In Hispanic America, which includes the entire Western Hemisphere, killing the christmas pig is a family affair. We will be enjoying tamales and chicharrones and pork meat aplenty this year around a roaring fire, laughter, camaraderie and love. So many pleasant memories from my own California childhood transferred to my Honduran family. I am grateful.
Tata Madiba has died.
Chef and owner of Dominique’s on Magazine, who served Tata his first meal following Tata’s release after 27 years as a political prisoner of the criminal racist apartheid South African regime.
I am so proud of Deysi Milagro. I am her godfather and she asked me to stand by her side at her graduation from primary school. She will be entering the Instituto Lorenzo Cervantes next school year to begin 6 years of secondary studies and is our brightest student at the Hogar San José earning a 93% grade point average. She and one other 12-year-old who just passed into the 6th grade are my brightest English class students. Writing this brings tears to my eyes after having helped and encouraged these abandoned and rejected and abused youngsters who live at the Hogar seeing them swell with pride, confidence and positive self esteem, watching them excel utilizing their own native intelligence having realized that they are indeed capable of reaching for the stars.
Yup, that is what Thanksgiving Day is called in Spanish: our annual year number 5 since I have been living in Honduras. I’m still here; battered and bruised, but here. The inauguration of our new building for the Fundación Señor San José has been postponed until early next year due to construction delays and fine tuning. Saturday the Hogar will hold its annual T-day celebration at the old place like always, much more comfortable these days BTW. My friend and former Peace Corps Volunteer like me, John Jordan, now employed by USAID in Tegucigalpa will be here with friends. And there will be Turkey with all the trimmings, as my late mother used to say at our family gatherings. May Gaea and the higher power each of you believe in open your heart to those more unfortunate than yourselves; to bless our military folk far from home; and to especially think of and help those needlessly suffering through no fault of their own. Life is short, appreciate it and treasure it while you’re here. You have but one chance to make it right.
As previously noted a volunteer group of norteamericanos helped prepare the soil and plant lawn grass at the new building site, however, the obdurate Honduran soil produced a 50/50 mixture of weeds and lawn. The children are consequently hard at work every day pulling weeds so that the lawn will be ready for the inauguration of the new building 12 December. The Hogar has also received three new young girls abandoned by their father bringing our number of residents to 18. The children will be provided a clean, modern, hygienic home, adequate food, and a proper education.
I have bowed to nature’s whim and decided to return home to La Paz. Tomorrow, Tuesday, I return my rental car. My foot remains swollen and it is difficult for me to walk. It’s not really walking but more like hobbling along, much like a doddering old man. Which, come to think of it, is what most passersby would probably consider me to be. The horror: reason enough to leave. I did get to visit with a couple of my good friends in La Masica though, on that first day right after the accident. The rest of my time here in La Ceiba I have parked myself in various seaside restaurant/bars killing the pain with beer, elevating my leg, and eating excellent seafood. What a way to go, eh? But after five days, go I must. Home to recuperate. Best news is that there is no bone fracture; I can bear weight, a little more each day.
Today, November 1st, I drove to La Masica to visit with my former contraparte, my counterpart from my posting there in 2009, the directora of the Ramon Rosa Elementary School. As we moved to leave for lunch I walked over to open the 300 kilo metal gate for her; after she drove through and I tried to close the gate the whole thing collapsed off its rollers onto my left ankle and foot. Pinned underneath, I yelled for help, the campus empty because all the school-kids had gone to a science fair. Oblivious to my peril, my friend had driven her car down the block to her mother’s house. A BIG ouch! Two young guys ran to me from across the street and lifted the heavy porton off my leg. Tonight I sit in my hotel room with an ace wrap on my swelling ankle and elevated on a pillow barely able to walk. There’s no ice here and I can’t go get any. More later….
Happy Hala-mel-weenie as my late, great father used to say with an impish chuckle. No pictures this post. I will be traveling to the North Coast tomorrow for Halloween. Five days in La Ceiba visiting friends and five days of solitude in Tela relaxing on the beach at a seaside hotel enjoying the white sands, palm trees and the beautiful, blue Caribbean lapping at my feet. I last stayed in Tela about four years ago at a Peace Corps workshop. For my money it’s the most beautiful of Honduras’ beachside municipios. Although Trujillo runs a close second simply because it is so far away: 12 hours by bus from La Paz. Tela is just 4 and a half hours from La Paz. Cheers!