October 31, 2010. My family and I climb onto the giant-sized steps of the bus. Dusk is descending onto the dimly-lit street. We know that we will not return to the United States for seven days. The week ahead of us is packed with fun and adventure.
Brisas Del Volcan is perhaps one of the most beautiful places in the world. A spectacular volcano brims the skyline. The rolling hills are filled with coffee bean fields and plantain tree orchards. Everything is green and alive with nature and beauty. Sometimes I wish I could just stand at the very top of the tallest hill in Honduras and marvel at the beauty below me. Even in late fall months, it is still humid.
The strange thing about Honduras is that it is the 6th most dangerous place for Americans to visit. I am proud to say that I have visited there. My family and I went on a mission trip through an organization called Agros in 2010. Agros finds struggling villages in third world countries and buys the land from the landowner. The money they use to do this is funded by American families that are willing to jump on board. My family was one of those families. The people living in the village are then taught by Agros how to farm crops like coffee and plantains. They farm the land and sell their goods. Some of this money goes to pay off their loan from Agros. After ten years, the people have paid off their loan, learned how to farm their land, and established a consistent way to make a living.
Every day during our visit, we would wake up and eat a delicious breakfast at our hotel. It was one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed at. Wild turkeys roamed the premises. My family and I always joked about the turkeys because they would wake us up at 4:00 am with their loud squawking. Each hotel “room” was a separate little hut. There was no soap in the bathrooms or glass on the windows, but I loved the hotel. It was like a breath of fresh air from what normal hotels are like. It didn’t have to be white and ironed crisp to be beautiful and fun.
After our breakfast, we all piled in our rented, dingy vehicles and drove the hour-long ride to the village. The streets were unpaved and dusty. We would have to slow down sometimes for the occasional cow or goat crossing the street. Yes, cow or goat! We would wave and smile to small children standing outside of their huts.
When we reached the village, we would all pile out of the car and say our hellos to the village children. All of them were beautiful- tanned skin, brown hair, and brown eyes. They were all so nice. One day, we made salsa and corn tortillas with the women. We took the ground up corn in our hands and beat it into patties. We placed the patties onto a griddle to cook them. After this, we cup up fragrant limes and other delicious-smelling ingredients and mixed them in a bowl. We scooped the salsa onto the corn tortillas and ate it. It was bursting with flavor. That was the best salsa I have ever had in my life.
I view my life and certain things around me as “simply rich”. Honduras is so “simply rich” with its rolling hills, beautiful landscape, and adventure in the air. I want to just spend all of my time there, making salsa and corn tortillas, playing with the village children, and picking coffee beans until my fingers go numb. Being in Honduras makes me love life. I love the joy and laughter of it all. Honduras leaves me with no regrets, because the breathtaking landscape takes your focus before you can worry about anything in life.
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