Monday, December 8, 2008

#3 Weekend Getaway

I got out of Ceiba for the weekend to avoid trying to rest amid the car alarms and barking dogs of El Sauce. Instead I spent two lovely nights in El Porvenir with other HHK volunteers Cynthia, Brooke, Nathan, Brendan, and Caroline in a beach house that is used by the HHK program Grandma’s Kids. The project is on hiatus for the holidays, so we had to go look in on the house, right? (and drink beer, walk on the beach, watch movies, and be general layabouts, of course…)

Porvenir is a small town along the beach about a half hour west of Ceiba. The weather was crappy until Sunday…the day we left…but good weather isn’t necessary for sleeping in and napping. At one point a couple of us got separated from the others, but we got directions from a friendly chap named Mario. He owns two restaurants there in Porvenir, where he cut us deals on the food and loaned us a DVD player so that we could watch movies back at the house. It pays to be friendly to people here…good people will be generous and welcoming, I’ve learned. No community here is so large that you won’t run into a person again at some point.

How’s the beach, you ask? Oh, fairly par for any mainland Honduran beach that I have seen. That means it is eroding quickly, shows little sign of healthy life offshore like washed up seaweed or shells, and is covered with dumped trash. I couldn’t tell if the trash came from the sea or the land, but it wasn’t from very far away, that’s certain.

Cynthia wanted to look for shells to show the kids, but we weren’t able to find many, as I said. So we started picking up bits of trash that we thought might be useful…plastic bottle caps for checkers, a dilapidated artificial Christmas tree that I scavenged for d├ęcor for the school, etc. etc. etc.

We also found an immature bread fruit that had washed up onshore. Brooke and Nathan were excited to practice their machete hacking skills (looking tough with a machete is part of looking Honduran.) Turns out bread fruit (at least this one) smells just like pumpkin. Who knew?

I’m reading a new book, In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. I highly recommend it. It is a nice addition to the other book I am currently reading, Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammed Yunnus.

Cynthia, Brooke, and I finished out the weekend of lollygaggation by having a sumptuous lunch buffet at a local German hotel. We were let in on the secret of its existence (and its status as a favorite of the local expats) by Dr. David Black, whom Cynthia helps out at times when he is in need of a female volunteer for ob/gyn exams in the poor communities he serves. He brought along Charlie, who he described as working in blackwater, which bothered me extremely until I realized he meant sanitation, not the questionably ethical international security company. Amongst a lively and long discussion of the political and economic realities of Central America, I fell in love with the view of the palm tree above me...

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