Where there’s smoke there’s fire

28 Feb

“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.”

~ Robert Frost

Honduras only has two seasons: summer, when it’s dry; and winter, when it’s wet. We’re starting to head right into the hottest months of summer and here in Tegucigalpa things are hot, dry and smokey.

The smoke comes from all the bush fires. I don’t think there’s been a day yet where I haven’t seen smoke from some sort of fire. The hill behind our house has been on fire three times since I arrived. And that was less than a week ago!


One of the several burnt spots on the hill behind our house

No one seems to pay too much attention though. If the fires get too close to the houses the firemen come and put them out. My host mum tells me that most of the houses that burn down here burn, not because of the bush fires but, because of electrical faults or other domestic mishaps like leaving the stove on.

I’m getting used to smelling the smoke. Coming from Australia, a land where bush fires are a big deal, at first it was a little disconcerting to see how relaxed my host family seemed to be about the fires burning on the hill.

The main household problems associated with the fires are fairly trivial. The biggest issue is the ash that blows down from hill. It makes the floors filthy as the dogs track ash in and out of the house. Then there’s the problem of the insects that migrate into the backyard and lower level of the house to escape the hot zone. Apparently I missed seeing a tarantula in the backyard the other day!

Luckily my bedroom is on the third floor and the creepy crawlies (so far) seem to be too lazy to use the stairs. When it gets too smokey I make sure my bedroom window is shut tightly and, in case another fire springs up while I’m at work, I always close it in the morning before I leave the house.

Not that I’m wishing away my time here, but I do have to admit I’m looking forward to the beginning of winter when the fires stop, the rains start and the surrounding countryside becomes lush and green.


2 Responses to “Where there’s smoke there’s fire”

  1. MB February 28, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Is the security fencing to keep you in at night or to keep the bad people out?

    • honduranhiatus February 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      To keep the baddies out. I’m pretty sure it’s electrofied, plus there are security cameras and guards at the entrance gate to the community. I’ve tried to draft a post on the security situation here a couple of times, but it’s hard to write without either sounding paranoid or in a way that won’t worry everyone at home. I’ll keep mulling it over and see what i can come up with. xo

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