Thursday, October 16, 2008
As my alarm clock rudely cuts into the middle of my dream, I force my eyes open, notice that it’s still dark, and wonder why my alarm has gone off. Oh yeah, I was planning on running today. I wrestle myself out of bed to look out the window and see the faint hope of daylight through the clouds low to the valley. My running clothes on, I’m finally ready to head out the door. It’s 5:25. I head out the dirt streets avoiding the rocks and make it to the main road. The international highway. Whenever I run, I run on the side of the road going to the El Salvador border and leave my apartment early enough to avoid the human and vehicular traffic leaving or entering Honduras. I head out of town and see two women walking on the other side of the road. A surprising number of people, considering all the times before leaving that I was warned people didn’t exercise here, usually walk or run between 5:00 and 6:30 going south on the only road that heads out of town. There aren’t quite as many people out today I notice, probably because of the rain last night and the overcast weather this morning. I cross the bridge that goes over the tiny creek and see a big herd of cows taking over the road and the grass on the right. I cross the street to run around them knowing that their bodies are not made for running but for some reason still having the irrational fear that one will try to make a break for it and charge me. As I run past, the man herding the cows with nothing more than a stick shouts, “¡Buenos días,” and I wave in return. I look to the mountains on the east side of the valley to see the wisps of clouds weaving through the rocky crevasses and am reminded just how much I love it here. I pass a group of men in their black rain boots carrying machetes, ready to start their day of work in the campo. Harmless, but I pick up the pace. I finally get to the curve in the road where I have decided to turn around today since I am just starting to run again and can see the lights of El Salvador in the distance. I will get there another day. I ran a few times during FBT but upon coming to site I wanted to get the feel for my community before starting to run because in many places it is inappropriate and possibly dangerous for a woman to run by herself. I turn around to start home and can see the whole town of Ocotepeque on the valley floor. I try to find my apartment, one of my very lofty goals on my runs, but have no luck. One of these days I’m going to have to stop and really look for it instead of just glancing for it every now and then. I run past a horse grazing on the side of the road that I didn’t notice on my way out as a truck passes by, coming from the border, which officially opens at six to let trucks through. I approach the herd of cows and the man, with a huge grin on his face, this time says, “¡Adios!” “Adios,” I reply. As it gets to be lighter the clouds settle a little lower in the valley and it begins to sprinkle, a result of the tropical storm somewhere in the Caribbean. I’m almost home. I think about everything I have to do today and the bucket bath I will take before starting. Hopefully the power will still be on so I can heat up the water. I enter town, turn down one of the first side streets to zigzag my way back to my apartment and think to myself, “What will I have for breakfast? Beans and tortillas?” After a run just like any other, I realize how much my standards for normal have changed.
Monday, October 13, 2008
So with some help from my mom at home, I finally have some pictures up! The first picture below is of my apartment and the second is a view out one of the windows in my bedroom. My apartment is on the second floor so I have great views of the mountains out of both of the windows and an even better view from the roof (where I sometimes like to eat dinner). The third picture was taken when Heather and Marisa came to visit and is of Heather and I on top of the bell tower of the church in Antigua Ocotepeque, where I work. The last picture in that set of four is of Cinthia and I at the health center. Cinthia is one of the nurses who works there and I really like to spend time with her. She lives in a small village of Antigua so I don´t get to see her as much as I would like, but she´s a really driven, awesome girl. The two pictures below are of Heather and I then of Marisa and I when they came to visit. It was awesome having them here to show them around and I can´t wait until my parents come in just two months!