Back in the Boondocks of Honduras

After 3 planes, 4 buses, 2 taxis, and a long painful walk up a mountain questioning  what was actually inside my luggage, I finally arrived to my house in Camasca, Intibucá, Honduras. I had a great time in the states with friends and family being lazy and enjoying the small luxuries of life. A result of the immense amount of bacon intake (only missed two mornings but made up for it with bacon appetizers for Chistmas), lazy days in Myrtle Beach, hiking, sushi, the beach, long car rides on actually paved roads, and just spending time with the people I love has made my return to Honduras more difficult than I first expected. I never truly experienced homesickness until my first arrival to Honduras when I really did not speak the language, rooster calling all night was abnormal, and a cold bucket bath remained unusual. However, for the next ten months I became accustomed to life in a third world country and actually began to enjoy the simplicities of life.

Fast forward to ten months later, once again arriving to Honduras from the states and a new form of homesickness  crept up into my conscious. I no longer feared a cold bucket bath, 4 hour bus rides on a dirt road, crappy transportation, Spanish, endless amounts of tortillas, beans, and rice, and all the other strange aspects of a foreign culture (okay well I still fear a cold baths). So why did that familiar feeling of homesickenss begin to form in my mind? One of the first and most interesting questions given to me during my vacation in the states was by my dad, “Do you live a hard life in Honduras?” At the time I was unprepared to answer such a question, it actually seemed strange, so I replied no I survive without problems. I mean in comparison to other Hondurans I live a very fulfilling life without the fear of lacking food, work, or a chance to improve my life. It almost seems offensive to me to respond that I live a hard life in Honduras when I compare my daily activities and life with the rural poor that surround me in my village. However, as I return to life in Honduras I have rethought about the question, “Do you live a hard life in Honduras?” I think the answer adequately explains the reason for the return of my feelings of homesickness.

One important lesson that I have learned living in a poor rural community in the mountains of Honduras is that happiness is not a question of materials or things owned. Happiness can be attained with the bare minimums of life, clean drinking water, access to schools, afternoon coffee, adequate food, a nice hammock, and your friends and family. The last part “friends and family” and of course my girlfriend Mallory explain my feelings of homesickness. I have conquered or at least accepted many of the hardships that face a foreigner living in Honduras, and I have even made friends with a lot of people around here. The one key aspect of happiness that will always be missing in Honduras is my family, friends, and girlfriend. No matter how many friends I make in Honduras, or families that adopt me as their own I will still not have the people who throughout my life who have shaped me into the person I am today.

I guess the point of this blog is to state, thank you to everyone, my friends, my family, Mallory, and everyone in my life that has always been there for me. Although bacon is a masterful combination of flavors, Christmas ale will remain in my dreams for months to come, and a hot shower for all its citizens should be the goal of all developing countries, I truly understand that people are the most important part of happiness and I feel truly blessed that I have so many people to miss.


About lawyersgunandmoney

I am currently serving in the Peace Corps in Camasca, Honduras, a small mountain town located near the border of El Salvador. My project is Water and Sanitation.
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8 Responses to Back in the Boondocks of Honduras

  1. Michelle says:

    I loved your blog entry! It made me cry. Such a simple answer to such a big question in life, yet so very true! We were all happy you were home with us. Hopefully your homesickness will take a back seat once you get into your life again in Honduras. We think of you often here at home and the girls talk about you all the time. Especially after Myrtle Beach! You gave them a lot of memories to talk about! Your mom told us how you don’t get much mail. Kate, Claire and Ben are already making plans to fix that problem. Be careful what you ask for! You just might get it! Love you and miss you! Take Care

  2. Kellee says:

    Zach – we miss you. Great post. Homesickness is a tough one to combat – stay busy and just keep being you. We love you!

  3. brettjo says:

    Dude – I was on FB today and I think I wandered onto your blog because of the title – definitely more creative than ‘Zach in Honduras’.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that bacon IS a masterful combination of flavors.

    Also, I’m with you . . . the novelty has worn off. Of course, take pride in how incredibly rugged you are to be able to say ‘I’m super used to living in rural Honduras’.

  4. Sharon Tinianow says:

    Hi Zach – your post made me think how much we take for granted about our every day lives. Thanks for the reminder of all we have to be thankful for.


  5. Hallie says:

    Please please write a book Zach!

  6. Kellee says:

    I don’t know who “brettjo” is but I was laughing hard at his/her comments.

  7. Aunt Annie says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only aunt to cry! I miss you terribly and hearing you were homesick killed me, but you are living out a movie I would totally go see and recommend for the Sundance Festival. In 15 years, when you are coaching one of your daughters’ CYO basketball teams to greatness, you will look back on your Peace Corps experience as one of the luckiest, most amazing times of your life. So, with all the hardships and all the homesickness, promise me you will soak in this experience and continue writing – I am with Hallie, you definitely have to write a book! Sent you something from Snapfish and the girls are going to write you today – so keep an eye out for some fun stuff! I love you! Love, Aunt Annie

  8. Bridget Rinaldi says:

    Your words touched me deeply. I am not sure if you knew, but Joe and the kids and I lost a dear friend over the holidays. And I couldnt agree with you more on what happiness actually means. Going away to a third world country, losing someone close
    puts things in perspective. I know you have this hurting feeling of homesickness, but remember what you are doing and lives that you have touched. We miss you dearly also, not the same without you. The girls and I will get going on getting you some cards so you can hang them up as your wallpaper. Just remember that I “am the funny aunt”, they will not be normal cards. Love you and take care,

    Aunt Bridget

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