Thursday, December 21, 2006

I chatted with Phil the other day about his trip to Honduras to visit the AIDS orphanage he works for called Montana de Luz. He sent out some really beautiful, moving photos of his time there. This one in particular really moved me and Lisa and I told him so. The following is a rendition of the chat we had online (with some heavy editing...Phil can't spell, and I write in sentence fragments). I wanted to leave it as close to the original conversation as possible, because Phil's words were very organic and moving.

(Phil:) “There is a really funny picture of Jose* I should send you.”
(Me:) “Who's Jose?”
“He's the one in the AMAZING picture with Molly where she is giving him his ARVs in bed.”
“Oh yeah. That pic turned out great!”
“Doug took that…it’s a real crazy story…”
“Do tell.”
“That day Doug and I were walking from "down below" which is the village in the valley where MDL is located. (MDL is up on a mountain right outside the village.) So we're hiking up the hill to get back to the project, and about three hundred yards away is a group of kids, which we assume to be from the village, Nuevo Espanranza (or something like that). Anyway…one of the kids breaks off, and at about seventy yards away, I spot it as Jose, and he starts in on a dead fat kid sprint…”
“…the whole time yelling ‘Amigo Felipe!’ He runs straight up and jumps into my arms.”
“I love fat kid sprints.”
“So, naturally, I just about think that is the best thing ever to happen to me, when Doug says ‘Just wait, Dude,’ and proceeds to show me this slide show of photos of when Jose came to the project in March, malnourished, 104.5 fever, chicken pox, and a worm had laid eggs in his neck.”
“Seriously? Gross! That's nuts…”
“When it got to its worst, they were pretty sure he wasn't going to make it through the night. That night, Molly (Doug’s wife) crawled into bed with Jose while he cried through the night."
“He made it through to the morning, the fever broke, and she began to administer the drugs. Doug snapped a photo.”
“Wow...that's when the photo was taken?”
“Fuckin’ a.”
“That's amazing.”
“So then he proceeds to show me the pictures of where Jose came from, where they had him before Doug and Molly picked him up. (Oh, I also forgot to list HIV/AIDS on his list of infirmities when he arrived.) As Doug showed me the pictures I pretty much lost control, and wept like a baby for about half an hour just thinking about the kid who had ran the seventy yard fat kid sprint to have me carry his fat little ass up a mountain….”

I don't normally write "serious" posts, but these kids and this project really moves me. There's all kinds of stupid shit going on in our world right now, and regardless of politics or religious beliefs, all I can think of is a little quote from Bono: "This is a war we can all agree on." Please check out their website, and consider maybe sending a few extra bucks their way this holiday season...or whenever, really, you cheapskates.
Here's the aforementioned "really funny picture":
and a great "after" picture to show the good work these people are doing.

*Name changed to protect child's privacy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah, can you just sign up individually to do these service trips or do you have to be going with a group? New Year's Resolution=service work outside of the US (oh, and no more pop and go to the gym more...and never miss Grey's Anatomy! Priorities!) I looked on the website but couldn't get that kind of specific info. Can I have Phil's e-mail? Thanks so much for posting this!

Emily Good