This FOB team - a mix of volunteers from all over - arrived with no problems caused by Hurricane Hermine. Flights from Richmond, Los Angeles, and Atlanta all went as scheduled.
We spent the afternoon at Alfredo House getting organized for pill counting tomorrow and settling in at our home away from home.
We were able to install a much needed new cable on the bus winch. FOB board member and vehicles master Jesse Williams purchased it for us, and we carried the new 30-something pound stainless steel cable down to Honduras in our duffels. The big white FOB bus is now ready for the week.
Nury Janania, FOB director in Honduras, gave all the newbies a tour of the facility and described what Friends of Barnabas does when a mountain medical team is not here. Though FOB will send 20 teams of various size and skills to Honduras this year, work goes on when no volunteers are here. Children are cared for, programs are run, and the Honduran staff runs like a well-oiled machine.
After dinner and Nury's welcome we had a team commissioning service. Since the team consists of folks from four different states, this was our first opportunity to do this. Nury put a cross on each of us and we put one on her.
It is barely 7:00P and folks are already streaming to the shower and to bed. The only holdouts are the ones trying to find the Alabama-USC football game! But we do have a busy day planned for tomorrow to prepare us for the week.
We started off the day at the Cacao farm. Cacao is a fruit that is used to make many different chocolate products. We saw all the steps from the tree to the final product. We were able to try hot chocolate, tea from the skin of the seed, chocolate jelly, and other things that are made from the cacao pod. The Lenca Indians are native to Honduras and have been in this area since 400 B.C. While at the farm, we walked to the top of a mound where the Lenca Indians supposedly sacrificed the winners and the losers of the soccer game.
The team left the Cacao farm, ate lunch, and started our “pill party”. The team counted, bagged, labeled and packed many thousand pills for the pharmacy for the rest of the week. FOB Inventory Coordinator, Cardy, had us organized as we counted the pills and separated them into individual labeled bags. Feeling jet lag and Saturday’s travels, we really had to enforce the “no naps” rule this afternoon! We filled duffels of giveaways for the week with diapers, flip-flops, clothing, baby slings, and other supplies to distribute at the different villages we visit. The bus is all ready to leave tomorrow morning for the mountains!
We have all been very conscious about using Deet bug spray, and you can smell it all the way to the front gate. Our bodies shine with the stuff.
As usual, meals have been outstanding and have included some fruits and vegetables that are new to us gringos. Folks are starting to estimate the number of pounds they will gain this week.
We had a candle-lit dinner at local restaurant, D & D, owned and operated by Bobby Durette from Urbanna, VA. Although the power was out and there was a large thunderstorm, we still had a nice meal.
We always start and end the day with a devotion keeping us in the right mindset for this special week in the mountains.