Of course, this rite of passage took place after four straight days of torrential downpour, a lamentable situation made almost unbearable by the relentless Punta music 331K (.wav) | 41K (.ram) emanating from the convenience store below Kent's apartment. Along with Pepe (the most plugged-in man in town, known for a happy-go-lucky disposition that makes him the embodiment of the Sitcom Neighbor), we had awoken ready to flee the Punta music for some good-time, old-fashioned river running--and it would take more than a little rain to deter us from our chosen path.
Back in the Honduran community of La Ceiba, there is a bustling subculture that borders on a religion, one that revolves entirely around the lingo of the river and occasionally the seas--focused primarily on "pins," "rolls," "flips," "lip-curls," and always "whitewater." For though the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras have always been known as a premium spot for diving and snorkeling, few are aware of the phenomenal breadth and variety of that country's rivers, which run thick and fast for most of the year, drying up only in March until the rainy season begins in earnest in July.
This subculture became abundantly apparent when Kent's friends Zack, Dave, Andrew, and Blair rolled into town from a recent river trip. River guides for a outfitter aptly named Rios (rivers), they live, breathe, and rap about boating. The Gang of Four had returned with footage of their trip and enthusiastically narrated the playback with colorful blow-by-blow commentary and an insistence that all conversation revolve around the waters.