This past Thursday after work was done here at the hospital, I headed out with Dr. Ted Beemer and his wife Susan (a nurse anesthetist) for a mobile clinic on the very east coast of the country. Of all of our mobile clinic sites, this one is definitely my favorite! First we had to drive three hours (more or less) eastward to the beautiful city of La Ceiba, which is right on the north coast of the country, and there we stayed at a hotel near the airport. At the wee hour of four o’clock in the morning, we got up and drove over across the street to the tiny Ceiba airport. We were the only ones there except for one guard, and we soon found out that the plane would leave at six, not five!
So at six’o'clock we gave the attendant our re-useable tickets and boarded the fifteen-passenger plane. As we taxied down the runway and I tried to get my seat belt to click, I noticed the pilot had his window open. Thankfully, before we took off he closed it, but I never did get my seat belt to work. The next thing I knew, I was waking up with a view over a blanket of white clouds. I fell back asleep, and soon we were coming in close over the shoreline, where vast water spread out in one direction and small shanties dotted the land in the other direction. Then I saw a red dirt runway, and school children in white tops tucked into navy blue pants or skirts walked along the side of it, as well as men on hand-peddled bikes who were previously lobster fishermen but had been injured and became partly or totally paralyzed in the legs. In just one hour I had traveled to a different world. Read the rest of this entry »