Ive been in Honduras for 4.5 days now, and have already learned a number of lessons about flexibility.
Rain (we are talking sheet and sheets, creating rivers between cobblestones and soaking those riding in the back of a pickup) happens.
Canceled flights (especially when they are flying into Tegucigalpa, one of the most dangerous international airports in the world) happen.
Turds in the latrine start to jump around and turn out to be toads…yes, that happens.
When cell service in far flung communities dies out, 430 am one way radio announcements for communication happen.
And as I have most recently found out, gastrointestinal distress, too, happens.
While most of the things that have arisen have been mildly humorous, the last one has come as a disappointment. Instead of making the long trek to deliver health education workshops and conduct interviews in Los Terreros, a far away village that requires multiple buses and long hikes, and sometimes donkeys to reach…I am here in El Corpus gulping gatorade and refraining from venturing farther than a few feet from the flush toilet. This is clearly not how I hoped to spend this time, and I have spent much of this morning feeling frustrated and disappointed, given the short time I have to be here. I do not want to waste it this way!
But I remind myself that this too is all part of it. Being flexible doesnt just mean adapting oneself when something inconvenient or funny or strange happens. It also means recognizing your limits. It means taking care of yourself when Honduras wears you down. It means finding a new way to accomplish the tasks you came for. And, hardest of all, it means letting someone else go instead. It means being content knowing that the poor will still receive the service our group came here for, and that matters so much more than the fact that I dont get to be the one to deliver it…at least not today.
On the bright side, Im sitting in an informal internet cafe with the soothing sounds of Lionel Richie singing “Say You, Say Me” ringing in my ears. The young man who works here is practicing his English by singing it at the top of his lungs and asking me questions about North Carolina. He was even nice enough to sell me the sim card right out of his phone to get mine up and running again. It could be worse. And tomorrow is another day.