The pace of life in Honduras is so different than in the US. In the US, or at least in my city, Washington D.C., life is centered around work, and right now I am making plans with some of my best friends for a month from now because that's when the three of us likely have time for each other. There is not much of a culture of just dropping by, at least not for those of us who have kids and probably too many commitments. In fact, the last time I can remember thay dropping by and seeing who wanted to hang out happened in college, when our peer group lived very close together with large blocks of unstructured time. I started to write this post a year and a half ago (Finishing today on 12/29/14), which was my first visit back to Honduras since leaving to live in the US again, probably because this daily habit of visiting was so different from what I was living. This time visiting is no different--I wonder how everyone has so much free time to just hang out. The short answer, a lack of formal work and a strong sense of community.
One of the beautiful things about visiting friends in Honduras is that no matter what time of day it is, everyone always makes sure you are well received and fed somehow. Most of the time (and since most of our friends are in the lack of formal work category) that involves sending one of the kids out to the pulperia around the corner to buy a few bags of churros (chips and snacks) that are 1 or 2 lempiras each. Top it off with a 2 liter bottle of Coca-Cola or Tropical and you've got yourself official visit fare. Informal business like pulperias make it possible to make people feel welcome on short notice ans build up the economy and relations of the community. We have also had the pleasure ro be received with strong, sweet coffee and little cookies or bread (rosquillas, quesadillas, etc). Alternatively we have also shared tiny plates of lunch and dinner with folks which we accept graciously knowing that we are probably stretching what little there is to go around. Most families have a stack of inexpensive plastic chairs or stools to set out at a moment's notice to accommodate extra guests. It's these little ways that people share that make Hondurans, despite all that goes on around them, generous and hopeful.