Please don’t misunderstand something. When I write about the medevac flights I do, it is not out of a sense of self-aggrandizement or because I’m looking for a pat on the back. It is merely because I think what my boss is doing is a wonderful thing for this place…this little slice of what would otherwise be paradise called Guanaja. The people here need so much; that’s pretty clear. The fact that we can help in our small way makes me feel pretty damn good. But not only that. I love it when helicopters can be used to help people. It is the most noble use of the machine in my humble opinion, and I’m proud to brag a little about our ship.
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Lalo called me last night, all excited. You have to know Lalo. And if you did you would love him. A big, burly, teddy-bear of a man, black as the ace of spades, always smiling, always animated, always in a good mood, with eyes that light up like ornaments on a Christmas tree when he talks…which is in a mild Caribbean patois…almost Jamaican but not quite. He’s all-business on the job, but sometimes when he sees me somewhere else, he’ll give me one of those playful, vice-like hugs that squeezes the air out of me and lifts me off my feet like a ragdoll. We should all have friends like Lalo.
“Bob! Bob!” he said excitedly. He always starts out his conversations with me that way and I always chuckle when he does. “You know what that little shit went and did?”
I knew he meant Jose-Luis. I braced for collision. Now what?
“He done got himself a JOB, son! He working on the yacht!”
I asked Lalo how Jose-Luis got the job…was it something he did?
“No, Bob. People know him! They know he family. They know he got them three chirren!”
Well, maybe. Methinks bigmouth Lalo just put a bug in the right person’s ear.
But uh-oh, that’s one of those good news/bad news kind of things. The “yacht,” the ferry that makes a couple of trips a week between here and the mainland port of Trujillo, gets my vote for the boat Most-Likely-To-Turn-Turtle-And-Go-Right-To-The-Bottom-In-The-Awful-Conditions-Of-A-Perfectly-Calm-Clear-Day. So while I am happy for Jose-Luis that he has a steady income again, I’ll have to keep praying for him even harder than ever now.
The yacht was leaving for Trujillo this morning, so I went into town to see Jose-Luis and give him a little support…give him the Stern-Parent, "I’m happy for you but don’t screw this up" talk. Which, come to think of it…talk about role-reversal! Whoa, when did that happen? It wasn’t all that long ago when people were having that talk with me. At least, it doesn’t seem so.
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I talked with our employee Fidel Hernandez today. It was his father whom I took down to La Ceiba on Sunday after his accident. When I asked about him, Fidel broke into a big smile. “Good! Good!” he said. “Thank you!” he said, gratefully pumping my hand. And I was thinking to myself: Hey don’t shoot me, I’m only the piano player. (That was the title to an old Elton John album, and I’ve always wanted to worm it into one of my posts some day. Finally got the chance!)
¡Un buen día! A good day. A very good day!