Waiting for the rain
Well, everyone. I did it.
This past Saturday, after receiving wooden plaques, a standing ovation, and many, many hugs, the 7 other departing volunteers (Hannah, Fritz, Lukas, Michelle, Annie, Simone, and Josi--they all deserve to be mentioned) and I piled ourselves and our luggage into the Ranch´s brand-new micro bus and drove off, sappily enough, into the sunset. No one spoke the entire way to Tegucigalpa. The Gipsy Kings tape played, the Padre drove, and we all stared out the window, at the expanse of drying fields, of the shadowy mountains. I don´t know what each one was thinking, but I suppose it was something about the immensity of this past year and the odd combination of sadness and joy involved in leaving.
I have said goodbye many times during the past weeks and I have been feeling the tired inadequacy of the word. Why is it that we say "goodbye" for everything? If we leave a room for a few minutes we say it. If we go on vacation, we say it. If someone dies, we have to say it too. By the end of my 6th or 7th despedida (going-away party), I stopped using the word altogether and starting thinking seriously about sneaking off the ranch and not having to bid farewell to anyone else.
But I stayed, I said goodbye without actually saying "goodbye" and now I find myself 8 hours away from the Ranch in La Ceiba in the pouring, oh-god-stop-pouring, rain. Hannah and I got up early (well, no, we just never slept after getting in from the club in the early morning) and made the 7 hour trip up to La Ceiba intending to catch a 4 p.m. ferry to Roatán, one of the Bay Islands. We made it with time to spare, spend 100 lemps ($5) to take a cab to the dock outside of town, only to find out the ferry had left early due to the weather. It is still raining, so here we are, catching up on email and television in a dingy hotel (but clean and safe, Mom) in La Ceiba while we wait for the rain to stop.
Fortunately, we don´t fly out of Tegus until the 23rd so we´re not in a hurry and we´d rather be here in Ceiba than on Roatán where everything from hotels to beer is double the price. We are perfecting the art of budget travelling--we already have located the 16 lempira beer and the baleadas and the pupusas. So, we should be set for a few days. When the rain clears, we´ll smother our whitening selves in sunscreen and hit the beaches of Roatán. ¡Que pare la lluvia!
So, that´s that. The rain falls, I have said my goodbyes, and I am catching up on Desperate Housewives and Grey´s Anatomy and waiting, waiting for this rain to stop.