Sunday, June 26, 2005

It goes fast, doesn´t it

I´ve been thinking about going home a lot lately--how strange the highways will look with thousands of shiny cars weaving in and out like something choreographed, how my bed will feel, how it will be to sit down with my whole family and have a meal, how I will sit with a friend at Jim´s Place and order a Blue Moon and how, just like that, it will be put in front of me, a slice of orange swirling the thin foam.

Technically, my departure date is a long way off, but lately, time has a serpentine movement--I catch a glimpse of it slipping by every now and then, but before I realize it, it is gone.

Last night, in the nearby village of La Venta, sitting around a rickety table covered in Salva Vida bottles, feet still wet from the hike, I talked with one of the volunteers who is about to finish his 13 months here and go home. He is ready to go home, but faces taking hot showers for the rest of his life and trying not to feel guilty. How do we go back and live a just life--a life in which we understand our fortune and live responsibly? Some of us will go back and forget. Some of us will go back and obsess. Where will be the healthy in-between? Is there a healthy in-between?

Somehow, this Sunday morning, I just don´t have it in me to try to find the answers. I´m sorry I don´t have much to tell you, no recent adventures to share. I just want to put down a little of what is in my head. I want you to know my questions.

Time is going fast and in what seems to be a moment, I will be stepping off a plane in Chicago with no answers.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Rain, Finally

The rainy season has begun. So far, what this means is a daily thunderstorm, usually in the late afternoon or evening. The timing is usually convenient enough and it is lovely to watch the lighting behind the mountains and fall asleep beneath my mosquito net listening to the thunder and rain. The brown, beaten hills have become fuzzy and green. The dust has settled and Tegus is once again a city appearing suddenly through the mountains, millions of small colored houses like the paper on a piñata. Trees that I never knew existed have sprouted speading, delicate leaves that reach out like glowing fingers. What an appropriate time to feel the dirty, cracked parts of me smoothed and full of life again.

I feel like a change in me has very markedly occurred during the past month. I have gone from being slightly discontented and very homesick to actually liking my life here on the Ranch, in Honduras. (This probably explains my lack of blog entries--not enough to complain about!) What an amazing thing. Before, looking at my next 8 months, I felt like a child sitting in front of a plate of broccoli or a stack of homework--nearly impossible, but required. Now, I am starting to see how much I like it here and how hard it will be to--in 8 months--leave this world that is slowly developing around me.

My mom and brother are coming to visit on Saturday. I am excited to introduce them to the life I have here, the children who feel like my own, the way the big dipper hangs upside down here, how the air smells during the rain. I am excited to hear what they thing about everything, excited to hear them compliment my Spanish, see them hug my kids, have them taste a licuado or a baleada. They will bring suitcases full of things from home: clothes and soap and contact solution. They will arrive tired and dirty and marvel at the chaos of Tegus. The pine trees on the Ranch will remind them of home. They will tell us about the things we miss, about their lives that go on without us. We will be a little sad, but wonderfully happy.

Maybe I am not writing about exciting things, maybe you are bored with me and my haphazard way with words, but I want you to know I am doing well. I am still fumbling with my Spanish, teaching less-than-expertly, not loving everyone how I want to, but I am learning to be happy.

And the rain, finally, has come.

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