Thursday, February 11, 2016

Highs and Lows

Life has highs and lows, ebbs and tides, all that cliché stuff.  So will this post. 

Not sure we will ever be able to afford to have such lovely grass here, but it sure was cool to see it in person and get to sit and even look up at the sky while on my back from it.  This is primo grade artificial grass.  It looked so real when we very accidently stumbled upon it, that I had to touch it to make sure it was not real.  This was on the fourth floor of a building.  I searched for a while to see how it drains, but could not find out how...all I know is that it was a very rare treat here.  No bugs to worry about as well.  Ahhh

Oscar and his family left for Costa Rica last week, it is a long story, but his 80 year old father was facing a trial for something he did not do...there was even proof, but also a motivated witness to say otherwise.  He wrote me today to say that he will serve 12 years in jail.  They do not expect him to handle being cooped up is very likely the last time Oscar or his family will see him alive.  

We have been on the lookout for a new Ford to add to the group and material hauling fleet for many months now.  We had some generous offers of help, but nothing seemed to come together in terms of price combined with what we need (four doors, long bed, 4x4, diesel, not too fancy, etc.) which is somewhat of a rare combination all told.

We wrote our friends at T&T Repairables that helped us tremendously when we bought the 2012 gray Ford, and knowing we had a budget and a wish list...they found this beautiful 2015 with only 26k miles.  Well, it will be beautiful. Most of that will buff right out.  Being wrecked though will save us thousands of dollars versus buying new or on the open market, and worked out very well for us in the 2012.  It should arrive after repairs for the rocker, doors and bed (cheaper there...can you believe it?  These guys really are good) hopefully in April or May.  That solves one vehicle problem for the mission at least!

The Land Cruiser that Jonathan was using does not look too worse for wear after being flipped on its side.  We are in for about $1,000 in repairs, which might cover us, or after some further road/safety testing might require another $1,000, we shall see once we drive it.  Jonathan in the mean time is using the ol' Blue Ford (which we are trying to sell at the same time)

No pictures from the trip to the hospital with the group that was here, I always get wrapped up and busy and forget. It was a small group, so we were fortunate to be able to even get through one ward...orthopedics.  I had never seen so many children hit or run over by cars, motorcycles and buses in prior trips.  There were some real troopers there, tough kids really pulling through, and then also a few mothers that were in tears by the time we were done...and one mother that swears she knows me from previous visits, and that I had even been to her home (she even knew my name?!) but that I could not place or even remember ever being in her neck of the woods.  I told her all gringos look alike.  Being silly, stupid, and just goofy for a few hours for the kids is a high and a low for me every time...I feel so useless, I feel so needed, I feel like such a ridiculous nonsensical goofball, I feel like we should have stayed all day, and I feel like we could not have stayed any longer.  

This stare I get frequently can be a high and a low.  Usually it is from smaller sized humans, but it does vary, although adults are a bit more coy...sometimes.  

Being stared at when you attractive is probably ok sometimes, but when you know that is not an option, and you are an introvert, it can be a problem opportunity, such as to improve one's people skills.  

I am told it is not necessarily for being a gringo...but rather a combination of oddities:  color, height, shaved head, general bulk and other ogre like features, as those of the haired, shorter, smaller stature folks

The zika virus is doing something that dengue and chikungunya never did...actually promoting bug zappers.  This is a low of course for the country the need for these things because of this new virus and its dangers.  The number of cases and such is concerning, but in terms of hospitalization and such it is lower than dengue...the more concerning part is of course the birth defects.  So much is unknown right now, it is hard to tell what will happen.  Operations to ramp up spraying for mosquitoes and eliminating standing water are also ramping up even more than normal.  When governments are asking in some places for women to not get pregnant, you know it is serious.  

So far though we are not seeing numbers in the clinic or any of our staff affected, but it will be a prayer concern here...and the entire continent for some time.  

Ending on a high...our high temperatures here have been quite low for us lately, a nice "winter" for us to enjoy.  Lows not quite to the high 40s here...but further up the hill probably.  Nice for us that have blankets and can close our windows...not fun at all for those however that do not have those options.  Highs at 70 or so are great...but high winds knocking down signs and terrorizing roofs bringing them low...well, you get the idea.  

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