Semana Santa – part four

Dear readers,

To be honest, I can’t remember much about the Easter Week. I’ve been back  six days, and it’s not that I suffer from memory loss, but the week just seemed to blend into a happy haze of reading, eating, writing, drinking, snoozing, snapping away at mosquitos, watching movies, aimless strolls around town and taking the piss out of people (I had my fair share of it too) in no particular order. No need for internet or looking at the watch. Time zoomed but at a strangely larthargic pace. I’ve no idea how many beans I ate over the days, but I think after some long bouts on the loo, my iron overdoses were leaving the family holding their nose with some pretty unique aromas. It’s a quaint little town, meaning ‘Mines of Gold’ in Spanish (the Spanish extracted it and then left, as they did right over Latin America), about four hours from Tegucigalpa (two hours on good roads, two hours on dirt roads), very pretty surroundings, dusty, slow, well kept but could even cleaner, proud cowboys, rancheros and campesinos looking on at me with a mix of awe and curiosity, as if they’ve never seen a white boy before, making me feel like a bit of a monkey in the zoo. Pam’s father told me that there was an agricultural school run by North Americans some years ago, and they sometimes had missionaries coming to spread the word, so I was automatically tbe gringo to them (I’ve come to loathe the expression now. Pam’s aunties seem to know this. They seem to like to wind me up with it too, coming up with some cock an’ bull greasy excuse that they say it with cariño (with love). In return I call them maje, which is not rude, but not a polite way of saying ‘dude’, claiming it’s also with cariño, which they often show me a sneaky middle finger. I often have to repeat myself by saying the UK is not in the US, it’s actually very different and most of us don’t share the same beliefs of Americans. We’re a small island with a big personality, and I don’t give a shite if they call yanks gringo, we’re not gringos and never will be. I understand that North Americans often refer to Latin Americans as Mexicans in a rather derogatory way, which I know would extremely piss off a Honduran. How would they feel if I called them Mexican? It doesn’t go down well, suffice to say). I remember it from the last time I was in Minas de Oro. I remember it being a bit more hostile though. I’m not keen on being centre of attention, as opposed to popular belief, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable, as it would to anyone. This time I received more alluring looks and smiles from the womenfolk of the town, much to the dismay of poor Pammy. Her cousin Santiago suggested that I be pimped out and marketed as “Fruta exotica” to the Minas females, which the cheeky mare began to consider. Talking of mares, I joked with people that there seems to be more horses than people in the town. This is in fact not true. It’s just fun to say it.

On the first morning, still being in the work routine, I woke up at 5’ish. I hate it when this happens. There was also the morning calls from cockerels and twittering birds in the trees, which may seem sweet and cute and natural when it’s written down on paper but it’s anything but that when you’re trying to sleep and it’s your f–king holiday. I tried to read in the dark for a while without trying to disturb others in the room. I got up and decided to go for a stroll. I wanted to see the mist rolling around the town’s surrounding mountains. As Minas de Oro wears tradition on its sleeve rather proudly, and it bears the same stoned roads as when the town was founded, which makes driving a bit precarious, and walking more so. I went out walking aimlessly around the town in the morning anyway, believing I was doing the right thing before the sun became too hot. I walked past various rickety gates holding back aggressive dogs (although some gates were a bit too rickety for the comfort of someone who hates damn mutts). While getting myselfa little lost (trust me to get lost in a town that’s virtually impossible to get lost in), a nasty little rat of a dog pounced at me making me lose balance on the dewy stones and scrape my right knee off one, getting specks of dust in the wound. I was too panicked to think of the stinging. When it did come, as well as the rivers of blood, it came at its intense, throbbing best. Also on my mind was the piss taking I would receive from Pam’s grandpa, which he did without fail during lunch. It left me a little immobile for the next day, meaning I couldn’t go in the giant paddling pool in fear I would dilute the water with my blooded knee. The only pain-killer close was beer, so I took full advantage of that. Almost two weeks later, it’s all scabbed up but it still looks painful, although now it’s itching me to pieces. Damn tropical heat! Here’s my scabbed knee anyway.

image

To be continued . . . .

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About Nicholas Rogers

I am an English journalist/copywriter living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and I have been here since 2011. I originally came to work with Casa Alianza, which supports street kids and vulnerable youths. I then stayed on, after meeting Pamela Cruz Lozano, who calls me her adopted Catracho. I work freelance journalism and I have my own translation business. Why did I come here? For the challenge, to open my mind and get out of my comfort zone. I love literature and I've written a book with street kids. I write novels, short stories and poetry, all of which you will find on this blog, as well as a lot of information about Honduras. View all posts by Nicholas Rogers

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