It is the little things in life that will drive you over the edge crazy… Take into account one Pablo Francisco Valle Valle Mi hermano de otra Madre. He joined forces with the Federation back in 2012 as best that I can recall. He was one of our daily drivers that cruised the auto bus like a rock start on the dusty trails of the Honduran landscape. Most of the time, the driver does just that, they drive and wait until it is time to reload and scoot back the compound at our beckoning call. He was also part of the Local Red Cross, providing assistance in times of need throughout the community. He has a heart to serve others as exhibited thru the many years of our personal relationship. His name derives from the first year that we met in Honduras, I was quoting a comedian by saying, “Pablo Francisco Save me!” as time went on, his name and mine as well progressed that we became part of the elusive and controversial Valle Valle family that draws our fear from the locals by mentioning that name.
Pablo was young, maybe 23 or 24 the first time that we met. He like many people of his age were really unsure of the path they want to follow in life professionally… Over the years he has went to school to become an electrician, worked in a factory, worked various jobs here and there while becoming a father of 3 children over the last decade. I give you the back ground of his story as I know it, as a prelude to my story this evening.
Pablo has returned to the Foundation full time about a year ago as the construction foreman/Jefe. He also serves as one of our drivers on this trip. He bought, leased or inherited Willer’s old Black Mamba Nissan truck to haul us around in the inaccessible areas of Honduras. That truck has several thousands of kilometers traveling across the land to deliver hope and good news. I remember riding in the truck with Wilmer on our sighting trip many years ago during the rainy season of October. It has been dependable, rugged and reliable along the way. Yes it has some hiccups, and dead battery in the middle of no where… thankfully a good Samaritan allowed us to borrow a battery for the day to complete our journey. The original engine drank 50W oil like Bond, James Bond drank martinis. shaken, not stirred. I remember we took off for a day trip that year to visit the ruins, and on that Sunday, swapped out the old tired engine for a fresh TRD engine.
After breakfast this morning, just as we were going to load up, the Black Mamba died in front of us. It has already been awarded 2 AM of the day awards, is it going for a record 3rd? A quick discussion formed around the engine compartment, it appeared that the fuel pump had let go…. On the bright side, it was in the driveway of the Compound, but there was no way that 6 gringos, and 4 Honduras could fit into Wilmer’s Bumblebee truck and drive safety to Laguna.
My lord had a safety net and back up plan, He called in Rodrigo to hall half of us the the job site in a Toyota Hilux truck. The plush, more modern ride… dare I say seat up grade? Certainly appealed to the group riding in it as we drove off leaving the Black Mamba for the scrap heap. Off we were making good progress and arriving at the job site just a few minutes late… approximately 15 minutes ahead of Bumblebee. Come to find out later, that group had to stop because the lil truck was overheating again. AM of the Day inserted here.
The day began with 3 prominent points to accomplish. 1. Was to complete the new Justa stove in the school kitchen, Check Complete. 2. After the 3 main trusses were set and welded into place, we ran the stringers across, welded them in… Remember last nights discussion? Weld, screw, lay down or stand up? It all changed from the last discussion that I had with Hector yesterday. It is a new day with a new glass of milk to tip over. and third, plaster the walls with the initial coat of Mook.
By end of the day, Half of the roof had been installed, all welding was completed. most of the plastering has been competed. Overall, considering all of the little abominations that try to blow things up in our lives did not set us back to accomplish what we set out to do. On the journey to the compound, we experienced a welcoming shower from above. This will help to knock down some of the dust on the roads that we travel. It certainly cooled off the evening air to a more pleasant level… mid way down the hill, we stopped to provide some makeshift rain suits for the 3 locals riding in the bed of the truck.
The ladies fed us well this evening, after we ate, we ventured off to San Marcos to trinket shopping for gifts. Jefe’s bartering to get a better price and US dollars in change was comical. We left with a fist full of trinkets to haul home. When we arrived back at the compound, Pablo was working on the stricken vehicle in the dark.. He had removed the fuel tank and was preparing to install a new pump. He said it would be sometime tomorrow before he could complete it. I guess that means well will not get to test the Black Mamba tomorrow. Thru it all, Pablo kept a smile all day, he did not let it get him down he just plugged along helping others, which is what he is best at.
Mark Francisco Valle Valle