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26 December 1998

The weather is starting to break so we file a flight plan for Trujillo, on the north coast of Honduras. This is a small town that has its chief export in bananas, run by the Dole Corp. The last crops were of course, devastated by Hurricane Mitch and Dole has suspended operation there. The town is deeply effected by this shutdown, as well as the fledgling tourist industry. Our mission today is to find an orphanage that is west of Trujillo, along the north coast.

Upon landing, we find that the roads are washed out to the orphanage and a 4-wheel drive is needed to get to with in hiking distance. We didn't find a willing driver with the appropriate vehicle so we settled for a Taxi driver with a marginal 1965 Datsun. Being a taxi driver many years ago has given me a professional relationship with taxi drivers worldwide. (Ha!,Well, I've learned how to deal with them). With our driver "Cesar"(another Cesar), we felt in capable hands. The tired old Datsun negotiated the 8 miles in about an hour, with 7 streams to ford and countless mud holes, it was first gear all the way! Cesar was bound to get us as close as possible. A flood-damaged bridge and fast moving stream finally stopped us. Barbara and I carried the items and food for the orphans by foot the rest of the way.

We truly did not know what to expect. The orphanage did not have any phone, so we could not call them to tell them we were coming. We came upon a small farm like setting surrounded by small huts, with tin roofs or palm fronds. The lady we spoke to was gracious, and spoke some English. She assembled some 45 children, for a special treat. I don't know who enjoyed it more, the kids or seeing the smiles on their faces when Barbara gave them their Christmas gifts. The look in their faces was truly precious and they were all very polite and appreciative. Barbara said later that this must be the true meaning of Christmas, I agreed.


Ed and Barbara



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