Day 42 — Poo: An Epiphany

The Honduran idea of milk
The Honduran idea of milk

There are certain things in life that will always find their way to the outside – the truth, love, digested beans… well, the truth is that my digested beans are far too willing to leave my system! Umm… too much information, you say? I should just have put that in my diary, you say? I did, but I told you, some things just need to get out!
According to Lonely Planet this phenomenon is called „Traveller‘s Diarrhea“ an can be caused by various factors such as jetlag, stress, bad food, powdered milk (fair enough, Lonely Planet doesn‘t mention this one, but they might as well!) … to put it short: Honduras can be pretty shit (not that shit is ever pretty…!)!

Frijoles
Frijoles

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the food. I love the Honduran cuisine, the beans, the tortillas, the fresh fruits… In fact, I love it so much that I was recently reminded I would soon be a „gordita“ (that‘s how nice they are here)! But I guess it‘s a matter of unrequited love – the food does seem rather eager to leave as quickly as possible!

And then there‘s the stress factor. I have been living in this peculiar country for a month now and yet, there‘s still things that freak me out. Taking the public transport is one of them. The bus I have to take to get from my house to Chiminike is called Rapidito. It is very small and there are three things to consider:

  1. There are no such things as bus stops in Tegucigalpa. I just stand by the side of the street and wave frantically at a bus.
  2. The bus hardly stops. It merely slows down and I jump on.
  3. No such things as bus stops – when I need to get off I shout, pay and jump off.
Improvised bus stop
Improvised bus stop (© by Victoria Särnhult)
Traffic in Tegicigalpa
Traffic in Tegicigalpa (© by Victoria Särnhult)

I‘m Swiss. I‘m used to public transportation that is, well, Swiss! How can this not be stressful for me?
But I‘m really adjusting now. I‘m even going as far as jumping on any Rapidito and hoping it somehow goes in the right direction (I do that whilst wondering why the heck I‘m doing this to myself). Of course I really miss Jesua, my host brother, at times. He left for the UK last week and it was so nice having a personal driver (to be fair, it was nice having him around anyway)!
Tryg, my Icelandic friend, was actually robbed in one of the bigger buses last week. According to him, though, the robbers were –and I‘m quoting– „really nice“! Yeah, I suppose the fact that they gave him back his ID and his credit card kind of makes you forget about the knife they had pulled. But still, it‘s crap (how very fitting!) and „who robs people on Valentine‘s Day?!“

When I told people that the Swiss are very cold compared to the compassionate Hondurans they used to shake their head at me – that was until word got out that the Swiss don‘t actually celebrate Valentine‘s Day! How dare a country doesn‘t acknowledge the day of love! Here they are very generous when it comes to throwing around pink balloons and roses and teddy bears. Of course Chiminike was no exception. The staff room was full of balloons and little notes of love.

Valentine's Day in Chiminike
Valentine’s Day in Chiminike

And that brings me to my next point, namely the fact that I absolutely love my project. It‘s a blessing to work atDSC03687 Chiminike! I love working with the kids, seeing them trying to understand the world is downright beautiful. There is a genuinity to them that can not be found in grown ups. Last week we had several groups of mentally and physically handicapped children which was a first for me. But it takes no time at all to realize there is no point in fussing over their disabilities. What I figured is that they are no different from everyone else. They like pizza and football and they enjoy being in Chiminike as much as anybody could.
I‘m not sure I‘m helping so much at Chiminike, I get the feeling that Chiminike rather helps me instead!

So, now that everything‘s out (my beans, Tryg‘s money…), there is only one question to answer: why are there no toilet brushes? Why would they produce powdered milk but no toilet brushes? Where is the logic in that?
Honduras is a funny place to live and ever so often I live after the simple rule, don‘t ask, just accept.

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