Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Where's the library?

Nearly four months into this journey, and now the more subtle differences between ¨home¨ (Canada) and here (Honduras) are becoming a little more obvious to me.

At first it´s all the not-so-subtle differences that hit you like a 2x4.  Noise at all hours, armed guards at the grocery stores, rough dirt roads in the middle of town that will require kicking it into 4-high if it rains, litter everywhere, greeting EVERYONE  you meet at the office with a kiss on the cheek upon arrival Monday morning, weekly staff meetings that are actually prayer and devotional sessions...the list goes on.  I´m finding all these things and more, are normalizing for me now.  I hardly notice all the razor wire surrounding the residences and  I kiss everyone´s cheeks like an old pro, uttering pleasantries as I do so (the trick is actually just to brush.your cheek against their cheek and make a kissy noisy simultaneously.  I´ve found that only men who are hitting on me actually full-on kiss my cheek, and usually utter something about the beautiful gringita.< I inwardly grin or groan, depending on who it is>).

So now, the deeper differences are becoming apparent, as some of my nostalgia for the home country is peaking out from behind the cloth of travel adventure.  Public spaces are lacking here.  Opportunities for women to be involved in organized sports are rare.  Where are the parks, the walking trails, the public soccer fields, the libraries?  Right about now I would love nothing more than to hunt down a ball in the control of an opposing team`s  player in the co-ed rec soccer league in Dawson Creek.

Where there are parks with walking trails, you can´t just leap off the couch and go.  You have to plan.  You have to at least be with a group.  You likely can´t bring visible valuables like your camera, and if you do bring them you know you risk losing them to Señor Robber.  Just part of the reality here.

So, to the Canadians who are reading this,  I hope you leap off your couch as spring approaches and take full advantage of those abundant, accessible parks and walking trails.  Sign-up for those rec-league sports, or evening workshops at your public library.  They are truly unique and special, and are some of the many advantages we receive when living in the often frigid, often white,  great North.

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