Today we enjoyed a heaping bowl of Honduran knockoff cheerios, corn flakes and granola which was a real treat after 32 days straight of oatmeal. Since we are perched on the West facing slope of a mountain range, we do not see the sun until after 8am when it rises over the peak. But with clear skies in all directions, I was quick to have all of the laundry hanging on the line because you were down to your last diaper. Greysi woke up with a plan to take us for a walk down to the lake and then to her sister’s home which is near the foot hills of the mountain.
The path to the lake was so steep that I wondered if we could make it to the lake on foot, but I underestimated the strength of your mother. Patiently placing one foot in front of the other, we nimbly made our way over the boulders and ruts, but that was not what was most impressive about your mother that day. Eleven year old Frankie is nearly fluent in both Spanish and English, but his mother Greysi speaks only the former. While Frankie stayed ahead with me, your mother carried on a full conversation, in Spanish, with Greysi. Greysi patiently tried simpler words when your mom could not understand and she appeared to be truly enjoying the conversation.
The steep slopes turned into a flat path through rolling pastures, with cows grazing in the distance, above a meandering creek where a family spent the morning doing their laundry. It was not long before we came to Honduyate, a lakeside marina, where we got our first view of Yojoa at lake level. Aside from the imposing mountains that border the circumference, in many ways we were reminded of the camp. The fresh breeze was the same as a typical afternoon on Cecebe and it was tempting to jump aboard the private sail boats, no larger than the camp’s Siren, and take one out for a spin. After snapping some photos and checking out the other tourist amenities like the pool and playground, we crossed back over the main highway and headed back for the hills.
Pink tropical plants and fruit trees lined the entrance way to Annie’s (Greysi’s sister) home and when we approached the small rustic home, Allen, Greysi’s brother, was raking coffee beans to dry. He stopped to greet us with a strong handshake and smile and escorted us to the porch which had a beautiful view of the lake. Annie brought us some tangerines picked from her yard and a bowl of grapes which are an imported luxury, while her daughter Cheynn showed us her favorite flowers and brought Asher some of her toys. While savoring the crispy grapes, we talked about how grateful we were to experience this most authentic Honduran moment made even more real with a plate of freshly made, wood fired baleadas. Greysi was an excellent tour guide and Annie was happy to have us visit, especially you Asher, who never heard more “mui guapo” (very handsome) in your life.
With a line full of clothes drying back home and all but one of your diapers hanging to dry, Greysi suggested that we head back up the mountain to beat the incoming heavy clouds. Now two hours past your typical nap time, you did not fuss but fell fast asleep and stayed that way for the entire climb home. Flexibility and adaptability are true traits of a longterm traveler and you are demonstrating this daily. We made it back before the rain and to a full line of dry diapers.
In a prior conversation, suspecting Robert is borderline genius, I asked him if he had ever taken an IQ test. His lengthy metaphysical response only contributed to my initial suspicions along with today’s keyboard repair. Knowing both your parents could play the piano, Robert completely dismantled his broken keyboard and poked, prodded, blew compressed air, reassembled, tested, and then repeated this process until the keyboard was fixed. Robert is a self taught electrical mechanical engineer who can repair just about anything and invent a new option when a repair is not possible. Needless to say, Robert fixed the keyboard which turned into a wild jam session. With you on the shaker, your mom on the ukulele, Robert on his recorder, Greysi on her harmonica, and your dad and Frankie on the keyboard, we rocked out Christmas carols into the dark void of the mountain valley. Your mom wooed the crowd with a cramped keyboard version of Alla Turca and everyone joined in singing Feliz Navidad and La Bamba, your dad’s best attempt at Spanish. Frankie enjoyed his private piano lessons and mastered three simple duets which we performed for his parents. At one point in the jam session, Frankie, smiling from ear to ear, said, “I think this is the best day of my entire life.” Robert could not have been more proud.
As we laid under our mosquito net on the rooftop terrace in complete darkness, we recalled the authentic exchange of art, language and culture which is the pinnacle of human interaction.