The bus driver grumbled and griped that my ticket should not have been issued to the Conejo desvio exit to La Paz. “Este bus es un directo a Tegucigalpa,” he complained. I shrugged my shoulders and insisted that I had to get off at the Conejo desvio; I was a Peace Corps Volunteer on a mission. Reluctantly, the driver stopped the bus at the isolated desvio and unloaded all four of my suitcases from under the bus, then roared off down the Pan-American highway towards Tegus. I struggled down the side of the highway lugging four suitcases towards the desvio and luckily a yellow chicken bus appeared from the opposite direction at the very moment I arrived, and turned into the intersection headed toward La Paz. “Subase, subase,” the ticket taker barked as he loaded my suitcases into the chicken bus’s undercarriage, the bus barely slowing down. I climbed aboard, rode the 10 kilometers into La Paz, and caught a taxi to dona Luz’s house where she had a fabulous lunch waiting for me. Hugs and remembrances all around. Two days later I walked over to the orphanage in the morning; as I turned onto the street where the orphanage is located I saw three children walking up the street toward me, each carrying buckets of corn kernels. They stopped in mid-stride. “Fortunato!” they cried, and rushed to hug me. After trying to answer their multiple questions, I told them I would be at the orphanage talking with the Sister and would see and talk to them later. I told them I would be living here for the next two years. In my next posting I will describe the re-immersion of my new life into the municipio of La Paz and the emotions and reconnections that have extended in waves with each passing day.
La Paz Redux