Photos from our Peace Corps Volunteer graduation ceremony on May 15, 2009 at the American Embassy in Tegucigalpa with his Excellency Hugo Llorens, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras, swearing us in to Peace Corps service. That’s the Ambassador between me and one of my Honduran counterparts, Marlene, with whose mother I will live for two months in La Masica. Also, my Health Project team of 12, and at Campo Zarabanda where we returned for lunch my friend Jen, and Jen and my friend Matt.
Twenty-four hours later I met Cuchita the pig who lives in my front yard but wanders the neighborhood. Ah, from such lofty heights we tumble. The old house in the photo is across the street from my new temporary home (the house where I live is, of course, much nicer). The wooded area is also across from where I live; we live on a corner lot and the wood belongs to my host mother and is a pantry from where she regularly gleans food for our table. The business end of the cows belong to one of several small herds that amble by each day in the mornings and in the afternoons.
2:30 AM, Thursday 28 May 2009: I woke up with a start, the bed rocking and shaking beneath me wondering wha the? It felt somewhat like the bed shaking in the movie The Exorcist where Linda Blair was fighting the devil. The shaking went on for a long time. And then the power went out. Pitch black with no fan. Hot. Silence. A series of aftershocks. I stayed where I lay … heard movement in the house where I live with a little old lady of 82. I heard her answer her phone; probably one of her daughters. I fell asleep eventually (I had been sick with sinusitis for a few days and was taking antibiotics) but awakened a couple of hours later with cool fan breeze washing over my face when the power returned. As soon as it was light the phone calls began. I called in sick that morning and began receiving calls about the earthquake from all over Honduras from PCVs and PC staff. We Peace Corps folk stick together. All of my compañeros were okay. La Masica where I live was untouched, even though the 7.2 quake’s epicenter was just a few miles off the coast. I guess we dodged a bullet.
The rainy season has started. It has been raining since I got here. It is winter here in Honduras. It´s raining but the weather is hot. Next week I will go out with a medical team to a few of the outlying aldeas to adminster health care and health education. Some areas are reached by 4X4 vehicle, others by horse, mule and donkey, others by boat.
I arrived on the North Coast Saturday at 2:30 p.m. after getting up at 3:30 a.m. to finish packing. A few of my compañeros and I spent our last Friday night at a local pupusa place in Santa Lucia until 11 p.m. celebrating our new PCV status and our impending transfers to all the four corners of the country. We won´t see each other again until a scheduled gathering in September. My new home for the next 2 months here in La Masica is much different than any of the other two places I have lived in Honduras. There´s a pig in the front yard (being fattened for the holidays) and chickens and ducks in the back yard under my bedroom window and they all grovel in the dirt street out front with the occasional wandering herd of cows during the day. I have taken many pics of our graduation at Santa Lucia and of the critters here locally but I will not post any until I get my own wireless internet connection, hopefully in a week or so. It seems that any time I use my flash drive memory stick on public computers it is susceptible to virus contamination. I can´t wait to get my own place!