If you’ve ever driven through the dry, flat land of Texas, you can imagine this area of Honduras. With mountains surrounding in each direction, this flat, hot stretch is filled only with the toughest of plants. You know the kind: scraggly, sharp plants that exist in the most parched areas. We turned off the main […]
If you’ve ever driven through the dry, flat land of Texas, you can imagine this area of Honduras. With mountains surrounding in each direction, this flat, hot stretch is filled only with the toughest of plants. You know the kind: scraggly, sharp plants that exist in the most parched areas. We turned off the main road towards the mountains in the west, but we only went a short distance before turning on a tertiary road in which there are more potholes than pavement. Quickly arriving in an area populated with concrete homes and dark eyes staring from the porches. The only semblance of a town is the small yellow catholic church squeezed between the houses.
It was there we met our hosts, two small women with three children scurrying between them. They directed us down a quaternary road (is there even such a thing?) between more concrete houses, progressively moving into less concrete and more mud, or adobe, as we call them, seemingly making them sound more grandiose than they actually are. It’s mere mud, dried into blocks and stacked into four walls with tin tacked on top to serve as shelter for these families. The brightly colored laundry hangs on the line over the barrels used to collect water.
We go a little further, by foot, on a trail that goes between the last of the houses and the “wilderness beyond.” The barbed wire and wooden post fence struggle to hold back the spiny thorns that want to encroach upon these inhabitants.
My hostesses greet me so graciously and invite me inside to sit in one of the few plastic chairs considered furnishings of this home. The children are given small slices of watermelon as I am handed a plastic bowl full of some fruit with cobblerlike consistency. My first thought is, “This was probably not made with purified water.” But my mind quickly turns to the generosity with which it was given, and I bring the spoon to my mouth. Peaches! It is peaches! Where in Honduras do you even get peaches? If it had been banana or mango or orange, no second thought would have entered my mind, but peaches? I haven’t seen any peach trees, all I know is that a can of peaches in the grocery store costs almost five dollars. Quickly, the children realize that my treat is very different from theirs as they peer at me with those big, dark eyes. So, naturally the spoon is filled and refilled as its contents are placed in a different mouth each time. What a treat!
On the drive home, the memory of the moment overwhelms me. These people, who have so little, were so willing to share their best with me. They loved on me with smiles and kisses and peaches. They so graciously gave me a part of their lives, their stories, their best. All I did was show up. I continue to be humbled by their generosity.
Perhaps you question, why were you even there? What prompted you to follow the roads until they narrowed to a path? These women had known of a child who was born, who might not have a family. They sought him out to see if they could give him a home, full of love, and joy, and kisses, and maybe even a peach or two.