The reason I sucked at physics was not because I had a bad teacher, it was because he tried too hard explaining me how physics works, how the atoms and molecules interact, instead of just telling me how to use it. It‘s the same with mobile phones or computers – few of us actually know how those things really work, we just know how to use them. I manage effortlessly to walk into solid walls and fall down stairs, so no, I don‘t think I have a grasp on how to use physics!
It‘s the same principle with Honduras (or any other country). We can spend so much time just trying to understand why a place is the way it is, why it is not better or worse, why there‘s corruption or dictatorship… and it can help, but what we need to learn in the first place is how to use it. A country‘s history is what sound wave‘s are for the sound – without the waves we wouldn‘t hear the music and without the history we couldn‘t build a better future. But in order to appreciate the waves‘ work, we have to have heard the music first. So, how do we use Honduras? Based on my experience the first and best thing anyone can do is be amiable. Smile, appreciate not having been robbed, return the hugs (try to enjoy them!)… Honduras is definitely a country where being happy is appreciated.
Then, learn how to dance. Or, if you can‘t dance, at least learn the songs and move your hip, and be sexy.
Another thing, always count your change. Don‘t trust amiable people (but trust them more than grumpy ones, because at least they are nice), they might still try to rob you.
Oh, and don‘t get mad at robbers. I haven‘t been robbed so far, but I would rather give up my phone than my life. Maybe that‘s just me, though.
That‘s how you get by in Honduras. That‘s knowing which buttons to press on your phone, the green one to call, the red one to hang up. But now, there‘s a whole bloody lot of things wrong with that phone. And knowing how to use it won‘t do any more, because as hard as you push those buttons, they won‘t change anything. That‘s the point where we have to start to understand what wire goes where and why. John Green said,
„Grateful to be a little boat full of water still floating.“
(I do think the Greens will save the day!) And that‘s how I see Honduras. A broken place that still somehow manages to keep its pieces together.
Last week I had the chance to visit the peninsula Zacate Grande in the south of the country. I don‘t think anyone can sum up the people‘s problems there as well as Disney‘s „The Emperor‘s New Groove“ does. It takes seventy-five minutes of whole hearted laughter to realise that Kuzco is a) real, b) owns the freaking country and c) did not turn into a llama, and therefore actually built Kuzcotopia and did make the farmers leave their grounds even though they‘ve lived there for generations. And yet, Zacate Grande, too, is a boat, still floating. The grounds are inhabitet by farmers who are more than willing to fight for their rights. It‘s either fighting with a small chance of winning or not fighting with the certainty of starving. The great land owners need the land to build their mansions and tourist resorts, they privatise the beaches and rob the farmers of any chances of existence (you can find out more here). But being there, in spite of seeing the poverty up close, was one of the happiest expierences ever. It is so lovely to see that people are still just people. They took me to the beach and complained about the fact that I didn‘t bring my bathing suit, and wanted to know if I had already found a gorgeous Honduran! Where there‘s girl’s talk, the world will not end.
And of course I have to mention the visit to the orphanage N.P.H. (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos). It was beautiful and is an example of one of the many things that actually go right in Honduras. The children are granted a good future and a safe childhood. Books are very valued (an institution that doesn‘t value books is not a good institution, simple as that) and the whole area has a warm ambiente to it (and not only because of the hot weather). One of the things I loved the most was the plays we did for them, mainly because I enjoy watching them, too! But in the end, what was beautiful was to see their excited faces when they received a little bag of sweets and couldn‘t wait to open them. That is why children are so beautiful. The way they can‘t hold themselves back, the way they just have to taste those cookies right now, because they might explode if they don‘t… that‘s what gets lost on us when we grow up. Because we learn how to hold back, how to control ourselves. But maybe, life is about not keeping control. Maybe it‘s about going ahead and shamelessly taking what you can‘t resist.
I may not understand physics in any way, and that‘s okay. I mean, I fell up the stairs once, and the bruise taught me that, against my better judgement, this is in fact possible! But what I do understand is this: Whether it‘s a phone or a country, some things you just love even if they are broken. And loving them in their brokenness will make you angry enough to do what you can to fix them.