Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He's Baaaaaack....

We knew it would happen. It was inevitable. Mel Zelaya snuck back into Honduras and mysteriously appeared at the Brazilian Embassy here in Tegucigalpa. The crowd grew from 50 people to a reported 8,000 in less than 30 minutes. Of course rumors were flying as fast as chips on a craps table in Vegas with a hot roller. Initially, no one knew if it was true of just a rumor. He was supposed to be in the States...wait, no, he's in Nicaragua. No...he's in Tegucigalpa. Along with the crowds at the Brazilian Embassy, there were huge crowds at the United Nations building here so, you guessed it...they thought he was there too. Oddly enough, there was no police presence at either location for a long time. Then, on TV, you see the military vehicles and the big water truck come rolling in. On a hot day, the very zealous pro Zelaya supporters got a shower.

I kept saying...there should be a curfew announced any time. What's wrong with this? You know something else is in the works. Then, at 3:30 it was announced on TV that there was a curfew...starting at 4:00! An announcement was made throughout my Embassy for all non-essential employees (usually heads of sections) were to leave immediately. Well, it was a mass exodus to get out of the area. But once I got to my car, I realized that I wasn't going anywhere soon. It was massive gridlock. My drive from home to work is usually 5 minutes. Today it took me over 2 hours. No one let anyone cut in, no lights were working, motorcyclists were weaving between cars and using the invisible middle lane, laughing inside at all of us in cars going nowhere fast. To make matters worse, my gas tank was on 1/4 full, or 3/4 empty...either way, I thought, "What a time to run out of gas." A few times, people got out of their cars to try to direct traffic, pleading with drivers to wait and let some others go, making room to actually move. It was horrible. I did make it home, but not before having a very close encounter with another car. I tried to move around a car and I misjudged it and scraped around him instead. I got out as he did and after he looked at his car and mine, he said "No problem with my bumper...but your doors will need work!" (all in Spanish,) I didn't even look at my doors until I finally got home. Yep, body shop, here I come. Nothing major but I think I have my car sold to the person who will have my job in May so it will get fixed!

I am now trying to second guess what will happen tomorrow over a very nice glass of cabernet. Will Zelaya be arrested? Will he camp out in the Brazilian Embssy for who knows how long? Will he disappear as quickly as he appeared? My crystal ball is in the shop or I'd venture a guess. One thing is for sure. As soon as I click on "Publish Post," I'm headed to the internet to see what I can find out! For weeks, everyone has been saying they wished "it would just happen...what it is." And it did. Now we live with the results.

Bulletin! I just got a call from my boss. ONLY essential personnel are to report to the embassy tomorrow as the government has extended the curfew. Instead of ending tomorrorw morning at 7:00AM, it now goes all the way to 6:00PM. If I am needed, they will send a car (with a driver who is armed, I hope) to fetch me. Ahhh...the life in a 3rd world country!

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