Sunday, June 15, 2008


Originally uploaded by StormyPetrel
Last week, I was sitting at the internet cafe when I heard a loud crash from outside. Then the power went out. Everyone rushed out to see what had happened.

A truck transporting 5-gallon jugs of drinking water had rolled backwards down the hill and crashed into a concrete power pole. I'm not sure how the accident happened, though I suspect a lack of curbing wheels and/or using an e-brake.

I had my camera so I snapped some photos and headed home. I figured that the power would be out in my apartment as well, since it's only two blocks away. But the power was on. I also figured that the power would stay out for a long time. But within two hours the internet cafe and all other buildings on the block had power. Of course, they left the now-foundationless concrete power pole suspended by only the lines it was connected to, without giving any additional reinforcement. But everything was back up and running pretty quickly.

This is a great example of how misleading Honduras can be. Sure, there's a lack of infrastructure and skilled personnel and so on and so forth. When people first arrive here they often ask some variation of the questions, "How does this country function?" There are so many problems, so many things lacking, that one doesn't even know where to start. At times, it does seem rather miraculous.

Yet Honduras gets by. Most stuff works at least at some minimal level. And when it breaks, it gets fixed. Everything is more haphazard, dangerous and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, but the basic stuff gets done.

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