miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2009

Haunted House Music

I wouldn’t call myself a “super fan” or anything like that. I mean I don’t feel the same way about the guy that say Dan Bui feels about Don Henley (picture on the refrigerator, late night listening sessions in the dark, fan club emails, restraining orders, etc.) but I’ve been known to let my imaginary dreads hang loose and put on a few Bob Marley tunes every once in a while. But I came to a rather stunning realization this past week when I was in the back of a moto-taxi on the island of Amapala listening to “Could you be loved.” Bob Marley has got to be the most culturally exportable thing on this planet since Coca-Cola. It has been said to me in passing before—“aint nobody that don’t like Bob Marley.” But I never really took in the full implication of that statement until I was able to do some traveling. There really is no place in the world where they don’t get down to the Wailin’ beats. Australia, Mexico, Israel, and now Honduras all confirm the thesis in my limited experience. They each have their own individual musical backgrounds but somehow always find a way to trace their roots to the jamrock. Perhaps this should be something to continue studying for someone with an astute ear and large lung capacity-I’m sure I have some friends that would gladly volunteer for the job. But, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, Bob Marley has nothing to do with what most would consider music for a haunted house. That title has to do with a completely different story.
Most of the music I hear in Honduras is either on the bus or blasted from the absurdly huge speakers of the nearest pulperia. There is no such thing in this country as “too early to play music” so a lot of it is heard muffled through the pillow folded over my head. I would venture to guess that around 85% of the music I hear is the same 10 ranchero, reggaeton, or Bob Marley songs. But every once in a while, a gem will sneak in there and surprise me. For instance, I was walking down the street the other day and heard the Ghostbusters theme song! Oh how that takes me back to my blanket fort movie watching days (college). My point being that the Pulperia is the pulpit from which music is preached to the people of Honduras. When I first met all the other volunteers in my training class lo those many 4 months ago, I did what any respectful musician would do. I forced my band’s cd into their suitcases and made them promise to love it. I got a call a week ago from a friend who is about 12 hours away from me in a tiny little farming community out west and her host family happens to own the village pulperia with the absurdly huge speakers. It just so happens that on the day when they were searching for something to put on, TWO fell out of her backpack and into their lives. “How did they like it?!” I or course asked. “Well…they liked it, I think. But they were really weirded out when the song that sounds like a haunted house came on.” I’ve never been so happy to know that I was a part of creating something that was described as such. T-dub crew, if you are reading this, thank you. This Saturday is Halloween! Supposedly the biggest, most fun, don’t-ever-miss-this-party-ever Peace Corps event of the year is the Halloween bash out west. Of course, that falls within the two month period in which I cannot leave my site. So I will be spending the night dressed in my usual smelly ragged clothing (zombie? hobo? zombie-hobo?). Looking for some tunes to turn your boring party into a monster mash? TWO- track 4 on repeat
Like I mentioned, last week I was zipping around the island of Amapala in the back of a moto-taxi seeing the ocean fly by behind the thick green blur of the jungle. A moto-taxi is essentially a mix between a motorcycle, golf cart, and a rickshaw and is the principal means for getting around the island. All the volunteers of the south region were meeting for a few days to get to know each other, hear about successes, failures, other crazy volunteers (most of whom are now reliving the memories from the magical United States after being a little too crazy---if that is possible), and meet with the country director and safety officer about any issues. They were nice enough to pick this paradise as the setting for such a meeting. Rough life huh? Amapala is only a 30 minute bus ride and 10 minute boat ride from my site so this was by no means the last time for me to go there (this month). Most of the island is a dormant volcano which can be climbed in 4 sweaty hours and is worth every second. El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the mighty Pacific Ocean all stretch out in front of you. Here are some pictures none of which are of this view.

Warning: There may be parents walking their bubble boy to school

Me towering over my Zarabanda host family. There were some men in the family too but they wouldnt let me take their picture.

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