July 14, 2010
Evidence of the political tension in Honduras extends beyond the graffiti that remains from last years political demonstrations. Yesterday we were awakened by local news reports that the airport in Tegucigalpa was being closed for five days because of rioting in the capitol city. Originally we planned to depart Tela this morning for Tegucigalpa; however, our plans quickly changed, and we left Tela yesterday morning to try and obtain a flight out of San Pedro Sula. Upon arrival, we received conflicting reports about what was going on. After contacting the Embassy, we were informed that there was no rioting. The city had experienced torrential rains over the weekend which resulted in flooding and some deaths. The runway at the airport had apparently been damaged, and the airport was closed temporarily for runway repairs. So we spent the night in San Pedro Sula and left at 2:30 a.m. for the trip to Tegucigalpa.
The shipping container remains in customs. With the help of Sen. David Vitters (R-La.) office, we were able to determine that the hold up is over the yet-to-be-assembled bunk beds not being reported as lumber. So the federal agency in charge of wood will have to determine what permit and fee is required. The Honduran infrastructure may be lagging behind us, but its ability to find creative ways to tax is sure on par with our government.
We were able to provide another days worth of medical treatment for the children in the village of Tornabe on Monday. One little girl, who is nine-years-old, came to see the doctors and join us for a church service. She was born with what our doctors said was a correctable birth defeat that caused her feet to turn under. She can only take a few steps by walking on the top of her feet; most of the time her mother carries her. Honduras has public health care, but it is very rudimentary and surgeries like the one this girl would need to correct her feet are nearly nonexistent. My daughter Kendal and she quickly became friends. We are hopeful that we might be able to find an orthopedic surgeon who would treat her.
Once the final disposition of the shipping container is determined we will be sending a small team back to Honduras, hopefully in August, to assemble the beds and distribute the supplies to the children in Tornabe.
A week in Honduras, or most any foreign country for that matter, is a reminder of how blessed we are to live in the United Statesa country that has enjoyed the fruit of a nation with a Christian foundation upon which our ordered liberty was built. It is also a reminder of what America could become if we lose that liberty.