Introduction to My Life in Concepcion, Intibuca
I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, between 1992 and 1994 living in the village of Concepcion in the state of Intibuca. I worked with farmers in erosion control and soil conservation. We tried to teach farmers how to best eliminate erosion on their hillside land, and how to improve the soil in natural ways with composting, and planting beans that put more nitrogen in the soil. I would go out everyday to work with people, and I walked a whole lot. I was the only American for about 100 miles distance. Sometimes, I didn't see another American for two or three weeks.
I lived in one room, where there was a beautiful courtyard with flowers, trees, wash stone , and makeshift bathroom. There was a bird in my backyard that signified all the mysteriousness of the Honduran people. It would make this high pitched screaming noise. When it would make it's sound, I would think about all the people that I couldn't understand or communicate with, yet. The funny thing is that I realized just last year while talking to my husband, Bob, that the bird was actually probably my local squirrel that lived in the tree in my garden. That's when I finally was able to completely understand what had really happened all those years ago.
Speaking Spanish was very hard for me in the beginning. I would retreat into my room sometimes for a whole day, if I couldn't enter the world of my village. There were so many people, who I didn't know. It was all a little scary. In fact, I'm not sure how I actually got out to face the world everyday. I had a great sense of adventure, because sometimes just going out the door was enough to scare me.
The thing that was the best, were the people who really wanted to know me. I wasn't exactly sure why they wanted to, but they sure did, and I wanted to know them. There were many children who would come over and visit me in the beginning. These children would then introduce me to their families. It seemed easier that way. I was always having kids over, and talking with them. I am forever grateful to these people who reached out to me, and brought me into their worlds.