Sister Edith and the children of the Fundación Señor San José pray that you are thankful for your good health, that you have plenty to eat, a place to call home surrounded by love, good will, family and friends and that you have a wonderful future shimmering on your horizon.
Our children are growing up. Nancy, Celia and Magda completed their First Communion Sunday with a huge group of their peers. More than thirty children entered into the sacrament Sunday blessed by four priests. Thursday we’re celebrating our seventh Annual Thanksgiving Day at the Hogar with three turkeys for family and friends. The children of the Fundación Señor San José are truly something special. Next month I will be traveling to Seattle to spend the cold, snowy winter holidays with my own children and grandchildren.
The children at the Hogar have developed an interest in Astronomy since I pointed out the alignment of the planets Venus, Mars and Jupiter in the early morning sky a few days ago. They thought they were stars. After my first lecture a few would roll out of bed before 5 AM to see the planets change their positions in the night sky as the days progressed until they finally disappeared. Today I gave a class on the planets and their relationship to the solar system. Most asked good intelligent questions. They were in awe at a flyby over the terrain of the planet Mars I accessed on YouTube.com and at the land rovers Spirit and Opportunity traveling across the Martian surface exploring. With the computer I showed them a panorama of the universe recorded by the Hubble telescope of the hundreds of thousands of galaxies and their billions of stars. One young lady asked: “Where’s Jesus?”
Central America is full of wonderful places to visit. I have traveled through Guatemala, Belize, México, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and of course most extensively in Honduras. The culture of my mixed native heritage is so awesome I am continuously filled with pride at my indigenous brethren who have not only survived the European invasion, and the subsequent 300 years of enslavement, ethnic cleansing, and 200 years of the more modern economic oppression of my people, but they are thriving. There is moreover an increasing change in the wind. I see it every day in the Lenca children I teach and mentor. They are vibrant, intelligent and full of energy and they crave education. Happy Samhain to everyone on this 31st of October; or as my late irreverent father used to say: Happy Jala Mel Weenie!
To file a complaint against an attorney in Honduras one must submit a denuncia to the Colegio de Abogados. The lawyers college has a board, the Tribunal de Honor, that hears every denuncia petition alleging incompetence and fraud. A busito leaves Comayagua for The City Mall in Tegus located across the street ftom the international airport Toncontín every day on a regular schedule. Two blocks from the mall is the Colegio de Abogados building. I walked over at 9 AM and submitted my denuncia receiving a receipt from the law clerk. I took a couple of pics of the mall food court before I walked over but was chased out by a security person saying pics were not allowed in the mall. If this denuncia is successful I will publish the crooked lawyer’s name who defrauded me. Another big denuncia I have is against the murdering thief Columbus, to whom a holiday has been dedicated in the US. May he rot in hell for initiating the slaughter of the western hemisphere’s indigenous people, their enslavement and subsequent genocide.
There is no better way to spend a Saturday than a band competition. Eighteen bands from schools around the Comayagua Valley dressed in colorful uniforms instilled such a sense of pride. They are so talented, drumming and marching with electrifying enthusiasm. These participants are not from wealthy families, not even middle-class families. Most of the kids are from dirt-poor families who sacrificed to buy those uniforms and instruments. And the majority of the children who traveled to Lejamani for the competition could not afford to bring food to sustain them for the long day. Not even the chaperon teachers. Food was provided at the end of the competition by the event’s organizers supporting and instilling national pride via month-long September Independence Day celebrations encouraging the country’s youth. I present my good friend Celia Jasmín in three of the pics because a US family has been trying to adopt her for the past three years and they have donated funds to purchase uniforms and instruments for our Hogar children. Thanks Allison and Micheal and family for helping make the day possible.
Today is the third straight day of hard, dirt soaking rain that begins in the afternoon and lasts into night. The rainy season in Honduras usually begins in May and ends in November. This year there have been only a couple of days of brief minutes-long sprinkles until three days ago. A sequía (drought) has been discussed in all the newspapers with government measures initiated to combat the loss of crops. Many rural folks depend on the rains to augment small-plot survival harvests. Drought and hunger is writ large. When I arrived in Honduras six years ago one could count on the rain beginning the first of May and lasting until November. That is no longer the case. Life is different these days. Crops wither and die and others can’t be planted, The ones who suffer most are the poor. There has been an upsurge of children begging on the streets. May the long-awaited rains continue.
I am not a tech whiz. So these two pics are rather fuzzy. It doesn’t matter! This is my new Honduran permanent residency ID card that I picked up on the 10th of September, the Día del Niño, at the Department of Immigration in Tegucigalpa. The Day of the Children is a state-mandated holiday in honor of the children of Honduras. Another national law is the senior discount law on all commercial purchases for persons over 65 years old. One other great occurrence on the Día del Niño for me was granted at the Honda dealership when I went to argue for my Honda Hybrid’s regular maintenance service visits instead of having to drive to El Salvador. Yes, the agency director told me: the rules have been changed. My next Honda Hybrid maintenance visit will be at the Honda agency in Tegus. Great day in the morning!
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.