There have been a lot of transitions for me this past month. First, was the transition from Honduras to home and then again back to the Central American life. The change from the cleanliness of Denver, the comfort of my bed, and any type of food I could imagine to the rocky roads of the frontera, the dust in my face, and the mountains that seem to go on forever proved to me how much Honduras has become like my home. It is hard to adjust but also beautiful at the same time. It is beautiful to be aware of all I have to be thankful for both in the United States and here in Honduras. It is beautiful to be aware that despite the two different worlds I am part of this year, there are similarities that stress across cultures. And the one thing I have noticed in everything I have experienced here is the beauty of relationships and family. I am so lucky for the family I have at home (it was so hard to say goodbye) and for the family I have found here in the other volunteers, the cooks at the clinic, and the Honduran doctors with whom I live with. They have all made my experience so much better!
Some observations and musings from my two weeks back so far:
One thing that constantly amazes me about the Hondurans who live here in the frontera is their resilience. Whether it’s walking 4 hours up a mountain with a baby in their arms in flip-flops or taking a four-hour bus ride on bumpy roads simply to run an errand, what they do on a daily basis to get by astounds me.
As many of you may have heard, the Peace Corps decided to pull out all volunteers from Honduras due to some safety issues. While life where I am is very safe, it is public transportation in the cities that is a little iffy. We are now restricted from riding on the buses north of here. The thing about safety here is that it is usually targeted to gang members and drug traffickers and rarely to foreigners. However, there have been a couple instances on the public buses that have caused quite a stir in the U.S. media. Everything where I am is completely safe though!
|View of the mountains (much browner than when I left in December!)|
Things here are very quiet! The students are still on summer vacation and will be until mid-February (the school schedule here is February until November). This means there are no programs in the library, I miss the kids!
Last week, I had a meeting for Yo Puedo (a girls’ empowerment program we run here for 5th and 6th graders) in the back of a pick-up truck while driving. I was sitting on the side trying to take notes. How’s that for a productive meeting?
|A street in Camasca, a community about 45 minutes away, it's my favorite town in the frontera!|
Right now it is the Honduran summer. What this means is dust. And lots of it. Walking and riding on the roads is the worst as the dust is kicked up when any car passes. Now, if you add sweat to the equation, then it sticks to your face, your skin, and your hair. Attractive, I know!
January also means mango season! Hondurans like to eat the unripe mangos with vinegar, cumin, and salt. It is an interesting combination!
Flexibility. Here that is the key word for everything as I have mentioned many times. Currently, we are working on the start of building a bilingual school. Construction was supposed to start in January but we are having a hard time finding materials and getting the show on the road. That is ok. It will happen little by little.
|The future site of the bilingual school that Shoulder to Shoulder is building|
I have forgotten how much I love the breakfasts here! My favorite is “plato tipico” which consists of scrambled eggs with some type of veggies mixed in, black beans, fried plantains, and fresh squeezed orange juice. We typically get this three times a week…yum!
P.S. My address is Clínica Hombro a Hombro, Santa Lucia, Intibucá, Honduras if anyone wants to send a letter to me! It will probably take a few weeks to get here and it should not be anything valuable but it has worked for the other volunteers!
That’s all for now! Hope everyone is staying warm at home and please keep in touch! Miss you all!