And then we go home

On Sunday, I was feeling much better, but still not up to the exertion of visiting the ruins. While the rest went, two of us rested at the hotel. We took a little walk into town to look around and buy a few things.

For lunch we shared an order of pantumaca and one of hummus. Pantumaca, a Spanish dish, is a bowl of tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil purée, served with their fantastic homemade bread. The hummus was also served with bread. Either topping was nice with the bread, and especially both together.

When the others returned, it was time to pack up and head back to San Pedro, checking back in at The Green Frog before another dinner at Chedrani, the tree house restaurant. Maybe not the best choice in retrospect; where we sat was right by the source of the very loud music, and it was hot. Also by now perhaps all of us were short on patience; dinner out in these parts means so much waiting, to order drinks, to get them, to order food, to get it, to get the bill, to pay, to get receipts, and finally to leave. A lingering dinner can be a lovely thing, but perhaps it loses some charm when it’s every day with the same people, with whom it seems we have run out of things to talk about.

On Monday I remained at the hotel to read, knit, rest, while the others returned to the Guamalito market. They also stopped by the church where the roof has been finished and the ladies were back to work making tortillas to sell, and they also visited the diocesan office. Then they stopped here to put their purchases away and pick me up for a run to the mall.

The food court was similar to one of ours, with a mix of local chains as well as Burger King, Popeye’s, and the like. Marilyn and I were both inclined to get ice cream for lunch. At Sarita’s I heard the man next to us ask about the passion fruit with mango, and he helped us out identifying some of the other flavors. Turns out he had worked in the States, in Indiana and Ohio, driving equipment and cars down here. Anyway, I got a waffle cone with the passionfruit / mango and coconut ice cream, and Marilyn got pistachio and coconut. It was a perfect lunch after many heavy large meals.

After meandering around the mall a bit we reconvened and returned for a rather luxurious few hours with nothing official to do. Several of us enjoyed the pool.

In the evening we had invited Bishop Lloyd Allen to dine with us. It was interesting to hear what he had to say about this diocese of Honduras, its history, how things are working out now, and their efforts to become fully self-supporting by 2019, when the Episcopal church will no longer help with any finances. It is encouraging that already the diocese produces some 68% of its budget, compared to 2% in 2001. On the other hand the budget has had to change and make a lot of cuts and require its churches to also become more self-sufficient.

Then there was the food. This was the fanciest place we went to, and it was a marvelously good way to end. A nice white wine, appetizer of scallops au gratin, amazingly good salmon ravioli in tomato basil sauce, and flan. Mmmmm. I think the others were equally pleased with what they got — suckling pig, octopus, ceviches, beef heart skewers, chicken chili, and even sweet and sour chicken.

On the other hand it was well past nine by the time we left.

This morning we pack once more, and then we’ll be home again.

I have liked being here in the country of some of my friends from Santo Tomás. I have been able to converse in Spanish more effectively than I had feared. As all teams do we had our issues with personality differences, patience, time and space, organization and communication, illness and tiredness and emotional strain. And we also showed kindness and mercy to one another, enjoyed each other, and worked together. The people of the church here were a great pleasure, from the littlest toddler to the elders. Our driver Freddy was one of us. Staff at our hotels were uniformly gracious, and many of our servers at restaurants, too.

Now I am ready for home, perhaps to return someday.


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