Monday, March 5, 2007

It’s late at night, and pouring rain outside. To save money, I’m writing my blog updates from my room, then saving them to disk and copying them over at the internet café. Had a good weekend. Saturday a group of us went for a hike to the top of a nearby mountain with a great view of Tegucigalpa. My flickr feed has a composite panorama photo that I shot from up there. Sunday morning I spent at home alone while the family was at church, studying and reading. Sunday evening I watched futbol and played with my three youngest host siblings.

As the newness of everything wears off, the reality of having to actually make a life here is slowly settling in. There are very real and significant challenges to forging a happy existence. Language, for one. Even though I already have a decent handle on Spanish, I still can’t converse the way I would like to and would have to in order to forge deep friendships. I’m also worried about finding (Honduran) friends I can relate to. Most people my age are married with kids. No one seems particularly interested in socializing at bars or cafes (only gringos and well-off Hondurans frequent those spots here in Santa Lucía). Of course, it’s only been two weeks and I’m probably just over-thinking the whole thing.

Tonight one of the other aspirantes hosted a birthday party at her host family’s house. We had chips and soda and cake, and played UNO. The host mother has been hosting aspirantes for 10 years or more, and regaled us with many stories of gringos and gringas who had lived with her in the past. She said they all got frustrated with the language, and worried that they couldn’t adjust, and in the end they all made out just fine.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Raphael,

Your story of the parto reminds me of when you were born. That took place at home in Costa Mesa. We used the front bedroom in the house, which was not ours, because it was roomier. I had made a carrot cake for the occasion and we also had a bottle of good champagne, a gift from my brother Mike, that we had saved to celebrate your birth. Jeannie and I had attended a number of birthing classes. While waiting for Ruth and Lisle to arrive from back East, Jeannie had lain down and drank an occasional glass of wine to slow things down. Once they arrived, we worked to speed things up. Jeannie was in labor during the day and we walked around the neighborhood to keep things going. When contractions were getting closer, we called Tertia Heath, our nurse-midwife, who arrived with her assistant and young daughter. The daughter occupied herself in the living room while labor went on in the bedroom. Ruth and Lisle were there, and Sharon was the official photographer of the event. I can remember breathing with Jeannie, seeing you crowning, and watching you placed on her stomach after you were born. I cut the umbilical cord. If I remember correctly, Jeannie did have an episiotomy, which facilitated the vaginal birth. I was filled with wonder and awe to see my son. We had our cake and bubbly, and later we slept with you in that bed, though I was really aware that we now had this small, precious person to take care of, and I was especially careful that I wouldn't roll over on you, which probably didn't help me to sleep soundly.

Maybe you and your fellow Peace Corps volunteers need to have a few birthing classes. I wouldn't change the experience of witnessing and participating in your birth and Sean's for anything. I hope you get the chance to be more involved with birthing in the future.