March 9, 2012
Our first day in Honduras is almost over. Even now, sitting in Trish and Marlon’s house in Danli, I still don’t feel like I’m in Honduras. Obviously we landed safe and sound! The runway is ridiculously small. The landing in a downward spiral and a rough slam on the brakes after touching the ground, but it was fun! From the moment I stepped off the plane, I could immediatly feel the difference. All workers spoke Spanish, and ONLY Spanish. People here don’t understand a bit of English. This is the first time I have ever felt so vulnerable and alone. I am the minority here. It’s a scary feeling. I have a much greater respect for people who move to the U.S. without knowing any English. It’s very frustrating to do anything when you can’t read or communicate effectively. We met up with Trish, Marlon, Gio, and Kelsey just outside of the terminal. Stepping out of the airport was a different experience all together. The first thing I noticed was the breathtaking mountains all around, but as I focused around me, I realized I knew all of the businesses. Sherman Williams, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, and many more common U.S. joints. Why are bits and pieces from our culture overflowing in Honduras? What happened to the local shops? Do the people here like having U.S. culture take over in the city? How far does our culture influence theirs? I have so many questions and no answers… YET! While driving the hour and a half it took to get to Danli, I saw less and less of the American’s influence around me. It’s very difficult to describe the beauty and simplicity of Honduras. It is a common sight to see children outside, laughing and holding hands. Many groups of men are gathered together talking. You occasionally see a woman walking to/from the clothes line to hang laundry. After we arrived at Trish and Marlon’s house, we all went to a local restaurant to eat. I’m not exactly sure what I ordered, but it was some sort of a fried burrito/taco thingy that was extra tomato-y. The food here is very plain with few spices. I guess I expected it to be more like the Mexican food I’m used to? A few kids were hanging around the restaurant begging people eating for food. Much to my dismay, many customers treated them with kindness and respect. People even offered their own food to kids, who turned and split everything evenly with all the other children. How can a starving and hungry kid be more generous with food than the chubby chunks back in the States? Seeing the generous behavior of small children feels like a slap in the face. I’m such a selfish person. And it really bothers me. Though I frequently share my snacks, sometimes my first thought is “No. Why don’t you get your own.” I wish I could figure out a way to erase that automatic selfish thought from even entering my mind. Maybe this trip will change that.. I sure hope it does.