Yesterday I added a blog update about Pamela’s and my two year anniversary. It’s gone incredibly fast when you’re having fun, and it feels like only yesterday. I guess what keeps things fresh is being from two different cultures with so many differences, experiences and ways of thinking that we learn something new everyday. The fact that we fancy the pants off each other also helps, as well as feel that emotion for each other, the most misunderstood and irrational emotions known to man, an emotion that some psychologists and doctors won’t ever fully comprehend, which since civilisation has been the inspiration of a million songs, poems, novels, movies, letters, presents of chocolates, rings and flowers, kisses, slaps, humps, drinking sessions, sex marathons, weddings, children, families, and sometimes, unfortunately, murders and suicides (without trying to scare or worry anyone by the way. I’m emotionally stable, happy and sane (but isn’t that what an insane person would say?)), and this emotion begins with the letter L (and I don’t mean lust. Well, maybe a little bit). I of course mean love. And what things we will do for it!
Last week, I had some surprising news from a Honduran friend, Jessy Noe, who had been volunteering in Liverpool through ICYE. I emailed her to catch up with her and see how she was at CESAL, the NGO she was working for, only to learn from her reply that she had moved back to Liverpool to be with her beau, Karl Mottram. He had been in Honduras a couple of months before but unfortunately I never had to meet him. Of course, Jessy and myself have a couple of things in common in that we both decided to leave our jobs a little later in life, to volunteer in a far off exotic land, meet someone in this off exotic land, to miss families, friends and cuisine in respective maternal countries, and decide to be with this special person in this far off exotic land. Okay, if Karl was actually a Brummie (he’s a Scouser), it would have balanced the weights even more, but he’s from another of Britain’s great cities, which like Birmingham, remains so much better than Manchester! Anyway, she is now sorting out her immigration status in Liverpool. I remember from working at the Refugee Council, one of the old UKBA offices is based in Liverpool, but I don’t know if this is just for asylum-seekers. I hope the process is a little less chaotic than Honduras’, but I feel it might a whole lot harder, especially under this coalition.
She labelled her reply email, “Decision – two lives, two cultures”. The way I read this now, and maybe she feels the same, is that I feel I have two lives now, in two different cultures, in the way I behave, families, friends, the way I speak and do my business. I think what she means is decisions about relationships between different lives in different cultures, but we can read into it in different ways and find something to connect with. Beautiful either way.
About a month ago, with the NGO that Jessy was working with, I had the opportunity to visit a project called Centros de Alcance, which provide activity centres and opportunities for young people and families in some of the poorest, deprived and dangerous neighbourhoods in cities throughout Central America. It’s a wonderful project, and having spoken to other agencies and charities, the local people are making best use of them. I was meaning to write about it earlier, although through work and setting up the business, I’ve not had time. It was a chance for me to make contacts with various NGOs.
When we arrived in Colonia Estados Unidos, the barrio was crawling with security guards and military personnel brandishing big guns with their chests out, as Lisa J. Kubiske was in town. To those of you back home or elsewhere in the world, this name probably does not mean much to you; she is actually the US Embassador in Honduras. She was there, as I was, for the opening of this particular Centro de Alcance (Por Mi Barrio), which receives financial help from Fondo Hondureño de Inversión Social (FHIS), and USAID, as well as collaborations from Anti-Violence groups, Save the Children, World Vision and ChildFund. The building before was an abandoned school being misused by gang-members, from what someone told me. But now it was laden with computers, games, classrooms, activities and play areas. For opening day, they had the obligatory speeches from the VIPs, but the best part for me was when a 12 year old boy from the neighbourhood in his finest ranchero clobber and handsome cowboy hat sang lots of ranchero ballads, some of which were Vicente Fernandez classics, which left all the girls drooling for him and having a loud, proud and deserved round of applause. I didn’t get to congratulate him personally because he was busy making the important decision over which pretty girls he would allow to link arms with him. There were also some children doing Lenca dancing, and some slightly older children doing modern dance too. But the ranchero stud made it for me!
I am going to add some photos, but please do some research about these Centros de Alcance projects. They might appear in my blog in the future, especially as Casa Domingo is likely to get involved. They are much needed community centres, which have been doing a great job over the past few years now.
I think I’ll finish off by playing one song from Vicente Fernandez to dedicate to young man who whooed the girls at Centros de Alcance. Then I’ll add a video of some well-known scousers, for Jessy and Karl.