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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Moving to Honduras - Page 6

Written by Treva Wynn
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As we said our ‘good-bye’s and ‘thank-you’s, I couldn't help but think in how just a matter of five minutes, one could see the worst, and the best part of a country. We entered the deserted terminal and found the bus office we had bought a ticket at previously. It was the only place open in the entire enormous complex; it was rather spooky. I paid my 3 Lempiras (Honduras currency) to use a restroom, and excused myself for some much needed self-reflection time. I stared into the mirror and noticed I had a bloody, thin red line crossing my neck from one side to the other. As I have done so many times since, in uncomfortable situations, I burst out laughing. Oh my god, it looks like someone cut my neck! I've been here for 5 hours! I can NEVER tell mom about this... Once I regained control and stifled the laughter, I exited to the room where Kristen, Katie, and 15 others sat on the floor, backs against the wall, waiting. 

We passed the hours speaking with a young man who was about to make a three day long journey to the border of the United States. Once there, he would find the coyote he had talked to, and would hopefully make it across. I prayed that night he would, safely.

I really hoped that once I was safely in a seat on the bus, my night would be over. I was pushing 24-hours of no sleep, and I figured the bus ride would be a lovely way to wind down.

Wrong.

Never having experienced ground transportation in a developing country, I was absolutely terrified. I was more afraid for my life in that first hour of that particular bus trip, than I had ever been. The mountains were pitch black and full of sharp curves and turns that border on the edges of cliffs.  The driver was speeding so excessively, I half expected one side of the bus to go up in the air when we took corners. But always to my amazement, we didn't crash. Instead, we pulled up to a 'police check-point' at three in the morning. My body and mind had just started adjusting to the high-speeds at which we were traveling when the brakes were slammed and we came upon thirty policemen standing idly in the middle and side of the road. Some were drinking in the bed of a truck, others were twirling loaded semi-automatic weaponry around in the air like a baton, and some were giving every person on that bus (through the window) that we-know-what-you're-up-to look. The door opened and the cops flooded the bus in just a few seconds. Immediately they barked orders. Kristen translated for me:

"All of the men, outside. Women, stay where you are, and get out your paperwork."

The men quietly and obediently marched outside and lined up perpendicular to the bus. As I fished out my passport with shaky hands, I watched the men being padded down and searched outside. The police arrived at our seats and Kristen and I dutifully handed them our information.

"Where is yours?" He asked Katie.

"She left her passport in Ocotepeque. We live there, we were just on our way to pick her up from the airport." Kristen patiently explained to the cop.

"Step off the bus, ladies." He only wanted them to leave, not me.

My heart rate quickened as I watched the officers lead them towards a truck. I couldn't hear anything obviously, but I understood exactly what was happening. Kristen was throwing up her arms out of frustration and Katie stood aside her nervously. Every once in a while Kristen would point towards me, inside the bus still, and gave him the what-is-she-supposed-to-do-if-you-take-us-to-jail look. I returned the same concern. I had no idea where I was, how far away we still were from our town, nor could I even ask anyone. I found out later that the police wanted to take Katie to a jail in the nearest city for not having her passport with her. Kristen reasoned with them how is she supposed to show you her passport if you throw her in jail!?

(Page 6 of 7)
Last modified on Monday, 01 July 2013

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