Home Top

My Spirit Soars…

Read the original post and follow Gypsy Biker's overland adventures on their website: Gypsy Biker.


We left Huajuapan and rode the 70 km to the little village of Amatitlan de Azueta…

22. 300x205 My Spirit Soars…

We rode through a range of low mountains on the way to Amatitlan….

The narrow road that led there took us through dry and dusty countryside, where small communities eked out an existence by tending small fields of crops to feed their families…

There is no industry at all in this area and the people here have a hard time of it…

We turned off the “main” road and then dipped down into a narrow valley and came to the centre of the little village…. A wide gravel road led to another smaller concreted strip that went higher up onto the slopes of a hill…

But for Rotary International and the Red Cross Society, places like this would be all but forgotten…

23. 300x199 My Spirit Soars…

This one is used to transport the elderly patients from the outlying villages to a hospital …

I did not have time to take any photos of the village, as I was too busy wrestling the bike up a steep section of road which led to the central square… We stopped outside a school where a small crowd was gathered… They were all waiting to enter the grounds so that they could receive the treatment that they were there for…

24. 300x216 My Spirit Soars…

The mobile dentist… I kept my distance….!!

Inside the neatly painted school grounds, a large yellow tarpaulin had been erected and underneath it, two mobile clinics were parked…

We parked right in front of the main gate and then walked through to find Davit…

25. 237x300 My Spirit Soars…

“In the Land of the Sun, Everybody is Friends” reads the logo on the Rotary International trucks…

He seemed happy to see us and led us around to each of the classrooms, which had been converted into various mini-clinics, each one specialising in a different form of treatment…

There was a laboratory where blood tests were being carried out, and also a fully stocked pharmacy where the villagers could get their prescriptions filled…

In one room, an old guy was having a toncilectomy done, while people walked by or watched through the window…!!

There was even a Vet in one of the classrooms where folk were taking their dogs to be castrated…!! I suggested my friends fall in line, which they did not think was very funny at all…!!

“There is also a room for psychiatry…!! Maybe you should go there, Ronnie…!!”, quipped Eloy…

“I don’t think they have found a name for the problems I have…!!” I replied, tapping my head…

A few chairs were dragged over to where we were standing, and we sat down to watch the proceedings… Davit had the microphone in hand and was explaining to the crowds of people where they should go and the procedures they should follow…

Then he introduced Los Venados and although I did not understand half of what he said, I did hear “Sud Africa” and “el Mundo”, and when he finished there was a smattering of applause for us… Then then said he was sure that the bikers would not mind taking the young boys who were milling around, on a bike ride around the square…!!

26. My Spirit Soars…

Gac, Eloy, Roberto’s brother Davit, and Jorge, pose for a photo….

In seconds we were surrounded by a group of boys, all eager to get their ride… But before we could get up and make their day, a very important package arrived for us…

It was a six-pack of beer, and it cheered the Venado’s up significantly…!!

I was a little embarrassed by this, conssidering that we were surrounding by so many people suffering from various ailments, and asked Eloy if we should be seen drinking beer in front of them… His answer was similar to one which Roberto would have given…

“But course it is OK…!! This is Mexico…!!”

Eloy then carefully explained to the group of boys that he was unable to ride without at least one beer inside him, so they all waited patiently while we sipped away at our beverages…

31. My Spirit Soars…

Eloy very cleverly used Jorge’s Harley to ferry the kids around the square….

There was much clamouring to ride “los Gringo’s motocicleta” but just as I was about to get up and begin taking them out, Davit came over and sombrely told us that a young boy had just been diagnosed with Leukemia…

This put a damper on things for us, although Davit was pleased that by coming out to these villages as they did, they had been able to diagnose the child and could now send him for treatment in Mexico City….

I asked what would happen now, and Davit said that they would begin collecting money over the next few weeks to begin the treatment and as soon as they had enough, he would be sent to the world-famous clinic where he would get the best of treatment…

27. My Spirit Soars…

The official group photo of Los Venado’s and one improperly dressed Interloper….

After Davit had gone back to his duties as chief organiser, I sat staring at the concrete floor in front of me, then looked up to heaven and said a small prayer of thanks that my own children had not been afflicted with any serious illnesses… Then I went to find Davit…

I took him aside and told him that on behalf of the Venados and myself, I would like to make a donation towards the treatment of the young boy…

I was hoping to keep the whole thing low-key, but Davit grabbed me by the arm and hustled me over to the President of the Rotary Club of Mexico, and explained what I had offered…

He seemed very happy to receive my donation, and immediately called for cameramen to take our photo… I called over to Eloy and the boys and soon we were all grinning for the cameras…

28. My Spirit Soars…

We pose with the president of the rotary club, at left with his Stetson in hand, and the other members of the committee who were responsible for running the clinic….

Martin and his wife and daughter, Jessica and Maya had ridden up and joined us by then, and we sat watching the classrooms slowly emptying as people received their treatment and either left to go home, or hung about waiting for the lunch to be served…

29. My Spirit Soars…

One look at this queue of men, and my mischief bone began itching….!!

Behind where we were sitting, on a lower level, a large group of men were lined up outside one of the classrooms… I went over to the rail and loudly asked,

“Señores…!!, Es este el espacio para las castraciones …?” (Gentlemen, is this the room for the castrations…??”)

There was a smattering of nervous laughter and one guy swiveled his head so fast at my question, that his hat came adrift…!!

Once the classrooms had been emptied of patients, tables and chairs were brought out and placed in two parallel lines under the tarpaulin… Then the woman of the village began carrying in large pots of food that they had prepared for the occasion…

We were invited to sit down and plates of food were brought to us, while the rest of the village stood in line to get theirs… Three little girls jostled each other to sit opposite me, and shyly sat watching me while I ate… Looking at them, my mind flew to a faraway place, where other little girls had once sat eating opposite me… I reached for my sunglasses…

32. My Spirit Soars…

My lunch companions at Amatitlan… I wanted to wrap them in my arms….!!

34. My Spirit Soars…

Lunch with the villagers and my good friends… It was heartwarming to think that the people who had so little, had manged to band together and ensure that a few hundred people were fed…

33. 300x239 My Spirit Soars…

The villagers had worked together to prepare a meal that we could all share…

Lunch consisted of chicken smothered in Mole sauce which was a speciality of this particular region, along with beans and rice…

Once I had cleared my plate of all the food on it, it was whisked away by Martin’s wife Jessica, and refilled…!!

One of the paramedics on duty wandered up and down the long lines of tables, handing out sodas and bottle of water… I think that the Venado’s were a little disappointed that he was not handing out anything stronger…!!

After lunch we sat listening to thunder rolling in the distance, but Gac assured me that it would not rain…

A short while later, the rain fell in buckets, and when I looked over at Gac with a raised eyebrow, I think I heard him say,

“This is Mexico…!! Anything can happen…!!”

35. 247x300 My Spirit Soars…

“Nice one GB…!! I have to sit out here in the rain while you sit quaffing beer under a tarpaulin…!!”

It rained so hard that at one point I thought the tarpaulin might collapse on us… At least there were plenty of medical personnel around to assist with injuries, I thought to myself…!!

We used the opportunity to listen to Davit explain how many people they had helped that day and how they only manage to visit this village twice a year… At present, the team goes out once a month and visits six villages in the region, seeing each one twice a year…

I looked around at the various doctors who had selflessly given up their Sunday to be out here to help the poor and the needy, and silently saluted them all…

I was happy that I had agreed to spend the afternoon amongst this band of givers, and see the happiness and relieved looks etched on mother’s faces as they exited a classroom with their babies in their arms; or the smile on the old woman’s face as she peered down at the package of tablets in her hand…

It was a delight to be living in the “here and now” for me, and being with this band of brother bikers made the occasion even more special… Often we just looked over at each other and smiled… No words spoken… Just a smile…

The rain finally stopped and we hurriedly got our things together and said goodbye to the Rotary staff… A young woman came over to Gac and whispered in his ear, and when we left, she was perched behind him on his Harley…!!

36. 300x236 My Spirit Soars…

While the others rode on, I stopped at the entrance to the village and took a photo of the signpost that would forever remind of today….

Believing that we were in for more rain, I hauled my raincoat out of my pannier and handed it to Jessica to wrap around Maya… It was significantly cooler after the rain, and she had arrived in only a thin t-shirt and a hoodie…

We rode back down the slippery concrete strip and onto the gravel road which led back to the asphalt, and then headed back to the junction of the main road… Sprays of water came off our tyres as we negotiated the tight curves and bends…

Once again I rode shotgun behind the four riders ahead of me, filming our ride and snapping photos as I went…

I felt a lightness of spirit as we wound our way back to Martin’s home in Huajuapan… The Big Fella felt light as a feather too, and we floated across the countryside, the smell of wet earth in our nostrils…

I remember little about the ride back, except the feeling of contentment that filled me to the brim…

37. My Spirit Soars…

The rain had been blown away to the north and our ride back to town was made in bright sunshine…

At Martin’s home, I got settled into their “Biker’s Room” where many other foreign bikers had spent the night while visiting Huajuapan and being hosted by the Venado’s… Martin is the ex-President of the group and only recently handed the reins over to Emiliano…

38. My Spirit Soars…

Martin and Jessica with Maya in between them, wrapped in my raincoat… Eloy, Martin’s brother, is seen it the background, whooping it up….!!

Their home has been a base for the group and no sooner had we arrived home when Jorge and Eloy arrived and sat down to share dinner with us…

Having planned to leave early the following morning, we had an early night, and I settled into bed with a sigh, thinking about the wonderful day I had enjoyed, and the amazing people I had met…

About Gypsy Biker

Trip Start: Trip End: .

,

No comments yet.
Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply