There is a process, a passage that is required of me as I leave La Mosquitia and enter back into the US.  It isn't just an easy 1-2-3, jump on a plane and you're there.   The transition takes a few days and becomes a sort of transformation...

First, I pack up, dirt and all.

Second, I climb aboard the dust-covered, 19 passenger plane.   At this point, I am overdressed and under-moisturized.   Almost immediately, the air coming from the plane's vents chills my body and my skin begins the shriveling process that takes two full days to complete.

Third,  I arrive in La Ceiba at the airport and grab a smoothie or a Cafe Americana.  My breath releases a little bit as comfort edges a bit closer.

Fourth, I take my first hot shower.  The tattooed dirt on my feet loosens a bit.   I clean behind my ears.

Fifth, I freeze to death trying to sleep in a large room with 3 beds, a couch and 6 other Waits.

Sixth, I get up and put on make-up and realize that I look almost 'American' again, but not quite.   I make the 3 hour drive to the San Pedro Sula airport.  The white faces become more numerous and a bit of English is spoken.

Seventh, I load a plane bound for Houston.   Half of the plane is North American and I can converse casually in my heart language.

Eighth, I arrive in Houston where many faces look like mine and many people speak English.   The air feels dry, but just right.   I breathe in the US of A and I exhale lingering Puerto Lempira dust in my nostrils.

Ninth, I cross the threshold into the DFW airport.   Friends or family are waiting and we find ourselves loved up, hugged up and freezing to death.

Tenth, I arrive at 'home' - my mom and dad's house.  Lights shine, everything smells beautiful and my people are happy.    I lay my head on a soft pillow in the most comfortable of beds and I sleep like a woman in peace.

I am a normal US woman again.  And while I look a great deal like the women around me, I carry this dusty place inside of me called Puerto Lempira.   While my souls needs a deep, quiet rest, my mouth must speak about what I know and what drives me.


The small places that take us from one land to another.


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