Tears, Death and Politics

So this might be quite a random post but I have a few things I want to talk about and I thought I might as well pull it all into one, quite random, blog post.

 

Tears.

I have barely cried while I’ve been in Honduras, maybe just a couple of times. Which is odd for me – I used to cry a lot but I guess I’ve had a lot more to be happy about than sad about during the past 10 months. But it seemed to all build up this week and spill out at once. I went to church with my host mum and two sisters on Sunday evening – my host mum had been at a camp for the weekend with the church and all the women who went did a speech to thank God and their families. I’m not religious but seeing so much emotion just brought the tears spilling out and I couldn’t stop crying until we left the church. I felt emotionally drained afterwards and I wasn’t sure why…

I thought that was it for the tears but they reappeared the next day – I was at my project when I got bad news from home. I couldn’t hold my emotions back and right there in the middle of the school in Guanabano I cried. Then I went home and cried some more… a lot more. I just couldn’t stop! My family in Honduras were wonderful though and I managed to skype my Dad and sister the next day (the first time since March!!) for some comforting reassurance from home. So the tears have stopped now, I’m not sure where they came from, but I’m glad I’m feeling a little more emotionally stable at the moment!

 

Death.

As well as dealing with the bad news on Monday, I happened to also see my first dead body in Honduras that day. We were on the bus back to the city from Guanabano when everyone on the bus suddenly jumped up and started clamouring to get a view out of the window. I had no idea what was going on… until I looked out the window myself and saw a boy, he didn’t look to be older than me, lying on the ground, face down. He had been shot and dumped – mostly likely due to being involved in drugs and gangs.

It wasn’t so much the body that shook me up but people’s reaction to it. This is one of the things I find hardest to accept about Honduras – the attitude towards death and how to treat a dead body. It is treated as a form of entertainment, with crowds gathering around the body trying to get the story, and pictures of the body splashed all over the newspaper the next day. And anyone that I mentioned the experience to just shrugged it off by saying that it happens all the time here. But does that make it ok? Surely the more casual something like that is treated, the less likely it will be fixed… if a body was shot and dumped on a busy road in England there would be an uproar to find those responsible. In Honduras, it is quietly swept under the carpet. 

 

Politics.

A couple of days ago I noticed an article on the Guardian newspaper website about Honduras. If you care to read it the link is http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/29/honduras-democracy-presidential-election, but proceed with caution. The piece is about the upcoming elections in Honduras next month and it posted in the ‘Comment’ section of the website; so it is opinionated. The article very clearly sways towards the Libre party, completely ignoring one of the other leading parties which is also left, and makes some quite bold claims with little evidence to back it. The article also over-focuses on the US involvement in the 2009 coup – again it declares that the US were the ones to organise it but doesn’t provide must back up to this accusation. It is difficult to say whether a lot of the information in the article is correct but it is interesting that a British newspaper is reporting on Honduras politics. The only press this country gets is usually to do with the little fact of it having the highest murder rate in the world…

Anyway, the elections are getting close. And they are hard to ignore… you literally can’t move anywhere in the city without seeing the faces of Juan Orlando, Xiomara or Villeda. Or their many ministers, mayors etc. I liked it at first as it was an easy way to brush up a bit on Honduras politics but now I’m really sick of having their faces pushed in front of me ALL the time. I was on the bus to my project yesterday and a pick up truck went past with Xiomara/Libre flags on and two very large speakers signing out a song about Xiomara. Just a little over the top isn’t it? Everyone is talking about the elections and they are still over 3 weeks away. The result will be important for Honduras but from what I’ve seen and heard… they’re going to get a bad deal whichever way it goes. 

 

So perhaps not the most positive blogs I have written about Honduras but I still love this country more than ever. However, tomorrow I will be venturing over the border to Nicaragua. As our VISAs run out soon, myself and a few of the other new volunteers will be heading to Granada (note to self – there is more than one Granada in the World, so next time don’t spend half an hour searching hostels in Granada, Spain). We have to leave at 5am in the morning and take 4 buses… but hopefully it will be an easy journey and we will have fun in Granada! I’m definitely ready for a weekend away after the stress of this week 🙂 

 

So until next week, adios!! 

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One thought on “Tears, Death and Politics

  1. Cool article! Thanks for posting it. Having a good cry is almost always a good thing. It’s a sign of the bad, but it means not only are you on your way to being healed, but you’re human.

    Those in Honduras may be desensitized to death and despair, but that doesn’t make it wrong for you to be upset by it. In countries like Honduras, many people have more or less given up – many of them have become numb to what’s going on around them. Also, there are other potential reasons. Have you ever heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

    It’s not perfect, but it can illustrate my point: You, I and most people in the First World are on the fifth level 98% of the time where real morality can exist. People in the Third World will jump all over the place on that chart, but a good portion of the time, they’re stuck on the first or second level. Psychologically, they simply can’t care about that dead kid, because their own biological and psychological needs aren’t met.

    I have three different blogs, in which I write on different topics. Writing about an issue I’m having always helps clear it up! Whether it’s something that’s upsetting me or something I need to explain to myself, writing about it has become my go-to response. Maybe it really only helps me, I don’t know, but I’d encourage you to write about everything that’s bugging you.

    As far as politics, LOL! I can’t believe Zelaya would assert we had something to do with the coup. He was one of our closest allies in Latin America! The United States still refuses to recognize the new government and Obama even threatened to pull all aid from Honduras if they didn’t rescind Zelaya’s exilation. What a tool… As far as the election, that sounds like a really interesting experience. I’d love to go experience politics in another country. My cousin is very politically minded like I am, but he and his wife life in Finland, where everyone’s a socialist (or is that just all of Europe?). haha I’d love to experience “politics” in another country.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! I thoroughly enjoyed 🙂

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