Sunday, January 15, 2012

The view from my porch

This is an introductory assignment I wrote for one of my grad school classes... thought it was quite appropriate for the blog, and I hadn´t posted in quite a while!  Enjoy!

The view from my front porch in Honduras doesn´t get very far—almost all the houses here have large perimeter walls topped with barbed wire, so my view ends up smacking up against a bleak cinderblock wall across the street.  This is a pervasive aspect of Honduran life, along with the crime that spurs it, and I have blogged about it (subsequently republished here:   I have been in Honduras teaching high school science at a private bilingual school for two and a half years now, and still the issues of crime, fear, and security are never far from my mind. 

Our wall has a metal grate on it, so we can see out into the street, and those in the street can look in to see our beautiful, bright magenta-flowered Napoleon tree (also known as bougainville).  Also looking out from my porch I can see my potted rosemary plant, a few lime seeds I planted in hopes they would be trees someday, and some orchids that never seem to bloom.  Dotting my yard is a local variety of cilantro that looks more like dandelion leaves, but my husband´s aunt loves picking it when she comes over and taking it home to throw in her bean and egg soup.

While I can´t say I exactly have a view, I do appreciate watching the world go by, especially the people who walk by selling various items like ice cream, furniture covers, and on a good day, homemade chicken and pork tamales.  Because our yard is open (via grate) to the street, and our street is unpaved, we do get plenty of dust blowing in from the street.  Comayagua´s dry climate and intermittently-supplied water make the environmental issue of water one of the most important in my opinion.   I have also blogged about water use and availability in our city in my (also intermittently-updated) personal blog, here (

By far, the best part of this view is around 5:30 pm, when, just over the top of that cinderblock wall across the street, I can make out the sunset streaming over the peaks of mountains that surround this dry valley.  I love sitting on the porch and watching the light flow in rays, filtering through the clouds.  It is one of the most peaceful moments of my day.