In theory, I love family visits. There’s just something about meeting mini-versions of the boys in the faces of the their siblings still living at home. And there’s often a fair amount of awkwardness between the child and his parent(s). I’m always happy to be the show and tell object that takes the focus off the fact that they are family and yet little more than strangers. “Hey Mom! This is Jenny. She’s from the United States. Let’s listen to her speak Spanish!”
But I just wasn’t feeling this trip. I was tired. And I couldn’t get a straight answer about how far away the town was.
“Yoro? Oh my, that’s 4 hours…one way.”
“Yoro? Not a minute over 4 hours round trip.”
How is it possible that no one could agree on the distance? It’s not like the town moves or goes and visits relatives on the weekends.
Come on Google Maps, do your thing.
But there was one thing that everyone agreed on.
“Yoro? The road to get there is THE WORST!!”
When we still didn’t have a departure time the night before, I was feeling pretty ok with just letting the trip go. It’s kinda late to plan anything. The kids going didn’t seem all that excited. Eh, maybe I could take them the next time I’m in the country. But there was this nagging voice in my head. “What’s happening to you? Why are you being so lazy and selfish? What happened to going the extra mile?” Ok, fine. I will go through the motions. I will get there early. When the kids aren’t ready and when I find out the psychologist who’s coming with us hasn’t arrived yet, I’ll be justified in cancelling the trip. We can’t do an eight hour trip if we don’t leave at a reasonable hour. Feeling better about the number of emergency exits I had found to get me out of this, I headed to Proniño.
Pulling in I was welcomed by the typical gaggle of greeters gathered around (and hanging onto) the window as I slowly parked under a tree. Along with the typical “Jenny! Give me your coffee! Good morning! How did you sleep? Did you bring me chocolate?”, I heard some new information. “Milton has been awake and getting ready since 4:30.” Oh really? Walked up the steps towards the boys’ rooms and sure enough, there was Milton. Dress pants with a belt, shirt (that said something inappropriate about someone’s sister in English) tucked in and enough hair gel to add a few pounds to his frame. From another room I hear “Jenny! At my grandma’s house you’ll be able to see a picture of my dad! He’s identical to my brother!!” This coming from a kid who tries hard to never get excited about anything. Stuck my head in the room to find him looking snazzy as well, with a friend trying to figure out how to roll his sleeves and tightly button them about the elbow.
And that’s when something wonderful happened.
Suddenly eight hours in the car didn’t seem THAT bad.
And really how terrible could that road be?
Much faster than is customary in Honduras, things fell into place, we piled in the car and hit the road. The road that is more pothole than highway. Ugh. But I saw two teenage boys treat their grandparents with unexpected tenderness. I got to see that famous picture. We let the boys be our tour guides and in doing so, learned so much more about their family and their past.
An aunt told us we should take one of her boys back with us to live in Proniño because he misbehaves and I got to watch Saint Jenny, the psychologist, explain the importance of family, education and love that a child can only receive from family in the most kind and non-condescending manner and I gained even more respect for her. I met a little sister that is the clone of one of the boys, right down to her sass and confidence. And then listened to this boy proudly tell his mom (with his little siblings gathered around) all the things he’s learning in his workshops and school and what he’s planning on doing with this education.
Being human, there are days when I feel tired and don’t want to follow through on the rather taxing plans I made at a time when I was getting more sleep. But there’s nothing like the nervous excitement pouring out of the kids and the memories made on a road trip to bring about my second wind.
And for the record?
Yoro is about two hours away.
Hands down, it’s the worst road I’ve ever driven in Honduras.