The holiday season is especially meant for children, good food and excellent company. All of which I immersed myself into with indulgent pleasure yesterday. Surrounded by happy, healthy, well-fed little kids brings a special joy to my heart and makes me yearn for my own grandchildren so very far away celebrating in their own homes with family and friends. I miss you all very much. The pictures above take me back to my own boyhood, celebrating with my extended family in similar Hispanic fashion: Tamales steaming on an open fire, laughter, everyone busy preparing food, gossiping, cooking and eating. The kids all underfoot. This special scene is repeated all over Spanish-Speaking America. Hundreds of millions of families sharing a common bond and an ancient heritage veiled in the indigenous mists of time.
I returned from Tegus today. The workshop in Valle de Angeles (in a beautiful mountainous scenic area 30″ from Tegucigalpa) went very well. Yesterday, Friday, after the workshop I had a dental appointment for a sore molar in an upper gum in my mouth that had been bleeding for a couple of months when I brushed my teeth. Turned out I had a periodontal abscess and the doc did minor surgery on my mouth, scraped out all the swollen infected gunk with pick, drill and scalpel (Debridement & Curettage) and put 4 stitches in the gum; have to return to Tegus next Friday to have the stitches taken out. Afterward I’m traveling directly to La Ceiba from there for a week’s vacation. Not only that, after my dental appt I consulted a Dermatologist for a bunch of bug bites on my back that were driving me crazy from the itching. Turns out the bed I slept in at the upscale hotel where we had the workshop housed voracious insects that fed on me the three nights I was there. Don’t know why they preferred my back. Yesterday was a busy Friday afternoon indeed. So I’m back in La Paz with a ton of meds to treat my gum surgery and my bug-bitten back. But it sure is good to be home. No matter how humble there is no place like home. Thanks Dr. Nazar! Thanks Dr. Morales!! Thanks Peace Corps for the prompt response to my ills!!!
The governor of the Departamento de La Paz was there; as were several city luminaries and many students from the school of nursing and other students who belong to Comvida, as well as hospital staff, and medical staff from the Region Sanitaria. Escorted by the policia and bomberos with sirens blasting the desfilo garnered much attention as it made its way from Parque Morazan to the Parque Central across from the alcaldia. At the mesa principal were gathered speakers who spoke of the ravages of AIDS. Honduras is the Central American country with the greatest number of HIV positive cases. I recently began working with the doctor who prescribes medications to the HIV positive patients in La Paz. I provide the consejeria, with the goal of establishing a support group for patients and families ignorant of the disease process. Our CAI (Centro de Atencion Integral) clinic is only three months old. We have a long ways to go. Next week I’m taking one volunteer staff Honduran and one HIV positive person to a Peace Corps sponsored workshop focused on micro businesses for Persons Living With HIV/AIDS. I finish my pictorial with a pic of our beautiful central park designed by a Peace Corps Volunteer and a pic of the two-month-old son, Iverson, of one of my companeras who works with Jovenes Sin Fronteras, another Peace Corps-founded national group staffed by Hondurans who make a difference in their community. Iverson is the symbol of a new, enlightened future for Honduras.