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Hospital Roof and Water Treatment

Published: Sept. 10, 2021

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From Sister Alegría:

Sister Confianza stayed in touch with the hospital director by Whats App.

Soon we caught a ride with fast-driving police officers on their way to Tocoa. The driver was on his way to get a COVID test! (But his symptoms didn't sound like COVID.) I kept reminding myself that it is rare that a scheduled event in Honduras starts on time.

At 10:30, we were at the hospital gate. The police officers went out of their way to deliver us there.

What a relief! They hadn't started. I immediately became relaxed about our late arrival.

Come to find out, Pastor Orlin and we Sisters were THE honored guests. They had waited for our arrival before beginning.  

 

Continued by Sister Confianza:

We were seated at the head table, along with other important people, under a free-standing roof on the grounds in front of the hospital. It's a carport for the new ambulance (with room for a second one). There was a small audience of staff representing each department of the hospital.

A bunch of folks spoke during the half-hour long program, including the Executive Director, Doctora Delmis Vilorio; the head of human resources and finances, RN Yannyna Meléndez; both Sisters, and others. We were sure to mention that over 70 individuals, families and churches have donated to the monastery since the hurricanes last November. Some $15,000 has gone towards this roof, by far the largest single project we've been a part of. RN Yannyna announced that the hospital put in 300,000 lempiras ($12,500) from "recuperated funds" (fees charged). Dra Delmis said that the water filtration system, built by Water Missions International, will allow the hospital to produce its own potable water. By selling water and ice (instead of buying it from Pepsi and other smaller companies), the system will be self-sustaining.

They presented to Orlin and each Sister a certificate of thanks for our contributions. (Pastor Orlin is our middle man. We deposit the money in his bank account and he disburses it to the contractor. This is to reduce the chance of corruption and accusations of corruption--a big problem in Honduras--by not letting the money go through the hospital administrators' hands.) Then came the symbolic ribbon cutting. Dra Vilorio and Pastor Orlin held the ends of the shiny turquoise ribbon, and Sister Alegría got to do the honors, cutting it with a pair of tiny scissors as Yannyna and I stood by.

The media was also present, including a couple of TV news channels. Some of the program and several interviews were posted by Canal 50, Tocoa's local TV station. You can watch it (including words from Sister Confianza and an interview with Sister Alegría) - all in Spanish of course - on our Facebook page @amigashonduras. 

Afterwards people hung out briefly chatting and eating refreshments. Or not eating them. It seems to be a custom here to give specially made food wrapped or boxed so folks can take it with them to eat at their convenience.

Sister Alegría decided to find the stairway and see the roof up close. I stayed on the ground to look after our luggage. The steps were really tall, so it was a big workout. But she figured she's not getting any younger. (She turns 74 on September 30.) The new roof, made of high quality zinc sheets, is quite elevated. They plan to use the space for storage. 

That afternoon I ran around town (mostly in taxis as I wasn't feeling very well due to lack of sleep in recent nights) draining our co-op account to make another deposit in Orlin's account. The next phase is to get a roof over the medical records room. We will keep supporting the project as long as donations keep coming in. Please see our website for how to donate.

Bendiciones,

Sisters Alegría and Confianza