Living in Honduras or Guatemala as a foreigner is sometimes hard, mostly fun and never boring. This Blog is about more than just the oddities of my years in the not-so tranquil, cobble-stoned town of Copán Ruinas and, more recently, Antigua Guatemala. Hence Serendipity, the gift of finding without seeking…

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Easter Madness


A week or so before Easter the cicadas start their unsettling shrill song of summer and that is the sign for all stores in Copán Ruinas to display a wide variety of inflatable pools, slides, airbeds, saving devices (with warnings on the package that the item should NOT be used as a saving device), balls, kangaroos, palm trees, ostriches, Dora the Explorer and all the inflatable likes. The last weekend of Semana Santa a real exodus takes place when Hondurans seek en masse any watery substance, being it the ocean, rivers, creek, a commercial water park or even Hot Water Springs. This year we had a premiere in Copán of having no less than two real bars at the river. The first one consisted of just a simple shack made of zinc laminas but with the creative addition of two diving boards in front, even if they were nothing more than two planks balancing over a deep spot in the river. Bar number two, the Riverside Bar, is quite a bit fancier because a real casita in the middle of the water accessible by a real deck. Both bars have their own “toilet facilities” and someone to clean up every morning, the latter being the best thing that has happened in a long, long time, there down the river. The families leave town early those days and leave the streets delightfully deserted. The lucky few travel to the ocean, the rest have to do with our own Copán River. Those with cars can be seen leaving in the early hours loaded with barbeques, coolers, furniture and small children hanging on fore dear life to enormous inflatable things with the risk of being blown off the back of the pick-up. Once at the river the thing is to find a spot where the car can be parked in the shade. Kids sprint off towards the river, men dive into the coolers of beer and the women work hour after hour to serve the same meals they would serve at home, but under much more difficult circumstances. But hey, that’s the fun of having a picnic! The car has the doors wide open, music blasts over the beach. About ten meters ahead another family has stationed itself for the day according to the same formula: blasting music, smoking barbeque, whining kids, drunken fathers. By the end of the day the whole family is loaded back in the car, except of course, for the trash. What a beautiful day! Tomorrow we’ll do it again! So nice to be outside, so peaceful!A week or so after Semana Santa most of the rubbish has been washed away by the river or has been eaten by animals. The impromptu bars have been dismantled and the stores have stored away anything inflatable for the year. And then it’s time for me to hike along the river again …

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