The Soldier Boy Adds a Funny Twist
Sep 01, 1999
Dec 01, 2000
To add to the thoughts I wrote yesterday, I would say that I am suffering from an overall homesickness. I miss nearly everything and have gotten to the point where I am completely romanticizing things. That does not mean that my homesickness is not valid, it just means that I need to recognize that those sharp pangs that sting my soul at times are not fair representations of my overall feelings, rather they are the spikes of emotion that ought to be averaged in with the moments in which I am neutral about my surroundings and those moments in which I feel so glad to be here. I have already conceded to myself that I will consider weekends as travel times, either to Tegucigalpa to be with friends and enjoy things like movies and fast food, or to El Salvador or Nicaragua. There just isn't anything to do in Nacaome.
Today by no fault of my own I truly celebrated a Sabbath for probably the first time since high school. I woke at half past six to jog for a while, had a shower and since then I have been eating, reading or watching sports with Spanish commentators. An interesting situation has developed over the few days that I have been in Nacaome. There is a family of five women who run a small but safe and varied comedor in which each takes turns cooking. It would seem to be a fairly healthy situation if it weren't for the insecure temper of the mother and the bizarre relationship the fourteen year old has with a late twenties lieutenant. Most days I receive the usual treatment from the five of them that I expect from teenage Hondureņas. In fact the first night they were all calling me their new boyfriend and I was treated to especially long glances and handshakes. However, the soldier boy adds a funny twist. I am afraid of what he and his underlings might do if I upset him (I've read enough about Central American militaries to know that it isn't just me overreacting), and he is intimidated by my presence. Thankfully, though I had a chance to chat with him and the conversation was cordial and he thought I spoke very well. I was able to communicate with him about my work and I expressed interest in his. He adds a bit of detail to the picture I have painted in my mind about what the Latin American professional soldier looks like. Even though I think it is a transcultural moral standard that fourteen year olds and thirty year olds should not be caressing each other EVER, let alone in public, he seems to be a nice enough guy. I am glad that he and I are 'friends' now.