“Does this mean I won’t be able to go home?!”
“Well, miss, that means you’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Okay. So I’m sure you’re wondering what’s going on here, right? I’ll back track it for you so you can fully understand.
On June 11th, 2009, I left for San Pedro Sula, Honduras from my hometown of Miami. I had never traveled on my own anywhere. Last time I tried the plane had left to Miami without me, but not this time – I was determined to redeem myself. Although something in the back of my head was trying to warn me that this was not going to be like any other trip to Honduras. I attempted to shrug it off, and got on that plane with optimism.
Upon arriving, the climate was so warm and inviting. That uneasy feeling had left me and I was ready to spend 1/3 of my summer in my mother’s homeland. For the next three weeks I would be volunteering at “El Hogar de Emanuel.”
My first day was hectic. The orphanage had 80 kids and 5 acres to roam and I was being tugged left and right.
I quickly came to realize what they wanted was affection – some hugs, kisses and love – which is exactly what I gave them.
I had brought markers, and construction paper, in which they used and created letters and paintings which I kept. One of the boys asked me “Monica, que vas hacer con todo eso?” I glanced at him and said “Cuidarlos, para siempre y tener los cerca a mi corazÃ³n.”
For the next two weeks I played, laughed and built relationships. They made fun of my accent and asked where I came from.
I had always known there was some political conflict going on within the government, but I never thought I would be there something happened.
It was Sunday, June 28th, 2009, when I awoke in my uncle’s house hot because there was no power in the whole house, let alone in the whole city. I looked out my window to see that the city for the first time was still. I went downstairs and found everyone huddling around the generator-powered television set, watching former president Mel Zelaya, taken out of his home in pajamas by military force.
There I was, in the middle of a coup d’Ã©tat; In the middle of Honduran history.
That was the only bit of news we were getting on the television station. My mother called me crying saying”I…never…let…go…there. “I assured her I was safe and that I would be home soon.
The power eventually returned but I was forced to stay indoors for the next couple of days. That meant movie marathons, watching CNN and not being able to return to the orphanage before I left.
As I was watching CNN, the anchor woman announced that ex-president, Mel Zelaya, would be returning on Thursday and that the airports would be shut down in Honduras.
… wait…. That’s when I’m supposed to be leaving…. Will I be able to go home?
Which bring us to the dialogue between the American Airlines receptionist and I.
I did get to come home one time because the president decided not to return, but I learned two very valuable life lessons:
1. 1. When you say good-bye to someone, mean it. It could be the last time you say good-bye
2. 2. Figure out if the foreign country your traveling to has any political conflict before getting on the plane
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