November 7, 2009

Honduras Part Tres in pictures: Spot the hijabi!

El Progresso
Us shopping. can you spot me? can you? can you?
this was in the middle of el progresso.
this was the back of the Jesuit hospice. We sat there for HOURS and drank soda from a glass bottle :) and played ultimate frisbi. We also had to do daily reflections here and solve any issues between us. I also prayed in the rain here. It was awesome. I was actually wearing white and when I was done praying for some reason I had no mud or grass stains on me. Like I said before I was high on iman. Alhamdulillah. Right here was also were the male faculty aka the Jesuit drop out tried to convince me that I don't need to pray 5 times a day and it doesn't need to be so mechanical. He says you can pray anytime of the day as many times as you want. What he actually meant was more of supplications. So I told him that we pray 5 obligatory prayers a day and we can ask supplications at any given point. I also mentioned that Jesus (PBUH) would do ablution/wudhu/wash yourself before prayer and he would pray the way we do. He said that he knew that but it didn't mean that he had to do it too. I know a lot of priests and most of them are academics and not a single one ever try to convert me. They respected my beliefs and I respected theirs and we lived without issues. For some reason this dude was bent on converting me and breaking my hijab down by walking in on me in my towel.
cute kiddos we met.
one more cute kiddo. I wanted to adopt him.
different schools we went to. What was up with the jail bars?

This little buugger was HILARIOUS. The kindergarten teacher made them sing their ABCs to us and he was totally off tune. He was AT LEAST 2 letters behind, he also happened to be the loudest. After he gave us his beautiful rendition he yelled, "am HUNGRY!" taking advantage of the fact that the teacher wouldn't want to look bad in front of us so the little sneak ate a snack before lunch. Good for him.

one of the children asked me why I was dressed differently than the rest.

Another Jesuit school we went to where this high school student basically told us off for being Americans. I was so close to telling her to SHUT THE HELL UP and stop your whining. You don't like your surroundings? then CHANGE THEM! get your nose out of your book and start making some changes. TALK IS CHEAP SWEETY and life isn't fair so get used to it or try to fix it. It wasn't so much the questions that bothered US it was the attitude she was giving us. Like what the hell is wrong with you crazy girl? She was so annoying I ALMOST made a bad duah against her. She annoyed me THAT much.

Her: "America made such a big deal about the Berlin wall but aren't they building a fence? Isn't that hypocritical?"

Me (in my head): welcome to politics.

Her: "fences are for cattle not for people" (it was kinda poetic in Spanish)
Me: I would like to keep you out.

Her: "America takes all of our good people and leaves the rest, how are we ever going to compete with that?"

Me: by not crossing the border?

Her: America this, America that, America is the antichrist, Americans and their excess, blah blah blah blah.

Me: I swear I will choke you.

Her: "When I am President things will be different"

Me: When you are President you would have already sold your soul to even get into office forget changing it and if you have remained true to yourself you will be killed off in a couple of days by a military coup. Better off dying for your dreams than selling out I say.

Her: I wont be a Bush.

Me: LOLERS if she only knew what she was saying. Things DO get lost in translation.
this was taken at a vocational school where they teach these children for free and their work is sold.

The March of Death

Kids on our way to the hike they are looking at us KNOWING what we were about to do. Little buggers didn't warn us. they just laughed. *Shakes fist*
We are heading in to the jungle/mountain/scary greenery part right before the see that white lump on the bottom right? that's my head.

I was leading the way in a skirt and flip flops. I should have known better. It was fun non the less. Had we come during the wet season this would all be flooded with water.

at the end of our death march we ended up at the top of the mountain and its waterfall. The water is not usually this muddy, however, it had rained the night before and in the early morning so it looked like this. THIS is the where I did my canon ball and ended up swallowing MAD water. EWW. Oh the waterfall is actually to the left of the picture.

The Jesuit Sanctuary
This is not an optical illusion these corridors look like that so that they could walk and meditate. I think it is much needed when you are seeing such poverty and suffering. You need a place to go to unwind otherwise you would just go nuts.

They have 2 churches, one a private one (the one above) and the other one has a black Christ that the town uses.
this is the 2nd church (am on the right!)
The Black Christ. Its actually not the first time I see a black Christ. The first time was in Guatemala there is this small pilgrimage there where there is a HUGE christ and it is always jam packed.
looking out from another room in the second church.

the back of the church
front of Church

they were re building this part as the roof had collapsed.

2nd Waterfall
(different day)
yes those are classmates jumping in to at least 100ft deep natural pool at the bottom of the 2nd waterfall.

I actually took all the waterfall pics on this trip because I wasn't going to go behind the waterfall. I can't swim and I had like a moron worn G L A S S E S instead of contacts and you guys already know am pretty blind. My glasses kept getting mist on them too, yeah. I was also wearing heavy duty winter hijabs so the weight of all those clothes wet would have probably drown me. Not to mention the potential ginormous anaconda that might live there. Don't tell me otherwise YOUS WASN'T THERE!
I think it was Santa Rosa
Here we are on the foundation of this new house and we are being given directions.
We were at this habitat for humanity site and the newlywed couple was working with locals and foreigners to build their first home. We were supposed to spend the day helping them build their home. This is where I first started to get sick and had to be pulled from the group and my professor sat with me in the van to make me company. She was such a kinda woman. Do you know what she reminds me of? Pigglet. She is so darn cute mashaAllah and her voice is SOOO similar to the character. Not only that she always says, "Oh, dear..." I told her she reminded me of pigglet and she was like, "everyone keeps saying that but I don't know what Pigglet sounds like." Anyway me and the dude got into a debate and I was thoroughly annoyed. He honestly thought I was an Arab and even though I spoke to him in Spanish and was able to understand his colloquialism he still was acting like a jerk bag.

He would refuse to drive or park the van unless the whole van joined him in a prayer for Jesus Christ. My professor started fuming as she hates it when people impose their views of religion/life on others. She was also mad because they have been using his services for years and this was the first time (and apparently last) that he did this. Anyway, he kept trying to "get me" in terms of religion and he couldn't. SHOOT. I was Muslim for about a month and some change and he couldn't trip me up (Alhamdulillah). I mean I had just spent nearly a year studying Christianity with Christian theologians and had a pretty good grasp about the texts and the historical context of them. He was making stuff up and would get upset when he would be called on it and the Jesuit priest drop out would agree with me.

We somehow got into polygyny. A halal aspect of Islam that is sometimes hard to swallow for women and I guess he thought I was going to break down and leave the religion or something. I got him good. I am Latina after all and I have seen the shenanigans that men pulled (and sometimes women too, hypocrisy is an equal oppurtunity employer). Shuuun, you can't lie to me, don't paint me a rosy pictures of the family life. Growing up both in El Salvador and America there was not a SINGLE family that I knew were the husband hadn't cheated. That included my moms marriage and the religious folks in the community. It was socially acceptable to do it, if you were a man that is. It was also socially acceptable for the community to know who the mistress was as well.

So we started arguing that it is COMMON place for men in Central America to have a wife at home and a couple of girlfriends on the side. It is socially acceptable. So he tried to defend it by saying its man's nature. So I said, well Islam recognizes the need and instead makes provisions so that his needs can be taken care of while protecting the women and the children of such relationships. We got in to this heated debate where I eventually won because he finally conceded that men indeed like to have affairs without having to deal with the consequences. or responsibilities. The people who end up paying are the women involved and the subsequent children who then grow up and perpetuate the cycle. I must have hit a nerve in the manner that I said it because the man immediately shut up. I felt like I caught someone in a lie type of thing.

He also kept arguing that "science" had discovered hell and it was smack in Saudi Arabia. INTERESTING. My professor kept rolling her eyes every time he would talk. I stated science also says that evolution exists. What do you say to that? To which he answered, "you are just going to hell" Charming.


Let me tell you about Copan. By then I was HORRIBLE SICK. I mean I was pukey and had a fever. I couldn't walk straight (for reals) it was soo scary. It was because (I think) I did a canon ball from a smaller waterfall and although the natural pool I jumped in to was just 7ft deep I still drank A LOT of mosquito infected water. EWW. I also prayed on top of that smaller waterfall and it was TOTALLY AWESOME! Just me and my prayer on top of this sunny rock with the sun, the birds, the trees and best of all the water drowned out my classmates below. Anyway the next day after the small waterfall incident we headed in to Copan. We stayed at a real nice hotel room and my classmates partied in different clubs (like they have been doing) and met so many tourists from all over the world.

This is a little town church in Copan. Its for the tourist.
This part is where the nice homes in Copan are. B E A U T I F U L architecture and design by the way.
birds at the entrance of the ruins.

The MAYA Ruins

Maya people used to play epic soccer matches were it was believed the looser was sacrificed to the gods but archeologists now believe it was the victor who was sacrificed and it was considered an honor. I guess our traditions still hold true. :)

During this time my duas would be getting answered before I even made them. out loud It was soo cool! It strengthen my faith because I was having so many difficulties and trials. Whenever we went anywhere I would be reciting surat fatiha (at that time the only surah I knew and La Ilaha Illa Allah) all in a loop.

Anyway there was a reason why the weekend before we had to arrive in Guaymas they took us to Copan and indulge in AC, international cuisine and some other good stuff. They were preparing us for the week that was coming. GUAYMAS.



Ma Vie & Etc said...

LOL at that off tone kid - he is soo cute. The places are really beautiful, especially the waterfalls.

"you are just going to hell" - such a classic comeback for someone who can't back up and verify their arguments.

Thanks for this post, gave me a good laugh!! :)

LK said...

I'm really enjoying this story :)

.::Tuttie::. said...

@ Al. Why loose my rewards for patience? He definitely wasn't worth me loosing my cool over and we weren't so much discussing 'my religion is better than your religion' he was just making personal attacks and that is petty.

@Mon. only a defeated persons resorts to pettiness, cursing and attacking others. I am a hijabi and whether I like it or not people will always associate my actions with Islam. So I have to be the best Muslim I can be so that when I am standing before ALlah swt I don't get punished.

@lk alhamdulillah that you are enjoying it. I love it when people comment to let me know what they think