Saturday, October 3, 2009
After being held over in Miami, traveling to the Dominican Republic for three weeks, going back to Miami for a week, finally reaching Honduras and our training site in Cantarranas, and then being held up again for another week while we waited for things to settle down in Tegus, we are now officially Peace Corps Volunteers. For the first time since we left home on June 28th, the same day the Honduran government changed, we were not impacted by Mr. Zelaya this week. We´ve had a couple of toques de queda during the evening hours, but there seem to be serious negotiations headed by the OAS going on now and there´s hope that something might be worked out. In any event, there is no sign of political unrest on the streets right now.
We all went to the U.S Embassy on Wednesday, only about a block from the Brazillian Embassy where Mr. Zelaya is still located, and had a very nice swearing-in ceremony. The U.S.Embassy has a typical fortress-like appearance on the outside, but also has a very verdant courtyard with a fountain, trees and lush plants behind the walls. We were hosted by the Ambassador and had a very moving ceremony, with several inspirational speeches about what lies ahead. We were joined by our respective counterparts, from towns and programs all over the country. Earlier that morning was our first opportunity to meet them and to get some preliminary ideas about what we might really be doing.
This was a graduation-like experience with the same feeling that we are now going to another stage. We are all ready to move on, finally, but there was also the bittersweet feeling of leaving people with whom you had experienced a lot of strong emotions over the past few months. Here are a few pictures of the event and of our fellow PCV´s -- all of Honduras 15 with the ambassador, the two of us, and our Municipal Development group. There is also a photo of Santa Lucia, a little town near the Peace Corps training center.
Thursday morning we drove to Santa Rosa de Copán with two of the people from one of our programs. It was a beautiful drive of about 8 hours, through a lot of very green mountains. We were very fortunate to have had a ride and to have avoided the nightmare of trying to put all of our stuff, which is even more massive now with all of our training materials, on several different public buses. We are happy to be here. It is an attractive, vibrant community with lots more commerce than we are used to in Southern Arizona. More to follow.