Saturday, August 25, 2012
Heroes are important. Whether they‘re pop stars, astronauts, Nobel Prize winners or athletes, they can lift up the spirit of a whole nation. Just see how heart-warming the welcome race walker Erick Barrando received in Guatemala after winning a silver medal at the Olympics!
Unfortunately, Honduras doesn’t have a Shakira, Ronaldinho, Che Guevara, Vargas Llosa or Ricky Martin. Not that Honduras doesn’t have talent, it’s just that so far there hasn’t been an musician, actress, politician (not even a bad one!) or artist that has put Honduras on the map yet.
But heroes there are plenty, even though they’re mostly busy being invisible and unappreciated.
My greatest heroes here are the people from the ENEE, the national electricity company. Not the people who run that miserable enterprise, but the people who fix all the problems. Millions of them!
As soon as a tropical storm hits, you can be sure a light post will fall down somewhere, a cable will break or a transformator will be hit by lightning. To the ENEE people the ungrateful task to jump in the car, find the fault (anywhere between Copán and La Entrada, 60km from here) and fix it. Often in the rain and wind, at any possible hour, but of course usually in the pitch black of a stormy night. They climb posts in rain and hail, risk their lives and sometimes get badly hurt, such as what happened to Moncho a few months ago, who got a shock, fell down but saved his own life by making a big cut in his hand so the electricity surge could leave his body (as his aunt explained me). Moncho was happy to make it, but is still limping badly. Oh, and if the work isn’t dangerous and challenging enough, they have to deal with dozens of calls from copanecos to their cell phones who want to know why there is no luz and when it will be back on.
These men are true heroes and I hope they realize how much I appreciate the job they do.