How Many Politicians Does It Take To Open a Shipping Container?
BY JEFF STRATTON
four keys to open them
Shortly before 2:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, a screaming siren emerged from Thicket Mouth Road and made its way to the parking lot outside of Sun/Pizza Inn/Bojangles, where a brown shipping container was surrounded by a phalanx of cameramen, reporters, and local officials.
The cop car shut down its sirens. TV cameras were shouldered.
A big white Hummer and a few other shiny SUVs pulled up, and out spilled Rosa Elena de Lobo (the wife of Honduran President Pepe Lobo), mayor Julio Galindo, deputado Romeo Silvestri, and governor Shawn Hyde.
The first lady was accompanied by at least two members of the presidential security detail, complete with those little ear-transmitter thingies and the blank, slightly menacing expressions you’d see on the faces of U.S. Secret Service agents.
Armed local police and Cobras surrounded the surreal scene. About 35 people were on hand to see the container unlocked.
In less than 30 seconds, Hyde popped open the four padlocks. The first items visible were massive desks and filing cabinets, but clearly the container was full.
“Isn’t this amazing?” asked a gringo bystander. “They hold it up for months, and then open it with all the cameras here!”
It’s true, at least four TV cameras were jostling for the best angles, but the hold-up was paperwork from the mainland, not foot-dragging by local officials.
The first lady and mayor were interviewed by TV crews.
Nurse Peggy Stranges showed up with a poker face. She and the mayor looked over the manifest. He asked her to sit tight until Monday so the list could be looked over and the items divvied up (3/4 of the items are reported to be for the public hospital, though the items are differentiated clearly on paper and color-coded in the container ).
“Relieved” is how Peggy described her feelings.
We’ll be staying on this and bringing you more news on Monday. For now, two positive events have occurred: Clinica Esperanza is open, and the container has been opened.