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A Visit to Honduras


The following item was sent to me from David J. Yonker in response to the Life in Honduras series. It is placed here with his permission.

Hello Mr. Moore,
I can really relate to your article on Honduras, I have a friend whose wife is Honduran and when he had to go down there last february, he had invited me to go along with him, we have been friends since we were in high school and he really wanted someone to go down there and see what he had seen, and experience what he did( he had been down there five times while his wife was waiting for her visa to come to the states) we live in lower Delaware and alot of people surprisingly enough, don't even know where Honduras is, in fact a co-worker of mine had the hardest time even pronouncing it and to top it off, she thought that it was in Asia and there is a big misconception about Central-America in general, so many people have seen all the "Bad Stuff" on the news and they just leave it at that, the week before I left, I had visited one of my band-mates( Im a musician on the weekends) and his fiancee, he had joked around about probably having to find another guitarist because I would go join some kind of revolution , or turn up missing down there, I know that he was only joking but it made me realise that there is a mighty big misconception of what it is really like, I had even had my doubts a couple of years ago when my friend first went down there, I was like, "man you are crazy!!!, " and things like that , just shows you how much I knew back then, well anyway, he had made the trip four more times before I had ventured down there with him.

Back in November he had made plans to go down there to help his sister in law get a visa to come to the states, his wife wasnt able to go because her son would'nt be able to take off from school for a long period of time, and she didnt have the vacation time yet, he didnt want to travel alone so he asked me to come along, again I was a little reluctant but then I realised that I have a reputation to live up to ( I am very eccentric and am always trying out different things) so the next day at work i came up to him and asked "When do we leave?" we left on February 18th.

When I went to get my passport, and you might find some humor in this, the photographer asked me where I was going, when I told him he asked me if I was in the peace corps , I have long hair and i was wearing an old grateful dead shirt and my trusty army surplus jacket from some eastern bloc country that no longer exists( its amazing what you can find at the army/navy store) so I guess the guy thought that I belonged to some stereotype or something, I told him that I was just going down there for a vacation he just looked at me strangely.

We left out of Philadelphia, changed planes in Houston and landed in San Pedro Sula where we waited for seven hours for a flight to Le Ceiba, finally about eight oclock local time we boarded the plane, which was a 1950s propeller plane and landed at Le Ceibas small airport, his wifes family met us there and within minutes we were in a car and wisked back to the colony where they live.

My first reaction was just just awe and to be honest with you it was a little bit frightening, it was february and it was so warm out that night, i only knew a smattering of spanish and as we rode over the bumpy roads I just took in everything like a sponge, there were so many people outdoors, nothing like you see in america and at first it seemed that everyone was staring at us, I was totally in shock, I saw the houses and just the overall atmosphere which was very lively, these were places that people here in the states would not even think of staying in , it was a culture shock, when we got to the house I called my folks to tell them that I had made it down there safely and just to tell them what I was seeing, I had to tell someone, it was incredible! its one thing to see this on television but you actually feel it when you are right there, I knew that this was a major milestone in my life, nobody back home would ever believe it in an eternity, and here I am a stranger in a strange land.

The first couple of days were spent visiting, ( different family members , The beaches ,etc.) and we just drove around le ceiba and I just took pictures of everything, the natural beauty of the place is nothing like I had seen before, days were warm and the nights were pleasant, well except for that big spider in the bathroom that would come out by dark, I was able to watch CNN in English to keep up with the goings on back home, The Riveras have a pulpierra and we'd buy cokes and snacks there, and when my marlboros from back home had ran out, I smoked Belmonts and Lucky Strikes, many of which I gave to the local chapter of the Cholos, that is a big gang down there which consists of young kids, thier graffiti was everywhere, and I have several pictures of them, everytime they saw me with my camera they'd ask to get a picture, they'd flash thier hand symbols ( which horrified my sister when she saw the pics...she is a social woker) but we didnt have any problems with them, my friends sister in law spoke english and she told me that they respected the families in thier turf and since we were guests, they left us alone.

For the most part though , the kids , especially the ones in the family I stayed with had some sense about them, they are very respectful to the adults and when they were asked to do something by an adult they did it with no backtalk, everyone that I met was very friendly, my only regret is that I didnt know enough spanish to communicate with them effectively but they knew what I was saying and by the time when it was time for me to return to the states, i could understand conversations and such.

We did take a boat over to Roatan one day and we spent the night in a fleabag hotel, it was only eight dollars a night and when we got into the room we quickly found out why, there was a fan and a complimentary roll of toilet paper, other than that Roatan was beautiful. a couple days before I flew home we went to a place called Los Chorros to go swimming, the water was clear and there was a rock waterfall, such a nice place, I wish that we had places like that here in Delaware, the following day I spent getting ready to return home, one of the sisters washed my clothes, and a very weird thing had happened that evening, almost spiritual you could say, I was standing outside the house looking up at the stars like I often do no matter where I am at, a woman from across the way came out there and and looked up at them as well, she looked at me and said Dios and in return I said its english translation, God, she looked at me and smiled for she knew what I had meant, somehow there is a universal language, well I like to think of it that way at any rate, maybe she had heard it somewhere but it showed me that dispite our differences , there really isnt much of a difference when it comes to the human spirit, no matter how different cultures are, no matter how strange we may seem to one another , we all share a single common denominator...a soul.

The next morning my friend took me to the airport, he was staying down there an extra week, when I landed in Houston I called my folks to let them know that I was back in the States, when I got off of the plane in Philadelphia they were there to pick me up, we talked about my trip, and what had gone on at home while I was away, when I got back to my place I took a shower ( my first hot shower in 10 days )changed put on some clean clothes and took the care package that I had managed to sneak through customs, to my friends wife, it was just some things from back home for her and her son, she works the night shift at our job and since I had the following day off It would be best to get it to her then I got into my Jeep and as I drove down the highway that I have driven down so many times and saw the same things that I usually see, it had all seemed so different, I thought about all that I had seen and done and the fact that I was in a place where most of the people around here have never heard of and realised that it was all good, there is a big world out there and I got to see some of it. well thank you for taking the time to read about my experience.

best regards


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Association of North American Radio Clubs
DXer of the Year for 1995

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