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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2008-10-31 21:52:04
Subject: I'm Not Making This Up

     I must apologize for the heaviness of the last few journals. God is control, even if it looks like a lot of work ahead of us.      Today, Antonio brought Gerardo to dialysis in Tegucigalpa. He left at 6 AM and arrived at the hospital at 9:30. When he arrived, the doctor told him that we need to give a copy of Gerardo's birth certificate to the hospital, so that they could acquire funding for the testing to see if someone matches Gerardo for a kidney transplant.      Jose rushed over here on foot from his house, a two mile jog in the rain. The time was about 11 AM and we needed to go get a birth certificate of Gerardo since the one that was here disappeared while we were in the USA. So, we left the house about 11:15 and got to the government record office at 11:45; yes, the roads are really bad as our five mile drive takes 30 minutes now. The employees told us to come back after lunch because it was too close to the lunch hour to print a birth certificate. I was afraid that would happen, so I had a plan.       I told Jose, why don't we go get the tilapia fish to stock our pond with? We had a couple hours to kill until lunch was over and we were told exactly where to go. According to the directions, the drive was around two hours round trip. We aired up the tire that has the hole because the wheel cannot be removed (the lug nuts are pretty well rusted solid). We drove down to Comayagua to find a truck overturned, blocking the whole road. We took a bit of a detour to pass the truck.       We arrived at the location where we were told sold tilapia. The guard told us, not quite there, but it's just around the corner. So, around the corner we went. The first corner was blocked for construction, so we took a detour.        The place we were looking for is part of the "Chinese Project" as they call it here. It's actually Taiwanese, but that is lost on the Hondurans. I told Jose that the two countries are in a bit of a cold war and that they probably would not want to be called Chinese. Anyway, on we went until we saw a sign for the Taiwanese mission to improve agriculture in Honduras. We turned down the long dirt road entrance and announced that we were looking for tilapia. They told us that we were at the right place and to go right in. The conversation continued and we found that we were not at the right place, but it was just down the road about four blocks away. I know what four blocks away means in Honduras; it means prepare for a long trip.        We stopped at two more Taiwanese projects along three miles of rain washed, holey, dirt (mud) roads before we even got close to the right one. They announced that we were close and it was just to the left, as the guard pointed to the right. We chose to follow his hand rather than his words, good move. We arrived three hours after leaving the government record office. We were told they could get the fish fast, about thirty minutes. I suspected worse, but we were surprised when the 3000 small fish were hauled in and counted by hand within 25 minutes.        Then the race was on. We needed to traverse four miles of dirt roads, pass the overturned 18 wheeler blocking the road, climb the mountain and get back to the government office before it closed, which, as we expected, closes earlier on Friday although officially not until 4. We were pounding along the mud road, but before we reached the highway, one of the bags of fish appeared to have disappeared from behind the back seat. I told Jose that it probably just fell over. Five minutes later the water from the bag was washing towards the front seat. That was not a good sign.        Jose climbed the seats, turned the bag over and found the hole. He was trying to tie the hole off while I raced up the mountain. Ten minutes later he was making his way to the front seat again as if the crisis was averted, not so. Jose opened the glove box and removed the little foot bicycle pump that we keep to air up the van tires when we inevitably spring a leak. Jose climbed back to the rear and began pumping air into the fish bag so as not to deplete the 1500 little swimmers of oxygen.        We reached the government office 15 minutes before closing. Jose ran up while I parked. I decided it might be a good idea to go up and offer support. It was a good decision. The ladies in the office had pretty well shut business down at 3:30 and were preparing to leave. Jose was pleading with words and watery eyes. I was looking pretty downcast as well. If we did not have the birth certificate, we could not get any assistance for Gerardo. I was prepared to tell the boss lady that she just killed a boy, but I did not have to as she decided to OK the printout. The computer operator kept shaking her head and saying she could not find any record of Gerardo. Jose told her he must be in the computer as he was born in the same city. Five minutes later she gave up and printed it. We thanked them up and down for the printout; although they were just doing their job during regular working hours.       But wait, there's more.       We went downstairs to an Internet cafe in order to fax the birth certificate along with my identification to Jose's brother Antonio, waiting at a fax office in Tegucigalpa. You see, the hospital has no fax machine. We sent the two sheets of paper, paid the fax service fee and left with a sigh of relief. Ten minutes later we are on the highway, a bit tired. We get a call from Antonio. The second sheet never arrived. Jose assured him that it was sent and to wait a little longer. Another three minutes, another call, still not there. So, we began stopping at other Internet cafe's to try and fax the ID paper. Two cafes did not have them, so we ended up returning to the original cafe in town. We sent it again, called, waited and Antonio said it arrived, but that it was very dark; could not see the ID. Didn't matter, we still had to pay another fee. Then we thought about e-mailing a scanned copy. Trouble is, we had no email for the doctor (not even sure if the doctor has one at this point). Right now I am waiting for a call from the doctor with an email address to send the document to.       Paula called and asked if I could pickup some hamburger meat for John's favorite birthday dish, lasagna. We returned home for John's birthday a little after five. Jose and the older boys transitioned the tilapia into the pond. We ate lasagna, cake, opened gifts and now it's Miller time. (kidding about the Miller, just an expression)
Replies to this message
re: I'm Not Making This Up  by Mike Jones on Monday November 03, 2008
re: I'm Not Making This Up  by Judy Campbell on Saturday November 01, 2008

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