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End vs. Means
Godwin Orkeh; Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

May 2004


What should have been an 8-hour drive to La Tinta from Antigua-Guatemala, ended up being a good 12 hours, thanks in no small way to the road construction crew at work and the search for gas (after missing the last gas station).  We arrived at midnight, with hardly enough time to catch some few hours sleep before the second-leg of my journey- Road to Rosa.

As I parked and locked my car at the end of the road - suspension bridge over the River Polomchi- I am sure I locked in my common sense also.  Otherwise, why should I have proceeded with this part of the journey?
The transportation on the other side of the foot bridge is dependent on the Cardamom* season.  Much to our dismay (as already predicted by common sense), we've missed the cardamom harvest season, and  moreover, the pickup truck that plies this route works only on Thursdays - market day.  Hitherto, the truck works on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  As I looked back at my car, a dot in the distant horizon, and the dark cloud gathering over head, I was not bold enough to ask myself what I was doing there on a Sunday.  Where was my common sense?
I could only imagine the thoughts going through my companion's mind.  He later confessed to considering killing me, but thought better of it, because the level of gas in the car was too low, and he had no money on him to fill the tank.  Lucky me!
The approximately five-hour hike to Finca Sibija, had begun under the heavily pregnant skies in the dense cloud forest and mountain region of the Verapaces (Alta and Baja) of Guatemala.
With every single step taken, we lost the option of turning back without achieving our objective.    I was determined to deliver the medical supplies to Rosa** on the other side.  What else could possibly go wrong?  It's Sunday, hence no truck (or donkey or horse), it's raining; we've slipped a couple of times (less humorous), and way past the point of no-return ..
We were a spectacular sight to behold.  Every single person we met on the mud track told us Finca Sibija was right around-the-corner (straight on!).  And we did finally get there!
It was such a precious sight to see the light in her eyes as the smile swept her face.  Those priceless moments washed every doubt off my mind.  We had done the right thing!
Rosa was in a good state of health.  She had completed her antibiotics and was using her insulin as prescribed.  Her random blood sugar (RBS) level estimate was also fair; and she appears more robust.  This was a completely different person.  I didn't know what I was expecting, but this exceeded all expectations.  The end had justified the means!
* Cardamom is a spice, quite popular in the middle-eastern and far-eastern part of the globe.  It is grown in the Verapaces, and ranks as the second income earner, only to coffee.
** 18 year-old indigenous Maya lady, brought to the Eye Clinic in Antigua about a year ago for surgery for bilateral cataract; and also diagnosed as Type I diabetic.  She recently had a relapse in her treatment, which required her being brought once again to Antigua.