Thursday, July 23, 2009

Peace Corps and Honduras need a Resolution!

Greetings again from Honduras. Oh how this situation continues to spin in circles. It’s taking its toll on a lot of Peace Corps volunteers and frankly, is pissing me off. Many volunteers are losing hope and worse, getting upset at Peace Corps handling or taking it out elsewhere. The Peace Corps administration is doing all it can but how this situation plays out is out of our control.

So, here is the latest and greatest. Mediation between President Zelaya and the current government, who Zelaya calls the “coup regime,” were supposed to take place Wednesday and did not. President Arias of Costa Rica, the mediator, came up with a plan to reinstate Zelaya, have a unity government, and have early elections to get a new President in after that (CNN).

The current interim government said they would submit it through the government, the same government that ousted the president. Meanwhile, before the plan is even considered Zelaya is saying talks are over. Speaking in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, Zelaya said: "The coup leaders are totally refusing my reinstatement."

"By refusing to sign, [the talks] have failed."

President Zelaya has said he may try to return to Honduras as early as Thursday. If the plan is accepted it would be Friday officially(BBC).

The government kicked out the Venezuelan ambassador who then refused to leave saying the current government is not legitimate.

Roadblocks continue in some parts of the country by supporters. These are peaceful protests where people block cars and busses from crossing. Some volunteers have ran into these and simply walked through and around them with no problem.

What is really upsetting me about this whole situation, and not that there is much I can do about it, is the appalling rate of volunteers from my group deciding to go home. The count is now up to 10 total with 5 just in the last week and a half.

I really don’t know what to think of it. We have a travel ban which makes us all feel constricted and anxious when we can’t leave our sites to visit others for support or just get some fresh air. Funds are being pulled from foreign aid left and right, which result in work for a lot of volunteers being non-existent.

But damn it I am mad and don’t know who or what to be mad at. Honduras is a country that needs sustainable help and yet we are in political unrest with governments who, I think, are sincere about their ideas for the people but playing the who is bigger and tougher game. But now in trying to make things better they are only getting worse.

I was beginning to find a sense of calm and tranquility within myself. But all this is happening in a country with unrest and Peace Corps volunteers losing morale. My friends and other volunteers feel other strong feelings, enough to send them packing. It just gets to me. The PC group that has been here the longest (called H11…I am H14) are requesting to go home early or trying to finagle a way to get sent home. What the hell is happening here and what are we doing? Our country director even had to send out an inspirational message to keep people afloat.

I am here for the long run. I’ve made it through some tough times before and feel it will take a mountain of problems to even start thinking about going home. Believe me when I say Peace Corps is hard, mentally and emotionally. But this is what I signed up for. Hope for better times is all we have in difficult situations.

Peace Corps and this country need resolution to get back on track. Someone needs to figure it out.

It’s weird, adventurous, upsetting, and humbling to go through all this. At this point I am less clear about the situation than I have ever been. I don’t have all the answers, but I have what I feel. ..

On another note, I want to send my condolences to the Stancil family and the Burns family. Bev Stancil and Pat LaCoco passed last week and Sue Burns just this week. They were all friends of our family and am keeping them all in my thoughts. I ask you to do the same.

Times are turbulent and challenging. I was told just a few months ago that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. Very quickly I am starting to believe this.

…Until next time.

6 comments:

  1. Hey Brain, I'm rootin for ya :) Nothing worth doing in life is ez. Stay positive and you'll be fine.

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  2. Heyyyyyy ya......,

    Keep your head up buddy. Things will work out. Let me know if you need anything anytime.

    -Stu

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  3. Mabuhay!
    Good Day. Komusta?(How are you?) Hope you are doing fine. I am Jane, a postcard enthusiast and currently blogging at:

    http://enajpostcards.blogspot.com

    I've been reading your blog lately.

    I am currently working on a project called "Postcard Project 100"The goal is to received stamped and written postcards sent from the country itself. I am planning on presenting it to my history class, and I need your cooperation to make this project possible.
    Only one beautiful postcard to have this project grow. Hope you will be able to participate.

    Great Hugs and Thank you,
    Jane

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  4. Bryan,

    I'm in the H15 class marooned in Miami at the moment. We are feeling some unease and frustration, too. Not knowing how or if this situation will get resolved is trying.

    Stiff upper lip and all that. Hope to see you soon.

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  5. a group that is not giving up on Honduras: sustainableharvest.org.

    I am a RPCV from Panama and found your blog- trying to find out more about the issues happening in Honduras. Don't give up yet and stay strong!

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  6. I know your frustrations. I was a PCV in Honduras 2001-2003 and things got frustrating/scary/annoying there when the 9/11 attacks happened back en la USA. Glad they have lifted the travel restrictions, that was the worst part back then too. Hope things turn around after the elections.
    Si se puede!

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