Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Río de Agua Viva - The Water Begins to Flow

R to L: Dr. Delmer Montoya, Michael Franklin, James Iverson
William Sydney Porter, better known as O Henry, fled the United States for Honduras in the late 1800s to escape charges of embezzlement.  Porter fled to Honduras because its coat rack border reminds visitors that another world awaits where one may leave the smaller global establishment to lesser men.  I'm sure Porter got one look at the emerald-kissed mountain ranges snaking across the miles of Honduran coastline and thought, "William, go home. O Henry is the guest of honor."


R to L: James Iverson and Nathan Whitley
Over the years I have seen quite a varied crew of volunteers, including myself, welcome a diversion from their normal "me-centric" lives in an attempt to go live for others.  We all tend to "leave" a little bit of ourselves behind, tending to pack in our trunks with what we hope represents our personalities' best features, but we cannot truly leave our personal experiences behind us.  Without those we are not ourselves but mere superficial concepts.  Crossing into Honduras while representing virtue only complicates the acute case of dissociative personality disorder many volunteers, travelers, missionaries, humanitarians, general do-gooders, do-badders, expatriates, etc. experience much of the time during and after their travels.  Symptoms compound as conversations navigating across languages pay little attention to the territorial borders so deliberately negotiated upon arrival.  And just as one becomes aware of the additional thought patterns racing across one's mind like the surrounding tides, one realizes a more complete self awaits.  

How to get to Hondura:  honduranmissions.comho

One may not let go of the old or fill voids with the new;  there is incorporation.  There are open eyes and open hearts.  We are not to serve as stickers to be placed inside a notebook for decoration.  We are not stamps to be found mimeographed across the pages of time.  We are fresh paints to be tested in various lights, heats, and temperatures on a canvas exceedingly dry from dead artists' renditions.  What we bring to the table only becomes more bold when strained through the Catracha sieve.  What is caught for examination remains for use elsewhere.

The story of the Río de Agua Viva, then, is one of invigoration and wholeness.  What we are about is using our selves only as they become more full by every passing breath.  One river emerges from many streams.  What will your stream add?  Where will the path to Honduras take you? 

Only you can open the door.

Together, we are the difference.

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