I have been told repeatedly in my life that I have good luck. That I skate through things. I think this is because I live my life in a manner that I don’t have set expectations and I am usually pleased with the way things turn out….because its just life, right? There is a downfall to this philosophy, or way of life because I often don’t set expectations too far out of reach. I strive for what I know is comfortable and feels right. So when I do something that requires bravery I am scared out of my mind.
I am going to build a school. Just like that. A school that will one day educate 60 students at a time to become community leaders and environmental stewards.
So far all of this work seems simple enough. The land has been donated by Oscar Perez of the Jungle River Lodge. I happened upon a man in La Ceiba that is here with Engineers without Boarders who has designed the plans for the school. I have met with handfuls of people doing development work in Honduras who support the idea and are intrigued. I talk with travelers passing through who often are connected with organizations in various parts of the world who have money to donate to projects similar to this one. I am talking, talking, my tongue out.
And I don’t want this to be all talk. I want action. The project proposal is in its final stages. The bank account exists. The budget is being nailed out. It all has to do with the money. If money can come in as freely as everyone I have talked to has indicated, then we are set. We will be in motion and we can actually build this school. We can actually invite teachers and we can actually bring students to school. We can start producing things on the farm. We can start creating the future leaders of El Naranjo.
I suppose that even though we don’t have a school house or professionally trained bilingual environmental education teachers, we are still imparting important information to the community. We have classes once a week for the students during the vacations for English mostly. Health and environmental stewardship are themes of all the classes….mixed in with lots of games and activities, of course. The people in the community I have developed relationships with at excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and are interested what possibilities could lie ahead for them in the future.
Winter in my family always has been a time of hibernation. When a bear hibernates I am sure he goes into some state of meditation. While I don’t think I have spent the last month in a constant state of hibernation or meditation, like perhaps bears in Montana are currently, this rainy season has been a time of awareness and reflection.
I have become so close to the jungle family that surrounds me. They bother me sometimes, sometimes they hurt my feelings, they pick on me a little bit, and most importantly they love and care about me. And we are all experiencing life together at this moment in time.
I can easily see greatness in people and the possibilities they possess (another fault of mine….seeing possibilities in people rather than appreciating people for who they are right then). I saw some changes in the past month with some of the people closest to me. I saw one person in particular stop and look at himself critically and change what he thought needed to be changed. Since this realization occurred he has taken on responsibilities and seems to be excited for his own future and what he wants to do for himself. It is inspiring to me to see a change like this. It makes me feel a little more confident about building a school. I too can take on unfamiliar responsibility and work a little harder for what is important to me. Gracias compadre.
Tonight I write from the jungle. Candles surround me and the light from the computer screen is burning holes into my eyes. I am listening to salsa music and the river. When the wind blows the candles soften and I am cold. I am totally alone here except the 5 guests, who have all gone to bed, and the watchman. What a peaceful place. I will sleep soundly tonight lulled to sleep by the river, and when I wake up in the morning the first thing I will see is the rainforest. Shoot. I got it. While maybe a little on edge, I am still happy.