In the midst of this crazy and trying time, I wanted to bring a little joy and laughter to your life. So please, sit back, take a break and enjoy this gut-wrenching (not really lol) story about how I almost fell off the side of a mountain trying to retrieve a water bottle.
Traveling and living among other cultures has been a lifelong dream of mine. I love medicine and I love people, well most of the time anyway lol. I enjoy learning about other cultures and language, and I also enjoy being able to serve people and show them what real, authentic love looks like. So, you may find it no surprise that visited Honduras a few years back as part of an Intern missions’ trip. We traveled to La Montana de la Flor, Honduras aka "flower mountain", to work with and interact with the Tolpan Peoples who inhabited that part of the mountain. So far, this story probably sounds very sweet and calm... well that all ended once we actually made it to the mountain.
By the way... did you know in certain Central and South American countries, you must place your used toilet paper in the garbage instead of flushing it? Yeah, the plumbing cannot handle a lot of toilet paper so the bathrooms all have little trash cans in them. I noticed people did not use wads of toilet paper, just a few sheets and that was it!
Anyway, just a thought as people are fighting to get that last roll of Scott in the Walmart and Target hehehe but I digress...
Anyway, let's get to the good part, how in the world did I end up on the side of the mountain.
I will never forget waking up on the floor of a hut nestled within a small village far above sea level. Through the chicken wire bathroom walls, I could see donkeys, chickens and cows roaming by, eating the dewy grass. It was summer time, but the air was cool and fresh. It was like standing in the middle of a rain forest before the humidity hit. That day our team planned to hike miles up to the top of flower mountain to meet with another small village of people called the Tolpan Indians. The Tolpan people have faced trials that many cultures can relate to. I recommend you look them up, it is an amazingly rich culture.
We were on our way to take medical supplies and conduct dental clinics for the children. The hike was a grueling all uphill track through dense woods (including a very large neighborhood of big ant hills) and some small rivers. It took hours but finally we made it to the very top of the mountain and emerged to see handmade mud houses and the most beautiful view you could imagine. This was only one of the villages we visited. Our time was well spent, and after a long day of interaction, hard work and food, we headed back down the mountain. Now, at a certain point during these journeys the group would split up in to smaller units. Usually this happened when we were very close to our home base. Thus, I ended up with a couple of sweet Girls who provided me with tons of laughter all of the way down the mountain.
Detail alert!! There was a part of the trail where you could take a sort of “short cut” which basically looked like a small, steep hill. Of course, we make our way down this hill and guess what happens next??? On the way down, one of the Girls loses her water bottle. SMH
Okay, let me take a moment to pause and explain why this was such a big deal…
Imagine living in an area where you cannot drink the water. There are no Walmart’s or CVS's to visit for bottled water, and you are hot, sweaty and thirsty. Needless to say, your water bottle was your life! If you lost it, you'd better pray that someone had an extra.
Okay back the hill. So, my friend loses her water bottle. Once we made it down the hill she noticed that the water bottle was not lost but dangling off the side of the mountain.
Yea, I really mean the side of a steep cliff littered with brush and trees.
So, being the intelligent and fearless (maybe thrill-seeking lol) Ladies that we are, we decided to make a HUMAN chain in an effort to retrieve this life saving water bottle.
And with that, one Girl holds on to the tree, the other holds on to her, and we use the back pack as a rope and I, yes I grab the other end of the backpack and descend down the side of this mountain. Holding on for dear life I reach for the bottle. Nope, not yet, I need more slack. So, the Girls stretch their bodies as far as they could. I reached and reached, with feet digging in to the side of this mountain and I see the water bottle.
This was it! Just a little further and I would have it in my grasp. Finally, while hanging over the side of the mountain, looking down the steep decline covered in bushes, I was able to grab the water bottle and the Girls pulled me up with everything they had. The owner of the bottle was more than grateful as she dawned a huge smile!
Now, this may not sound like a James Bond movie; however, it was a little later that I realized what a miracle our survival was. Somehow by the Grace of the Lord Almighty, these tiny Girls (I was at least twice their size) managed to hold on to that back pack and by another Miracle that backpack held together as I used it as a rope. Now imagine if one person would have fallen, we all probably would have gone down with the ship! But I do not say this to be dark, I remember not feeling fear at all! Crazy right!!??? I guess God really does watch out for babies and fools lolol. I just remember knowing that a mission needed to be accomplished and I went for it.
I will probably choose a better way next time lol but after running through 3-foot-tall ant hills, hiking by (questionable cough cough) farm land and falling in to a river, this was nothing. So, the moral of this story is... well there actually is no moral to this story, it was just darn funny and completely meant to make you laugh. Maybe cringe a little. Needless to say, we all made if off Flower Mountain, water bottles and all. I made memories I will never forget and who knows! Maybe one day, after this virus had been eradicated, I will make my way back.
But, until then, Happy Dear Wednesday and don't forget to celebrate that funny story of yours!
P.S. I could not end this blog without letting everyone know that Dr. JoyWell and I are praying for your health and safety during this time. We hope you all have everything you need as we fight to stomp out this virus. We pray health and wealth during this time.
We also want to send a Huge HUGE “Thank You” to all of the First Responders, Health Care and Service Workers who are on the front lines facing the battle head on and continue pushing forward for us. We will never be able to thank you enough for your personal sacrifices. Thank you! You are true angels on earth and we wish You all health, protection and rest amongst the chaos.
We are with you!
Whenever you need a pick me up, pop over to our “thatwednesdaylife” blog site and enjoy all of our past Dear Wednesdays, sign up to participate in our forum discussions and become a part of the community. You are not alone during this time. Please feel free to contact our team with any questions or comments.
This Dear Wednesday Letter was hand-crafted by AshleyMarcel an Administrative Guru, Public Health advocate, Graduate Student, Mentor, Motivator and Cultural Enthusiast. Ms. Marcel has worked closely with both men and women both domestically and abroad helping to build stronger communities and healthier people. She has worked in the administrative world for over five years and is currently studying public health research. Look out for Ms.Marcel, there is much more to come! You can find AshleyMarcel on social media @anwilli7 on IG