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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Post Number 300

That's right, it's taken me nearly 4 years but this little beauty is blog post number 300. Ok, that's all I've got. I have lot's to share from YES, to soccer, to gaping wounds but so little time to do so. Bear with me and in the meantime enjoy this: (I found her being dragged down the main road in Laureles in this half-a-suitcase by her slightly older brother and cousin. I found it hilarious - I probably should have felt pity.)

just not feeling up to traveling

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Death March To the Waterfall

I mentioned yesterday that cousin and boyfriend showed up in their motorhome the other week...
ok, this is them really, though I think I prefer the other photo. Anyshway, as is our wont and custom, we took the two unsuspecting gringos into the mountains under the pretext of a lovely stroll through the forest terminating at a delightful and inviting waterfall. Nothing could be further from the truth really; it's actually similar to a forced death march with steep inclines and switchbacks nearly the entire leg of the journey. One is forced to traverse rock slides, slippery declines and inclines that grade at a frightful pitch. The journey leads you to a waterfall to be sure but in order to enjoy it you have to descend a rock wall made slippery by spray, moss and worms and then climb over boulders of the same. The hike, if it can be called that, is essentially a 2 hour-long test in patience and endurance - 5 minutes in you want it to be over. This is Nelson's schtick really, he made me do it in my first month here and every time a foreigner comes to town all hazy-eyed and innocent we quick hog-tie 'em, throw them in the back of the truck, drive into the mountains and then cattle-prod them all the way to the waterfall. It's a real treat.
We brought dog along too - she was like a jungle cat roaming the forest, leaping small boulders and fording streams. I was proud.

We brought girlfriend along too - she was like a jungle cat roaming the forest, leaping small boulders and fording streams. I was proud.

Chihua was our guide as he's been on this twisted form of punishment many a time with Nelson and myself.

Once at the waterfall one is expected to write one's name one a fallen tree; it's similar to marking your name on the wall of your jail cell.

A creepy/artsy shot of cousin.

and boyfriend.

falling water, Frank Lloyd Wright would be mesmerized. I always want to say Andrew Lloyd Webber which is funny because the two couldn't be more different.

a quick and unhealthy drink.

dog was almost lunch for our young raptor friend.

On the way back four of the guys decided to take the swinging basket instead of the swinging bridge. It turned our to be much harder than what they had imagined.

Rafita had to help them along the way.

You'll notice that Nelson (back-left), leader of the expedition, is doing absolutely no work.

And after seeing me taking photos he decides to stand up and flex his muscles.

If you value your life never visit me in Honduras.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Update On Der Haus von Keiser

So it's been a week since last I posted which is out of character for me I know. I have a good excuse though: my cousin and her boyfriend came to visit:as you can see they came dressed prepared for any weather that might befall us. That and I spent a good portion of the week in the hospital with my goalie from the U-14 team; the combination of the two left me with little time or energy to even think about blogging. Anyways, the cousin and boyfriend flew the coop and goalie-sans-knee is back in the community and so I am back with a vengeance.
I realized soon after blogging my last post that I failed to give any shots of the final product so the following then are a few slides of the final touches the kids put on my wall of dirt.

where once you could hang from the bottom of this tube, it is now covered completely by earth

the kids scoured the community for spare tires to build a make-shift retaining wall. had they not all of that earth that they hauled would have washed away with the first serious thunderstorm.
my porch, the new earth, the retaining wall, blanca's roof.
we're kind of on top of each other here.

this used to be a ditch that i could stand in and not be able to see over the wall.
we haven't finished on the far end there because the final column in the wall needs to be poured yet.

ok that's two fotos of basically the same thing, i'm getting a bit sloppy.

another angle of the new tire wall

So then after taking those "final product" fotos I remembered Lois Huston. She's a lovely lady from Frazer Mennonite Church who had asked that I post fotos of the outside of my home so that she could get an idea of what it looked like. I said: "sure Lois, just let me wash down the floors once and I'll get right to it." That was back in January. So Lois, if you're still reading this blog of mine, the following is for you; just remember that I haven't painted it yet...I'm thinking of olive and white for the trim. Give it a real jungle effect.

looking up the path to my home

the final two steps before the landing

the front door

again with the front door

in the morning we put out the towels and wet clothes on the front porch to dry

the landing.
johnny the soccer coach lives in that house below there

the stone wall that holds the hill that is the path up into the other homes

the front door again from the view of the back door

the right side of my house
that back corner is the retaining wall that had fallen down in october

looking out in the other direction

looking out from the left side of the house

keiser's landing

gnawing on something she found in the dirt

the landing, the canal ad the other landing that leads up to pancha and oscar's house

the canal.
the tubes are from my outside sink and the downspout from the house

the canal runs from pancha's sink, down through my property and then on to blanca's where it lets out into a gutter.

the outside sink behind the house.
we fill this up twice a week and use it to bathe and wash the dishes.

cousin and boyfriend in the hammock behind the house

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Child Labor

The other day a crew of children showed up at my door fairly early in the morning - that's not terribly remarkable as it tends to happen almost daily. What made this day unique was that this particular group of kids took it upon themselves to start filling in the space behind the retaining wall that sits in front of my porch. It had a pretty steep drop and I had been thinking to fill it in for sometime but had never had the time or the dirt to do so. This particular morning though the kids were hit with the desire to serve and serve they did. They went looking for dirt and rocks throughout the community and hauled it back in buckets for a good 4 hours. They had a soccer scrimmage in the afternoon so they stopped at noon so a to conserve energy but the next 3 days were the same; they showed up at 8 hauled dirt in pans, buckets and sacks for a few hours and then dispersed. It made me smile because it was work that I really wanted done but had never asked that they do it - it just happened. I felt blessed. The final day then when the quit work I loaded them all up in the truck and we rode up into the mountains to go swimming in the river, it was a niec way to end a hot and dirty week.

lauro put himself in charge of leveling out the dirt and building a make-shift retaining wall of tires and rocks

he also decided to work in his older brother sergio's "going out" shirt

there were a lot of breaks to be sure but as it was purely voluntary i couldn't complain.
here pato and pochicho are perched on the edge of the porch.

manrique taking a breather.
here's a kid that has had a real attitude change, he's only 8 but he's a terror, he has a horrible vocabulary and is downright viscious.
lately though he's mellowed and become softer, happier, more approachable.

chita, elder and tavito (another character that has had quite the turnaround these pat few weeks)

the kids got so ambitious that they started stealing dirt from the actual garbage dump. the authorities didn't like that so we had to procur it in more creative ways.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Speech Therapy In a Hammock

Cesar is the youngest son of our neighbors Oscar and Pancha and he is forever hanging about our windows or slyly trying to creep into the house. He's a lovable kid and happened to be one of Becca Serra's favorites when she came to visit. He has a bit of a speech impediment though which he is often shy about. Yesterday I showed up to the house in the afternoon and it was surprisingly dead, the only sound to be heard was coming from around back where we have our sink and a hammock strung up under the eaves. There I found Manuel taking a break from his studies and working with Cesar on pronouncing words - his patience, perservance and insistence on perfection was remarkable. Cesar for his part did well too, the hardest word for him though was Melocoton (the emphasis is on the last 'o', it means peach) , he just couldn't get it and at one point said "Me lo comi un monton." or "I ate a lot".

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Hellgrammite in Honduras! Sort of...

I could go on forever about the wonders of hellgrammites and the glorious fish-bait they make but I'll spare you all the boring details and inform you that hellgrammites, which live in the creeks and streams of Appalachia, turn into this:
The Dobson Fly.
What one is doing clinging to the wall of my front porch in Honduras is beyond me.