The temperature last weekend reached 41 degrees C or about 104 degrees F. When one of the children’s extended family invited the Home’s residents to swim in an irrigation canal in the nearby municipality of Flores the decision was unanimous: YES! I didn’t join in the swim but the kids swam until evening and after it finally cooled down we trekked back to La Paz, the children soaked to the skin, happy, tired and hungry.
Santa Lucía is a beautiful mountain community with cobble-stoned streets situated above Tegucigalpa. The cathedral was built in 1572 by the Spanish invaders who enslaved the indigenous folk and mined and stole their silver and gold before being expelled from the country after 300 years of subjugation. My friend Celeste accompanied me there last weekend to visit the host family who provided me room and board when I arrived for training as a Peace Corps Vounteer in February 2009. I have remained in contact with my host family visiting every few months and consider them actual family for their kindness and generosity over the years.
It is rare for a home to be constructed of wood in La Paz, La Paz, Honduras. In years past most homes were constructed of adobe brick. Generations of families still live in long-standing adobe homes. In our modern era most homes are now constructed of cement block or brick. These three homes are in the modest neighborhood across the street from where I live. The sturdy residences will last for additional generations. Compared to the sawdust glueboard homes built in the US one can wonder which is the most advanced home builder. All these residences will have ceramic tile floors throughout including in kitchens and bathrooms. Cheap linoleum, prefab plastic showers, flimsy hollow doors and bacteria-collecting wall to wall carpet do not exist here. Honduras is in a modernization phase that will soon connect the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean with a modern four-lane highway twisting safely through beautiful wooded mountains from seashore to seashore. Our new international airport will be the wonder of Central America. Eat your heart out world.
Last month the bulldozers started moving earth and reshaping the landscape at the Palmerola site selected for the country’s new international airport. A site where both the Honduran Air Force trains its flight cadets and the US military maintains a presence. Visible from the front porch of my new home at night the Comayagua Valley floor reflects a long string of city and highway lights flanking the present airplane landing runway, a beautiful view indeed. Once the new airport is operational I will be able to board international flights 20 minutes from where I live. Quite nice indeed.
She died holding the dinner plate in her hand when she answered a knock at the door. The cowards fired seventeen bullets into her body then jumped onto their moto for a clean escape. The sub-directora of a high school in Comayagua, preparing to move into a new house with her four children, had been assassinated in cold blood the night before: that was the news on everyone’s lips as we arrived in San Sebastian for my friend’s grandmother’s birthday. It was also Feria Week and a three-day holiday, featuring a bullfight, had attracted thousands. Carnival rides, fireworks and food stands stood crowded by happy, hungry clients. A nonstop party prepared to unfold.
On February 1st I will be moving into a new home. Days recently spent personally painting every room is a reminder of not enough exercise: move those muscles, more veggies and fruit. That’s what my VA doc says. Will do. After painting I still have to pack up and move all my shit.