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

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let's Give 'Er Another Shot

Holy Hannah has it been a wild two weeks here in Honduras – I hardly know where to begin. When last I left you I had just returned from my visa renewal in Costa Rica, looking like a Marine and feeling like a Champ for being able to read a book in the Mother Tongue. I believe I left you with the impression that life here was kind of slowing down and that it might be a while before anything of note came down the pike. How wrong I was - two days after writing that the roller coaster began and it still really hasn’t stopped. This is gonna be a longer post methinks mostly because I have a veritable cornucopia of photos to choose from and so many are blog-worthy this time around; so hold on tight, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or tea if you're my mother) and enjoy the sights. Oh, on the weather front: after a week of nary a cloud in the sky we've returned to the daily monotony of rain, rain and more rain...not that I'm complaining, sometimes I prefer it but I just thought I'd keep you in the loop in case you were planning a surprise visit.Well let's begin shall we...two weeks ago a group of Dutch Mennonites visited us here at Iglesia Menonita Central. To be honest I had very little interaction with them, although I had planned to attach myself to their hips (I find the Dutch to be a fascinating people and I'm not sure why), something popped up later in the week that kept me from being their tag-along. Anyway, as part of the welcome celebration we held a candlelight Peace Service at the church...it was beautiful and might I say that I've always envisioned the Dutch as smallish people, kind of like cuter and more petite versions of the Germans - nay dear readers, nay, the Dutch are massive hulking specimens, they towered over the Hondurans (and me) as if we were Lilliputians; all the more reason say I to be in awe of our clog wearing friends from the largest Low Country:The next day was the church's bi-annual baptism service - we baptized three members in a very cold river, one of whom was my friend Karen Flores. So Monday rolled around and as I just mentioned I had expected to be trotting around with the Dutch when I got a call from one of the leaders of the church. She informed me that a group of doctors from the U.S. were in the area and needed translators, I tried to make it known to her that my medical vocabulary was passable at best and that even more importantly that there were real live Dutch people in the vicinity but she seemed not to hear and told me to meet them at the market in 10 minutes. 3o minutes later (I had to shower, and iron my clothing after all) I met some very nice doctors in front of the market and thus commenced a week of bedlam...they schlepped me all over the countryside, put me in charge of requisitioning supplies wherever we went, finding more translators, acting as the liaison between them and the local church leaders...it was not exactly fun but I definitely felt vital. The doctors were mostly from Michigan although there were also two Dentists from Lancaster, Pa one of whom was a childhood friend of my Orthodontist, Dr. George Durrwachter. I finished my time up with the doctors this past Friday and was going to rest the day away on Saturday when Juanjo (that's Norman's 10 year-old brother) called me up and asked to hang out...not being one that can say no to Juanjo I hopped on my 10-speed and sped off to his house. We had a good time actually and it reminded me of how easily 10 year-olds are amused. We spent the day looking for a nonexistent turtle in my yard (I bought a giant turtle for $2.oo from some boys that were planning on eating him and set him free in my yard but I think he escaped), we went crocodile watching at the canal and we took a bike-ride to the beach all before the evening church service. Anyway, it looks as though that with Norman gone Juanjo is my new BFF. The next day we had a special service in which those that wanted to (I didn't) shared their particular talents with the congregation-at-large. I noticed that we seem to have a lot of members whose particular talent is singing loudly and slightly off-key, though my favorite was Jose Artica who played How Great Thou Art on the harmonica.I also particularly liked my friend Maureen's recitation of the books of the Bible not so much for the talent, though impressive, but for the fact that while she was doing this: Her father and brother were doing this: We also had some prayer time where we split up into families and I was quickly scooped up by Marla and the kids, I was also informed later over lunch that I would be attending their family Christmas celebrations...their doesn't seem to be much choice involved.
Ondina's birthday was the other day...we celebrated with this horrendous looking cake that I wanted nothing to do with...but upon biting in I was pleasantly surprised...pineapple! 1 more birthday down, 67 to go. On a final note - I'm hooked on Los Enanitos Verdes (they're a Latin Rock group) and they're awesome. It's a 90's sound to be sure but in that I've never heard them before they're fresh and new to my ears. Lalo from La Carpio and Norman both introduced them to me and I love them for it.Well that appears to be it for this installment - hope you enjoyed...hope you didn't fall asleep midway through - I know I did. Anyway, come back in two weeks and I'll be sure to tell you to come back in two more days for lack of reliable internet. Blessings to you this week.

Rafa says Peace!

Marlo & The Kid say Peace!

Mudo opts not to say Peace but instead prefers to throw up some gang signs!

Mateo too opts out on Peace but does have much love for Williamsport!

Olimpia the Lion says Peace Out!

- Matt