Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Water Begins to Boil Again...

Greetings again from Honduras. Just when we thought things were settling down here in Honduras the water begins to boil again. There continues to be a sense of calm and peace here but our security and country director, along with news reports, continue to tell us the unrest is building.

President Zelaya and President Micheletti (I don’t know which one to call president, it depends on who you ask) met last Saturday with the president of Costa Rica, as advised by Hillary Clinton, to try to come to an agreement through mediation. The two never met face to face, Micheletti left the country late in the day. There was no resolution…big surprise.

On Tuesday Zelaya vowed to return home and told his people from Guatemala

“This weekend we are planning many internal activities in the country…We are not going to rest, and the public is not going to rest, because the right against oppression is a right that people have" (CNN).

Another mediation with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias is scheduled for Saturday. This may or may not happen.

Zelaya also said that if this mediation process doesn’t work he will consider it failed, and resort to “other means.” He did not elaborate (CNN).

Micheletti spoke from the Presidential Palace in Tegucigalpa yesterday and stated…

“I state that if at any given moment there is a decision for peace and calm in the country, and he does not return, on the condition that ex-President Zelaya does not return, I am willing to step down”. After, Zelaya urged his supporters to continue protests and civil disobedience calling for his return. On Wednesday, Zelaya supporters continued daily marches in the capital Tegucigalpa (Democracy Now).

Who would be president if Micheletti happened to step down? I don’t know. He also said there was a possibility of early elections, that many say would cause all kinds of more unrest and is impractical.

Interestingly, a new poll shows Zelaya remains more popular than his ouster. According to Gallup, 46% of Hondurans hold a favorable opinion of Zelaya compared to 30% for Michelleti (Democracy Now). Often the poor, who are a majority of Zelaya’s support, go unheard. This is possibly their chance to show how strong they can be.

Peace Corps yesterday lifted a travel ban in the country and two hours later reinstalled it. I was particularly upset as I had a work trip planned to go to the eastern part of the country today. Unfortunately, I will have to wait it out. We are allowed to travel only within our region so I might go to Gracias (only an hour away) and visit some friends on Saturday. We will see what turns out.

Last weekend I did something I have been waiting to do for a long time in order to relax and celebrate the time of a German volunteer here in the office, Anna, whose last day is today. On Saturday three of us put on our ridin' clothes and went horse back riding. I know it sounds funny but it was amazing. We rode through some back country, saw beautiful views, and all in all it was a breath of fresh air. This was undoubtedly the peak of my calming point. Pictures are to come in my next video blog.

Otherwise I am back to work, getting the design done for the NGO’s new web page and doing other small design projects. I am hoping to get a map/geography project up at the school soon.

That’s what we got for now. Due to this interesting situation many volunteers are starting to feel suffocated and locked in due to all the restrictions and uncertainty and I completely understand. A lot of funds and work has been halted. However, I am in good spirits and hope for the best. A certain calm has come over me about the situation here.

Day by day life happens for me in Honduras, what comes next is the mystery and part of the great adventure.

…Until next time

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