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Sweet and Sour Mixed Up

September 8th, 1993 came around, I realized that I'd been in my site for a year! Wow, what a whirlwind of excitement, but also so many of frustrations. Everything seemed to be working against me. It hadn't rained in two weeks, and everything that my farmers and I worked for had died. I'd just fired my group in San Miguelito. I'd also let the family know that I wouldn't be coming for the church baptism of my goddaughter. There wasn't much work to be done, until it started raining again. There was a lot of waiting and hoping for better prospects, at this point. I didn't know that my finest professional hours were fortunately in front of me.

The big news for me was that my friend N had returned for a short vacation from school. I would go over to his house to buy tortillas, listen to music in English; interpreting it for everyone, but mostly for him. We got along just as well as we had, before he left. After a few nights of this, there was a power outage, and I went over to buy dinner from his mother. He and I were talking as usual, when he asked me to stay, and I did for a while. He told me that we would dance at the Independence Day dance, and I agreed, and took his hands. Then, what followed was a very romantic week of evenings together. We found out that the new hammock could fit two just fine! After only five days, he returned to school, again. I was sorry, but I felt very loved, even though I was slightly concerned about our many differences.

A few days later, I received a beautifully written letter in which he proposed marriage, and asked me to stay in Honduras forever. He said that he would write a letter to my mother telling her of our future plans. It was a very precipitous event, and I couldn't actually believe that he had proposed so quickly. I knew for many reasons that I couldn't marry him. Actually, I wrote a list where there were twice as many cons as pros. One of them being, I couldn't leave my mother alone in San Francisco, especially since I was an only child, and she was a widow. Another problem was our age difference. I think it might have been easier if I were the younger one, but as it was, it just didn't seem to work for me. Our economic and cultural differences seemed insurmountable as well. He expected me to give up my life to live there, forever, and I couldn't imagine that. Always speaking Spanish in the home would have been difficult, and he seemed deathly serious all the time. I'm so glad that I ended up with someone who has such a great sense of humor! Also, he would probably have starved seeing as I had no knowledge of Honduran cooking, let alone other cooking!

I felt strongly about him, and I thought there was definitely something between us, too. Even so, I wrote him a letter stating that I couldn't marry him, but I hoped that we could continue to see each other anyway. I sited reason number one: leaving my mother alone in the US, because I knew as a Honduran he could understand that the best. Immediately, I went to La Esperanza to warn my mother about what had happened, in case she received his letter. Needless to say, she was worried, but no letter ever came, because I declined his proposal in a timely manner. Somehow, I knew that he would stay in Concepción, and probably become mayor some day. He loved his country so much, that was part of the attraction for me. I was prophetic, as he was busy running for mayor, when I reconnected with his brother! He didn't win, as I think he was yet again too young, but it made me feel good that I had known him well enough to foretell his future, those many years ago.

After this, I was on emotional overload from all the disappointments with work, my poor health, E, and then N. I'd started some work projects but all of them had failed, because of the drought. Also, I had missed many days of work, because of my two illnesses. After all these ups and downs, I almost went home. Too many things had happened, and I just couldn't appreciate anything. I'm really glad that I stayed, because it was a turning point in many ways, but especially professionally.

During the next two months, I didn't hear from N again, but I felt as if we shared a common bond. It was actually a really beautiful time for me. I would look up in the sky and know that we were both looking at the same stars, and I felt we were connected. There was something really perfect about the situation, it seemed to me.


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