La Villa Strangiato

May 28, 2020

Another year… another journey and a trip down memory lane. Destination Laguna del Carmin found deep in the Honduran bush. This was yet another new location for the Carolina de Norte clan to inject our special blend of proliferation… a conquest and belt notch we all relished. Viva Honduras!

The trip began with some high drama from the Lama… virtually impossible to travel these post 9/11 days without our proper credentials… much less internationally. She attempted to test the mettle of the Nazi SS or as we have come to know the friendly angels of the skies… TSA agents. No Bueno, the ‘dead’ passport was rejected! (AM of the Day) Mama Lama… somehow, she made a way… I do not know how… and I may not want to know how other than her husband is a great lawyer. I can only imagine her facial expression driving in the morning rush hour traffic in a mad panic…

Mama ‘Rat Fink’ Lama

It may have been like one of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s famous ‘Rat Fink’ art works… In the end Lama boarded the next condor bound for Hotlanta arriving just in time to join us for another adventure in the land of Milk and Honeydew!

Our project in this community consisted of building a new retaining wall to protect the kindergarten class at the base of a hill… cliff? The previous ‘rainy season’ caused the earth to give way and cover the northside of the building. They (The Federation) have chosen the best participants… well the Mook- xperts from all these years gone past. We wrestled huge boulders and ‘We Dig It’ was the motto. Other members of the team assisted Marco Dos in building several new desk and chairs for the school. From the barren ground arose the ‘Great Wall of Mook’… but the journey to this isolated village was the true joy on this trip.

In Honduran time they said it will take about one hour to reach this village… but it is a four-wheel drive only journey. Actually, it took more like an hour and forty-five minutes each way… those Hondurans have no sense of time consumption. The first day we picked up a few items to build the desks… There is photographic evidence on the Blog Portal to this ‘Load’. Six people, six cords of wood in the back of a Nissan Frontier pick up shod with ‘May-Pop’ tires… you can begin to get the picture here. The dust, the dirt, the Flem that was hacked up was a small price to pay along the way. It was about the bonding in the bed of that truck that creates such good memories along the way.

Some of my fondest memories of those journeys and adventures in the back of that Lil Black truck… up and down and along the way… One morning the truck suddenly… dying without warning in the middle of a blind curve on the mountainside… Stranded without communication service, sitting ducks in the middle of the road, what are we going to do now? That was the question at hand. Within a couple of minutes, literally just a couple minutes (Gringo time). Another Pick up that was traveling down the mountain stopped to assist us. Say what you will about the people from Central America… the neighborly gesture that occurred on the roadside would never ever, or at least vaguely consider… occur in the grand ole United States. The ‘Good Samaritan’ took the battery out of his truck and installed it into ours! (AM of the Day) We arrived just in time to get the party started at the Mook pile and whistled while we worked all day long.

A second memory was everyday our route lead us across a grassy plateau covered with a strange rock formation. I have often thought, “How did they get there”? These rocks were extremely large and black in color. They were situated in an area that was for the most part… uninhabited and yet there they were. I presumed or at least came to the conclusion that the rock formation was volcanic in nature, I dubbed the site as ‘Nature’s Stonehenge’ placed there by an exploding ancient volcano during the earths formation… or was it debris from the great meteor that struck the Yucatan peninsula millions of years ago? I will that one up to you to ponder on for a while.

During our ‘day off’ we ventured to Tela for a relaxing day of sun and surf… Unbeknownst to Lil Dirk, the UV rays of Honduras are extremely strong there… It will be ok he said… I tan easy he said… Sunscreen is for wimps (and Jefe)! Ha! He came out of the ocean looking like a Maine lobster ready to be served at a pro meat Trump rally… let blisterfest begin! His youthful exuberance and poor decision-making process sidelined him for a few days… Meanwhile, the lil truck received a heart transplant that day. Its thirst for 50w motor oil was causing a small crisis along our route… apparently it was burning too many pine knots per kilometer causing government officials to reject the ‘Clean Idle Emissions Certification’ at least temporarily. Monday morning Wilmer told me the story of the engine swap… Incredible! (Never am I surprised by their ingenuity!)

Our clients in the village were very hospitable to the foreigners in their land. Often, they brought us snacks, coffee, while sharing local delicacies of home cooking. A nice break from the PB&J daily grind. UWhile the ‘Steerage Class or ‘labors’ toiled in the broiling sun… discovered that a couple of the bogarts would slip off around lunchtime while the rest of us were slaving away… Down to the local café they slithered… for a good ole down to earth homecooked meal. (AM of the Day) Senor Jefe and KC seemed to be the main culprits and eventually led or maybe better stated ‘misled’ Dirk to the dark side. Not sure and lacking creditable proof, but I have a profound feeling that Marco Dos was the one of main culprits as well… While the team consensus was that KC seemed to be on hiatus most of the time, the primary question between the labors was, “where is KC?” Call him what you want, but you will never call him late for a meal. Many stories to tell form the mountainside including the ‘Chicken Choker’ was one of my favorites, Senor Jefe in Heat, and my two adoptive sons, ‘Billy’… Even through my best broken Spanish… we always had a good laugh daily.

Our final stop along this precarious ride ended at a school in Penalejo. Daniela’s daughters’ school had started the construction process for a new ‘Computer Lab’. (Al Gore said, “Someday… everyone would get to share his invention… the internet.”) Daniela and Vieael had already completed the lay-out and the footings had been dug. Our task… if we choose to accept it was to fill those trenches with some high quality Mook!

Mook we did all day long. I do not know how much we mixed… but it would be measured in ‘tons’ of materials. If your thirst for mook had not been fulfilled that day… (you need to go to rehab… you have a problem… seriously). Mix, transport and pour all day long in the blistering heat… this after we were already at the point of exhaustion to begin with. The PFD factor certainly caused us to work at half efficiency, though it did not seem to affect the company shade squatters… or Marco, begging a child for some food from their lunch box.

One positive from this trip was a foretaste of the new and improved ‘La Maquina’ to assist us in future projects. I took several scaled spy photos of the contraption and tucked them away… deep into my hard drive for future reference. I will talk about this tool in the next post. Today’s music needs no lyrics or words… because… it is an instrumental.

Being a bit of a music geek, especially when it comes to this band, the back story on this song is this; Because they were perfectionists and wanted to record this song in ‘one take’, they liked the song so much they wanted to be able to play it live in concert… and sound just as good as the recording. They spent over three weeks trying to achieve their goal… to no avail, with its complex time change and melodies, it was recorded in three separate takes and sectioned together by the engineer. Enjoy the cerebral cortex orgasm!

Hemispheres, 1978, Lee, Lifeson, Peart

Buenos Noches,
Marco Francisco, Valle Valle

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