First or third world problem? Swimming to work in my dress pants.

There comes a time when everything new and exciting turns to routine. Always. The extraordinary becomes expected. And you feel as if you don’t really have any good stories to tell anymore. This will happen anywhere in the world you might find yourself and at any stage in life. And it takes a good waking up, a waft of inspiration, something shockingly beautiful or tragic, to remind the soul that today is just as much an adventure as yesterday was and that little miracles are happening all the time. It just takes a little recognition and gratitude.

Well, I’ve been pretty MIA lately in the blogosphere but I’m making a comeback. I mean, I have so many things to tell! So, here goes…

This is an excerpt from an entry I started a couple months ago about one morning heading to work at the elementary school here in Honduras:

…today reminds me a little of a book I read as a child, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Well, it started out with a not-so-restful night’s sleep. I kept waking up with my feet burning because apparently in my sleep, unconsciously, I had been scratching the 27 mosquito bites (yes, I counted) on my ankles and feet. Despite applying hydrocortisone anti-itch ointment before laying down. Around 3:00 a.m. (2 hours before my alarm) I woke up with unbearable burning and itching around my ankles and toes. I applied more medicine and managed to drift back to sleep for a couple more hours.

  • Maybe it is my fault that I neglect to douse myself with insect repellant every day, or because I’m not eating enough garlic (I dunno, I heard that helps repel mosquitoes) but I can be in a crowd of people and no one gets one bite while my flesh is breaking out in hives. :/

I noticed that it started to rain pretty heavily last night and apparently it has not let up still. I fell asleep to the sound of the rain and woke up to the same at 5 a.m. to get ready for work. As I shuffled into the kitchen and pulled out the coffee pot, a gecko ran out from behind it and into the electrical box. Interesting choice of shelter. I continued with brewing my deliciously strong Central American coffee.

As I was choosing my shoes for the day I thought about the rain and mud that I would have to walk through to get to work so I opted for my tennis shoes instead of sandals or dress flats, thinking that would be sufficient. Little did I know that thigh-high rain boots would have been more appropriate.

I chugged my coffee, grabbed my backpack, keys, and umbrella and started out the door into the aquatic chaos that our neighborhood had transformed into. That was when I realized that the key to get out of the front gate was absent from my keychain. After scrambling inside to check any place that it could have fallen and then back outside to stare unbelievingly into the rushing torrents of rain around my feet, I realized that I really was not going to find the key and it had potentially fallen onto the ground and been washed away by the water. After running around outside searching for my keys just long enough to significantly soak my backpack and all its contents, I was able to reach Angie (children’s home director) on the phone and had her open her gate for me to leave.

A couple blocks away I started to realize that not many people were out and as I approached the edge of the sidewalk where I had to cross the street I began considering turning around and going back home. I debated it for a moment then decided to trek on. I launched myself into the knee-high rushing river that the street had turned into. I just kept thinking, There is no telling what is flowing in this water. I forced my way through the water to the other side of the street.

When I finally reached the school I was soaked. My pants were drenched up to the belt loops and my umbrella had done nothing to preserve the contents of my backpack. And so much for those tennis shoes…

By the time I arrived, the school had decided to close for the day due to the city being in a state of emergency for flooding. Good to know, I thought. (one reason for flooding in the city is lack of good drainage systems) The school staff assumed that I wouldn’t come or that I would know to stay home… nope. I guess it would be beneficial to check the morning news or something. Eventually, I was able to catch a ride home. There was no way I was going to fight for my life again just to walk a few blocks back to the house.

Thankfully I have not had another experience quite as stressful. Looking back now, it is just a fun story but in the moment it was not cool.

And I eventually found my keys. All is well. 🙂

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