Sunday, October 19, 2008













The Start.
(1st in daily series for the week).

As the bus begins it’s long ascent up the Tegucigulpa mountain, I stare out the open window in silence. There is noise everywhere. Noise and chaos and not a single word or sign that I can read to help make sense of it all. I scan each crowded street and barred shack for a point of reference, something to jumpstart an adaptation…nothing. Motorcycles squeeze between cars and onto sidewalks, horns rage at each blind turn, starved and wild dogs are fighting in dirt alleyways. The air is heavy and smells of diesel and urine and sweat. The higher we climb the faster we drive and the faster the reel of foreign colors, questioning eyes, and littered streets play before me in a vivid, chaotic blur. They say this is South of America, but I feel as though I have arrived south of another world.

Just when I think the spinning will never stop, the bus screeches to a halt and awaits outside the entrance to our guarded home for the week. We are up with the clouds now and the sun casts a golden glow onto city, onto the now peaceful arena that truthfully, I feel I have narrowly escaped. I turn to jot a frantic note on airport napkin paper, a note about the feeling of sensory and emotional overload, a note on the sadness, on the ugliness, when suddenly a shimmer of light catches my eye. I lean further out over the bus’ edge and discover I am an arms length away from a man made wall. It is nothing out of the ordinary except that this one is covered with broken glass bottles that have been cemented along the top edge. Multiple colors of green, clear, and brown, all stand menacingly with their sharp necks to the sky to ward off theft. On our way up we had seen countless stretches of barbed wire, but nothing like this.

The bus lurches forward again. As it moves, the setting sun follows behind and splashes playfully through each broken shard. I whisper to myself that it is “all quite pretty”, scribbling “broken beauties” on my makeshift notepad. We pull up to our destination and are quickly ushered to our rooms where we are advised to get much needed rest for the challenging days to come. My head hits the pillow exhausted, and begins replaying image after fleeting image of the day, always only able to come back to the shattered, shining glass... Sleep soon finds me and so I rest, completely unaware that the image carrying me into my dreams is to be the same image by which God chooses to reveal His heart for the Honduran people-His heart for all of His broken beauties.

4 comments:

Claire said...

I am there with you... in the midst of the mire and filth, living that which you are describing. Thank you for taking me there. Please write the next page...

Steve said...

Welcome back and to the world of attempting to describe the indescribeable. We've missed your writings, but hey, no pressure!

Georgia (AKA g-bug) said...

broken beauties, or as Angela would call them, pennies

Chris said...

Wow, I feel like I'm there with you, experiencing all this chaos. I can't wait to read these every day!