When I first arrived in Honduras, I walked around feeling blind. Coming from the late winter/early spring clouds of beautiful British Columbia in March, the sunlight and colour of Honduras was a shock to the system. Without the gradual seasonal transition from the gray shades of winter to the vibrant colours of sunlit summertime, the contrast between the aesthetics of home and Honduras was a surprise and I spent a lot of time squinting my eyes and feeling dazed.
I don't feel that way anymore. It is like when back home people ask my family if we ever get tired of our view of the gorgeous mountains north of the Fraser Valley. The reality is that after a while we don't notice them anymore. The mountains - albeit beautiful and awe-inspiring become mundane and ordinary.
I think that there is a lot of truth in what Paul says in Philippians, about being "content whatever the circumstances" (Philippians 4:11). Whatever our life circumstances, something else will inevitably look better. If we are rich, we want more. If we are poor, we want more. If we are bored, we want change. The secret to happiness is not contingent upon changing our circumstances or the scenery that surrounds us. The secret is in somehow being content with the grays of BC winter, with the vibrant colours of Honduras, with times of plenty and with times of need.
All this goes to say that I applaud the cliche tourist who stands in scenic locations around the world with a camera around their neck, gazing with an awkward, squinting gaze at the world around us (usually with sunglasses), striving to capture the immense beauty in which we live with a haphazard snapshot. I think that in many cases an artist is like a tourist in their own town, someone who sees the world with the wonder of a tourist who has been transplanted from the mundane reality of Canada, Germany, Korea or wherever they are from, and is now looking with new eyes on the world that is mundane to everyone else around them.
And so, even though the aesthetics of Honduras are still far from mundane to me, the fact that they no longer shock my senses with their beauty inspired me to be a tourist last week and take haphazard snapshots of my everyday life.
Here it goes, portions of my daily life in Honduras:
Morning coffee drinking/reading/journaling time overlooking the palm trees and hills. Beauty.
(I highly recommend delving into the poetry of Mary Oliver. Her view of nature is beautiful!)
The walk from my house to the road.
Walking to work.
I get to draw pictures on a regular basis for English class. What is the shepherd doing? He is taking care of the sheep. (hand motion - rocking the imaginary baby while saying taking care of emphatically)
My walking buddies on route to the after school camp program. They are two of the lideres joevenes who work with the kids at camp.
Bananas! We also saw a black variety of bananas on this walk but I forgot to take a picture.
I asked the boys if they knew which plants along our walk are edible. The result is that we stopped every couple of minutes for the rest of the walk to look at every edible plant variety in Copan. Now I can get lost in the forests of Honduras for extended periods of time without the fear of starvation.
Entering Nueva Esperanza, the neighbourhood where we run one of the afterschool programs.
Coming up to the school where all the craziness of camp occurs.
And last but surely not least, the chicken. Probably one of the most common fixtures of life in Honduras. I am sure a better photographer could find beauty in this chicken. I did not.
Hope you enjoy this glimpse into everyday life here in Honduras!