over the age of 70. And there was one 93 year old.













Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm Back!

I have experienced off and on internet since the earthquake. Mostly off. But starting Wednesday, I have had almost without interuption service. The lights have gone out several times, but not for long. I will try to get caught up on my blog spots over the next few days and hope all of you will bear with me as I backtrack to catch up.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Trip To The Farm AND Video Of The Earthquake

Robbed and shot... a friend of mine, in fact the man that made my kitchen cabinets for me, Roger Corbran, was recently shot by robbers. He and his wife were asleep and around 1:30 am in the morning, 6 armed young men broke down their door. Roger awoke, hearing the commotion and went to the front door at which point they shot Roger in the chest, stole what they wanted and escaped leaving Sue to figure out how to get Roger to the hospital alone in the middle of the night. This was the 3rd time that Roger and Sue have been robbed within the last few years.

Sue managed to get Roger into the car and drove him into town where he was treated at the hospital. Thank God, the bullet skimmed across the edge his right lung and deflated it, but didn’t break any bones or damage other organs as it entered and left his body and he is recovering.

Sue managed to get off a call to Leslie Hill before the robbers cut off the telephone. Photos of the robbers have been given to the police who have done nothing. Therefore many in the community of expatriate Americans feels that the police are probably involved also. This is not the first robbery against Americans, but each time these guys get more daring and bolder. Other diverse denominational missionaries including many Mennonites, who do not believe in guns, have also been robbed in the small community where they live.

Sunday before last, my pastor’s house was broken into and various valuable things stolen, including a pistol which I obtained for them fifteen years ago. Then the following Friday night, thieves tried to break into the orphanage, then Saturday the pastor’s son, our youth pastor, Joshua was held up at gunpoint and the thief stole his telephone. Joshua, not one to take injustice laying down, chased the thief down with his car, picked up the guys pistol which he dropped in the chase and Joshua held the thief at gunpoint and called Jose COBRA. Jose COBRA jumped in the car, went to Joshua’s rescue, tied the guy up with his own shoe laces and the police came and put the guy in custody. This week, less than a week later, he was sentenced to jail for 8 years. For once swift justice in Honduras! I think it helped that Jose went to court with Joshua and Jose had just completed his judicial “practice” for his law degree in the same court. Jose has since received a telephone call which included a threat to kill him. The thief worked as a guard for an official in the Honduran police department and used a gun owned by this official’s company in the attack on Joshua.

Roger and Sue are returning to the USA, they are tired, Roger’s shooting was the last straw for them. Another missionary doctor left a few years ago soon after he was shot in the head while being robbed, he and his wife moved to a safer place. Yet another missionary woman was shot in the eye about a year ago. These stories in the expatriate community of Honduras missionaries go on and on.

Earth Tremors… Yesterday, I decided to go to the farm and see how Oscar was doing after his heart surgery. It was the first time I had to visit with him after returning from the USA from a trip which took me unwillingly, from Kansas City to Chicago, then Miami and finally to Tegucigalpa. The flights I had scheduled were canceled at the last minute, in fact the airlines called me as I was walking out the door to go to the airport to tell me that there had been a change in plans.

video

This video was sent to me by email of a video of the earthquake that rocked Honduras May 28th. It was a magnitude 7.4. This is the first time that I have added a video to a page, but hopefully not the last. The video was sent to me by Dr. Enrique Cruz.

I soon learned that it was all in the plan of God as I met person after person which I was supposed to meet along the route. To much detail to go into, but each encounter was important.

So anyway back to the business at hand, I asked my friend Erlinda if she wanted to go with me to the farm and to see Oscar and of course she did. I made a quick stop and bought some chicken food, some horse shoes and some barbed wire staples for my fence then we were on our way.

On the way, we stopped by the church to see the new carpet on the floor! It looks so nice! Then we traveled on a few more miles and stopped and bought 8 rose plants and 4 hibiscus plants for the farm. They were sooooooo expensive, $1.65 per Rose Bush and $1.50 per Hybiscus. At the same time I ordered more orange, avocado, plum, anoni, nanci and several other types of fruit trees. The farm is full of fruit trees already, but I keep planting. Since the farm is the “retirement” farm, I want to be surrounded with fruit trees. But who knows if I will ever retire. I love what I am doing and never want to stop. Maybe I will die at 120 while standing behind a podium preaching or while hosting a medical team.

We arrived at the farm and the orchids on my trees were in full bloom. This is an incredible blessing which I receive once a year. Over the years I have purchased and planted or grown over 1,000 orchid plants. They cling to the cedar trees in the entrance to the farm. The yellow and white, purple and white, white with yellow, burgundy and yellow, brown and black orchids all hang from the trees and give off an indescribable scent.

I arrived and there were 10 gallons of fresh blackberries sitting on the porch begging to be made into blackberry pie, jam and juice. It is so wonderful to have fresh produce. It is even more exciting when it comes from my farm and when I can share with others. When I have nice crops, I share with everyone I can. Last year I made so much guava jelly that I am still giving it away. I have used it in the middle of several cakes and people rave about the fruity taste.

When I planted over 100 guava trees 5 or so years ago, unbeknownst to me, there are several medical uses for guava also. Since the 1950s, guavas and most particularly guava leaves have been a subject for varied research regarding their chemical and pharmacological properties and their history in folk medicine; with preliminary medical research in lab studies showing that extracts from guava leaves and/or bark are known to have therapeutic properties against cancer, bacterial infections, inflammation and pain. Essential oils from guava leafs seem to show strong anti-cancer properties.

Guava leafs and bark are used in Honduran folk medicine as a remedy for diarrhea and as a traditional treatment against diabetes. My neighbors often ask for leafs and bark.

Oscar is healing well, but they cut him from stem to stern. He was up the road from his house, visiting his mother. I loaned him a wheelchair and he has one of his six kids or his wife push him around to visit people. He is happy with the surgery and seems to be doing well. I am so glad as he has been a faithful worker for me for 15 years and “faithful” is hard to find here in Honduras or for that matter anywhere. Faithful workers, faithful spouses, faithful bosses, faithful kids, faithful parents, one is blessed when they find someone that is faithful to them no matter what.

I scheduled for several more wheelchair giveaways close to Valle de Angeles yesterday while I was there and I am preparing for the arrival of 550 more wheelchairs next week. There are no words to describe how thankful I am for all of the donations which keep pouring in. I have a team coming from the USA to help give away chairs in July. Two teenage boys and their dad and another man will be arriving to work with me.

Plus another 550 wheelchairs are being donated by Free Wheelchair Mission for Nigeria, Africa where my husband and I built a church and school 20 years ago. I am going to be going there soon; my May trip was put off for several months due to the huge blessing of the wheelchairs being donated for me to deliver while I am there. Rather than make the long trip two different times, I cancelled the May trip, it was supposed to be because I ended up going to the USA during that time and was able to see two of our five/six grandchildren. I also have several friends that will be going with me to Nigeria, most long time friends from Kansas City area. While I am in Nigeria I will also be teaching at several pastor’s seminars.

Erlinda and I stopped on the return trip to eat at El Anafre, a Honduran and Italian restaurant located in the middle of Valle de Angeles across from the Catholic Church.

Upon returning home, I was standing in the kitchen minding my own business and suddenly felt dizzy. Then I realized that the floor was moving below my feet. I hollered at Jose, who of course felt nothing. Then we (Jose, Erlinda, David and I) saw the problem, the dining room chandelier was swinging.

This morning I got up, called my friend Erlinda and we worked on blackberries for several hours. We made juice for the freezer, we made blackberry and banana smoothies (which we promptly drank), we prepared blackberries for the freezer and then we set aside blackberries to make cobbler and pies.

Please pray for me and for other missionaries, for protection from all the diverse and assorted dangers which we face here in Honduras. Mix all the delinquency, killings, shootings, robberies, kidnappings, car accidents and the like with amebas, dengue, malaria, Swine Flue, worms, bad roads, poor construction, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and you will determine that we are really on a battlefield.
Teresa’s definition Amebas: a one celled thing that is found in unclean water and gives you diarrhea and stomach cramps so bad you think being dead and stinking in the grave would be better.

Ameba

The ameba is a protozoan. The name ameba comes from the Greek word amoibe, which means “to change”. Protists are microscopic unicellular organisms. The ameba moves and consumes its food as it moves over it. Amebas have an unusual way of creeping along by stretching their cytoplasm into fingerlike extensions called pseudopodia. ("pseudopodia" means "false foot".) The ameba causes its body to extend and creep along. They extend out and wrap around a food particle in a process call phagocytosis. The food is then engulfed into the ameba and digested by the enzymes contained in the ameba's lysosomes. For reproduction the ameba goes through mitotic division, where the nucleus duplicates its genetic material and the cytoplasm splits into two new daughter cells, each identical to the original parent. This method of reproduction is called binary fission. A common disease caused by the ameba is called Amebic Dysentery. A person becomes infected by drinking contaminated water. The ameba then upsets the person's digestive system and causes cramps and diarrhea. A person is most likely to be infected in countries where the water is not filtered or purified.

Teresa’s definition Dengue Fever: fever, leg cramps, bad dreams and total body ache that happens when an infected mosquito bites you. As a result in a few days, you feel so bad you think being dead and stinking in the grave would be better.

Dengue Fever

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “you can get dengue virus infections from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite infected humans, and later transmit infection to other people they bite. Two main species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, have been responsible for all cases of dengue transmitted in this country. Dengue is not contagious from person to person.”

Those of us who live the missionary life in Honduras have learned all to well that we must depend on the Lord and his power. There is no other way to live through the jungle of things which come against us on a daily basis.

1 Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.