I will admit it, I’ve had a bit of a hard time finding my footing here in Honduras. I think that it’s the result of a few factors:
1. I’m tired.
Not in an actual, physical way, but I’m starting to get a little emotionally drained. I love this adventure I’m on, don’t get me wrong, but being away from home is tough sometimes. I left DC January 18. In case you’re counting, that was 104 days ago. That means it’s been 104 days since I mindlessly passed the Washington monument, since I saw the sweet face of my nanny kiddo, or stepped foot in my kitchen (my favorite part of my apartment). I haven’t driven a car or ridden the metro or slept in my own freaking bed for ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR DAYS. Sometimes that gets to me a little lol.
2. Honduras scares me.
Not in a “get me the fuck outta here” kind of way, but in a way that puts me on edge in a way that Peru didn’t. I think the biggest difference for me is the obvious display of force. When I got off the bus, I went inside the station to wait for Silvia. There was a security guard there. No big deal, right? Except he carried what basically looked a gun from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and wore a bulletproof vest. This is the norm in the banks, for the police that ride around in pickup trucks, and at the entrance at the hospital. Part of me is super grateful, but the other part of me thinks, damn, it’s like that? I’ve traveled in many places that are considered dangerous, and I know how to handle myself, but big guns everywhere all day, errday wears on your psyche a bit.
3. I’m not busy enough.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a freakish workaholic most of the time. My full time gig is roughly 50 hours/week and I still do part time things here and there. Don’t get me wrong, downtime is awesome, but I don’t do well with a lot of it. I think Silvia has been trying to ease me into things during my first week here, but I’m already buzzing for more to do. Luckily she is swamped with administrative tasks that I can easily take care of a few hours during the week. That coupled with my shifts at the hospital, daily childbirth education charlas (not quite a class, just a 15-20 quick overview of the basics), and Spanish lessons, I should be happily occupied.
4. I’m lonely (just a little though)
Maybe I shouldn’t have complained about living with so many people in Peru. The perk of living with a bunch of people is that although you have to carve out time to be by yourself, there’s always someone there to grab lunch, or chat, or whatever. I don’t have that here. Couple that with the fact that there’s no internet in my house and none of the local places that have wifi actually work, I’m feeling mighty cut off. I’m not saying I need to spend an hour on the phone with my sister or a bunch of time perusing Facebook, it’s just that those things make you feel a little more connected when you’re alone in a country full of huge guns and an indecipherable accent…
While I recognize all these things, that’s not to say I’m not enjoying myself here. Thus far, I am clearly happiest when I’m at the hospital. Unlike the Washington monument, watching a woman give birth will never become old hat for me. After I leave La Ceiba, I’m sure they’ll say, “remember that one volunteer who cried all the time?” Yep, that’ll be me. I feel a connection with the mothers that I help that reminds me that despite the idle hands, mental exhaustion, loneliness, and fear, this is where I’m supposed to be. The rest will fall into place.