Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Honduras-day 2,3 and 4

I got lost a little in time and space. I promised myself to keep this blog up to date, to add everyday some new posts spiced up by new photos and ....I failed.
One of the greatest reporters - late Ryszard Kapuscinski, once said, that he cannot write as he travels, since finding time for writing would mean to miss something as we go. He was always writing after finishing his journey, after dust from his shoes settled down.
I cannot help but to agree with it. I find it very difficult to just sit down and type, and write. I prefer to experience, inhale the world surrounding me, since I know, I'm here just a guest, just a temporary passerby. Every minute of typing is a minute of lost experience, here and now.
So I guess, that's how I'm excusing myself for not being very "strict" with my blog:)
Not everything from this trip will be written here and now, with actual noise of the sea so close to me, and exotic bird laughter behind my back:)
But I have to write something tonight, before that fresh impression will vanish in everyday life when I'm back to my home, when I'm back to everyday life of a big, modern city.
This will sound like a cheap cliche, like one of those lines which you can read in P.Cohelo's book, but I'm always amazed how those who have so little or almost nothing, can share whatever they have with others, so eagerly, so genuinely.
Today I spend the whole afternoon with Ricardo and his people, people of Garifuna in one of their village.
Like Ricardo said, they may have nothing, but nowadays everyone has...Facebook and Internet:) but for me, beside that obvious symbol of the"global village" we're living in, beside that blessing and curse of globalization, those people have warmness and kindness which is hard to meet in Western civilization.
My today's assignment was to photograph people of Garifuna.
It is always hard to show up in peoples' village, homes, and stick your camera in their faces. Not everyone likes to feel like "iguana":) or animal in a zoo.
I find this the most challenging-to photograph strangers, random people, and to try to make them look natural, relaxed, or to make them look into camera at all.
To my surprised with (or even without) explanation of Ricardo (my today's guide and translator), most of the villagers showed a lot of understanding and not only let me be this nosy "reporter" but actually interact with me, invited to see their lives, homes and eventually drove me back home ("to make sure, no one from outside of the village would do me any harm")
For some reason I love spending time with people who live a simply life.
We, in Western world, live in a gated communities, behind bars, fences, intercoms, doormen, watchmen, cameras and all this stuff who is there to assure we are "safe", separated from other people.
And here I am, walking street of a small Garifuna village. Complete stranger, maybe today's entertainment for them, a guy with a camera and one phrase in Spanish "can I take your photo" and everybody is so open.
I was amazed how in this village no one needs to separate him or herself from others.
The whole life is happening on the street, with open windows, with no fences. Everybody knows each other, greets each other and share their lives. It looked a little or maybe even more than little like African village.
After all Garifuna is an ethnic group which comes straight from Africans brought to Central America..
I observed that village life for a few hours and I felt like time stood still, like we were on a different continent. Like life was simply again. Like we all got back to our roots and basic stuff.
And what was the most striking is that they seamed to be happy, very happy. Despite their poverty, lack of jobs etc, they looked content, less stressed out than us. They didn't rush anywhere. They enjoyed the beauty of a simply life.Don't kid yourself-I know that there must be a constant struggle there, how to survive, how to make some money when there are no job. But despite of all of this, they really looked happy.
I watched a soccer game. First played younger kids, then a little older. Lot of fun. Emotions.
I felt like 10 again, when I did the same, when that game, here and now was the only thing that matter.
There were drums to be heard everywhere. A local school was practicing before independence parade.
We went there to watch them. Twenty, maybe more kids banging drums with such passion and commitment.
I guess they were happy, since there was no band there before. They all had to go to Tela on September 16th on Honduras Independence day. Now they have their own parade, and that's what matters.
I expressed my surprise on how hard they practice."They have only 16 days left" responded Ricardo.
I couldn't help but to get on my knees to photograph little boy who, on a side sitting on concrete, with two small branches of trees was practicing that set with "grown ups".
He did not have a drum, just some metal debris, something which was a chair maybe -but long time ago.
Barefoot, maybe 4, 5 years old. Too young to be included in a school band, but so eager to play.
And oh boy, how he played.
I always love to observe kids that age. They don't fake, they are not pretentious, they don't know how to lie yet. Whatever they do, they do from the bottom of their hearts. No matter what it is -if they happen to say that grandma is ugly, or that dad smells awful. They always are honest, which is great for photographer.
And that boy was honest with his play. Mimicking older kids, trying to be like them.
That would be a great image for the end of my visit in Garifuma village, but of course it's not that easy to leave such friendly people, so I had to extend my stay for beer (or two) FC Barcelona game and that amazing "pescado entero" straight from the Caribbean Sea-but that's the story for the next time.
Midnight is creeping upon me and alarm clocks are set on 5am -we are going to Punta del Sal tomorrow-next stop on my photo assignment.
Buenas Noches :)

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic description of your experiences. I felt as though I was there with you through every sentence, explanation and precise observations. I had similar nostalgia and unveiling in my travels to Guatemala visiting family and my memorable trip to Dominican Republic. There truly is such indescribable beauty in sweet simplicity. So very little people, especially in the business of big modern cities, that ever receive this freeing revelation.

    The best things in life...are not free. What most people don't come to realize is that the best things don't cost money but rather something more precious then money...selfless time. Its alarming but true. Money is hard to get and give but most "busy" people would more easily give hard earned money then precious, limited time.

    In the D.R. there was no fear to invite a complete stranger into there private homes and lives. Sharing precious moments and sound advice yet we make it back "home" and quickly fall prisoner to our calenders again.

    I'm so happy to re-experience such precious moments through your stories. I look forward to more vicarious nostalgia. :)