July 10, 2008

La Gringa's brain is bursting

When will I have time?
This is only part of the material

If you've been a Blogicito reader for awhile, you can probably tell that I don't struggle for ideas to write articles about. Just the opposite. As a gringa having spent most of my life in a different culture, everything in Honduras is interesting, novel, and sometimes shocking to me. I have many interests and I have an (usually strong) opinion on everything, so blogging is easy.

My brain is just bursting with current events that I have read about in the Honduran newspapers that I want to write about. Not just my brain, but my work area is stacked with newspaper articles that I cut out with my little Exacto knife (I keep it close by at all times), my browser is full of pages, and my desktop is full of links. My text program is sitting there with 19 recent files of articles in various stages of completion and another zillion tucked away in a folder. I have a notebook of handwritten notes, too. Oh, I also have a folder in my desk stuffed full of old articles that I never wrote about.

Honduras rarely ever makes the English-language news. "Rarely" is being generous. Honduras makes the international news when there is a hurricane, prison riot killing 60-plus people, when bad fruit makes people sick in the US, or even worse, when a Honduran commits a crime in the US. That is about it.

Search CNN or Global Voices for "Honduras" and you'll see what I mean. People who try to keep up with Honduras by using Google Alerts will learn more, but I would estimate that 95% of the news never gets out. Honduras is just not important to the world, though it should be since billions of dollars come from all over the world into this country in the form of foreign aid.

It's frustrating because it is so hard to find the time to write about the latest news. Often I'm waiting for follow-up articles because so many of the articles just leave you up in the air, saying, "OMG! What are they going to do about that?" Unfortunately, the real answer often is "sweep it under the rug." so I'm left frustrated with no answers. Not to mention that the legal system moves so slow

I can read Spanish pretty darn well. I've even read and translated legal documents and laws. I often find spelling or grammar errors in the Honduran newspapers and impress El Jefe by pointing them out. (I can't explain my poor speaking abilities. Does that mean I'm right-brained or left-brained or something? ;-/)

BUT, it does take a looong time for me to summarize some of the rambling and ambiguous Spanish articles I've read into something succinct that readers will understand. Often it takes a lot of background information for someone who is not familiar with Honduras to understand, so I have to spend time writing that and/or looking for facts. And then, I always like to include links to the source and the search functions on the Honduran newspaper sites are poor to non-existent − often requiring an inordinate amount of time to find the links to the articles.

I just don't have time for that! I spend way too much time on the computer as it is.

So I think what I will do is periodically report some 'sound bites' along with some of my thoughts. If you are particularly interested in one of the sound bites and want to know more, leave a comment. If I can, I'll do some more research and write a full article on that news item. Just remember that often there IS no more information available to the public. That is the way that corruption works: by keeping the public in the dark.
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