My partner and I are going to Copan Ruinas, in the northeast of Honduras near the Guatemala border. We've never been there, but here's a Flickr stream from a kind stranger who heard about our travels and sent a few shots from her own travels. I've really appreciated getting a glimpse of where we're headed, and having some balance to what is mostly dire news coming out of the beleaguered country.
Here in Victoria, we are renters, so what this year (or two) in Honduras really means is folding up our lives. We looked around our house and realized that most of our furniture isn't worth keeping, so have farmed out some to our five kids, given some away to people who needed it, and become avid users of the "free"
section on Craigslist to get rid of things like my parents' old cabinet stereo, a Nintendo 64, and a computer desk from another era.
It's interesting to see what things I value enough to keep. For the most part, it's photos and other memorabilia. Our remaining LPs, slimmed down from our last big move, have also made the cut, and will be stashed in what we hope will be a moderately sized storage locker that will await our eventual return.
I have many family ties to the Island, and know I'll be back this way often no matter what happens in the wake of this adventure. But what I hope is that we'll like this year or two so much that we'll keep doing this kind of work for a few years, in different countries.
The work with Cuso International is unpaid, but the organization aims to provide its volunteers with a "neutral" financial year - your housing costs covered, a small living allowance, a little money tucked into your account back home to ease your return. That model makes long-term volunteering much more possible.
And wouldn't that just be so cool - to be living in fascinating countries, sharing my skills with organizations that could really put them to use?