people keep asking how my trip was and it is incredibly hard to summarize with a soundbite.
it was complicated. it was rich and rewarding and it was painful and exhausting. it wasn't always clear that our being there was a good thing and our presence was certainly not without unintended consequences. but alas, this is life and, especially, international aide.
i have come to learn that some things are just complicated. and we can fight this, we can wrestle it, we can resist it, we can ignore it. or we can acknowledge that very few things are as simple as we wish they would be and work continuously to make these flawed systems slightly less flawless.
while i was in honduras i was reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, which proved to be perfect timing in terms of challenging my own issues with our trip through the way dr. paul farmer and his international medical service work relentlessly try to serve the poor. this book upset me and gave me hope in humanity all at once. while i highlighted hundreds of quotes from the book, one continues to resonate: don't let perfect be the enemy of good (p. 160).
i will admit that i am in that strange space between youthful naiveté and late-twenties/early-thirties bitterness. but one thing i took from this trip is that relationships are the vehicle for lasting, real, meaningful change and that if we focus on perfection, we are only going to be left with emptiness and brokenness. we must do the good we can with those we can reach.
so with all that posturing and politicizing here is the true story in pictures. i don't have many pictures of the children, because i don't have a way of making sure they don't mind if i share their faces on the internet. don't be fooled though, there were children everywhere--lack of accesible birth control and 97% catholicism will do that.
|driving in tegucigalpa--for one brief second while the shutter opened the roads weren't packed; this was an anomaly.|
|hospital in la esperanza + recently decommissioned ambulance.|
|church and gorgeous tree in la esperanza (where we stopped over going in and out of honduras).|
|THE town of agua salada. literally, this is the whole town: church and school.|
|one of the mango trees near my tent. we ate hundreds of mangos over the course of two weeks |
and now the ones at home just don't compare.
|church doors at the stations of the cross service i attended.|
|one of the nicer homes in the area. |
just to the left of the frame is an incredible garden of the local herbalista.
|these rocks were used to grind corn for tortillas, tamales, pupusas, etc.|
i wonder how many hours the women of this house have spent using this?
|no one has indoor plumbing and few have outdoor plumbing.|
everyone has a pit-style toilet outside their home.
|and everyone that has ever done any work abroad knows, futbol is the way to relationship. |
and perhaps the path to peace? oh no, those post-futbol riots are pretty awful.
|most people arrived at our clinic after many hours of walking, but a few people came on horseback.|
|the clinic in operation.|
|my home for two weeks--the cozy little green tent.|
|we had a torrential downpour one day that left me stranded at the local school for two hours, |
made the nearby road impassible, and soaked many people's things.
fortunately, my little tent held out and i stayed dry through the night.
|the market in concepcion, |
which was packed full of people and designed for hondurans (i.e., not for people exceeding 5'7")
|this dog stood on the edge of this building (?) for hours, just looking out over the people at the market.|
i'm not sure how he got up there or planned to get down.
|with lots of cattlemen in the country, nearly every booth in the markets sell lassos and rope.|
|this was the waterfall we hiked to on our second leisure day.|
we sat in the spray of the waterfall for three hours, enjoying the closest thing to air conditioning honduras has to offer. it was glorious!
|on the last night in agua salada we played spoons. all of the men in the community were entranced by the game and many got really into it. who knew spoons could be a way to connect despite language and cultural barriers.|