The Misty Mountains

Memory Monday

I was thinking about Honduras this week. I realised that, on account of the fact I lived there when I was no younger than 2 and no older than 7 so all my memories are kind of sharp but separated by blur, and on account of the fact that I lived there in the 70’s, my memories kind of feel like Lost. Minus the more mature themes. Obviously. You know those Chinese paintings of landscapes with trees and mountains separated by mist? My memories of Honduras are sort of like that, too.

Like this. Up one of the mountains with which Tegucigalpa was ringed, there was a downed airplane. I don’t know if anything I think I remember about this plane was actually true about it, but I think it was a little prop plane, and I think it had crashed into the side of the mountain and just been left there. I remember part of one end of it being missing–but I don’t remember which end, or whether it was because it had fallen off, and down into the gully below, or because it was embedded in the side of the hill. I also remember that the road up to that place was very windy and very bumpy and every time we went up there, I got carsick.

Up another mountain there was a monument known–in my family at least–simply as “the Monument.” It was a round grey platform with a series of pillars around its circumference, supporting a round grey roof. I don’t remember if there was a round hole in the roof, but there was, inexplicably, a round hole in the middle of the floor. My dad made up a little ditty about it running thus:

The Monument,

The Monument

Is made of lots of grey cement!

My enjoyment of the Monument was about as inexplicable as the hole in the floor, and as the fact that my parents took us there more than once. I would dance around and around that thing, repeating my father’s rhyme over and over again.

Up another mountain was a “poor family” my dad and I used to visit. I don’t know how my dad knew the husband, whose name I want to say was Don Lorenzo, but that might have been someone else. He had a whole bunch of kids, including a girl my age, but I don’t remember her name at all, and am not entirely sure I ever really knew it. I liked to go there and play with her, though. Once I brought her  doll’s tea set. I had corn on the cob there for the first time. It was cooked over a fire, nice and roasty. (Actually, I was too afraid I would “eat it wrong” so I declined and declined and then ate my dad’s on the way home.) There was a big boulder on the way to this mountain hovel which someone had painted to look like an enormous colourful frog, and which let me know that we were almost there.

Up another mountain was my school, but that might be a story for another time. Anyway, I’ve been thinking about Honduras this week.

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