The last week of school. I feel like shards. Shards of a human being. Other teachers feel the same. The kids want to leave. The staff want to leave. Yhe only people who don’t want the kids to leave are the parents. Everyone is shattered, but the end is near, and so are our holidays. I can almost smell Britain. The World Cup too.
I’ve been doing comprehension games with the kids at school. I’ve got the book club to collect books from other students. Over 500 in fact. We’re taking them to a public school in Tegucigalpa named Instituto Nimia Baquedano. It’s not far from Villa Olimpica where I sometimes go running. I’ve already taken the members of the book club. Some of them said they felt it was hostile. Just a tad dramatic in my opinion. It’s a humble place, that’s for sure, and the library needed more books and refurbishing the last time we saw it. The school gets barely any funding, only just enough for maintenence of the building. The last and current cronies in power prefer to rob the money or spend it on trams that will never take place or military even though there is no war (the war on narcos is a very phony one, considering many politicians are in their pockets.
Back to the book club. The students have been making posters and looking at other ways to improve the library. Tomorrow we return to take the books. These are images of the library before.
I will send you some pictures of the finished product.
I am currently reading Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño, a Chilean, who I believe died not long ago. Talking of book donations, the copy of the book I’m reading was donated to the Dowal School Library by a volunteer named Melissa Crane, who came to Honduras with ICYE a few months before me. We met at a preparation camp in Essex and we bumped into each other in the ICYE office when I first arrived back in January 2011, just before she was going to return home, and gave me some helpful hints that came in handy. I don’t know where she is in life now. I do think it’s beautiful how books can change hands like this, stories holding so much emotion and great characters, being shared at different times by people who have lived experiences in a country so far from our comfort zone. There’s one thing about working in a library, you do end up building ridiculous emotional connections with the oddest of books, feeling how emotionally demanding it is for books being borrowed and used and being away from home so much, so often. Maybe they feel like a whore. Maybe they like the used feeling, being kept off the shelf and collecting dust. Maybe I need real friends.
The book has been good so far, set Mexico City in the 1970s about a group of young bohemian poets from rich and poor backgrounds who live recklessly, drinking, taking drugs, having sex and messing with other people’s emotions and lives. One day, a poet is murdered, and there are different accounts and experiences with the group and victim from various people. It reminds me of a few characters that I’ve met in Tegucigalpa. I wonder if Melissa thought the same. It’s funny, sexy and muted in tragedy, a very clever style of writing that inspires me. I hope you read it and it inspires you too. It’s 500 pages long. It’s a nice companion. (Note to self: stop making friends with books).
Anyway, here’s the real reason you came to the blog. The 3rd update to the ESPN Honduras blog. Enjoy.