A Weekly Journal Chronicling My Life
As It Intersects With The Garbage Dump Community Near La Ceiba, Honduras

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sweating Like A Stuffed-Pig!!!

Well, well, well...so you've returned - expecting to find some pithy witticisms regarding life in Honduras no doubt...I'm not promising anything but I will see what I can do. It has been nearly two weeks since my little 2 prop airplane touched down in steamy La Ceiba and already a lot has happened...where have I been you might ask? why have I been all but absent from the "blogosphere"? Dear, sweet, understanding readers...when one is ripped from comfortable surroundings and beloved friends and plopped down in one of the hottest climates known to man amidst a group of Spanish speakers that have, by all accounts, collectively agreed to systematically and mysteriously drop certain consonants from their vernacular, a feeling of insecurity and timidity sets in. The desire to adjust, observe and ' just be' takes hold and thus I felt that I needed a little time away from blogging, I needed to just sit back and acculturate before I began sending half-witted reports home about the strange, lispy race of Latins that have taken up residence in this 'Sahara of the West'. All that to say, I feel as though I am adjusting well and will once again commence with weekly blog entries.
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There does seem to be an overabundance of news with which to regale you but I think I'll back up and recount a few of the happenings from my last few days in San Jose. My last week in San Jose felt like a whirlwind, I was everywhere, taking in all of my favorite foods, visiting all of my favorite spots in San Jose and spending as much time with the people that I loved the most. It's strange but part of me feels as though such activities are a fruitless exercise - those graduating Seniors from High School that cram as much as they possibly can into those last few days before they depart for a new life in college know what I'm talking about; you want to pass as much time with your friends, in your favorite hangouts and just be you for as long as possible before you are forced to uproot and change, but to what purpose exactly? You pass those days with the hour of your departure looming in the very near future you see your current life drawing rapidly to a close and in a way you're trying to cling to it as long as possible. Don't misunderstand me, I was absolutely ready for a change, I was ready to begin my work in Honduras and start me life here but at the same time it was hard, I was surrounded by a very wonderful group of friends, interacted with a group of kids from La Carpio that made my time in Costa Rica amazing and had an interesting and exciting life my community of San Francisco. Anyway, to that end I spent my last few days attending BBQ's, taking cafe with Antonio and his family, visiting La Carpio, eating sushi and just spending as much time as possible with my friend Jeffrey. In a way it did feel fruitless, I would be gone with in a matter of days, but at the same time I felt as though I was bringing this chapter of my life to a close in a meaningful way and preparing to open the next one.
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So Saturday the 4th of May arrived and I yanked myself out of bed at 3:30 am - that 3 hours of sleep really did me a lot of good. I got to the airport and at 6:30 and began the 1st of my 3 different flights...they were uneventful but I would recommend flying TACA/LACSA if you ever get the chance...the leg room in those babies is unbelievable. On my second flight, out of El Salvador, I met a nice young 26 year old from California (whose name escapes me at the moment...let's call him Elias). Anyway, young Elias was waiting to board the plane in El Salvador when a distressed looking Latina rushed up to him and asked where the flight was for San Pedro Sula, Honduras (he apparently looked a little Latin) - he got this blank look on his face and began saying "I don't know" (in English)...feeling very self-important and fluent I swooped into the rescue and helped my young, tongue-tied friend. As luck would have it were seated next to each other on the next 2 flights and I discovered that he was too was headed to La Ceiba to, of all things, study Spanish...this of course got me to thinking, why in the world was I sent to Costa Rica to study when La Ceiba, the city that I will call home for the next two years, has a perfectly good language school? I sat for a minute and pondered this but then quickly realized that I wouldn't give up my experience in San Jose for anything and that those 8 months were truly a gift. Incidentally I haven't run into young Elias since arriving, I guess tiny La Ceiba is bigger than I had thought.
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Upon arrival I was greeted by a blast of heat that about bowled me over, I have yet to recover from the shock. Two members of the church picked me up at the airport and whisked me off to the home of Marla Fernandez - incidentally, when I visited La Ceiba 2 years ago I at dinner at this same house, who could have predicted that I would some day be living there. Marla, my Catracha mother (that's like saying Tico for Hondurans) is perhaps about as different as one can get from my Tica mother Flora - in fact the 2 lone similar qualities that they share is that they are Christians and they know how to cook - that's it that's where the similarities end. Where Flora is wound as tight as mechanized, plastic car, Marla reminds me of a laid-back hippie, where Flora lives to serve and waits on her boarders hand and foot, Marla lives to serve people in the community (I rarely see her) and where Flora is the archetypal, matronly Christian, Marla enjoys being irreverent, making fun of me and experimenting with English cuss-words. Though they're as different as can be they've both treated me like their own son and I love them dearly. After getting settled that evening I was taken to the evening service of the church - I knew what was coming and had been dreading it all day but it was unavoidable, during the open mike segment of the program I was asked to come to the front and introduce myself...I was dreading having to use my Spanish in a public way in front of total strangers but by my recollection it went off without a single mistake...I kept it short.
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Well folks this post is getting long and I haven't even begun to talk about some of the more interesting events that have occurred here...I think I'll wrap it up here and then pick up with more next week. Blessings to you! Peace!
-Matt

2 comments:

CA RN to Honduras Missionary said...

Oh the joys of La Ceiba! The heat is the ONE thing I REALLY have not been looking forward to! Sounds like the shock hit early and hard. We will be right with you my friend - but once again - friendly dinner at our place (once we find one) and time for Dutch Blitz (you will have to tell us how to play). See you soon!

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt,
This is your cousin, Melissa. I tried leaving you a message before and it never made it, I guess. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. I have had quite a year. I won't dwell on the bad, but in good news, you are going to be a great cousin!!! I am having a little boy. We are going to name him Aiden William. He is due Sept. 17, 2008. If you send me your e-mail, I will send you pics and keep you more updated that way. I do check your blog and follow along. I give you soooooooo much credit. I hope all is well with you. Stay safe and God Bless you! Miss you and Love you!!!

Melissa