I went on another run today, probably only the third one since my last blog entry about running, but this one was vastly different. I have now finished the sex ed curriculum with my girls group and have continued meeting with them doing various other activities. On Wednesday after an intense Scrabble game, Jessy invited me to go running with her on Saturday. She had told me before that she went sometimes with her sister and I was excited to go with her. We decided to meet up at 3:30 in the afternoon at her house and would then go meet Leily, another one of the girls in the group, on the way so she could run with us as well.
After finally finding Jessy’s house, I picked her up and we took off walking to the Ocotepeque health center to meet Leily. We only waited there for a little while before deciding to start walking on our way to Antigua since Leily lived further away from town than the health center and meet up with her a few minutes later. Leily had brought along her sister Suri to run with us, who she also brought to the party we had at the end of the Yo Merezco course, and had come in flip flops. We set off, alternating running with walking, at the most beautiful time of the day. By then it was about 4 and the sun was starting to get lower to the mountains in Guatemala. It was also a lot cooler than it had been earlier in the day, which was a really nice change. We ended up running and walking a little past the turnoff to Antigua where I go to the health center, which is probably 2.5 miles out of Ocotepeque. We turned around and ran past a man bringing his horse from the day. With a closer look, I realized that I knew him because he had been to the health center with a machete wound on his arm. After saying hello we kept on past the pastures and creeks until we got to El Soldado. El Soldado, the soldier, is a monument up on a hill to the Honduran Armed Forces that fought in the Hundred Days war against El Salvador in 1969. Other places in the country seem to think it was more of a skirmish than an actual war, but either way, Ocotepeque was actually captured by El Salvador. At that time there were a lot of El Salvador immigrants in Honduras supposedly taking jobs from Hondurans and because of this attitude there was also a lot of mistreatment of these El Salvadorian immigrants. Combined with a border dispute (that perhaps is still going on since the map I have of Ocotepeque is missing the border in some places), all that was needed to put the two countries over the edge was a soccer game. After the game between Honduras and El Salvador violence broke out and led to this Hundred Days War, also known as the Soccer War.
Going back to the run from my historical distraction, there is a field by the monument where people often exercise. We went up there, ran some stairs, did some abs, and sat for a while to take in the view. The sun was starting to set and we could see the houses of several villages up in the mountains. It was beautiful. We finally got moving again because a bolo (a drunk man) starting hanging around us with a huge wooden pole. After we got off the field and were approaching the road again, Jessy looked back and saw the bolo running at us with the huge pole. She took off screaming and laughing at the same time, as did Leily and Suri, so I went with them and when we looked back again he was heading the other direction, towards El Salvador. Bolos, because of their being so drunk and most of the time incoherent, are actually pretty harmless but it was pretty humorous to see him stumbling after us. After we finally stopped laughing we looked back again and saw that he had stopped and was trying to do some kind of martial arts movements with the pole against the cars and trucks going by on the highway. I don’t think it was bound to turn out very well so we got moving on our way back to Ocotepeque.
After an uneventful walk the rest of the way, we dropped Leily and Suri off at their turnoff to go home and decided to meet again on Tuesday. Jessy and I then walked back to her house where I had a few glasses of water before heading home. We probably went about five miles and although most of it was walking, I think that was one of the best and most satisfying runs that I’ve ever had in my life.