My first month in the campo

Trip Start Sep 01, 1999
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Trip End Dec 01, 2000


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Flag of Honduras  ,
Sunday, October 3, 1999

After a month in the capital, my boss sent me to Nacaome, a provincial city close to the border with El Salvador. Nacaome is the epitome of a backwater. It's hot and dusty in the summer, and hot and muddy in the winter. My accommodations were what you imagine Peace Corps volunteers to be living in; rustic, shared, and requiring a significant adjustment to my cultural sensibilities. My first bout of homesickness came at this point, and my remedy was eat breakfast every morning at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that happened to be piping in ESPN en Espan~ol. I can laugh about it at this point, but at the time I was so ill-prepared to deal with the ennui and lack of creature comforts that a little football commentary in Spanish was a calming salve.

My contribution to the work at this point was nil. I basically tagged along with my Honduran counterparts as they travelled to the clusters of houses in the hills around Nacaome. During the hurricane, these communities faced the greatest perils. Not only were they vulnerable to the ravages of the storm--the winds and rain that brought whole hillsides down--but also to the aftereffects to their agriculture and economies.

These day trips were lovely, and bumpy. I would sit in the back of a pick up truck, usually right up next to the cab, and stare out into the verdant landscapes. Once we were there I would make conversation and play with the children, who were always interested and unafraid of the gringo.
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