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

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Floating Away

Good Grief, it's raining so hard here that I can barely hear myself think. After a week's respite the monsoons have returned with a vengeance...and in reality I'm not terribly upset. The rains have brought slightly cooler temperatures (so cool that as I click away here on the Toshiba Satellite 215 I'm bundled up in a lined windbreaker...A WINDBREAKER WITH A LINING, that tells you something). Anyway, I enjoy the rain, it helps me sleep, makes Coffee Hour more enjoyable and just generally breaks up our normal monotonous weather of 'Stifling & Intolerable'. The one problem I've noticed though here is that unlike in San Jose, La Ceiba it seems has never really gotten around to installing a proper Storm Drain system. The hours worth of constant downpour simply collect in the streets and turn them into veritable rivers...which makes my daily runs slightly less enjoyable...and that old adage of 'never drive through standing pools of water' definitely does not seem to apply here, people just plow through the water with nary a thought as to how deep the small lakes may be or what they might actually be driving over top of. I really enjoy it actually, when my friend Nelson drives headlong into big pools I press my face up against the window to watch the water splash up...or to see whom we splash...I feel like a child. SO speaking of driving...I drove the other day...perhaps I should back up. Ok, so my good friend Norman came home last week from University because it has been on strike and has offered no classes for nearly a month...and it doesn't appear as though they'll be resuming their studies anytime too soon. Needless to say I am delighted, not for his misfortune but because I have my BFF back. As it turns out, Norman's birthday was this past week as well so the youth from the church gathered to celebrate at Pizza Hut after church on Sunday. Yes we have Pizza Hut but it doesn't taste quite right and for that I try to avoid it like the plague...anyways, the party was delightful and the cake memorable. Afterwards, the group split up, half wanted to play futbol and the other half wanted to go to the beach. Let me just take a moment and say that while I understand that at some point I am going to have to break down and subject myself to the humiliation that will almost certainly be heaped upon me when my friends here fully realize my complete ineptitude when it come to playing soccer, I most certainly don't want that day to be anytime too soon; oh that this country loved Ultimate Frisbee with the same fervor. That being said I was obviously in the group that wanted to go swimming. We made our rounds to people's homes to collect bathing suits when we suddenly realized that we had no one to drive us from La Ceiba out to the beach. The group consisted of people that were either too young or who didn't have their license...we were on the verge of despair when someone asked me if I had my license. I said yes (I meant my Pa License and they were obviously referring to a Honduras License...don't worry I've since found out that it's perfectly legal) and it was decided that I would borrow a car from one of their parents and off we would go. So trusting was this parent that he gave me the car for the whole day and then told me to drive it back into Ceiba and keep it for the night...I barely know the guy. It was fun though to go tooling around Ceiba in a stick-shift, I haven't driven since December so it felt really good.We had another march the other day...honestly these things are getting to be a bit much, and let me say if I may that it's not as though we ever switch it up with different parade routes or candy tosses or the aggregation of pets and clowns. No dear friends, we always start at 7:00 am sharp at the South end of San Isidro Blvd. and march North to the Park with the same worn placards and banners and the same local high school band pounding out tired songs. I don't get it. So Norman aside I've had some visitors of the Gringo type here in the past two weeks. The first to visit were a husband and wife couple from Ohio. Their names are Virgil & Cathy Troyer (she was a Schrock...I played the Mennonite Game but in that I know only one Troyer and zero Schrocks we got nowhere) and they're serving with MCC in Tegucigalpa to coordinate country-wide programs to assist in disaster relief when such needs arise. They were a lovely couple and immediately I felt a connection with them, they reminded me so much of the Mennonites I knew when I was little...the soft-spoken, humble but very caring and kind Byler/Kolb/Weaver/Lehman types. I wanted to take them home with me (mostly in the hopes that Cathy might spontaneously whip up a hamloaf) but they were just passing through and had to be going. The other visitor I had was Alex Fine - he's originally from the Chicago area but we met in Costa Rica while he was doing a year of outreach there. He's done with his assignment and is now slowly making his way home with two of his friends from the States. He dropped by Ceiba on Monday Night so we got together for Dinner at the Pettingill's (other missionary friends that I met in Costa Rica). It was a grand 'ole time, Erin found a Swiss Importer the other week and so was able to serve us Bratwurst and Sauerkraut...I was in Heaven. We ended the night with a rousing game of Dutch Blitz...a Vonderful Gut Game. Speaking of games the other night Canada played Honduras in the selection for the next World Cup...Honduras won and this place erupted. People packed the streets, waving flags, chanting, cars and buses packed with fans drove up and down the main drag for half the night honking their horns and being generally rowdy. I didn't join in the festivities, I was tired and wanted to get to bed but on my way from the church to my house I had to cross over the main drag and I as I did I happened to notice a school bus go by packed with fanatics none more so than a little old lady from our church, Elba (a normally reserved woman), hanging out the window and making quite a spectacle of herself...I've never wished I had my camera on me like I did just then. Honduras plays Jamaica tonight and if they win their guaranteed a berth in the tournament (the U.S. already has their berth by the shway by having beat Cuba and Guatemala)...if they do win tonight I expect I'll be getting little to no sleep. Here are some shots from Cruz de Leones where I'm working with the youth...I've been working especially close with Marlo, Mudo and Rafael in learning English...we have a long way to go. So who am I listening to these days? The Music Man! That's right ladies and gents I downloaded the original Broadway version with Robert Preston and now do my morning administrative work rocking out to "Shipoopi" and "76 Trombones"...as an aside, in the past I've often thought I could make a good Professor Harold Hill...I still think that. I nail his "Ya Got Trouble" every time - call me Broadway.Well that's all I got...hope you enjoyed. Come back in 2 weeks and I'll have a special treat for you. Blessings to you. Peace!

- Matt


CA RN to Honduras Missionary said...

You are welcome for a good ol game of Dutch Blitz any day my friend!

ChaplainChas said...

Loved the update!

Praying for you.