Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A short break

I’ve been looking for a chance to take a break at the beach.  I’ve only been to the Caribbean once in my five years here – last September when I facilitated a retreat for the Finca del Niño volunteers.

I was going to Santa Bárbara for a workshop last Friday and Saturday and decided to go to Tela for two days, only a little over three hours by car from Santa Bárbara.

I stayed in a middle priced hotel, walked a bit in town, took a trip to Punta Sal and the Kawas National Park, and ate two Italian meals! (The second one was superb - penne pasta with garlic and pepperoncini sauce.)

It was an all too short vacation but worth it.

Saturday night I went to Mass in the local church – San Antonio. 

Carved image of Mary in the church door.

As I walked in, a young man was picking a melody on an acoustic guitar. I think it was “Nearer, my God, to Thee.” He played a few more melodies before Mass and then led the singing during the Mass.  It was so calming to hear his gentle playing and his mellow voice -  a big difference from the loud electrified music I hear at most Masses here.  The first blessing.

A view up the river by a bridge near the church.

On Sunday I went on a tour across the bay from Tela to Punta Sal, which included a walk in the Jeanette Kawas National Park. The trip was well worth it. In the park there were howler moneys and other wildlife. The guide – who delightfully insisted on giving me a hard time - showed us an original banana tree and split open one of the bananas, complete with large seeds; he also showed us a avocado which smelled of anise [aka, licorice].

Can you see the howler monkeys?

We had several chances to swim in the bay and even snorkel in a coral reef.. The water was clear and quite salty.  How I miss swimming – especially swimming in the ocean.  (As a kid Mom, Dad, and I went to Wildwood on the Jersey shore for a week.)

On the trip back we all got soaked in the boat but arrived safe and sound.

A great chance to be in nature and in the ocean. A second blessing.

After an Italian dinner on Sunday night, I was walking back to the hotel when a young guy stopped me. “Juancito?” he asked. It was Josué, a teenager who I had known in Dulce Nombre who is now working in Tela.  It’s almost as if I can’t go anywhere in Honduras without running into someone I know. A third blessing.

I left mid-morning on Monday and got back to Santa Rosa de Copán in about five hours, without any car problems! A fourth blessing.

It was good to get away – especially for someone like me who is too much of a workaholic. I need to let myself rest and enjoy time apart. I think I’ll have to take another trip to Tela in the coming year.

A side note: In Tela I began to read Mary Jo Leddy’s  The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls US Home. I finished it today.  What a great challenging and inspiring work. I highly recommend it. I should write a review.

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