I guess the title says it all really. It happened on Tuesday about 8:00am. I was getting myself ready to go to Casa Alianza and had just gone to the local supermarket to get a few bits and pieces. I got back in the house and then heard the gun-shots fire, which were a lot louder than usual. You can sometimes hear gun-shots going off around the neighbourhood or echoing over the valley, but this was just on the other side of the wall. I automatically thought Maras, gangs, shit. There have been battles between the security and gangs preying on the neighbourhood in the past, apparently. I asked Carlos, the father, if he had heard the gunshots. He said he thought it was a car backfiring, but he saw the reactions of his dogs, as they were hopping around anxiously, and knew it was something more seriously. He then went outside to investigate and there was a crowd of people and police cars some 30 metres from the door. He asked the police what happened, and they said two of the security guards for the neighbourhood were having an argument and one shot the other. What it was about, I don’t know. Shift patterns, over a woman, a discussion on football, a joke too far…..it doesn’t really matter. A life was wasted needlessly, something that happens way too much in this world. What’s strange is, just a couple of days before, I think I was talking to the one who was murdered (I’ve not seen him since, then again, he might have been the one who murdered). We didn’t chat about anything important. Just about the heat or something. I always say hello them. I must have said hola to his murderer a few times as well.
I’ll be quite honest, I’m not entirely surprised. I knew something like this would cross my path here. That’s not a knock on Honduras, but when you hear about street kids telling you about their family members or friends dying, or when you see and read the front pages of newspapers, you become desensitized to it. Yes, it’s sad what happened, but you block it off and get on with life. Many people live like that here. I did that just an hour after and went to Casa Alianza, not really taking in what had just happened. I decided not to leave the house straightaway. Carlos felt it was best for me to stay in until things were calmer. He was right.
It was last night that it sunk in that someone was murdered. Just there. In that spot. Outside the house. What is his family thinking? What are they feeling? Impossible to imagine.
I am going to include a song that I like, kind of in memory to the security guard. I don’t know, but I’m guessing that security guards are not paid much and often from a poorer background. He was in his 30s/40s. If he has a family, they now have to work out a new way to survive, as well as cope with the emotional loss and stress. They won’t get pay outs and they won’t get help from the government. The song I choose is The Long Black Veil, sang by one of my favourite artistist, Johnny Cash. The song was written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, who were two American country singers in the 50s (Wikipedia is so useful at times! I had f–k all idea who these people were until a few seconds ago. And guess what? I still don’t. But it’s a beautiful song).
Raise our glasses to the deceased.
I would like to say thanks to friends who sent me their support in Facebook. It’s freaky, but I’m fine. I’m not paranoid and I still feel moderately safe where I live. Nowhere is exactly safe in Tegus, but there’s no point in sticking your head under the ground here. There’s too much to see. One unfortunate ICYE volunteer was robbed twice on the way to where she was going recently. You live with it and get on with it. Whatever happens, whatever cheap values some people have of life here, whatever negative experiences I may come across, I do love this country, and when the shit does hit the fan, I somehow love thiw country even more.
In the next blog, I will tell you about the my trip to Ojojona and the atm swallowing my bank card.