I would like to dedicate this post to my friend Marie Alvarenga, who is now spending her last night in Honduras. Dame Alvarenga, which I never called her but she would have adored me if I had, is a US citizen who’s been living im Honduras for the last four years or so. She’s in her late 50s but lives life like age is nothing less than a lovely digit dressed in glamorous sparkly digits that need to be celebrated with a Thanksgiving sized turkey and lots of chuckling. She’s off the wall, but still with her feet on the ground. Her husband Pierre is Catracho and a specialist car mechanic with brothers in and cousins and uncles in high places. I can’t remember why she came out to Honduras in the first place. She has been CEOs in banks and organisations in Hawaii, and she has a son in Las Vegas, who has a Catracha girlfriend and who the Dame is going to stay with for a while. She’s had an exciting life, but it seems she’s fed up with Honduras.
I got to know her through working at Academia Europea and I took over her class so she could manage the place. She could be delightfully blunt, like when she gave me her class that consisted of “one bright one and two dummies”. I liked tge bluntness, especially if I could get her talking about Republican Mormons. It was the US elections when worked there together and she was not scared of offending Republicans. She was almost not afraid of sacking impunctual and lousy teachers, which she did with a calm fierceness which I admired.
We worked together for three months until I left for what I thought was a job (it turned out not to be) and unfortunately she was given the chop by a late paying owner with the business acumen of the Chuckle Brothers (Google them if you don’t know who they are). I must admit that I loved watching her arguing with the Academia Europea’s bitchy receptions in a Spanglish I’d never come across before. We were back in contact after I embarrassingly got her a job with a dodgy Texan life coach company with a manager who had the calmness of an angry depressed rat on coke and pills. We lasted two weeks. We stayed in touch and then we would drift as we got busy with other jobs. I kept promising myself to get in contact but I would always get side-tracked, which I regret. I would have loved to have listened to her talk some more. She could talk for US and Canada and maybe the whole of Latina America combined. I used to think she would make a lovely talkshow host but I think she probably wouldn’t let the poor celebs get a word in. Bloody gringa. She’s probably calling me “damn limey”. A great dame. She also swears like a trooper. Love it.
I will miss her even though I haven’t seen much of her of late. Even though we’re from two different countries and cultures, I guess we’ve leaned on each other a fair bit, especially when understanding cultural differences and shocks while adapting to Honduras; kind of a crutch when homesickness subconsciously kicks in.
I wish her and Pierre the very best for the future and I hope to see them again soon. They’re a wonderful match. Wonderful people.
I’m going to leave with a clichéd song about. Don’t you forget about me. Simple Minds. What else would do?! http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A