As always I apologize for the lack of blog posts, I will try to improve but we all know my track record. I actually have an excuse this time for the lack of updates in my life, I have been out of Camasca, Intibucá for 2 weeks, on work/vacation. In my first week of vacation/work I went to Noche de Fumadores, direct translation “Night of the Smokers” which was a cigar promotional party with an open bar that took place in the city of Santa Rosa de Copan. I have not even been within 100 kilometers of an open bar since I arrived to my dry town so I will admit I had a splendid time. Furthermore, I won a box of cigars in the raffle, first time I have ever won anything, besides of course skilled based betting like fantasy football and baseball. Anyways everyone will be proud to know that I humbly and graciously accepted my box of premium cigars, besides the arm pumping and acting like I had won the mega millions. You are welcome once again America for my great representation of our people.
From Santa Rosa I traveled to an indigenous Garifuna community on the Caribbean. The Garifunas are a group of former African slaves, some of who escaped, who organized and created a community on the Caribbean coast of Honduras and Guatemala. They have retained their African culture and until recently all property was owned by the whole community. The government of Honduras, under the veil of helping the Garifunas by legalizing their property, helped to write land deeds to every property owner of the community. The “help” from the government effectively broke the community’s ability to resist selling their extremely valuable property. The monetarily poor Garifunas have begun to sell their beach front property to foreign and domestic buyers, unable to resist the seemingly large sums of money that they never before dreamed of holding in their hands. These coordinated actions of the government and private interests has begun the process of pushing out the “Negros” from the extremely profitable land. As one can imagine the Garifunas are neither well educated, nor have experience dealing with the finances of large sums of money which is a very dangerous combination. Although certain organizations, along with the locally strong and united Garifunas, have begun to work against the selling of their land, money right now is winning and creating a domino effect. I really hope the Garifunas can avoid losing their rich culture, one of the few cultures of Honduras that has not been totally enveloped by the materialism of Mexico and the US.
Okay sorry for the rant back to my trip. I have a good health volunteer friend who works in the AIDS center in the small Garifuna town, and also has a view of the ocean from her front porch. Yes, some volunteers are sent to small mountain communities with bucket baths and bastardly family turkeys, while others buy fresh fish and crabs off of boats every evening and spend their free time in the warm extremely clear Atlantic Ocean. I will acknowledge that my most recent experiences in any type of ocean has been the great tradition of jumping in the traumatizing cold Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Myrtle Beach to prove to my uncles that in fact I am a man. However, that being said, the water temperature and clarity make me want to buy a hut and live on the Caribbean for the rest of my life. From the beach we traveled to the city of Siguetapeque for our work conference. I was able to see all my friends from the Peace Corps which was a nice escape from Spanish and the daily life of Camasca. After three days of meetings and tech sessions I traveled to Tegucigalpa to meet Mallory at the airport. I have never been so excited in my life watching a TV monitor when her plane safely landed on the single runway. I have to head to a community right now so week two of my vacation will have to wait. Anyways I miss everyone stateside, oh an argentineside. Until part two…….