Day 55 — Something Different

A strange thing happened last week. Strange things happen to me on a daily basis, but this was really strange: I realized that people actually read my blog. Turns out, in order to keep your readership interested you don‘t actually have to tell them about the public transport system or the corruption in Honduras, just tell them you have digestive problem and they are digging for more! Anyway, I appreciate the follows and likes, although I must confess that I‘m slightly freaked out by it (meaning, I probably won‘t be talking about crap that much anymore)! This post is going to be different. You are probably not going to notice it, but I‘m telling you it is, so you have to believe me. I want to start off by telling you about three things I have experienced here in Honduras that I never have in Europe.

Coordinating the race
Coordinating the race

First of all, two weeks ago I spent an entire day in Chiminike (check out my earlier article on the project here) – not playing with the children, but doing a massive sack race with the other museum guides. Granted, I‘ve never been in a bag with seven other people, let alone tried to get forward!

Sack Race with the Guías Educativos
Sack Race with the Guías Educativos

Another thing I did, was explaining the water cycle in Spanish. I have never explained the water cycle before – not in German, not in French, not in English, not in Spanish. But the way I figure it, everybody should put that on their bucket list. Evaporación-Condensación-Precipitación (I‘m doing educational posts now)!

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Michelle explains how a train ended up in Chiminike

And number three, being stuck in a lift with twelve other people with a non-functioning alarm, no cell reception and slowly dying air-conditioning. You see, the danger I face in „the world‘s most dangerous country“ is more apparent in a guarded building than on the streets!

Fiesta with the Hondurans
Fiesta with the Hondurans
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Rain forest La Tigra

To put it short, there may be a lot of terrible things happening, but everyday there‘s laughter and hugs and people helping each other – there‘s nature and blue skies and rain forests, and the world is not all bad. It‘s hard to keep that in mind sometimes. Especially when you drive past mansions that coexist side by side with card board houses, not even a street between them, just wall against wall, world against world, it‘s a perversion that makes me want to scream. But, and it‘s a big one, there is a quote by Hank Green that I‘m trying never to forget:

„I‘m just trying to remember that the world is a good place and that the number of hugs per gun shot victim is very very high.“

We need more optimism is what I believe. No, things are not going to be alright by tomorrow morning. Nor will there be a massive turn of events by the end of next week. And of course it‘s an utopia to believe that some day Honduras (or the world) will be promised land. But if Doctor Who has taught me anything it‘s that „nothing is impossible, just highly unlikely“. I care and I have met so many people who care, who volunteer in projects, who want to become teachers in public schools or journalists – and as long as there‘s someone who cares, nothing is doomed. There is no point in trying to build a future no one believes in, so, please, count the hugs not the murders, count the stars and not the bodies.

Trip to Santa Lucia with the Guías Educativos
Trip to Santa Lucia with the Guías Educativos

That‘s it, I‘m done preaching to you! One last thing I want to share is how I only have four months left in Honduras. I need so much more! I don‘t understand how the people here can be this loving and patient and good to someone they hardly know at all. And I love them in spite of them constantly laughing at my accent! And I love this ugly city for it‘s differentness and I love the dancing despite it being about as vulgar as can be. I‘m taking it all in and I just don‘t want to let any of it go. It‘s a strange thing, because four months is nothing and YOLO suddenly turns into Carpe Diem and suddenly it makes so much sense not to over think my actions. It is both beautiful and sad, and it is living on a prayer that this life here may last forever. It‘s a doomed love story, the one of Honduras and me, but my heart is set on this place!

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2 thoughts on “Day 55 — Something Different

  1. Aww Noemi. Loved this post – it’s the first time I’ve read your blog and it’s excellent! You’re a born writer! Sounds like you’re having a ball. Enjoy every day and I hope you won’t be too upset by the time you’re back in New Zealand 🙂

    xx

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  2. I’m really sorry for the long post and for not sharing some thoughts here, but I have an opinión I wanted to share with you… You know, as a friend you just made here 🙂

    I don´t think it’s fair to say it’s a “perversion” that we coexist in one city people who have money and people who have none… it is a reality we have learned to face each day, and many people here through no fault of their own were born poor and have very little to live by day by day, as well as many people in Honduras were born to families that through hard work and study have become wealthy and that is not wrong either. There are of course others who have become rich by being corrupt government officials or by drug dealing, as well as there are many who are poor because they are lazy and don´t like hard work and expect everything to come to them through charity, they are the ones really sinking the rest of us.
    The thing is, it’s wrong to judge rich people for being rich and blame them for the poor people who are poor and condemn the rich for living well while there are poor people in the same city. It´s the same like if people said that Switzerland should be ashamed of paying a stipendium to their citizens just for being alive (as they are proposing to do, so I’ve heard) while there are poor nations in the world like mine where our government can´t afford to keep our hospitals running. It´s not Switzerland’s fault and just because Honduras has no money for hospitals, that shouldn’t stop the Swiss government from offering the best to their own citizens. However, this doesn’t mean the rich countries should ignore the poor ones and don’t spare a hand with aid… the same goes to the rich here, it is a social obligation for them to help if they can. But the fact that Hondurans have grown used to having rich and poor in one place, should not be a reason to call it a “perversion”. And it is not a crime to be rich in a poor country if your source of income is legitimate and comes from work and dedication.
    For us, students and professionals of the middle classes in Honduras, we care, oh we do care about the fate of our poor country. But the fact that we live surrounded by deadly crimes, insecurity, corrupt government institutions and hungry children in our streets, will not bring us down in depression and anger every day for our reality. We are allowed to laugh and have fun, and to not talk about it all the time because why do so if it’s so evident around us? It is not that we are insensitive, it is that we are stronger because we are the ones who hold the key to our country’s future, we understand that it is us the ones who study hard that will generate jobs for people who might need them. We are the ones that will become civil servants and try to revert the corrupt policies of our governments. We know not to give money to the child in the stop light, not because we are cruel, but because we know their parents make them do it because they don´t like to work for a living, and by giving them cheap money we promote this behavior, it is better to give them food (and sometimes we do it, but it´s impossible to do it every time we are asked for money by a little kid in the stop light)… we know where we live, we know our reality and we don´t choose to ignore it, we just accept it while we must.
    I know I didn´t make it to your blog by direct mention or anything, but I felt the urge to tell you this because I belong to that middle class that has to live by the shanty cardboard houses every day… and one thing is certain, I believe people here love you without knowing you that much, not only because of the sweet person you are, but also because of that big heart of yours that brought you to our country to help a little by working with our kids from every social class visiting our child museum. Our people are simple and loving, specially to foreigners who leave their commodities to come here and see by themselves our country is not only Headline news of crime rates and death toll statistics, but a place where actual people live, love and smile. I thank you for being here, and hope you discover by yourself what we are all about, and show to your people back home what we really are like. I’m really sorry if I sound un-polite or something, that is not my intention, you know I really think of you as a friend und ich hab dich lieb!

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