Home: Memories that withstand distance

Natalia Lanza hasn't been able to go home to Honduras since December 2019. Still, she remembers her home country as if she never left. (Submitted: Natalia Lanza)

I haven’t been able to go back home to Honduras since December of 2019 and a lot has changed since I came to Canada. Even though I haven’t been there in a long time, I still remember my home country as if I never left.

There are countless things that I miss about Honduras; the beaches during the summer, the cosiness of my home during the winter, the family dinners that we would have every Sunday.

My mom would try out different recipes. She would ask us to give her ideas throughout the week of what my brothers and I wanted to try and she’d cook it for us. Although she would change recipes weekly, she would frequently make a mango and shrimp salad, my favourite food.

We would eat on the terrace and enjoy the cool breeze while we listened to music in the background. These dinners were never quiet though, they were always filled with chatter and laughs.

Natalia Lanza’s family would eat on the terrace and enjoy the cool breeze while they listened to the music in the background. (Submitted: Natalia Lanza)

What I miss the most about Honduras is the warmth of my family.

These past two years, unable to see my family, were challenging. I lost friends and family members to COVID-19 and being away during difficult times adds to the homesickness.

When I feel homesick, I like to think about one of my favourite memories from back home.

The last December that I was able to go home, I got to reunite with my whole family after a long flight from Fredericton to Honduras. My flight was scheduled for Dec. 18, 2019, but due to the unpredictable weather, my flights from Toronto to El Salvador were delayed and I wasn’t able to catch the flight that would take me to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The next available flight was four days from my actual arrival date. I had to stay in Toronto for four nights and five days, until I boarded the plane that would take me to Honduras on Dec. 24.

Those four nights in Toronto might be the loneliest I ever felt, but I would relive them again just to feel how blessed and happy I was when I arrived at the airport in Honduras.

It was 10 p.m., two hours before Christmas and my whole family was waiting for me with smiles on their faces. The only thing I could do was run up to them and cry.

After being picked up from the airport, we went home, drank wine and enjoyed the delicious meal my mom and dad cooked. It was a pretty uneventful Christmas, but it was the best I’ve ever had.