Sunday, March 14, 2010

It heals all wounds, it opens doors for you

As you may already know, here in Honduras we do not do DST (daylight savings time.) Why save when we have somewhere around 12 hours daylight year round? Plenty to go around without some ludicrous idea of saving it.

Well, so you would think.

A few years ago (2006) the government switched us one hour ahead for three months, from May to August. Supposedly this marks the shortest use of DST in the northern hemisphere ever. The reason was based on electricity savings. More people are awake at 6 and 7 PM than they are at 5 and 6 AM....so if they are not using lights then, the electricity would be saved...something they touted as I recall at something north of 10% savings, and supposedly we did save just about that amount.

It was nice for a change...the sun still was up by 6:30 or so, and for a nice change sunset was after 7:00PM. That may not seem like much to you if you live in Michigan...but for us that gauge supper time by seeing it is dark (which is around 6:00PM almost all year) it was like a whole different world.

Of course there were some interesting complications. Honduras yes...the rest of Central America no. That made for some interesting conversations. Then there was trying to do anything in Sampedrana or other rural areas. Us: "So we will be there at 9:00AM" Them "9:00AM our time or the city time?" Us: "Uh...what do you mean?" Them: "Well, there are not many people with clocks out here, and time does not change for them...they gauge the hour by the sun, so if you say 9:00AM city time, that would be 8:00AM for them." Us: "Right, ok then....we will be there at 8:00AM your time....the old time....the sun time." It also made a great excuse for being late during that time...mostly as a joke, but if you were late, you would just say you were on the old time and that you were actually early. Of course, being late is a rarity here...just kidding. I have noticed punctuality actually has increased dramatically since our first trips here, it really is quite amazing, despite how most North Americans still see things here as being on "Honduran time." But...that is a matter perhaps for another post at another time.

At any rate, it was a nice change while it lasted...but that has been the only time Honduras has dabbled in DST since another brief try in 1994.

I used to take pride in being from Indiana, one of the only states that did not do DST. Now, as I sit here wearing the shirt a group bought me that says I am 100% Catracho (Honduran) (which...when I wore it to the airport and back the day they left, talk about some interesting looks I got) I have another reason to be happy to live here, somewhere that also does not fit into the DST mold. Sometimes being abnormal is a thing of pride. Then again...although Indiana observes DST...but there are still rebels there that follow the time of their neighboring time zone state, making Indiana still an odd duck, although there are plenty other reasons for that qualification as well.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Good job. Always listen to your elders, in this case ME, who is quite your elder.