Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Uncensored Engagement Notice

I found a wedding dress design program on the web! So cool!

Thanks to my exceedingly helpful workmate Daniel, I have a meeting with a local dressmaker in just a few hours.  Apparently he's a nurse by day and a dressmaker by night.  He missed our last arranged meeting  because he was dealing with bullet wounds at the local public hospital.  I digress.

Another helpful CUSO staff member, Yeny, sent me the above guidebook.  It's an intimidating 262 pages of "Plan your wedding in No Time".  I wasn't 10 pages in when I discovered that I'd already put my nose up to accepted protocols, especially for those living in the Hamptons.  We did not put out a formal engagement notice, complete with the 4 Ws and the 1 H, repleat with personalized details.

Allow me to correct this oversight below.  I need the practice for Canadian immigration anyway (heh).

Humberto and I met on his family's mixed farm on May 7, 2011 at approximately 8:32:04 am.  Learning of my background and interest in agriculture, his father had invited me for a tour of the place. I had declined for  months, given the very low level of my Spanish at the time.  Little did I know that Jesus Alvarado had twin sons, both recently graduated with degrees in Agro-Industrial Engineering, and prepared to give me the royal tour of the dairy, beef, orchards, pastures, and horticulture all glorious day.  Soon after we started, it was just Humberto and I, and two delighted boys, enjoying the sights.  We hit the mango orchards and shared these sweet fruits as we cased out the situation regarding our respective marital/relationship statuses. "Do you have Facebook?"

Are you single? Yup.  Are you? Yup.  Sweet mangoes.

We went back to his family's house, shared a dinner with his Mom and Dad and brother Josue, then I pulled out a guitar and sang a few tunes.  At the end of the evening, Humberto asked me for my phone number and I, without hesitation, gave it to him. After a few dates we discovered that beyond agriculture, we share a love of community service, dancing, riding horses, learning, and adventure, not to mention eachother.

Humberto asked me to marry him after I told him to, on November 12, 2011.  You see, we had already started talking about wedding plans, down to what kind of  music the band should be playing, and what I was going to have to do to secure a Catholic ceremony.  I wasn't sure if the lack of proposal was a cultural difference or if he was waiting until Christmas to pop the question, but the practical side of me wanted to tell potential wedding guests about the upcoming event before they spent all this year's savings on Christmas gifts. 

Gaetane: "So, in Honduras, is it common for the man to propose to the woman?"
Humberto: "Si."
Gaetane: "Well, could you do that then please?"

He followed through beautifully in princely fashion and expressed himself with heartfelt, tear-inducing Spanish in a way only latinos are capable of. I responded in heartfelt Canadian Spanglish, "Yes, I will marry you."

We are thrilled to have found eachother, in unlikely circumstances, and to be starting our lives together.


  1. Hello Gaetane. You don't know me but I am a good friend of Lise's and she told me you were in Honduras with CUSO. Good for you. Just wanted to tell you that a cherished friend of mine is also there. If you haven't met Jody Paterson yet, I think you would like her. She is a singularly interesting person. Her blog is http://www.closer-look.blogspot.com/. And I'd welcome you to drop by mine http://mrwriteon.wordpress.com/.

  2. Thanks Ian! Yes, I know Jody and Paul. I was in Copan Ruins with them last week, enjoying lessons at the same Spanish school. We shared a drink, cultural notes, and a few laughs. Enjoyed your post about George Clooney. :)

  3. G:
    Like the blog very much - especially the nice balance between ups and downs, and the very good writing - and enjoyed the drinks here. We did a 17-hour trip to San Pedro Sula and back yesterday - 5 a.m. to after 10 - and, of course, came back without the bank cards. Heading there again Friday, I guess.
    Did have a good idea in the truck for a Vols en Hondura blog that would aggregate all the updates in one easy-to-check site and let people, including newcomers, share info and questions.
    Oh yeah, also felt better that, after six years of owning my Lone Star mandolin, I can only manage G-C-D progressions.

    1. Thanks Paul, It feels great to have a professional writer compliment my blog!

      I like the idea of having a Coming to Honduras? site, possibly with links to other volunteer blogs. I have created another blog for family and friends who are attending my wedding in July that contains some info on what to bring, what not to wear, what not to touch (dogs, raw cabbage)etc. I'd be happy to collaborate with you!