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20 June 2011

A day late

First of all: Happy Fathers´ Day!  Thanks, Pop, for everything you´ve done for me: the love, the support, the prayers, teaching me how to field a ground ball.  For the rest of you, I can only echo the common form of acknoweledgements in the beginning of books: all that is good in me is thanks to my parents, the mistakes are solely my own.

There is a story that some of the early friars went on mission to Germany only knowing how to say ¨yes¨ in German.  Thus, when asked if they were heretics, they responded: ''yes.''  They were summarily beaten and thrown forcibly from Germany.  As of this moment, I think I possess a fairly clear understanding of the way they felt.  I know not this language, nor the customs of this place.  Conjugations and pronounciations are a mystery to me.  My only recourse is a smile and hope in the goodness of strangers.  Yet, there is something about Honduras that gets into your blood.  (And by that, I do not mean the bacteria in my stomach that brought me to my knees for 36 hours this week.)  The country takes your imagination, takes your heart, makes you laugh -- at yourself and at the situations in which you find yourself. 

At the same time, the injustice visited upon this country takes my breath away on a nearly daily basis.  The poverty is not simply an sympton found in corners of the city or courntry, it is an all pervasive reality.  Honduras, or at least most Hondurans, operate from a fundamental place of scarcity, rather than a place of abundance.  The only place, I should note, that I have not seen scarcity as the operative premise is in my interpersonal dealings.  Always a cup of coffee or a cold soda is ready and proffered willingly to a visitor. 

Accepting such generosity, I should note, is not without its hazards.  Last Saturday, the Gringos traveled to see the Continental Divide in Honduras.  We saw a small church being built and went to visit.  They are served by the friars in the city, so we were greeted with open arms.  We ended up making our way to a small home/restaurant and being offered fresh blackberry juice.  Delicious.  I think, however, that they used tap water in creating the concoction.  The result? For a period of a little over a day, I was greeted by a quite extraordinary case of Montezuma´s revenge.  After a blood test, a verdict of bacteria in my stomach was returned.  Hello, Cirpo, good-bye, bacteria. 

Classes here continue to move.  Spanish is difficult. (Duh.)  Apologies to Patricia Homsany, my seventh grade Spanish teacher.  If I had known I would be here, I would have paid more attention. 

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