I’ve waited 22 years for this. And finally I returned home. I can hardly believe I’m here.
It was 22 years ago when I left Honduras to return to the USA after my Peace Corps service. 22 years! All these years I’ve tried to return. John and I have looked for jobs in this area – but nothing. We found jobs in Africa and Asia – but there was absolutely nothing in this region. We kept thinking we would come on vacation, but with wanting to visit friends and family in the USA during our summer breaks, we stayed up north rather than venturing south.
But finally – after way too many years – I’m back. I’m home again. Happy Mother’s Day!
I hatched a plan yesterday – at the time I thought it was a brilliant one. We had planned to drive down here with Claudia and Satiel for Mother’s Day, then return to Teguc and start the two-day ride down tomorrow. But then…
“Hey John!” I blurted. “What about if we send all our weight down in the truck, and we ride all the way to Choluteca in one day? With no weight, we should be able to do it. It’s 130 kilometers, and we’ll drop down about 3000 feet in altitude. It’ll be our longest day yet, but we can do it – and get there for Mother’s Day lunch to boot!”
Like I said – it sounded like a brilliant idea at the time.
So yesterday we stripped the bikes down to the bare bones – the poor things were naked as jaybirds – and piled everything into the back of Satiel’s pickup. This morning we got up at 4:00 in the morning so we could hit the road at the first hint of sunlight.
And then we started to climb. And climb. And climb some more. That blasted bowl that Teguc sits in was causing all kinds of trouble…. For fifteen kilometers, we slowly ground up the hill blowing our hoped-for-average mileage all to pieces.
The way I figured it, we would have to maintain an average pace of about 15 – 20 km/hour in order to make it to Gloria’s house for lunch. And we were grinding up the hill at about 6 or 7.
In the end, we missed lunch, but we arrived – after 11 hours of hard riding. But we arrived! We made it to Choluteca and Gloria!
Oh my – how I’ve dreamed of this day! When I left Choluteca 22 years ago, I left a part of my heart here – and finally made it back to pick it up. What a day!
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I worked in a local school to train Gloria to run a resource room for handicapped children, and I chose to live with her too. In other words, I spent all day at school with Gloria, and all evening with her in the house. She’s a very, very special woman, and I feel so honored to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with her. Even though I came here as the “expert” in Special Ed, the truth is that Gloria taught me more than I could ever hope to teach her.
So here I am once again – back in my house. Back with Gloria. A special feeling indeed.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Kilometers today: 138
Kilometers to date: 13195
Davy riding in the highlands between Tegucigalpa and Choluteca. Notice his naked bike – we sent all the weight down in Satiel’s pickup so we could fly! (It didn’t work – we still crept up the hills.)
The bus stops were really busy with all the people traveling to Mom’s house
Taking a break at a bus stop
…and we thought WE traveled slowly!
The beautiful church in Pespire
The whole bunch at Gloria’s house