Olancho, the Wild West

I ended my last post saying I was going out to Olancho. And go I did, indeed. The sweet ride to OlanchoSan Esteban, OlanchoWe left Friday night at about 8:30, in a van that?s built for short public transportation, a rapidito. It can hold upwards of 20 people, at the sacrifice of any personal space and knee room. We were 11, so we could stretch out a little bit. Around midnight come the decision to head to our final location, “It’s just two more hours.” 10 minutes later we hit unpaved road, and I fell asleep. We ended up getting there at 4:30 AM, and I sacked out for the next three hours on a mattress in a friend’s house, in San Esteban. (the photo at left is the view from in front of their house)

100_5282The next day we watched a lot of soccer, and then around noon the youth retreat started. We played soccer (and got creamed) for most of the afternoon, and then I enjoyed my first warm shower since I arrived here in Honduras.

Then came the culto, the service. It started at 8PM (remember now how tired we are, from little sleep and a lot of soccer.) During the first song, a cop car pulled into the school where the retreat was beiService in Olanchong held, with lights flashing. 2 guys in camo and rifles jumped out, as well as a guy in police clothes with a hand gun. Suddenly there were flash fireworks going off like 10 feet from me, and the cops are up on stage with their guns pointed at the head of the bass player. They hauled him off, and someone came up to say… we don?t know what just happened, but we?ll keep you informed. He was back by the second song, and the moral came out later- Jesus is coming, like a thief in the night. “And wouldn’t it just be great if Jesus came back while we were in a church service?” I have a video I started recording as soon as I realized it was probably just a skit, which I’ll post as soon as YouTube approves it. Evidently putting “gun” in the description makes it take a little longer.

The service continued with lots of singing, bible contests, and skitsThe ganguntil 10:20, when they invited the speaker (second from left, next to me) to come up. He’s from a really rough barrio outside San Pedro Sula, and is doing some pretty interesting work getting gang members to leave gangs (Joining an evangelical church is one of the very few ways of leaving a gang with your life, supposedly). He talked until 11:20, when the altar call started. I was glad to get to bed at midnight.

Sunday, we drove home, and I was instantly glad that I hadn’t known how bad the road was coming in. I couldn’t imagine driving it in the dark. The downside of doing it in the dark on the way thereA great hat, I'd sayMountains of Olanchowas missing some beautiful scenery, an indigenous village, and great pulperias with awesome hats. Once we hit pavement, it was a smooth ride back to San Pedro, except for an hour and a half stop to watch Honduras beat Mexico in the Gold Cup!!!

Posted in Honduras 2007, old blog

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