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

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Month of Birthdays

It's been a little while since last I wrote and I apologize, I've been without internet. I'm back up and running though and thought I might catch you up on all the birthdays we've had here in Laureles. November is by far our fullest month with 12...that's a lot of cake, and my waistline is showing the consequences.



Waiting for Cake


Carlos (A different one)

Jose Ramon
Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


What we do to kids when they misbehave

Monday, November 16, 2009

I took a group of kids out to the Mennonite Retreat Center on Saturday to play a pick-up game of Soccer with the kids that live out that way. One thing came through loud and clear...
There are so many problems I don't even no where to begin but one thing remains certain, if we're to start playing in the community league in February we need to start training now.
That's the last time we lose 7-3.

My New Love Affair

Everywhere I go now people give me cafe...I'm in love, a little jittery but in love nontheless.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

That's Some Pig

I done bought me a pig. Sergio's family raises pigs and convinced me to buy one for $25; I figured for that kind of money how can you go wrong. Anyways, I picked 'er out yesterday and then dropped her off at another family there in the community that agreed to raise it for me. When it comes time I'm gonna get a leg and the family will keep the rest.

Lazin' On An Afternoon

That One's Mine

I had to scare away the mother or she would have bowled me over

They make so much noise, my eradrums were still ringing 15 minutes after the whole affair

The thing weighs a lot more than what it looks

Snippets of Things I Really LIke

Ok just two really but I felt compelled to pass them along. The first is Camille Paglia who writes for Salon.com, she is an engaging, witty and thoughtful writer. She's a liberal to be sure but not in a knee-jerk, statist, big-government, intolerant of dissenting opinions sort of way. She is more of a classic free thinker, a pragmatist in many respects and always a foe of corruption, propaganda, philistine close-mindedness (both on the left and the right) and general un-thinking. I highly recommend reading her work, you won't agree with everything she writes, I certainly don't, but you will enjoy it and you'll probably be delighted by it.
As for the second item; I was reading Paglia's most recent column where she happened to mention two young English girls living in Germany that do extraordinary covers of classic 60's rock songs. So I looked them up on youtube and liked what I heard. Some of their covers are passable but others are exceptional. Paglia liked "House of the Rising Sun" but I particularly enjoyed "Creeque Alley" by The Mamas and The Papas. I suggest you check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8JzYt0rTCA

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eduard's Birthday

Eduard turned 12 the other day and we celebrated as we always do with cake, singing and prayer. Eduadr was one of the very first kids we met here in Laureles almost a year ago and incidentally I believe he was one f Becca Serra's favorites when she visited in February. As such I included some of her shots of him that she seemed to be extra proud of.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Scenes From 6th Grade Graduation

So graduation ceremonies were held this past Saturday evening for the 6th graders of the community. Suzie and I attended as the Godparents of Sergio and later stayed on for the festivities that carried on long into the night. Here are some snapshots of the evening:

Graduation Practice 2 days before...you'll notice Josue at the far end practicing along with the 6th graders. No he wasn't graduating but e couldn't help acting a fool.

Proud Godparents with Sergio

The Official Ceremonial Picture

There was even an official Waltz at the end


Again with Sergio


That's all - the parties were rowdy, wild affairs and I left before they got out of hand so you won't be seeing any pictures of those. Blessings to you this week. Peace!
- mlk

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chicharrones a.k.a. Breakfast in the Dump

So we killed Priscilla here yesterday out at Laureles. It was a quick and easy affair; Oscar really knows what he's doing. It takes awhile to skin, clean and cut though, we started at 6:30 and weren't done till getting 9:00. Francisca was prepared though, nearly before we finished she was shoving bowls of plantains with fried pigskin into our hands...it had to have been one of the tastiest things I've ever put into my mouth. I've posted pictures of the process but I warn you it gets a little bloody so if you get queasy or if you're a rabid animal rights activist perhaps you won't want to scroll any further down than the first 2 or 3 photos. My camera ran out of batteries so I only got as far as the skinning part.

She'd been a good friend and true and she liked it when I scratched her back with my foot...but everthing has it's time and hers had come.

The water had been on the boil since 4am and was used to both clean and scald the pig (after death of course).

Don Oscar sharpening his primary tool.

Just waking up

One quick blow with the butt of an axe to stun her

Nango posing with his prize pig

Cesa's Birthday Lunch...we're celebarting today.

To skin a pig you have to scald first with boiling water

Then you scrape off the hair...these two are experts.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Tommorrow morning we will be saying good bye to Porky here, he's being slaughtered for Cessa's birthday. I'll be helping.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Graduation Ceremonies

Tati in front of his house with his mother. This is at least 4 hours after the graduation ceremony ended at school but she was so proud of him that she made him sit in his house dressed like that all day so that she could show him off at church in the evening.

So our 6th graders are graduating here this week. Tati was our first this past Saturday and there are more this coming Weekend. It's a bit of a gaudy affair, replete with color-coordinated outfits, songs, dancing and festivities. They even have Godparents that are supposed to buy them gifts and dance with them if they're of the opposite sex at the graduations parties. I'm Sergio's Godfather (I like the sound of that) and Suzie Montiel from church is his Godmother (she'll be doing the dancing). Myself and Maureen Velasquez (also from church) were supposed to also be the Godparents for Christian (and still might be) but it looks like some long-lost brother and his wife will be taking over those responsibilities.
When I first heard about this and all that it entailed I was a little incredulous, I couldn't believe that families and teachers were going all out to celebrate the passing of the 6th grade. It reminded me of the 1/2-year I spent in one of the Philadelphia School District's middle schools and the faux-graduation they had for the 8th graders there; knowing full well that many of them wouldn't finish high school. So I thought to myself...many of the kids in school here in Laureles won't even make it out of the 6th grade, and the majority of those that do will never even consider going on to high school. For many of the kids this week, this is it. At 12, 13 & 14 they are beginning their adult lives...they have waiting for them a life of back-breaking work for pitiful wages, child-rearing, poverty and violence with absolutely no chance of changing their situation. If I were them I'd be living it up this week too, good grief I'd be going off the reservation if I knew that my days of childhood freedom were limited to 7. It can sometimes be too depressing to think about, I try not to dwell on it for too long because hope is hard to come by in this community and losing it wouldn't be good for anybody, most of all me.
Fortunately for about 7 of our kids, Sergio and Cristian included, we've gotten them to think about going on to high school in February. Their parents are tentatively behind the plan and the more we talk about it the more excited and proud of the idea of being High Schoolers they become. We're still looking for funding to make it happen but we have faith that it will come through, we have to, this is our one shot with these kids before the lure of money, gangs or drugs becomes too strong. Blessings to you this week. Peace!

- mlk