As I drove into La Ceiba it started raining. It is after all the hurricane season and it rains almost every day along the Caribbean North Coast of Honduras and the Bay Islands. The computer I brought Yelsy as a gift for her passage to colegio lay safe and dry in the car’s trunk. Being a tropical rain the coastal temperature is also hot. I settled into my friend Dr.L’s house that she lends me when I am in La Ceiba and made plans for my four days in the area and La Masica where I would pick up my friend Profe S to accompany Yelsy and Yisel and me to the aquapark. After La Ceiba I will spend four days R&R in Tela, my favorite seaside community, in my hotel on the beach. I will post pics later because I forgot my camera USB transfer connection. Curses.
On June 2nd my new attorney and I submitted again the documents required for my permanent residency status in Honduras. The first submission was in May 2012, three years ago, by an attorney who defrauded me. I’m not through with her yet. The Honduran bureaucracy is not much different than the US bureaucracy. Delay, obfuscation and misinformation seem to be the rule. In the US case I am still waiting for a final decision concerning compensation for my right elbow fracture I sustained while in Peace Corps service, four and a half years ago.
My friend Evan and her husband Bandi arrived last Sunday. Evan was a PCV in 2011, the year I broke my arm and was medivaced to the States. She and I had been programmed to deliver an obstetric training lecture; something I had forgotten completely about until she reminded me with a smile that I had left her in the lurch. I had to do it alone, she said. I’m so sorry, I said. It was good to see her again. Evan had been posted to Santiago de Puringla, an aldea high in the mountains in the La Paz departamento. After a night at the Hogar with the kids she and Bandi took the chicken bus up into the mountains for three days to visit her former host family. It’s not often a Peace Corps Volunteer returns to a previous overseas posting. Evan is special. Today she and Bandi return to Atlanta. Thanks for the memories, Evan. Have a safe trip!
My grandson, 2nd Lieutenant Travis A. Morgado was killed in action in Afghanistan three years ago. The image of his mother, my daughter Andrea, running down the stairs crying “He’s dead! They killed him!!” I will never forget. I held her in my arms. The unbelievable shock. Andrea turned suddenly and ran back up the stairs, sobbing. The two soldiers who had borne the terrible news had reached the front door. She had seen them on the street and knew. I miss you so much, Travis. Grandpa loves you. We miss you so much.
My entry into El Salvador Sunday was not without problems. Again the Salvadoran customs folks told me I had to leave the region before I could enter the country. But I went to Nicaragua like you told me last week. Here, it says 90 days visa extension reentering Honduras – I said. That’s only good for Honduras – he said. To enter El Salvador you must travel to Costa Rica, Belize, México or out of Central America – he continued. I was allowed to enter the country only because my passport was stamped one month ago by Immigration in Tegus. You have until 22 May – he said. What a confusing bunch of crap! I drove to San Miguel, got my car serviced, and returned home on the 21st.
The smile was wiped off my face when I arrived at the El Salvador border last Sunday. It took 10 months to receive my new Honduras license plates: El Salvador does not allow any vehicle without license plates to enter its territory so I thought, no problem. I cannot service my Honda Hybrid in Honduras because the agency refused. The auto agency in El Salvador said; sure, bring it right in. Except the Salvadoran customs officer told me I had too many visa stamps in my passport for the region. He said I would have to leave Honduras via Guatemala or Nicaragua to be allowed to enter El Salvador. Say what? How can this be? One, however, cannot argue with a customs officer. I turned around and returned home to La Paz. Thursday I took the TicaBus direct to Chinandega, Nicaragua. Spent the night and returned home yesterday with the proper out-of-region passport stamp good for 90 days. Tomorrow I again travel to El Salvador to have my Honda Hybrid serviced in San Miguel, El Salvador. I hope. If I am allowed to cross the border. One never knows.
¡Viva México! Queen country of the Americas. Cinco de Mayo is the day celebrating the Expulsion of the French from México in 1865 by the armies of the full-blooded Zapotec Indian President of México Benito Juarez. If the same thing had happened in 1519 when the murdering Spanish invaded México the history of the world would be much different today. Especially the history of the then nonexistent US. But alas, it was not to be. More’s the pity.
Man, it has been so hot the past week we were all craving a trip to the river. Some parts of the country have been at 104 degrees. It’s going to get worse. Honduras is closer to the equator and will heat up much more than the US, although the planet’s climate warming will worsen there also. The world’s glaciers are melting and nobody cares. I made an offer on a piece of land a couple of days ago where I intend to sink a well and build an underground house with solar panels on the roof and plant greenery all around, especially food. Next weekend I travel to El Salvador to have my Honda Hybrid serviced. When I return in a week I hope my permanent residency status has been settled. I’m still smiling.
This is my first selfie. My neck isn’t really that fat. I spoke with my friend’s cousin who works in the Honduras Immigration Department and she tells me my permanent residency status will be approved this week. We’ll see if I’m still smiling next week. Nonetheless I remain busy with the following projects: I. I have been transporting the children to an ophthalmology clinic in Comayagua a few at a time to establish a base in the kids’ individual medical records. Half a dozen have required glasses. II. My efforts at establishing an archaeological presence at the El Chircal pyramids continue with history classes at a local bilingual school. III. Learning that the country’s Honda dealership will not service my hybrid Honda I must travel to El Salvador for basic maintenance. IV. Next month I will be traveling to the Caribbean coast to visit my goddaughter who started colegio this year. V. Writing my memoir continues at a slow pace but I remain motivated.
Twenty of the 43 children enrolled in a local preschool program in La Paz were invited to splash in the Hogar San José’s wading pool today by Sister Edith for Semana Santa. I was unable to get pics of them in the pool because I went home and took a brief nap and returned after the chidren had eaten lunch, had tired of the pool and wanted to return home. Oh, well. Happy Easter everyone!