Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Rain Storms and Thwarted Plans

Just as the heat suddenly hit Honduras a few weeks ago, rainy season is now upon us. The air is heavy with moisture, and most days begin with me standing confused in front of my suitcase debating whether or not I want a sweater or a tank top, because I can't decide if I am warm or cold. Given my already indecisive nature, this ambiguous climate certainly brings an element of minor anxiety to my day to day life.

Some of you may know that I really don’t like rain. To be more specific, I really don’t like the low grey cloud cover with its accompanying drizzle that hangs over BC with the tenacity of a leaky faucet between October and June. But these days in Copan I have been learning to resign myself to rain – and it isn’t just because I am happy to escape the heat of dry season!

I love that rain brings life. The rolling green hills surrounding Copan, with the lush gardens of the central park wouldn’t be possible without it. Neither would the BC forests I love so much with all their glory of ferns and moss. The climates and beauties I most hold dear are only made possible by the rain that I often loathe. Keats wrote a poem called “Ode to Melancholy” (with his typical cheerfulness) that states that "in the very temple of Delight Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine."  I think that the same policy applies to rain. 

Here are some photos of a recent rainy adventure:

I am becoming a big fan of intentional rest, the kind of rest when you decide in advance that it is perfectly ok to simply sit, breathe and rejuvenate. And so, I made plans with my friend Rachel to go on a picnic this Sunday. We planned it in advance, making sure to plan to eat in the late morning or early afternoon in order to miss the rains that usually hit in the late afternoon. We went to the market and bought our fresh fruit, cheese, bread, and wine, thereby supporting the local artisan economy. And then we made the trek out to one of my favorite places in Copan: the nature trail by the ruins. Here is one highlight of the trail that runs through the forest surrounding the ruins: 

And here is our idyllic spread, complete with delicious food, mason jar wine glasses, vocal jazz thanks to Rachel’s portable speakers, and A. W. Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy, which we are reading with our coworkers as a book study:

Enjoying our feast: 

And here is our perfect picnic location:

Yes, we are having a picnic at the site of an ancient Mayan football field in the middle of a Honduran forest. It is strange to think about who else in history has also sat in the same place! The above picture was taken as a few stray raindrops falling from an ominously heavy sky were slowly developing into a true rainstorm. A few moments later, the backpack was repacked, and the two of us were walking along the soggy trails with the picnic blanket held high over our heads. If we didn't already look ridiculous having a picnic in the middle of the nature trail, we most certainly looked ridiculous then! 

Luckily, we were able to set up camp again on the (covered!) roof top patio of a local hotel to continue our picnic festivities:

Like so many of my plans, things didn't quite work out as planned. But it was still good and beautiful.

Life in Honduras is definitely making me cling less devotedly to my plans. Things like power outages and rainstorms that flood the street threaten the structure of my day, and the plans I love to make. But I am beginning to learn that if the power goes out, you can make do with candles. If the streets flood with water, you can just stay where you are - or go ahead and get wet because it is so hot you'll dry in no time. And if - dare I say it - you are late for something, the world will not end.

I think that just as Keat's suggests, we need to pass through the rain storms of melancholy sometimes to discover the accompanying delight and beauty. And sometimes you don't even need to wait for the clouds to clear to find it.

Anyways, on the update side of things, we are busy at Genesis School of the Arts this week as we preparing for the end of semester graduation this Friday! Miraculously, many of my students can now successfully execute "Ode to Joy" using the left hand, correct fingering and all. And one of my students (the only one with a keyboard in the casa) can play "Swan Lake" using both hands! Things are looking up. I am looking forward to a fun night of piano, guitar and choral performances, an art show, and the food prepared by the cooking class. Pictures will hopefully come at some point!

Adios for now! 


  1. Ahh your picnic sounds amazing!!! I miss going on adventures with you-which will probably lead me to look through our photobook later this afternoon :)

  2. Awe our photobook! So good :) I miss wandering around White Rock! Hopefully a BC trip is going to happen one day?

  3. How odd - we saw you picnicking as we walked the trail looking at birds, and thought it looked quite idyllic. We also got quite soggy.
    Glad to find the blog - we're also living and working in Copan Ruinas.

    1. Wow, it is a small world indeed! Nice to "meet" you Paul!

  4. Kristinmarie:
    And you. My blog - partly about Honduras, partly about B.C. - is My partner's blog, all about life and work in Honduras is