This day was to be a special day because the president of Honduras, Juan Hernandez, and his wife, Anna Hernandez, were coming to the Ranch. We woke up at the normal time and had breakfast at 6:15. We were to go to the school and see a presentation by the students in the computer lab at 9:15. We arrived a few minutes late and were amazed at the way the school looked. It was really decorated for the president and the first lady. We were escorted to the lab where the air conditioning that we had purchased was working very well. Three students and two teachers were in the computer lab. They did a cute power point presentation about how thankful they were to Rotary. It was a very moving presentation and we thanked them for all they were learning. Several people asked questions and the students and we answered as well as we could. We still need a newer version of Microsoft Office, as they are using 2007. There were several people in the room that had suggestions about licensing.
The presidential party was to arrive at 11:00 and a helicopter did fly over at that time. We later found out that it was the advance team. The school and all the roads leading to the school had quite a bit of security and they meant business. We heard from Jose Mondragon, the Ranch supervisor that Thr “Protocol Team” had arrived that morning and changed everything. We also saw a bomb sniffing dog and their handlers. We waited and waited and the kids were getting a little anxious. Finally, about an hour later, we saw two helicopters that were criss-crossing in the sky and then saw one of them land in the field at the ranch. A few minutes later, we saw a car come up the driveway and the presidential party came through the crowd shaking hands with everyone that wanted to shake his hand (including me). We had a wonderful presentation with MAP International, delivering the $5 billionth in-kind shipment to a third world country, which happened to be Honduras. The president of MAP international made a short presentation. Clark Dean represented H.A.V.E. Foundation and made a nice presentation. The president spoke for about 20-25 minutes about the partnership between AMerica and Honduras and it was very moving. He thanked HOI and HAVE for their commitment to Honduras and felt that we could further partner in an effort to replicate the model that HOI had in the Agalta Valley. We ended with a presentation of the quilts to the President and his wife, as well as to the Ranch and, surprise, to Vince and Barbara Dooley. All she could say was “hell, hell, hell”. The ceremony finalized and then we left the pavillion. I stopped on the edge of the soccer field and sat down on the bench and watched Mongacho (sp?) working with a cement pad next to a monument. Gray Campbell was there as well and then we realized that there was going to be some sort of ceremony there, so we stayed put. Sure enough, the President cam through and put on some plastic gloves, then made his hand print and his name in the cement pad. Vince also came through and was asked to put his hand print in the cement. I have some wonderful pictures of all of that. We then went out to the soccer field where Vince and President Hernandez kicked the soccer ball into the goal. We then stayed around and watched a little bit of a soccer tournament, while the kids piled on the new bleachers. We were rounded up and taken back to the ranch where we were served lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the ranch packing and visiting. Dinner will be served at 6:00 and we are to have our annual talent show. The talent show was all we hoped for with a PowerPoint tribute for the Dooley’s 55th anniversary with cake, a series of jokes, a Carnack impression, many songs, poems and skits. It is now time to pack for the long trip into Tegucigalpa.