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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting Back To Life

So I noticed the other day that I've practically stopped taking photos recently...I'm not sure what that's all about but Sr. Nikon and I are going to have a chat here soon if he doesn't get back on the job. I don't have him here for nothing afterall. Life here has been a bit tricky as of late though - people keep popping up or cutting out and I have to haul water. Which doesn't leave time for a lot of snapshotting. Water, for those of you that haven't had Earth Science yet, is the basis for all life here on earth, we need it in order to survive. Most civilized communities around the world have made it a priority to build their communities and orient their lives around reliable and steady sources of potable water. Those peoples that have decided to be real devil-may-care types, culturally speaking, and set up shop in the middle of a desert or a fountless island, have had to get creative and truck their source of life in from other regions...but they're resourceful and smart and have managed to prosper. We here in La Ceiba though are not smart or resourceful or terribly far-sighted as we have decided that our aquifier should be a shriveling river that runs dry about 3/4ths of the way through the dry season and that we should let people cut down the forest around that river so that it goes good and dry and that there is no hope for it actually serving its purpose. Thus sometimes La Ceiba, all of La Ceiba goes for days on end without a steady stream of water, sometimes certain neighborhoods get a trickle at 10:00 pm or 4:00am and then magically it will come back on, full-force and then disappear. Water is so fickle here. This of course is during the worst of it and very often Ceibans have their 24/7 water, though the pressure is nothing to speak of. Los Laureles is a different story - we've not been allowed to hook up to the city water, instead we get a single pipe that fills a tank that is supposed to water an entire community. Theoretically each home should get 24 hours of water every other day. Practically we get an hour of water every 7-9 days. When that hour comes we fill up our outdoor sink, two barrels and 4 buckets that we have here at the house and when it runs out we either haul water from the river or from a lady who has a special 24/7 hook-up; each day then we have to set aside about 2 hours so we can haul sufficient water to supply our home. Most people here though aren't even that fortunate and so when their water runs out they have to walk to the river to do all of their washing/bathing/cleaning. In the dry season life here in Laureles revolves around finding more water. So that's it, that's why I don't have any new pictures; poor lack of planning on the part of Standard Fruit Company, the City of La Ceiba and the land-grabbing campesinos who've never seen a forest that they just couldn't wait to chop down and burn out. Oh, and like 27 Gringos have left or entered my life since I got back to Honduras on July 4th. The YES Team finally packed it in 2 weeks ago, the Eby's from Oregon (there's 5 of them...I'll get more in depth about them later) arrived just before the YES Team left and my immediate supervisor, Galen Groff from Guatemala came for a 4-day visit last week. It's been a busy few weeks. 
Regardless, I was looking back on the few photos I've managed to take this past month and noticed that they speak nicely to what's happening in our lives here in Los Laureles despite the daily water trips, despite the comings and goings and the excitement of meeting new people and the grief of saying goodbye to friends; despite all the hurriedness, the slow, unfolding story of Los Laureles continues to march on, with or without Sr. Nikon.

i was told I should cut this tree down.
everyone from my construction foreman to girlfriend begged me to chop away and plant something else.
i've always liked this tree.
it's gnarled, and worn but continues to sprout new life.
i like that.
i was vindicated when i got back.

a mourning dove had built a nest in the crux of the tree that was almost chopped down.
a crow eventually ate the eggs and the dove, now truly in mourning, moved on.
but for a few days we enjoyed watching the mother.
and i was right.

we had our towels stolen.
this is the first time we've been robbed.
who steals towels of all things?
there were soccer cleats, a bicycle, my exhaust pipe (thanks yes team).
but no, jorgito stole our towels.
marta confronted him the next day and must have threatened his life because within 2 days our towels were anonymously returned to us.

more than ever kids are at our home.
playing cards.
playing games.
talking it up for hours.
i'm getting used to it.
i like it.
just not before 9:00am

dog thinks this her bed.
blas doesn't seem to mind.
they curl up together every morning.

we've started to expand.
nolbin is from the river community.
that's the poor people that are too poor to live in the garbage dump.
nolbin's now our soccer goalie for the u-14 team.
others are coming...

karla and nodi have become real leaders amongst the group of girls here in laureles.
nodi especially.
they also have started a letter-writing relationship with maria bresticker from williamsport, pa.
this is the photo they made me take of them to send to her.

manuel and blas decided the ducks needed a home.
they went into the woods, cut down sapplings and began building this.
it never got finished.

what a cinderblock and pvc pipe have to do with a home for ducks is beyond me.
the ducks gave up hope for a real home too and decided to move underneath.

they're delish by-the-bye.
we ate two the other day.

lauro is ubiquitous but unsociable with most kids his own age.
he only wants to be around the older kids.
he's practically attached to manuel's hip.
he's infuriating, annoying and lovable all at once.

evening from my porch.

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