Yesterday we drove into Santa Rosa to look at a very nice housing project. The community has formed teams to build the houses and one person from each family must contribute. I met a woman who was laying cement on a wall of her home. She told me that the house is a dream come true. She was terrified that the Chagas insect would bite her or her family because she lived in a very poor mud and stick home where the insect likes to live.
Chagas is a horrible disease... this insect passes these deadly parasites on in their feces and bites a person on the face when they are sleeping. The victim gets infected when they scratch the bite. Treatment is only effective in the initial stages. Eventually the victim dies of cardiac failure.
We also saw a dead baby.
At another mud and stick home, a grandmother was holding a wake for her infant granddaughter, who had died the previous day. Only 26 weeks old. The mother had a c-section but the baby was too underdeveloped. The baby was in this tiny tiny white coffin, with plastic flowers surrounding her. the grandmother had a candle burning on the table for the baby because they are too poor to afford oil for the lamps.
The contrast was so striking...the pristine tiny white satin-lined coffin on this plastic table, the crude mud brick walls of the home and the dirt floor and the grandmother's sad sad face...
I think the hardest part of this trip was the visit to the HIV orphanage. All the children are HIV positive. They have a strong family bond among each other because almost all of them lost their parents to HIV. They are on drug therapy, thank God, but still.... Carlos told us on one visit, when a child was asked what he wanted, he replied, "I want to live longer."
Damn, what the hell do you say to a child who tells you that?
Going home today and I am so exhausted I can barely drag myself to pack. I wrote about 4 pages this week and they suck. I don't know how the hell I will finish this book. I'm working two jobs this year, at the day job and writing these books and this month with a trip to Haiti and now this Honduras trip.... I'm burnt out.
I feel like I almost don't even care anymore... and maybe it isn't worth writing romance. Even the day job... do I really make a difference? Does anyone really care? I work and work and work and I need a break, but I can't take one because I have two books due and I have a day job. Some days I just wonder if it's really worth it, when I collapse into bed and all I can see are those kids in the HIV orphanage with their sad sad faces who just want to live.