My sob story about the theft (of the item and my trust) resulted in the second most comments on any article I've written. I think that only my Touristy tips for La Ceiba received more. ;-D
I really can't express how much your comments meant to me. I don't even know some of you and for you to take the time to send me a note is really appreciated. I've been thinking about it for days and I'm just tongue-tied trying to figure out how to express myself. I'll just say that it felt like a bunch of hugs from my friends. It does help incredibly to know that others understand my feelings and don't think that I'm being petty or childish.
It's easy to gripe about the little annoyances like not finding Dijon mustard or getting bad service, or even being cheated or lied to. It is a lot harder to write in public about the things that really, really hurt. Especially when there is a chance that someone may say I deserved it or it was my fault or that the poor should be excused because from having decent morals or that I'm "rich" anyway so what does it matter?
I know that a lot of people want to believe that I MUST be doing something wrong to have all of these bad experiences with employees. I used to wonder about that, too, but I've talked to too many Hondurans now to worry that I somehow brought it on myself. These things happen to everyone I talk to from all walks of life! And it doesn't seem to matter how well or poorly paid or how well or poorly treated the person was or whether the employer was gringo or Honduran. And I know what was in my heart when we've done things for Nora and Carlos. We are not naive and never wanted or expected undying gratitude, but we didn't expect to be robbed either!
Aaron made this comment: "Right now I'm absolutely sure I'd rather starve than betray a friend and steal from them, but I've never been faced with that choice." Yes, I can agree that if I had hungry children, I might be tempted to steal. But the choice that Nora had was not 'to steal or go hungry.' Her choice was to continue to WORK at a well paid and flexible job or to steal to take a vacation. She apparently chose the short-term gratification.
Aaron, who is Honduran, also said that he has grown cynical and now he doesn't trust anybody and that his expectations of others is zero. The trust issue is the hardest part of living in Honduras for me. I can adjust to not having electricity, water, and a hundred other things, but I just don't know how a person can adjust to living without trust without becoming a very hard-hearted person.
In the article I made this comment: "If it wasn't for El Jefe and his good and decent family, I think I would be ready to go back home." I should clarify a couple of things about that comment. First, of course I know other decent, honorable Hondurans. But I do think the dishonorable people outnumber the good ones and the good people agree with me about that. It's really a sad state of affairs.
The other was about the term 'home.' Kman asked "where is home?" I don't even have the answer for that. I guess a more appropriate phrase would have been "back to where I came from." I've been here so long (6 1/2 years) that I don't really consider Texas my home, and yet sometimes it is hard to consider Honduras my home either. I guess I'm homeless!
Daniel, also Honduran, suggested that I read Seneca's Book of Seven Wisdoms and that would give me the answer. I've found what I think may be the book he's referring to. I've glanced through it but haven't had time to read it yet so I don't know what specifically he was referring to. Hopefully it will become clear when I read the whole book. Or, Daniel, you could give me a clue now....
Charlie made a good suggestion about asking Carlos for 'help' in finding the item. I talked to El Jefe about it and it turns out that he had already done something similar a month ago. At this point, I'm sure the item is long gone. But I will file away that idea for future reference.
I'm trying to just put it behind me. I will be more cautious and less trusting in the future.
Thanks again, readers and friends. Here's a kiss for you.