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!