with the help of Emma Dorsey
Gail and Wade Ward from Columbus, Mississippi came to La Ceiba for the first week in July. Gail, an English as a Second Language teacher for kindergarten through 12th grade and a doula, wanted to spend a week in the hospital serving laboring women. I was not in La Ceiba during the week when they would be here, so Erin Pettengill, a licensed nurse and professor from the US helped orient her at the hospital. Gail, you did such a spectacular job, but don´t take my word for it. One of the nurses told me, “Muy bien trabajo, muy linda la señora,” or, ¨very good work, a very nice person.¨ Here is part of the email that Gail sent to me about her time in the hospital: On Monday, Erin picked me up near Hotel Catracho (and thanks for your recommendation of staying there….its central location worked perfectly for walking around in the centro, finding banks, restaurants, etc.) and got me into the hospital. She left and I stayed 12 hours that day, not leaving until 9 p.m. in a rain storm (but had no problem getting a taxi and feeling safe). On Tuesday, I stayed at the hospital most of the day. On Wednesday, we took the morning ferry to Utila and returned in the afternoon….then I went to the hospital that night. On Thursday, we took the local bus to Pico Bonito and hiked around, then the hospital again at night. So, I was able to get lots of time in at the hospital but also see the local sites. We also went to the old Hospital Atlantida, where mothers were bringing newborns for inoculations, and gave donated diaper bags filled with some of the essentials for a new baby. Thanks for your suggestions on what to see and do. Everything worked out great! Gail´s husband Wade a retired youth court counselor and sociology profesor at a local community college had planned on working on a construction project in La Ceiba. When that didn´t work out, he adapted. Wade decided to buy big plastic bags and used them to clean up the local beach! He did this beautifully humble work for almost three days, Gail wrote: Although Wade’s planned work at the medical clinic construction site got canceled (because of the crew taking vacation), he found something to do on his own. When he saw how dirty the local beach was with litter, he bought garbage bags and spent the days I was at the hospital picking up garbage. Lots of local people commented that he was doing a good thing, although they probably thought he was a little crazy. 🙂 By the end of the week, the entire beach was clean and we even saw a group of people gathering on the beach to pray and do some swimming. … I want to tell you how well respected I think “Dar La Luz” is in Hospital Atlantida. When people found out I was there because of “Dar La Luz” or knew you, they seemed to instantly understand what I was there for. I am so honored that you made Dar La Luz a part of your trip, and that it stays with you. Your lingering thoughts of Dar La Luz attest to the reason this project exists: I keep thinking about the ladies I know are laboring even at this instant and 24 hours around the clock every day of the week. Gail, thank you for everything! Wade, thank you so much for your dedicated work returning the beach to its natural state of beauty. What a gift to remind us of the blessings we sometimes take for granted. Thanks to both of you for being here!