The last week in January I traveled to La Masica to visit with friends I worked with during my three-month residence in that small municipalidad. My first day there I stayed with my Canadian friend, Bob. He is a volunteer in a Canadian volunteer group similar to the U.S. Peace Corps. An engineer, he works in forestation and water projects. We had lunch in the very humble one-room home of his adopted Honduran family. Bob’s contract has been suspended and he has been living on his own savings since last September. His Honduran friend, a night watchman, has not been paid for two months. My visit had been expected for a few weeks and therefore came at a very trying financial moment. I learned all this while waiting for lunch, and also that the night watchman had gone fishing the previous day and caught an iguana and a turtle. That is what we had for lunch, the amphibian flesh stewed in a coconut sauce that was truly delicious. My last night in La Masica I was invited to a supper at my previous contraparte’s brother’s home, a gentleman who had just been elected to a seat as a diputado to the national legislature: a position similar to that of a congressman back in the states. They killed a pig for the occasion, all the new diputado’s very large extended family participating. I arrived just as the hapless porker was clubbed across the head and had its throat slit. Sitting three feet away I watched as the men hired to prepare the chancho scrapped off the stiff red hairs with boiling water, washed the body with soap and cold water, cut off the pink skin in long strips, then disemboweled the creature hanging by its hind legs. The carcass was subsequently cleaved in half with a machete and the meat cut into chunks and tossed into a wood-fired boiling vat of lard, the chopped up pieces of skin cooking in a separate vat into chicharros, in Mexico called chicharrones. I used to participate in similar family events growing up in California on my grandmother’s farm. Life as it is in Honduras. I returned today from Tegucigalpa. Yesterday I finally had my new Guatemalan-constructed bridge inserted into my old mouth. I also saw my orthopedist while in the capital who pronounced my foot as improving but who wants to see me again in three months. And my life goes on…. In a couple of weeks I will have been in-country for a year.
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