Nancy Vogel unfolded her map. Smoothing out the creases, wrestling with the folds, putting Mexico behind her, and seeing the small Honduran town of Choluteca on the map for the first time. After almost a year, Nancy, along with husband John and twin 10-year-olds Davy and Daryl, were just a few hundred miles-one length of folded map-from a place she considered home. Holy cow, she recalls, it was on the map.
They werent anywhere near the United States or their house in Boise, Idaho. But, about one-third of the way into the 18,000-mile journey that would take Nancy and her family the entire length of the Pan-American Highway, this sun-tanned 48-year-old mother of two was excited to arrive at a familiar place. It was one of only a handful of familiar places shed see during the next two years, and one that-two decades after a Peace Corps stint in Honduras-still felt like home.
I left a part of my heart there, she recalls, and Id finally come back to find it again. During the next two weeks, she did just that, relaxing with her children among members of her one-time host family, visiting the school where she launched her teaching career nearly 24 years ago, splashing in Pacific waves, and settling into a routine of family-and-friend-filled events that reminded her of the community shed left behind.
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