The children have learned to create art from the river rocks we collect when we go swimming at the nearby Río Humuya. Their goal is to sell as much as possible if they can develop a market for their work. They are just beginning and their creations are a little rough but with practice they have the potential to produce some real works of homespun art. Sister Edith has purchased the materials and is encouraging them to be creative. I keep telling them that they are all truly talented. It is such a pleasure to see the kids so happy.
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.
Fourth of July last year I drove my Honda Hybrid into my garage in La Paz; fresh off the boat from the US. Last week I spent four days in La Ceiba and its environs delivering to my goddaughter Yelsi a computer and taking her and Yisel swimming. Yelsi really likes her new computer. Then I spent four days R&R at my favorite seaside hotel in Tela: Cesar Mariscos Hotel. Check out the rooftop swimming pool overlooking the Caribbean beach. I’m back in La Paz as I write this post on Saturday the Fourth of July 2015. Monday I begin to confront the Honduran bureaucracy again concerning my permanent residency document.
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.
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.