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Not So Happy Birthday to Me

The day before my 24th birthday, I looked out my door, and saw light where there shouldn't have been one, and heard a huge commotion. There was no electricity then, and I wondered what was happening. Down the street from my room, there was a huge house and store fire. There were no fire trucks or hoses; so, the whole house and store went up in flames. I watched along with everyone else as people tried to put out the fire with buckets of water. I had always had dreams of a fire burning down a house in my neighborhood or my house. It seemed that that premonition was coming true half a world away! As I stood there, I talked to this young man, Doro, who had lived in the US for three years. I really felt I couldn't talk much in Spanish that night.

We didn't know it, but my landlord's shoe store was being looted, as were other's houses. it was complete chaos!

My friends Jessenia, Gloria, and Professora Berta helped me move into their house temporarily for the night. There were nine children there including four nieces and nephews. Keyla was crying, when we went to bed, and her aunt wasn't there. Finally, everyone got back to the house, and we tried to get some sleep. The next day they baked the traditional Honduran Quesadilla for me in an old-fashioned wood oven, like the one at Sutter's Fort. In true Concepcion form, they threw water over my head. I still don't know why this is a tradition, but it is in Concepcion. Maybe, because it's so hot!. It was very nice of them to celebrate with me, and do so many nice things that day. i will be forever grateful!

After that, I moved back to my room. I spent a lot of time organizing and transporting my stuff that afternoon. One memory I have is a whole bunch of kids just looking into my room and watching me. This happened a lot, and it really got on my nerves. They wouldn't say anything, just watch me, like it was the most exciting show ever! I ended up having some money and other things stolen from me, because there were lots of looters. I will never know who stole the money or stuff, but It wasn't the happiest of birthdays.

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