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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pancha & Oscar's House

I took some time mid-day today to visit with Pancha, Oscar and family - something I haven't done in a while. And whilst I was digesting my lunch I noticed a page from the newspaper embedded into the dirt outside in the "front yard" of the home. I found it humorous and interesting so I whipped out my camera and snapped a shot. I then noticed something else peculiar and then something else and fairly soon I was like a house afire, taking photos of anything that crossed my lense. These then are the following interesting scenes found at two of my favorite people's home this warm, breezy Tuesday Afternoon. Hmm, I think that's a song...ok, quick, random thought. I've always loved and been frightened by that song. I remember listening to it on 102.7 KISS FM late at night as a boy as I lay trying to fall asleep. Maybe it was a combination of the haunting opening bars and the soft, green glow of the stereo set but it always gave me shivers and forced me to burrow further under the covers. At the same time I was always enchanted and lulled by the beautiful melody. O, those Moody Blues. Ok, so back to my afternoon of picture taking.

the comic carpet that started it all

a scene of disaster o'er the drying laundry
(this here will be a post either tomorrow or thursday)

who's gaurding the hen house?

tricksy cesar eating lunch

waiting for lunch

afternoon siesta

i've been spotted

taking a breather

warding off the dengue
elgardo is one of the lucky ones here in laureles, most families can't afford such luxuries

neighbor girl

not sure.

cooking the old-fashioned way

the bathtub

alerting his father of his need to use the facility

still waiting

an interesting bird

she was born with only one foot

she's a hopper

more garbage cometh

proud of his cleats

up from his nap
That's it for today - tomorrow I plan on talking about the garbage sitch. Stay Tuned! peace.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Trial Run

So I'm trying something new. I recently bought a new camera, a Nikon (I loves it), and that left me with my old point-and-shoot and nothing to do with it. I decided it might be fun and interesting to start rotating ownership of the old camera between various, trusted children in the Laureles community. I'm curious to see how they use the camera, what catches their eye, where the lense leads them. The following then are the fruit of the first trial with Chiro, the boy in the last picture. I had to cull a lot of photos and videos but these are the more interesting ones he came up with.

not quite ready to enter school

the ubiquitous marley

chiro's mother being visited by alvina and michael

recovering guiselle



the smokers' and i mean smokers hang-out

these remind me of pumpkin leaves

two of chiro's brothers playing cars

two more

the oldest one

furious chiro himself

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Goal of Sorts

So this is off topic a bit from my normal ramblings on the life and happenings of the Laureles community but something hit me the other day as I was brooding silently in a corner. I'm getting old. I'm 28 and neither as spry and energetic nor as mentally dextrous as I used to be, that I know to be for certain. More importantly there are a lot of meaningless goals that I have set out for myself to accomplish and the clock is ticking. Goals like learning German, taking up piano, writing a book, owning a railroad and floating a "Huck Finn"-like raft down the mighty Susquehanna. This revelation of my impending mortality and complete lack of meaning in life then spurned me to start acting on these goals before I reach 35 and all hope is lost. Thus I've decided to open a railroad between La Ceiba and the Garbage Dump, we'll call it the "Trash Train" and we'll offer on-board promotion of recycling and conservation. Ok, that's not really where my mind went - it actually started thinking about all the older Mennonites and even lots of older Non-Mennonites that I know and their beautiful ability to recall word for word and note for note the songs in our hymnals. I've always been envious of the skill, I wish someone had taken the time to teach me the hymns when I was young, I wish the Mennonite Church still had the custom of sending their children to "Singing School", I wish I had taken interest in this before the majority of my synapses stopped firing. Nevertheless, I am not a slave to my past, other people's decisions or my own brain's lack of gumption; I've decided to memorize the various Mennonite Hymnals starting with that awful Blue version and working my way backwards. I already know HWB#1 - What Is This Place...anyone care to join me on the Trash Train to Mennonite Bliss?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Second Place

I feel like a proud parent - at least I think I do; never having been a parent I can't really say for sure what it is to feel like one...but proud I know, and that I am. Yesterday our U-14 team competed in their final game of the season and won, bringing us to second place in the league. To be honest we didn't play that well, we looked sluggish and sloppy during the first half and went into the break trailing 1-0. We made some player changes though, sat down and talked and in the second half we were a different team. Melvin especially (standing 3rd in from the left) , perhaps the shyest and most humble member of the team, came alive and just started firing off shots, 2 of which went in. The defense then, held it together for the rest of the game and we won it 2-1. Even though we didn't play as well as we should have I came away feeling satisfied and brimming with pride. We began the season miserably, we were pathetic, we couldn't work together, we didn't know our positions, we simply did not know how to play futbal at a level any higher than a pick-up game. But we stuck with it, our coach remained dedicated and positive the entire season, the kids not only hung in and continued practicing but they also scoured the community for more players...and we began to improve. We began losing by thinner margins, then we began tying games and finally we began to win, a lot. The kids are already looking forward to next year and talking about taking first place, it won't be easy but I know they have the drive and the talent; it's within reach.

our top goal scorer of the season, chamu, waiting for the whistle

one of our problems has always been that our kids tend to be undersized and malnourished compared to the teams we compete against but what they lack in size they make up for in foot-work and pure drive.

one of our newest acquisitions, william

chamu, almost scored...many times

all akimbo

duke, one of our anchors and the saviour of the previous game, was just off yesterday - he simply had nothing in the tank.

the victory shot
pictured l-r standing: duke, melvin, william, eli, kevin, chihua (non-player), jalmar (asst. coach), chele, tato, anuar & sergio (non-player)
kneeling: oder, bairon, jimy, chamu, eduar (injured), ever, tolo
not pictured: tati & moye

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh Yeah, That Quaker Fellow

I wrote once, a long time ago, about how we thrifty German Pennsylvanians from the upper Susquehanna Valley, as a means to pass the time and not spend money in the process, play various games amongst the family, one of which pokes fun at our Quaker neighbors for their silence in meeting. We call it Quaker School and if you'd like to read more on it go here...turns out we may be wrong though about those wily Quakers and their precious silence. For 10 days in mid-August I was accompanied by one Quaker Jamie Moon who could not for the life of him keep his yapper shut for longer than 3 consecutive minutes. If he was spending time in thoughtful contemplation it was certainly not in my presence and must have been between the hours of 11:30 pm and 6:00 am because throughout the day he just simply prattled on about any old thought that came down the pike. Despite the chitter chatter I really enjoyed having him and must say that I saw him connect to the kids in Laureles and life here in general in a way I've seen few others do...he just allowed life to consume him here, in a good way. A quick example: I had a soccer meeting one evening which meant Jamie would have had to stay home by himself for a few hours. The thought of not being able to yack someone's ear off for that amount of time I think was too overwhelming for him so when I left for the meeting he took off to Laureles and spent the evening there visiting with people until my meeting was over. That's not a response most North Americans I've encountered here would have, most would curl up and watch television or get on the old Facebook and talk to friends back home. Jamie's response though belied a real desire to connect with the people there, to make the most of his short time here. I find that admirable. The following then are photos of Jamie and his travels as seen through his own lense. Turns out I didn't take that many photos of his time here, I kind of slacked I suppose and I had to wait till the chatty Quaker uploaded his fotos onto the Facebook before I could blog about him. Ok, that was wordy and probably needless so without further adieu:

One Quaker/Mennonite/Karate Kid's Encounter With a Banana Republic & It's Refuse

the kids took to him immediately but kept calling him konrad, sorry konrad, you're still first in my heart.

not in laureles

the ineffable marta and her clan

bored chiro

my current home

chucu and konrad...i mean jamie

i need of some stairs

christian's home

random wildlife

trying out the new car...oye, i bought a car.

still bored

lagging behind

we've had enough

time for a change, a very radical change

our ride home

hanging out in the mountains

happy with the results
"oh come, come, come, come...to the little brown church in the vale"

don't know what to say

on the other side of the dump

that's a little too much


start 'er up

off we go

As I had posted before, we took a trip to the hog islands. Turns out Jamie got the better photos, I'll let them speak for themselves.

our last evening with some of the youth from the church.