As for graduation, it seems that the date continues to get pushed back again and again. It is now said that graduation will not happen until March! So much for finishing medical school in 2006. ha- The University has shut down for the holidays until the 29th of this month, so things are at a standstill for now. Martin has had such a hard time getting all of his grades and equivalencies on his transcript that he had to resort to hiring a lawyer in Tegucigalpa. They were threatening to make him take over any classes that did no appear on his transcript by December 15th. The problem was that after 5 years of fighting for equivalency classes to be reviewed and accepted (from his studies in Universities in the U.S.), there was a computer problem and all of the classes that were approved and put on the transcript were suddenly lost last year! Of course we did not know of this until last month. What a mess it has been. So after the threat of making him REPEAT years of classes, there seemed to be no option but to hire a lawyer. She seems confident that things will be taken care of quickly once the University re-opens on the 29th of January. But this certainly was not an expected expense for graduation. We would certainly appreciate your prayers for this to be resolved in plenty of time for graduation.
On the brighter side, we have had several exciting things happen during the last month. I finally made my first trip to Las Minas with Martin! We were able to drive with two trucks full of toys and clothes and food the week before Christmas. Donations were made by the school where I worked last year and the school owner and her daughter (the school principal), drove over 300 brand new toys and almost 100 bags of clothes all the way to Las Minas. It was a very exciting trip to say the least. Martin had not exaggerated one bit about how menacing the road is, nor how big the river is that we had to drive through! Wow, we had the ride of our lives through rivers and mud and slipping and sliding everywhere! I´ll never forget it, nor will they. The kids faces were priceless! I know they have never owned a brand new toy before. I wish you could have been there to see them hugging those barbies and just staring at the shiny new trucks and cars. A great big thanks to the La Ceiba Bilingual School for their generosity and enormous help to make this a most memorable Christmas for the kids in Las Minas!
Another exciting piece of news from this week is that Martin has finally found an engine for his truck! And you´ll never guess where it came from… Across the street! ha-ha- The missionary couple who administrate the Christian high school across the street from the clinic in Rio Viejo own a 1989 Ford F250 diesel truck almost identical to Martin´s 1987. The engine has 130,000 miles but is still in pretty good condition. They accepted our offer of $700 this weekend and Martin is already busy taking the old engine out of his truck and preparing to put in the new (or should i say ´working´) one. It has been more than a year since his truck engine drowned in the river trying to get home for Christmas last year from Las Minas. He can hardly wait to hear it running again!!!
Martin continues to stay busy during his few weeks off from the University and the fight for graduation. He has volunteered his services at a government clinic about 3 kilometers from Rio Viejo in the village of Yaruca. He loves seeing patients again and the people are so happy to have him there. We still have the trickle of patients in Rio Viejo and he works all day in Yaruca as well. He will return to the capital on the 29th and continue the fight for graduation and continue to gather letters and forms and work on getting his thesis accepted. We are hoping and praying for an early March graduation so we can come to the States asap. We are so anxious to see everyone and visit, but we know that graduation must take place first. Thanks so much for your emails and for those who sent beautiful Christmas cards. We got a group of them yesterday! It´s always great to get old fashioned mail, even in this age of email.
Big hugs and much love to you all,
Wendy & family