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Greetings from Honduras!

Fun fact: Did you know that Honduras is the murder capital of the world?  The murder rate in this country is approximately 85/100,000. The rate in Juarez, Mexico (where you're about 8x more likely to be killed than in Afghanistan) is in the 60's. The US is 6/100,000.  The more you know....

The following long and rambling post was written last night after I first arrived:
So, I'm spending the month in Honduras working at a mission hospital. I had met an ob/gyn who used to work in the community where I live and is now full-time with his family in a rural community on the Carribean coast.  I had a month of elective time, so I contacted him in Oct. or Nov. to see if I could come. They said yes, I filled out some forms, renewed my passport, bought a ticket, and came.

As you may have gathered from recent posts, the last couple of months have been a bit...hectic. I've been on service 2 months in a row (meaning jam-packed work schedule), there've been some pretty emotional cases, and my house has been a disaster area.  Not to mention the holidays, 2 weeks of a voice-stealing upper respiratory infection, and figuring out what the heck I'm gonna do come July (when residency is over) in the midst of all that.  Needless to say, I've just been trying to keep my head above water. The last week was spent trying to catch everything up so I could leave the country. The long and the short of it is that I feel woefully unprepared (and overwhelmed). I just got on a plane today with no idea what I'm getting myself in to. 

Logistics are always a nightmare for me.  Air travel in general and international travel especially gets my heart rate up - and then I worry that makes me look suspicious! I love the actual flying part, but security and customs and guv'ment make me antsy!  Thankfully, I got through security super fast in Atlanta (shocker) and inadvertently ended up with a first class seat. I settled in with a real live book and it wasn't until we started to descend that it really hit me where I am and what I'm doing.

As the plane approached San Pedro Sula, I could see the green, mountainous terrain cut by ribbons of rivers. When I got off the plane I was immediately struck by the humidity and heat. (It was in the 30s when I left for the Atlanta airport this am).  Again, security/customs was uncomplicated and due to the flight coming in early I had a chance to people-watch while I waited for my contact person to come.  There were some very touching reunions at the airport today - 3 young kids traveling alone met by what must be grandparents, a woman tearfully reunited with her spouse, an emotional father knelt to greet his toddler.  Once the doc and his wife got there and we sampled some local fare (baleadas ftw), we started an approximately 4 hour drive to the remote area where the hospital is located, stopping in the nearest large town for groceries on the way.

The scenery was breathtaking. The land here looks as if someone rucked it up to make more room for the Carribean. The hills and mountains are verdant and multitudinous - the highest of them wrapped in clouds. There are miles of African palm plantations - the oily seeds are used to make biodiesel, and then miles of pineapple fields.  There are villages strung up and down the main road - most with a pulpería (convenience store) and maybe a ferrotería (hardware store).  Fruit stands selling masapan, coconuts, bananas, and lychee line the roadside.  Many of the houses are brightly colored - turquoise and yellow.  The buisnesses are covered in vivid advertisements, mostly for Pepsi is seems.  Vistas of the sea are visible briefly through the foliage.  As darkness fell the fields on either side of the road lit up with fireflies like stars - just as numerous and ethereal. 

I'm settled into an apartment in the staff housing complex, plenty of fans and potable water and wireless internet. Tomorrow I'll see the hospital and I guess they'll put me to work!  It's nice to be away for awhile. Now that I'm here, it's easier to just relax and go with the flow.  At any rate, a change of pace is most definitely welcome. 



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
Sounds a fabulous place...murders notwithstandng...but...DOG???
Jan. 30th, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
She's spending the month in Atlanta with my aunt, so she gets a vacation too. :-)
Jan. 31st, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Phew...I worry about the important things...not the murders but your faithful companion. If you in a remote area then I guess the incidence of murder is much less than in the main towns/cities! And I'll stop reminding you now... :O)
Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
:-) I appreciate your looking out for her. And your right. The cities are far more dangerous. And I'm definitely well removed from any of those!
Jan. 31st, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Wow, sounds like a pretty amazing thing you're doing! I'm not sure what elective time usually entails (does it mean time off like vacation or time that has to be spend 'doctoring' but in any way you choose? Or something completely different?) but I'm sure most people don't spend it this way. What a lifechanging experience. I look forward to reading about it. And pics???
Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
Your second definition is right - time spent doctoring but as I choose, within reason ;-). I'll probably wait 'til I get home to share pics, but it is beautiful!
Jan. 31st, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
It sounds like you're having the experience and adventure of a lifetime! Stay safe. <3
Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
Thanks! Will do! :-)
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Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:51 am (UTC)
Thanks, dear! Will attempt to follow all your instructions. ;-) Can man live by peanut butter alone?
Jan. 31st, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC)
You have NO idea how jealous I am of you right now. That sounds utterly amazing! Be safe and enjoy it!
Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:51 am (UTC)
Will do! Thanks!
Feb. 1st, 2012 05:10 am (UTC)
Oooo...fireflies. I'm filled with envy. Stay safe and have a fantastic and beautiful experience!

Edited at 2012-02-01 05:11 am (UTC)
Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Thanks! :-)
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Feb. 2nd, 2012 03:55 am (UTC)
How crazy! Maybe we crossed paths and didn't know it! I spent my hour with Starbucks and LJ.

I'm glad I'm from the south, else I doubt I'd have adjusted to the wet so easily. Even so, it can be pretty gross 'cause things just don't dry!

Thanks for the well wishes, and the snuggles. :-) *snuggles back*
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )