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Up A Lazy River...

Welcome back once again to Honduras. I have to say I’m finding it difficult to dredge up material for this week’s segment. It just feels like not much has befallen me lo these lazy days of late August….lazy days, that seems to aptly describe how life has been here as of late. No major trips, no swinging from jungle vines into pristine pools of mountain water, nope, just your typical workaday world here in steamy La Ceiba. Not that I’m complaining mind you, life has been dreamy as of late, just not terribly noteworthy. So with that bit of malaise I suppose I’ll end it here and try to think of something to tell you.

So a funny thing happened in Minneapolis the other night, Bill Clinton got a rousing round of applause from a Convention Hall full of Republicans – that Lieberman is a trixy fellow. And let me say if I may that while I haven’t been a Republican for quite some time I think that Sarah Palin is hilarious, authentic and just fun to watch.

So I’ve lost another friend and I got to tell you I’m getting kind of tired of this. My good friend Norman Chinchilla shuffled off to Tegucigalpa last week to continue his university studies in medicine. I’m happy for him and all and certainly don’t want to keep him from his studies but I have to admit that I kindly asked him to hold off on continuing his education for 2 years until my term ended…he kindly declined. Peace out Norm.

I joined the worship team at church last week and am loving it. It has been so long since I’ve been involved in worship leading and it feels so good to be back in the saddle as it were. Unfortunately I don’t really know all the songs very well that I’m leading, they don’t use hymnbooks or overheads and thus expect me just to pick up the lyrics by listening along…Spanish lyrics mind you…that’s darn near impossible. Needless to say, last week there were not a few instances where whilst I was singing one set of lyrics, the congregation and other members of the worship team were singing an entirely different set. It got so bad on one song that I just started singing “lalalala”…in tune of course. It’s ridiculous of course and I can’t imagine it would fly up home but down here no one seems to care – which is nice.
Who am I listening to as of late? Well I’ve set aside Moon River and Londonbeat and am now hooked on the Argentinean version of Nirvana – Soda Stereo. I first heard their one song “De Música Ligera” when I was in Costa Rica one night but no one could tell me who sang it…I was a mite frustrated. Well I kept my wits about me and my ears to the ground and finally last week as I was riding in a taxi with Norman’s brother Saco we heard it and I about leapt through the roof. Not wanting to miss my opportunity I composed myself and asked Saco who it was that sang this gem of a song…he just stared at me in dumb silence, it was the kindly taxi driver who finally enlightened me. So now after months of waiting I’m hooked on a bunch of Argentineans that haven’t made any music since the mid-90’s. Better than nothing I suppose.

So I’ve gotta tell ya I hate Denver…as in Colorado. By all accounts it strikes me as a lovely city in an incredible state but I am sick and tired of watching their news stations. I get the major networks here in Ceiba through their Denver affiliates…strange I know but not as strange as Costa Rica which pipes their U.S. television in from Erie, Pennsylvania. Anyway, it seems like every time and I do mean every time that I turn on the television and flip to one of the major networks the local news stations are up and chattering about mindless nonsense. How many times a day do we need to be told about the weather in the High Country or about the lack of rain on the Front Range? It really is quite ridiculous, they essentially talk about the same stories every hour for almost 30 minutes at a time and then during commercial breaks they advertise the upcoming hour’s stories that are usually the same stories that they just finished droning on about. It’s about all I can take, I’ve thought about writing the “Team at 9 News” a strongly worded letter requesting that instead of repeating the same stories over and over again they actually take a break and wait for new events to occur; but in that I’m not exactly in their target demographic I doubt they’ll listen.

Last week I participated in the National Mennonite Women’s Retreat…not as a participant, but as a presenter for Proyecto Paz y Justicia. It was a lovely time, PPJ erected a booth and we handed out information to women milling about during their break times. My favorite part was the chicken barbecue…which I feel as though needs some explanation. These people down here, the Mennonites that is, make the best chicken barbecue that I’ve ever tasted; they use a special sauce that they call ‘Salsa Menonita’, the recipe for which they learned from the first Mennonite Missionaries here 50 years ago. It’s become a church-wide tradition to hold chicken barbecues at just about every major function and use this recipe, a recipe that only the Mennonites down here employ. I’ve gotta tell you that it feels strange to be inhaling chicken with a decidedly Pennsylvania Dutch flavor accompanied by beans and tortillas but I’ve come to really like it. Anyway, that bit of “culture-mixing” aside, I spent my morning at the Women’s Retreat, came home got cleaned up and headed off to teach English at the church when I got a call from Saco asking me to go back out to the retreat later that night for the evening service. I thought it a bit strange that an 18 year old wanted to spend his Saturday night in a church service for women but I obliged and off we went. We were there for about 5 minutes when I realized that his sole purpose for coming out to this thing was to check out all the young Mennonite ladies from distant parts of Honduras – I think he was disappointed with the turnout because he was ready to leave about 15 minutes after we got there…oh adolescence.

One last thought before I end this bit of randomness, I’ve started teaching some former gang-members English here in the office. Marlo and Rafa come twice a week for about an hour each time and little by little are learning the Alphabet and how to present themselves to strangers. It’s slow going but I’m really enjoying it.

Ok, that’s it – not exactly award-winning commentary I know but as I said in the opening paragraph, these have been some lazy day here as of late. Hope all is well with you all and Blessings to you this week. Peace!

- Matt


Sonia said…
Miss you! Love this entry btw, please continue to post :)
Hey, send me that song via e-mail porfa?

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