Monday, April 11, 2016

Just a normal Wednesday

I have some normal days.  Those are the days I am in the office doing accounting, reporting, thinking/planning for the future, and answering emails.  Sometimes it seems I do not get enough of those, but when has anyone really ever felt like they were all caught up and everything was done?  

But I digress.  I thought I would recap Wednesday of last week, or at least a bit of it, captured in three pictures I just happened to take unrelated to each other.  
I went up to the clinic for an interview we were to have for hiring a new translator for handling Milk Project sponsor and children letters, as well as someone to help with groups.  We had a special donation last year and this year to do that. You will probably hear more on that later, but the interview went well.

I decided to go up early though to help someone out. I know Linda (right) because she used to work at the airport, and she happens to be our lawyer's daughter.  She is taking classes as the university and needed to interview someone "native to English from the United States."  (Sorry for all those Canadians, Australians and others that were probably just waiting at the airport for someone to walk up to them!)  Little did I know that there would be in fact a group interview with five other students with her!

I think my English was ok.  It was certainly a unique opportunity to speak to Hondurans where I was kind of not allowed to speak Spanish (at least while the officially recorded video interview was being done)  Some were from Tegucigalpa, some not.  We got to pray before we started (I wish I could say that was my idea...they were quite nervous) and share a bit of how God brought us here with these guys none of whom would have ever found there way to our neighborhood otherwise.
Mostly they wanted to talk about tourist things I had done here, first impressons, etc.  I was amused at some of the questions that had the same two words after them:."What struck you most about Honduras when you first came here?....Be honest!  It sure seems when someone says "Be Honest!" they are thinking or hoping you are going to say something negative.  The guy on the left there actually lived in Miami for seven years (but of course did not advance his English there!) and left his son there to move back to Honduras, after working only a day or two a week doing framing/construction work, so he decided to come back to finish studying...his law degree.  Not sure he can go back to the US to pratice law so not sure what that will mean for his son there.  

I peeked out the window just in time to see Valerie, uncharacteristically outside of the clinic.  Unusual she had no patients and was out talking to the volunteers from the Church that had done the devotional for the patients that morning, thanking them for a particularly good job.  Of course she is...because that is just the type of person she is.  Had I been there just a few minutes before or after I would have missed seeing it.

I would not know it then...but that week was probably the last week the White Musso will ever get to the clinic.  Valerie got home on Friday with a maxed out heat gauge...we already replaced the head gasket, and this time it looks to be the head itself.  With parts becoming rarer on those trucks (which is why we sold the green and were trying to sell the white), this could be a time consuming and/or difficult proposition.

What started as thinking was a blessing winning it at the auction has become a nightmare.  At this point I think we are going to stop throwing good money after bad and sell it as is for parts.  What we will do for a second vehicle long term we are stopping, praying, and waiting right now, and I will be borrowing the mission's White Ford when I need to do errands.  Fundraising to get another vehicle right now seems like a long shot...thus the need to stop and just pray for a bit.

From one white vehicle to another, I saw a Lada Niva 1600 at the grocery store.  These illustrate that while Honduras is famous as Toyota country (as well as Nissan and...ok, generally Japanese automaker territory) there is a history here for other odd brands, whether imported officially or not.  Our Musso used to be sold here and had a distributor for parts.  Now that dealer closed, and so did the parts network.  If you need parts now, there are some aftermarket filters and the like available, otherwise parts are scavaged from wrecked units or sourced via the internet.  One of the parts for the White Musso, the 4x4 module that electronically makes everything work...we were originally going to have to see if available from Latvia or Estonia.  

Ironic I thought, since the Lada brand comes from the old USSR...were generally panned, and yet are still being made, and while I am not sure about Honduras, are still being exported, and parts are...somewhat...available.  .

Expensive lesson learned I learned through this very long experience?  In the future when it comes to buying vehicles in Honduras (anything but huge Ford sized pickups) if you want parts availability and to be able to drive something reliable for 20 a Toyota.

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