Honduras: A Dialogue Between Realist Derek and Idealist Derek
There are times when you’d think Realist Derek might speak up. For example, when Idealist Derek was getting ramped up to “make a difference,” chatting with his friend from Honduras. They talked about the people needing support, about the truth being exposed, about protests and manifestations. See now, that might have been a decent time to remind Idealist Derek that he didn’t actually speak Spanish. Or to ask him just what he thought he would do to support the people, or for that matter, which people he would support—all decent questions. But instead he just sat there, quietly observing as he loves to do as Idealist Derek rambled on and on about fluffy sunshine and rainbows, and made plans to change the world.
Then there are times when Realist Derek just won’t shut up… like when he’s sitting on the plane headed for San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Just when all the other Dereks are putting their seats back trying to relax, Realist Derek perks up and starts asking questions.
“Wait… so when did you last see your friend from Honduras? Over 10 years ago?!”
“And how well did you know her, I mean like are you even going to be able to recognize her? What happens when you get there, can’t speak Spanish, and can’t get a hold of your friend?”
“Oh yeah and remember that curfew you read about that you just brushed off-how does that work when your plane doesn’t even arrive until after 9 pm? By the way, why did the President get taken out of the country by the military anyway? And just curious, why is this plane so empty…”
You get the picture. Needless to say, none of the Dereks were able to rest much on the flight. We arrived as scheduled shortly after 9pm. I pulled my packs from the strangely vacant overhead compartments and followed the signs of Salida (exit). The air was thick, humid, with the smell of distant burning. I walked casually, and confidently past the airport security all heavily armed, like I knew what I was doing. Outside there was a large gathering of people, some were holding signs, all watched as I walked by.
But the people weren’t holding torches, or guns. They weren’t yelling or chanting. They were smiling and waiting. Much like any airport, they were there to greet their loved ones. I found a taxi driver who spoke English, and asked where I could find a phone. He pulled out his cell phone, asked the number and called… No answer. Just as he was explaining that if my friend didn’t show up he could drive me to a safe hotel for the night, my friend did show up. And yes, I recognized her right away.
The ride to her home was filled with political updates. As her boyfriend drove the relatively quiet streets, she shared background on the political parties, protests, and a slightly misrepresented situation. It seems things weren’t quite as bad as we had heard. Yes, there were protests, but the many of them were peaceful. The major ones were in the capital. Still San Pedro Sula had seen unrest.
We drove through downtown so I could see one of the “hot” areas. Bank windows were busted and boarded. There was graffiti scattered across the walls of downtown. Then she pointed out her family owned business, totally unmarked, and explained why only certain businesses were targeted based on their connection to certain parties.
The discussion continued into the living room and into the night. Both my friend and her boyfriend were passionate (though not overly), explaining how the ousting of the President was not really a “coup”, but actually legal and even beneficial based on the President’s desire to change the constitution against the will of the government (and for the most part-the people). They also shared their disappointment with CNN in displaying a situation that seemed much more out of control than it really was.
Eventually the night wound down. Tomorrow, I would go with my friend downtown to her work, where was rumored to be a manifestation.
“Just make sure you wear your tennis shoes, in case you need to run…” We said good night and went to bed. Except of course for Realist Derek… he still had a few questions.
(For one of the more clear explanations of what’s happening down see the following link.)