To Every Action, There is a Reaction
At the end of October, I went to La Esperanza, and happened to meet a medical brigade from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. They were all doctors who were traveling through Honduras treating people for different ailments. They were on their way to a town near the north coast called El Progreso, and invited me to come along. We took the bus there, and enjoyed sharing our experiences together. It was a fun little vacation for me, and they paid my way. The leader told me that a group coming to my area in about six months would be needing interpreters. When they returned, I agreed to join them in the border town of Magdalena.
When I returned to La Esperanza, I encountered another group of Americans. One of the guys said that he'd talked to a young man who knew me. It appeared that my boyfriend N had told him about me, and how he was set on making me stay in Honduras forever. Anyway, this guy said I was lucky to have someone so dedicated to me. I said it was impossible, but I agreed happily! What a feeling of exhilaration! After the little vacation, and this interesting encounter, I returned to Concepción, ready to see what might happen.
It was around the time that N said he would be returning from La Esperanza. I had been waiting for an answer to my last letter telling him that I couldn't marry him, but nothing had come. At this point, I was starting to get a little nervous about what he was going to say when we met up again. In early November, he got home, but we didn't see each other for three days. I was really beginning to worry, when he finally visited me on the fourth evening, informing me that if I wouldn't agree to marry him, we couldn't be together. He said this would be the only way I could show my love to him, but I said that I just couldn't do it. We talked desultorily for a little while, but broke it off to avoid hurt later. This was incredibly sad to me, as I thought that he would still want to see me. For him, it was all or nothing, but I felt that I would be trapped. The situation just didn't make any sense to me. It was a very sad night for us, as we were both hoping for something else. I knew that if things had been different, I would have married him, but we just didn't fit into each other's plans, and we both knew it. This was not the complete end of our story, but it sure seemed that way at the time.
The next morning, I had plans to walk to the Recursos Naturales office, and pick up some seeds for my new group in Plan Verde. Although sad, I was somewhat hopeful about work, because this group seemed to want to collaborate with me. It's interesting how I found them right when all these other sad and unfortunate things were taking place. While I was walking along the main road to Camasca, two middle-aged men in a truck rolled by, and I got a ride in the truck bed. What a break! When we got to the office at Camasca, I picked up some seeds from the office including: radish, tomato and pepper seeds.
The men who gave me a ride offered to pay for two beers and lunch. I thought that was kind of fun, so I agreed to it. Then, they invited me on to San Antonio, which was close to the El Salvadorian border. Not thinking of much after the previous night, I thought this sounded like an interesting diversion, and I jumped in the truck with them. When we got there, they asked me if I wanted to continue on with them. Suddenly, I saw that I'd unwittingly put myself into a dangerous situation. I thought they were returning the way they had come, but they were not.
I ran around, trying to find someone I knew who could give me a ride home. Luckily, I found my neighbor, the merchant, and I got a free ride home with him. Wow, saved by the bell! I was actually happy and relieved to see him. Fortunately, this wasn't the neighbor who was always trying to hit on me. He let me ride in the front seat, and listened to my sob story, as we took the two-hour drive home to Concepción. I'm forever grateful, even though he did cause me some trouble later.
Later that week, I wrote a list of pros and cons to make sure that I had made the right decision about N. I came up with fifteen pros and twenty cons. Most of the pros turned out to be pretty surficial, and the cons were more concrete. After all, how was I going to really stay in Honduras forever. Where would we live, and what would I do without my Peace Corps job. Next, I wrote a very sad letter to my mother, which was uncommon, as I usually didn't share everything with her. I stated that I had found the perfect, and yet completely wrong person for me. It just wasn't fair! Right around this time, my Peace Corps friend M who had left early sent me a hilarious Buddhist postcard. She said that all the heads hanging off of this lady were my Honduran victims. It added some levity to the situation.
Shortly after, I decided that I had to get out of Concepción and go to La Esperanza for a weekend. I went to my usual place to wait for a ride, and I met my friend V's son, J. After waiting for a while, a large beer delivery truck came along and picked us up. J went on top of the truck where the drinks were, and I sat in the front seat with the driver. Right away, it became apparent that the driver and all the passengers were busy imbibing the beers. They offered me one, and I accepted, because when in "Rome do as the Romans". We went driving along at a wild speed on the curvy dirt road. When I finished that drink, another one appeared from the top of the truck. Then, I thought to ask the driver how many he'd had, and in total it was about thirteen! That day, I had four, which was way too many for me. By the time I got out of the truck, I needed J to help me get a motel room for myself. I knew there was no way I could stay with my lady friend in town! Thank goodness, J was on his best behavior!
I had a much-needed rest in la Esperanza. I called my mother from my landlord's La Esperanza house. He was always telling me to come over, when we were both in town. It was a private phone in a private place, and I needed that. Usually, I went to the public phone company to make calls, but I knew that this call would be a bit different. After this, I felt more or less ready to go back, and try to face the world.