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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Carlos Turns 14

One of my very favorite people of all time, Carlos Jose Ucles Ferrufino (affectionately known as Chucu), turned 14 the other day. I may not be in the community on a daily basis but I still keep my birthday calendar up-to-date and attempt to celebrate, or at the very least acknowledge, the many birthdays that come down the pike each month. Chucu though is special; he is bright, intelligent, always with a smile and quick to lend a hand. He exudes innocence and an innate sense of justice; he won my heart the day I met him back in 2009 and he's become part of the core group of Laureles folk that I trust and rely on. That said then, when his birthday came around we gathered together in his home, his mother made baleadas for the guests and we shared cake, coke and laughs. It was a lovely mid-week evening with even lovelier company.

Chucu y Mateo 
Probably the only good photo taken all night.
(even in spite of the two middle-fingers being thrown up behind my left shoulder) 
 
 
The rest of the photos on my camera, as taken by Chucu's older brother Tati, were of various relatives and neighbors, all of whom seemed to be in varying stages of Bell's Palsy or outright Shock.
 
 Eduardo, a random cousin and neighbor.
His palsy is barely noticeable but certainly beginning to take effect.
 
 Josep, another cousin.
His too is just coming on.
 
 This random, fatherless child, who was not related to anyone there as far as I could tell, had the nervous habit of repeatedly saluting people. I'm not making this up; I have 3 different photos as taken by Tati, and in everyone this little war-monger is saluting the camera.
 
 Chucu.
With a sudden and serious spell of the Bell's.
or
Demonic Possession...one of the two.
 
 Chucu's Mother.
Drunk on Coca-Cola.
 
 Chucu's Grandmother.
Bell's-ish.
 
 Lety, the crazy neighbor-lady.
Just barely alive.
 
 Another fatherless, mouth-breather.
Downright catatonic.
 
 And not to be outdone.
Chucu's gang-sign throwin' sister.
 
H.B. Chucu.
I love you.
 
I swear.

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