We had a good trip to the airport. Many thanks to Dan Brown for driving us to Columbia at 2 a.m. The flights were smooth and brief, the layover was just the right amount of time to move from gate to gate and even catch a little breakfast. We passed through customs with no difficulty at all. So all in all, we couldn’t have gotten to Honduras with greater ease/
It was good to see David and Mario again. They help with the administration of the clinic. Mario was my driver. He told me he drove semis for 20 years, all through Central America. In all that time, he never had an accident. His skill was evident, as driving in Honduras is virtually identical to driving in Uganda. Two lane roads become four-lane highways filled with cars and cows, motorcycles and men. I’ve adapted, but it can be harrowing for a newcomer.
En route from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba, we lost brakes. Mario managed for a few miles, then pulled over to a “garage.” It was a lean-to with three or four shade tree mechanics. They figured out the problem, but we learned after several hours they could not fix it because the part was not available at any of the six stores they visited. So they simply sealed the brake line off on the passenger side and we continued on.
The pause gave me a bit of time to get to know Ed and Cheryl. They are an extremely sweet and mild-mannered couple, easy to like. They strike me as classic Southerners—laid-back, genteel and unassuming. But behind those gentle demeanors and charming drawl are two world-class thinkers. I realized this when I noticed Ed’s way of asking lots of questions, not so he might demonstrate his own knowledge, but rather so he might increase it. Several times I was sure he knew more about the subject at hand than anyone else, but he was genuinely curious to know how others see things and to assimilate their knowledge into his own data bank. The most intelligent people I’ve ever known were the most inquisitive, listening much more than talking, and he fits in with that modus operandi.
As we continued the trip, we came upon an utterly awful traffic accident. The pickup truck and car were resting against the railing of a bridge, but I think that was just their final resting place because debris was scattered for something like 100 feet behind them. The car’s engine was completely separated from the car itself. It’s hard to imagine that anyone survived.
We got to the hotel quite late, but they were very accommodating and kept the restaurant open just for us. Good thing, because a heavy rain storm came up. The hotel is configured with an interior open courtyard, and the tropical plants there got a heavy drink. We ate and said goodnight. So, some 22 hours after rising in Barnwell, I went to sleep in La Ceiba.
My roommate is Tim. He’s an extremely young 52, and a CPA. Two sons, Shand and Julian, are with him on this trip. They are world travelers with lots of adventuresome stories. I genuinely like them and look forward to getting to know them better.