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On February 1st I will be moving into a new home. Days recently spent personally painting every room is a reminder of not enough exercise: move those muscles, more veggies and fruit. That’s what my VA doc says. Will do. After painting I still have to pack up and move all my shit.

¡Feliz y Próspero Año Nuevo!

  

I have been living in Honduras for the entire 8 years of President Obama’s term. Today is the last day of 2016 and I am going to miss our gracious President. After the criminal, racist orangutan was elected to the presidency last month I may never return to the States to live again. Above I include one last snow picture before focusing on my return to the tropics: 80°F when my plane landed in Tegucigalpa. The Children’s Home has a modern kitchen but most Honduran families prefer to cook over an open fire. And of course we devoured a delicious meal of roast turkey and leg of pork on Christmas Eve. The next day after Sunday Mass, lo and behold there were gifts for everyone under the tree when the children returned home.

Home Soon

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My visit to Seattle has been one of cementing family bonds. Much good company and loads of good food was mixed with laughter and tear-jerker reminiscences. Nonetheless I am homesick for the warmth of my life in La Paz and for the tropical climate. It seems that I am no longer acclimated to the co-old here in the Pacific Northwest. Friends await my return home next Friday: my heart swells knowing that I am surrounded by family and friends.

Yelsy Quinceañera

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My goddaughter Yelsy turned 15 years old on the 25th of October. I drove to La Ceiba on the North Coast to help make her birthday a special one. Thanks to friends and family it was a great day for a beautiful young lady who wants to attend university. Another seed planted, another flower blooms.

Comunión Jerusalén

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My friend Celeste taught and ushered our catechism class’s four children from the Barrio Jerusalén into the sacrament of the First Communion at the Iglesia de Espiritu Santo. My gift to each of them will be the 40 photographs I took commemorating the event recorded onto a CD so that in the years to come they can pop the CD into the DVD player and the children can see themselves on the day they were accepted into the ancient traditions of the church. The same traditions I entered into so many years ago and which I have never forgotten. The sacrament of Confirmation is the next step. I will be there. To my late Mom, thank you. I owe you. Every week when I walk into church for mass I know you are at my side: Te amo. 

Gigantes

There have been legends and oral history passed down by indigenous folk of five meters tall humans living in the western hemisphere centuries before the fifteenth-century European invasion: a fact also written in the historical record by the invading Spaniards. In the Cueva de Gigantes located above Marcala about 80 kilometers above La Paz the cave is thought to have been home to a tribe of giants 15 feet tall (La Tribuna Lunes 25 de julio, 2016. Tegucigalpa). A friend in La Paz recently showed me pictures of immense human bones he discovered in a cave while hunting high in the mountains above La Paz, along with other ancient relics. He has promised to take me there so that I might photograph the site and take measurement of the bones alongside a comparative object. It should be quite an enlightening adventure.

Corrida de Toros

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In Honduras the bull at the bullfight is not killed nor hurt in any way. There were nine bulls on the program, each bout lasting approximately 20 minutes. A great way to spend an Independence Day afternoon. Especially since my friend Celeste’s grandmother lives right across the street from the bull ring in the municipalidad of San Sebastian about half an hour from La Paz. Viva México! Viva Honduras!

Music Festival

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At the beginning of the year Sister Edith enrolled all the children at the Hogar in a music program conducted by musicians of the Tegucigalpa Symphony Orchestra in a joint music program with the Municipalidad de Cane ten miles from La Paz for the immediate region’s children. Our children are learning to play musical instuments and to sing in a choir along with many others. The season’s final concert demonstrated their virtuosity. Another continuing months-long training period begins in October. When provided the opportunity and encouraged by patient, caring professionals all children can learn. Their curiosity expands, their self-esteem is positively reinforced and amplified, and dreams form in their receptive minds.