Some Interesting Moves
My neighbors and I had been living around the same crowded courtyard for quite a few months. O and D were able to rent a larger set of rooms from Don T; so, they moved and left me alone. At first, I actually felt lonely without the hustle and bustle, because I had magically adjusted to having all six of them there! Soon though, I moved into the room that they vacated. Although slightly more expensive at about $10 a month, it was worth it. My landlord, exclaimed that it was big enough for me to dance in, and he was right! What a wonderfully free feeling that room gave to me! My admirer M loved that I had moved to the front room, because he could yell across the street at me whenever he pleased. Great, just what I always needed and wanted, not really! The kids started visiting me more again, because I was in their line of sight. This was a good change, because I hadn't seen some of them in a while. Life would continue to get more interesting!
After my move, I had a very busy and exciting week. One day, I went to spend the night with V, and I planned to work with her brother again. Another night, D asked me to stay over night with her, because O was going to Teguc for his math exams. He was getting his bachelor's degree in mathematics. Their neice and Grandma were going to San Miguelito for the night, and she would be alone with the babies. Of course, I agreed to stay over. I brought my food to cook it on her stove, since mine wasn't working very well. Then, I stayed over night with her. I was happy that she wanted me to be the one to stay with her!
Around this time, my cousins sent me a wonderful gift from the US. It was a checkers set in book form with small playing pieces. I tried to teach one little friend how to play, but it was too hard for her. My young friend G and her family members would come and play regularly. The little boys were excellent players, and they taught me Honduran checkers, which was just as out of control as everything else there. A player could go backwards and forwards right from the beginning; therefore making it hard for anyone to win! We spent many a Saturday afternoon playing this game in my room or O and D's apartment. It was a perfect pastime for me and most all of my friends!
One Sunday afternoon, G invited me to her father's farm. It was a very beautiful piece of land, that resembled some pictures of Honduras I'd seen before leaving. I sold the family some of the nitrogen fixing beans, and we planted them in amongst the corn stalks. I also helped her brother plant sorghum. It was a wonderful afternoon spent with good friends in a bucolic setting. I wish that I'd had a camera, but it was stolen in January; so there are no photos. I was happy that they wanted to try out the nitrogen fixing beans. We would see if their corn would turn out greener and stronger.
Right after this, I had a most memorable conversation. My friend N and I had a relationship that was very special to us both, but we were also kind of shy around each other. We just couldn't get it together to even talk, right then. I wasn't sure how I felt about him, if it was more as a younger brother or potential boyfriend. We both knew there was something powerful between us, though. One evening while he was away at school, his parents told me something incredible. Apparetly, in January N had told them that he'd wanted to marry me, and skip the boyfriend girlfriend stage. The ironic thing is that I had been wondering if he had feelings for me anymore, especially since he'd mentioned another girl at one time. This was very surprising information, but the thought was dreamy and incredibly romantic to me. My friend O, who lived across the street and always acted as my cheerleader was also present. During this conversation, I admitted to all of them that yes, I loved him. It appeared that I was able to be much more honest and transparent in Spanish than English. They were extremely enthusiastic about us being together, even though I felt the possibility of marriage was extremely slim, because of the many obstacles between us. Nonetheless, it was a deep and beautiful conversation that I will never forget. I came away feeling very peaceful and thankful about the situation. That was a bonus, because I was just about to have a professional debacle.
Unfortunately, it was time for the practicum week, when a volunteer would come and shadow me. I was supposed to have someone named R, but instead S was coming. S and I had hit it off when we met the last time; so I was optomistic. She arrived on Sunday and planned to stay until Friday. We were excited to be together, and we informed everybody in town how happy we were to get each other as a match. Our first day started with a trip over to Guachipilincito to see all three of my farmers, but we only talked to Don F, because the others weren't around. The next day, we went to see a great farmer named R with whom I had made a compost pile. Then, we visited V and family. Finally, we made an ill advised trip to San Miguelito. It was a horribly long walk to just go for the day. When we got there, Dona G was busy cooking and couldn't take us to the farm, and Don M was nowhere to be seen. They hadn't done any of the work they'd promised, and she didn't care if I planted the nitrogen fixing beans or not. S thought I should, but I didn't agree so we ended up doing nothing. Upon getting home, S lost one of her contact lenses, and declared that she would be leaving early Thursday. I felt defeated as she left. It was a professional fiasco.
Fortunately for all of us, there was some huge news in town, which made me hopeful even after all that. Electric poles were being installed in town, and we were going to have street lights for the first time! For those who wanted and could afford it, electricity would be brought into homes. The rent would rise by $5, but that seemed equitable. I was excited, thinking about bringing my boombox from San Francisco, and getting an electric stove, a lamp, and a fan. Everything would be much easier! We just had to wait a little while longer.
The week before I left for San Francisco, I found out that the junior high was holding a coronation for the school queen. My junior high school friend G told me she wanted to win. The winner would raise the most money for the school. Since I was going to the US in a few days, I said that I would collect money and bring it back for her. She wrote a letter to my friends and family, and I translated it for people, when I was in San Francisco. We ended up raising over $200, which was enough to make her the winner! They bought a new sound system with the money.
Before I went to San Francisco, everyone gave me orders for American made goods they wanted me to buy. I got a tube of my sunscreen for the mayor's family, a calculator for someone, and some other special ordered items. Everything was better made in the US, so I was willing to help some close friends. They paid me in Lempiras, when I got back. Some of the things I gave as gifts, as well.
My friend N returned home for a week, and we were starting to talk again. On the night before I left Concep, I selected a picture of myself smiling sweetly in a swing. I went over to presented it to N, who would be back at school upon my return. On back of the photo, I wrote, "I will love you forever" in Spanish. When I stopped by his house, he happened to be listening to a song that he said reminded him of us. I listened to it through his walkman, and we agreed to write. Then, I left for Teguc the next day. What a way to leave, feeling so incredibly positive!