All Along The Watchtower

The day began early… or shall I say earlier than normal. I went to the restroom around 12:30 this morning and lo and behold I saw a scorpion curled up in the corner of the room just minding his own business. I really didn’t get close enough to see what gender it was, I am making a generalization in that statement. I placed a cup over it for keep sake to show the others when they were awakened by the glorious singing of the birds that sit outside of the windows. They start to harmonize at dawns first light… which is about 4:15 am local time. Senor Jefe the Scorpion King was given the opportunity to redeem himself for the post traumatic and epic fails over the last 2 years regarding scorpion sightings… Alas he chose to follow the catch and release program, no sacrifice was done… bummer!

After a simple breakfast consisting of various choices that included a mixture of eggs and who knows what else to which I opted out of in favor or refried beans and corn tortillas, none the less it did the job and everyone was ready to venture up the hill for another day of service in Terre Amarillo. Our transportation accommodations varied drastically today opposed to yesterday…. Yesterday there were two vehicles, one truck and one van. The truck had a dual-purpose role… to carry the tools from the Federation Headquarters to the job site and secondly ferry the team down the yellow brick road to the village… and I do mean downhill… like a 90-meter Olympic ski jump! The van carried most of the team to the top of the jump. Today one van, extra people, no room to carry provisions, some water was left behind… communication error or conspiracy theory… You smell what the Rock’s cooking?

After riding up the lunarscape roads for about 50 minutes… that converts to 30 minutes Honduran, we arrived at the drop off point on top of the hill… To our surprise, distain and dis belief we were told that we would have to march down the yellow brick road… Battan Style! The air was filled with groans of distain and yet everyone pitched in to carry the supplies needed to survive in the jungle, water coolers, ice chest, food and tools. Several people took turns carrying the heavy items, even switching sides to relieve the throbbing and burning sensations in their muscles. After scaling down the mountain side for 15 minutes we finally arrived at the base camp to start work… only after we took an extended break to catch our breath and work the numbness out of our limbs!

The construction phase of the day was very simplistic… finish tying up the re-bar frames while the locals set them in the footings and poured the mook in the holes. Hunterzilla was given the opportunity to run the machine that makes the square shaped rings… 150 were going to be needed later in the day. The time had come for the Wilkesboro team to do what we do best… Pack the Mook! Blocks were laid and blazing pace… and some were taken up just as quickly once some errors was found in the height of the foundation. The problem occurred because the foundation had 3 steps poured into it to make up for the slope of the ground. None the less we overcame all the obstacles placed in front of us and we completed our assigned task.

As evening drew nigh we gathered and stored our tools in preparation to leave… all the while dreading every step of the gauntlet before us in the midst of our life sapping fatigue. Suddenly there arose a clamor in the village… we heard the delicate sound thunder as a Toyota truck emerged from a dust cloud! Prayers answered! Shouts of Acclamation!…a local had volunteered to drive the team back up the cliff free of charge… Dios es Grandeoso! Our spirts now lifted we awaited the command to climb aboard and relax on the magic carpet ride to the top.

Our evening was capped off visiting Gloria at her home. She is a former Federation employee who now works for Uncle Sam and Roxanna at their children’s home. We dined on a delicious spread of chicken and pork chops with all the Honduran trimmings of goat cheese, beans and jalapenos followed up with ice cream. During our visit, some of the team members surveyed her home, recalling stories of the work they did there several years ago. Back to the compound for shower baths and to prepare for another day, hopefully the watch tower group will see favor upon us tomorrow.


Marco Francisco Valle Valle