It is never easy in Honduras. After a grueling, tension-filled three days in Tegus wrestling with the intricacies of the Honduran Immigration system, a genuine comedy of errors, I returned home last night and fell exhausted into my own bed. More than three years of bureaucratic wrangling seem to finally be coming to an end concerning my permanent residency ID card. Two years were lost to a corrupt lawyer, a matter I intend to address once I have ID card in hand. The remainder of time was spent traipsing through time-consuming legalities pertinent to the fraud. Yesterday, however, before I left for home after being photographed and fingerprinted I was told to return in 30 days to pick up my new ID card. I will not believe it until I have my new residency ID card in hand.
In the past few weeks I have noticed an increased sense of self-confidence in the children. With the addition of instruments that will form the nucleus of a marching band for the September 15th Independence Day Parade; the classes in rock art; computer classes with a current five computers on site; sewing classes; English classes, all in-house besides their regular school schedules, they are growing intellectually and with a solid foundation of positive self-esteem. I watch this growth like planting a garden and stand amazed at the beautiful flowers that reach for the sun.
My Honduran permanent residency was approved today by the Ministerio de Gobernación y Justicia. A couple more bureaucratic steps are required and I should be fully legal the first week of August.
I don’t really know if Iggy or his little buddy visit nights. But they do show up some afternoons when I’m working on my computer. I once ate iguana and turtle soup a very poor family on the North Coast offered me for lunch. They had no money and prepared what they caught in the wild. It was very tasty. Kinda bony, but tasty. Like chicken.
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 Yelsi 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.