We have moved into our new house, and as I said in my last blog, this has been such a joy; having a place of our own, feeling a part of the community, and settling in. I can honestly say that despite all the challenges Laura and I face, and there are a great many, we are both extremely happy. I think we have both learned the importance of living in the moment, without a great deal of expectation. Sometimes plans don’t really work out here. We have decided that Wednesdays and Thursdays will be our days off. We are simply way too busy on the weekends and these weekdays seem to make sense with other peoples’ schedules. This past week we planned on going into Tegucigalpa on Wednesday by bus and then again on Thursday by way of hitching a ride with the Montaña de Luz van that would be going in to run some errands anyway. We thought we would use Wednesdays to obtain house supplies that we could carry in our backpack, and on Thursday we would purchase our new microwave – a real luxury item. Every day, rain or shine, even on holidays, the public bus drives through our little town of Nueva Esperanza at 7:00 AM. It literally goes right by our house (there are only one and a half main streets in this town – they don’t have names). If we don’t get this bus, we have to walk about a half a mile to the main route and flag down the bus as it goes by. On Wednesday, Laura and I were so excited that all we would have to do to get the bus would be to walk out our front door at 7:00 AM. So we did. No bus at 7:05 AM. No bus at 7:10 or 7:15. We saw the man who always takes the 7:00 AM bus walk past our house. We asked passerby whether the bus would come. The answer we got was that it always comes at 7:00 every day. Our response, “But it’s already 7:20,” didn’t seem to register. Frustrated, we began to walk. We walked all the way to the main highway where we met the man who had earlier walked by our house. He had no explanation as to why the bus had not come. It didn’t seem to phase him in the least, but he did opine that maybe the driver had another trip to make. Another bus came. It was packed, obviously because everyone that had wanted to get on the 7:00 AM bus was now on this bus. So we got on. Squished in, pushed this way and that, we stood for the two hour ride to Tegucigalpa. We never learned why the 7:00 AM bus didn’t come, but everyone will tell you it comes every day. It has in fact come every day since. We managed, even though things don’t go the way they are expected to go.
On Friday night we watched the movie “War House” on a DVD on our computer (the police confiscate the pirated movies and then they donate them to Montaña de Luz). Another special treat. We just finished watching it and the electricity went off. It goes off with some regularity, but it usually comes on after a couple of hours. The next morning, it was still off. But I was surprised at how little this actually affected us. We couldn’t make our coffee, but otherwise we hardly recognized the inconvenience. When we hiked up the mountain to Montaña de Luz the cook greeted us and asked if she could make us a cup of coffee on the stove. She was aware that we couldn’t make our coffee because we had no electricity. The stuff they make on top of the stove is absolutely toxic. You need to stop drinking it before you get to the bottom of the cup where all the grounds have gathered. But we both accepted the coffee. How special that someone would be so attuned to our needs. Her willingness to respond to our need, to meet us and honor us, made us appreciative to not have any electricity. The electricity came back on sometime around noon. No one really noticed.
This week we are helping out with a weeklong training for the Tias (aunts) and the Tio (uncle) who care for the children. Laura gave a presentation on “crisis management” yesterday. She was nervous about her Spanish, but she was great. They loved it. I did a workshop today on the challenges of trying to raise a child in an institutional setting. Oddly enough, the electricity went out during my power point presentation. It seemed to fit well with the general theme that nothing ever seems to go quite as expected. It is the integrity of our work and the quality of the relationships we form and maintain that is really important. The electricity came back on. It didn’t really seem to matter one way or another.
I can remember the few times the electricity went off in East Longmeadow, and the two times that it went off for days, after the tornado and after the freak October snow storm that pulled down the trees and electrical lines. It seemed such a tragedy. The world was coming to an end. My life, and everyone else’s life, was critically dependent on energy passing through cords. How bizarre this now seems to me. We have made things that have very little real significance the vital things of our lives, while we have totally discounted that which is of integral importance to who we are. The bus always comes at 7:00 AM even when it doesn’t.