A few randon comments on our past few weeks;
A couple of weeks ago it was very chilly here. Not by the standards that we are used to back home, but damp and with temperatures that got down to 7 or 9 degrees C.(or the low 40s.) We spent a couple of days in meetings where everyone was bundled up in coats, hats and scarves and whatever else they had, as it was just as cold inside as out, with no heat, and we slept under blankets and sleeping bags. But then it got warm again and it has been beautiful for the past several weeks. Temperatures have been in the 70s and ideal for walking, hiking or running. The coldest temperatures were surprising even to the locals. Our recent weather seems more like what is common, with periodic cooler and damper weather, but not generally as cold as it was during the first week of the month.
The day before the earthquake in Haiti, we had a slight tremor here. We were sitting around a conference table on the second floor of our NGO when everything started to shake gently. This came in two waves and lasted for about ten seconds or so. Nothing broke or fell down, but the movement was definitely noticeable and everyone left the building calmly. A small quake of about 4.9 was reported near the Guatemala border, centered about 50 miles from us. We apparently are at the western end of the same plate that lies below Haiti and what we felt here may have been something preliminary to that horrible event at the other end of the formation.
Yesterday the new government took office, without controversy. In his first act, which he took during his inaugaration speach while standing on the platform at the stadium, President Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo signed a document granting a right of safe passage and some degree of amnesty to former President Zelaya and his family. Zelaya then finally left the Brazilian embassy, where he had been since September, and flew to the Dominican Republic with the President of the DR, who was one of the few foreign officials from this area to attend the ceremony. This seems somewhat ironic to us, or part of the circle of life, however you may see it. We originally went to the DR due to the controversy over President Zelaya here, and now that we are peacefully here in Honduras, he has gone to the DR to seek sanctuary, as well. Almost everyone here is hopeful that the new government will soon be recognized by the international community and that foreign aid will be restored. The economic situation of the government is nearing a crisis situation, without that anticipated aid.
A couple of weeks ago we spent a few days at Lago Yajoa, the largest natural lake in Honduras, which is not far from here geographically, but is about a five hour bus ride. It is a very beautiful lake surrounded by high mountains and lush vegetation. We spent one morning in a little row boat on a guided birding tour that was fascinating, given the wide variety of water birds, migrating birds, tropical birds and raptors. Even as non-birders, we could appreciate this as a special opportunity, and we now have 46 new entries on our bird list. There is an interesting colony of ex-pats, American and British, living in that area, the first significant group we have seen here.
All is well. Keep in touch.