Tim Goldich Guest Contributor
Tomorrow, as I write this, I leave for two weeks in Honduras. Where I’ll be landing is three and a half hours from my hotel (too far to get a hotel shuttle). So, I will rent a car. I will hope GPS works over there. I will hope there is signage. I will hope the maps I’ve printed out are accurate. I will hope I don’t break an axel driving dirt roads. I will hope my Gringo-ness is well received. I will hope not to become irrevocably and irretrievably lost out in the wilds of Honduras. All this I do for the love of Angie.
I don’t want to hear it.
And here we go…
Crawling along behind tractors and the like, it takes me over four hours to get to the San Carlos hotel in La Entrada. There are no signs, so I have to use my pigeon Spanish to ask if I’m still on the right road. But everyone I asked was helpful.
The country is beautiful with deserts and lakes, and everywhere there are mountains in the distance. At night there are stars, lots of them! The people were all very friendly and when it came time to go, I didn’t want to leave.
For 10 days, I was the tallest person in the world – also the whitest (a kind of giant albino). I was Gringo Rico (rich white guy). I must have seemed rather clumsy though, in my world, whether it’s floors or sidewalks, everywhere I walk is flat. And, if there is a curb or a step to watch out for, it’s well marked. But in Honduras I had to learn to look down at my feet and watch where I walked so that I wouldn’t be constantly tripping on broken cement and twisting my ankle Angie understood, so she was warning me to “look out” as we walked along. And one time, in Angie’s home, my head hit the top of a doorway; so I had to be mindful of that as well.
Despite how poor the country is, owing to corruption (store owners having to pay off the local “mafia”), many things cost more in Honduras than they would in the U.S.. But food and restaurants were remarkably low cost. At the hotel restaurant there was a wonderful chicken and rice meal for $4. And for 12 bucks you could get a lavish “surf & turf” meal with shrimp, a filet of fish, steak, chicken, rice pilaf, and au gratin potatoes with ham. It was like having a buffet brought to your table. On Valentine’s Day they followed all that with a slice of cake, no extra charge.
I really enjoyed walking around in the little village of Santa Luz. Angie had many friends and family members all within easy walking distance. Children playing all around, there was a palpable feeling of closeness and community and family. Honduras is also very much a “flirt” culture. There are always sparks flying between the sexes. They seem to derive a lot of joy and energy off it. And women only get mad at men when the men do not look at them and admire another. There is no “heterophobia” in Honduras.
I’m reminded now of something a young man from India once said to me: “In India, materially life is hard but spiritually life is easy. Here in the U.S., materially life is easy but spiritually life is hard.” Materially, life is very hard in Honduras, but I envy them for their free and easy gender relations and their close-knit families and communities.
For me, the big thing is I am able to connect with Angie, someone for whom I have made this long trip. All this I did to be with her, and it was all worth it.
I traveled to Honduras for the love of Angie. And Angie has now traveled to the suburbs of Chicago to be with me and for our love.
We are together, now and always. A good way to end a travel story.