Just getting to Santa Barbara every week is a story itself, and it’s been untold too long…
To begin with, I am a creature of rhyme and rhythm, and I love to follow a schedule. Hondurans appear to be unaccounted with these key words in my life, and nothing happens at any specified time. This has created a laxidazical, yet very jolly, society of people that do what they want, when they want.
During our first few weeks here, we tried to figure out the bus schedule. Through trial and error we discovered that the bus, like everything and everyone here, runs on its own time. You don’t know exactly when it will come, or where it will come to.
We are dependent on public transportation to take us to Santa Barbara once a week, and hence these days are always fraught with adventures and many unknowns…
Here are a couple scenes that have occurred in the John Dysinger family home on town day:
I (Kirsten) sit typing an email at my computer; its around 10 am. “We’re going on the ’11:00’ bus, right?” I call out the bedroom door. “That’s the plan,” was Mom’s response. I continue to type, thinking I still have a few minutes. “Kirsten, are you ready?” came an almost frantic voice from the kitchen. “The bus is coming, right now!” I look down at myself. Ashamedly I’m still in my pajamas, and no where near ready for town. “But I’m not ready,” I call back. I wasn’t the only one unprepared, so we decided to shoot for catching the ‘1:30’ bus. Thinking I now have plenty of time, I settle back down to finishing my email. At noon my family decides to eat lunch “just in case the bus comes early.” I saw no need to eat so early; we still had an hour and a half. But a few minutes later I stood in the kitchen filling a tortilla. I had taken my first bite when I heard something. I stopped. It was the familiar chug of the bus. “The bus is here,” the boys almost scream. Looking out the window I see the bus already turning around below our house. I hastily fill three more tortillas and stuffing a Mandarin in one pocket and my iPod, charging chord, and flash drive in the other pocked I head for the door. On the my way I grab our unnecessarily large briefcase that holds our computer and always much more. As I’m leaving I hear Zack behind me be declaring in a despairing tone, “I know I left my shoes right here…” I run down the dirt road, chacos unstrapped, pockets bulging, a huge briefcase over one shoulder and tortillas in hand. I imagined that probably all the people on the bus were laughing at this strange American family, but at that moment I didn’t care. It was with a sigh of relief that I sat down on the bus. We had made it!
Its 12:00 am and Mom is blissfully at the Pela scrubbing clothes. Joshua sticks his head out the door and says “Mom, do you realize we need to be leaving in a few minutes?” “What?” she gasps as she stares at her watch.”Joshua, remember we’re going on the ‘1:30’ bus.” “But Mom, the ‘1:30’ bus came at 12:15 last week, and Caesar said it’s not coming up to our house today.” There was a hustle and a bustle as the lunch food was hurriedly pulled from the stove. The lentils were still crunchy, and the potatoes hard. Everyone grabbed their stuff and off down the hill they ran. Its a half mile walk down to the heart of La Zona where the bus will for sure find you. Needless to say, Mom and the boys sat for another 45 minutes…
These are only a couple reflections of many more scenarios we could tell. We’ve missed the bus, been late many times and early others. No one else seems to have any trouble catching the bus; it comes when it comes, leaves when it leaves, and no one is troubled by any lack of schedule. So why should we be?
I’ve only told you about getting to town… shopping is another story. With a family of seven, we are quite a gazing stock. A healthy family life is almost non existent in Honduras, and you never see families walking around town together. Many heads turn and watch as we wonder the streets, and at times we (or I) feel self conscious.
I find shopping here quite enjoyable. First we go though the market, buying fruit and vegetables. Once again, we draw much attention as we load up on mass quantities of food. We each carry several bags, and by the time we finally reach home we’re quite tired.
Back to our bus escapes... Every time I am found unprepared or late, I am struck by the parallels to be found in Christ’s second coming. Matthew 25:13 has more meaning to me now; “watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour...” This departure is far more important then catching the bus, but are we taking seriously the work of preparation? Would we be ready at a moments notice? I know its been a call to my heart. Lets not miss this final, grand event!