Sarah's Adventures in Honduras

Friday, February 16, 2007

I just saw a little old woman on the street wearing a white t-shirt that said, ¨You should see this wet.¨ HA! If only she knew! I couldn´t stop chuckling as I passed her. It reminded me of the young professional at the immigration office wearing a middle school varsity jacket or our school watchman Wilmer and his t-shirt that says, ¨Don´t play stupid with me. I´m better at it.¨

hehehe hahaha

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Trying to...


Love never gives up.

Love cares for others more than for self.

Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.

Love doesn't strut,

Love doesn't have a swelled head,

Doesn't force itself on others,

Isn't always "me first,"

Doesn't fly off the handle,

Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn't revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You’ve gotta love the internet joints that let you eat an ice cream cone while checking your email. This would never fly in the States ;)

I want to tell you about something that happened recently. I know I’m getting pretty terrible at telling you about things the day that they happen.

Wait! I do have something to tell you about from today! So, electricity out, right, (whoooole other story) so no bells. We just walk around saying “ding” really loudly before I ring my goodwill (purchased) cowbell violently to get the kids wandering in the far corners. At the ding, my kids are supposed to line up in our designated spot by our door. It is often common to find them playing dog and owner in the hallway (hopefully not with the class jump ropes also involved…), pushing and shoving, or doing the splits (You’d think they’d tire of doing the splits, but they really don’t). Sometimes I’m lucky if I find them even near the spot where they are supposed to be. Anyway, today I finished filling my water bottle, took a deep breath, and tried to mentally prepare myself for stepping into the hallway and facing the rest of the hot, fanless afternoon. The sight before me gave me both a wave of confusion and amusement because there, in two straight lines, were all of my students sitting on the floor, rocking from left to right, chanting something incomprehensible (later they told me, “uno, dos, uno, dos…) . In fact, kids from other grades had also joined in! So…you roll with it, right? I had them to the wave forward and backward :) and then started them rowing. As they chanted row, row, row, row—switching from left to right—I couldn’t help, but chuckle at the completely ridiculous situation.

This week is a long one. I feel like tomorrow should be Friday, but it’s only…Wednesday. The best news about that is that Grace is coming in one week!!!! AhhhhhH!!!!! I can’t believe it! It is strangely still so surreal to me. It probably won’t feel real until she steps off the plane. I can’t wait.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I think I’ve had a little too much free time on my hands lately. It’s better when I can keep busy. Much harder when I have time to start thinking about missing people that I love and start to worry about the future/jobs/applying/moving/leaving my team here. I’ve been trying to keep the free time in check—trying to use it to do things I’ve been meaning to get done (really pick up all of the crayons on my classroom floor). And instead of getting sad about missing people, sitting down and writing emails to keep in touch. My strategy to battle missing people: Write everyone (this only works if they write back). Another strategy: Get out of the house. When I feel down I would much rather be alone thinking about my misery. But I always try to do the opposite because I know it always takes my mind off stuff and drags me out of the blues.

SO, we went dancing in the city. It was my first time ever! I didn’t really want to go because by the time people leave for these kinds of activities is always after when I usually go to bed. But I felt it necessary to prove that I’m not totally lame-o, so I decided to go. Another reason for my hesitation was that we would have to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Real wind blown hair, right? Not exactly the reason for my hesitation…but anyway, Luis, who we refer to as nice twin (who knew there were two? I just thought he was around a lot!) showed up to escort 8 of us girls + Fermin out for a night on the town. We got all fancy, swapping clothes and jewelry, ooohing and aaahhhing over clothing items not brought out for everyday Cof. wear-al. We pulled out the make-up—Marilyn had to pry mine open with a knife because it melted shut (no joke) and I think Anna even blow-dried her hair. We should have taken a picture. The ride there was good—beautiful to look up at the stars. Too bad it was so windy that I had to keep one eye shut after a close call with my contact blowing out of my eye. We did, however, get stopped by the policemen with big guns on the way home—probably to ask Luis what the heck he was doing with 7 Americans in the back of his truck. The actual dancing experience was alright. It is more fun to have someone to dance with for the fun salsa and meringue, bachata and cumpio(?) songs (especially if they know what they are doing :)). Luis rotated to dance with all of us, but there was only so much he could do :) The place played the most random mix of music ever—from P.Diddy to the Beatles to classic salsa to techno. It was laughable and impressive at the same time. It was nice to get out.

Other random news:

They actually sell cornflakes popsicles. No, this is not some kind of sick joke. It even has its own name—a more sophisticated name than cornflakes popsicle.

I was making granola in the toaster oven when it started on fire. Not the granola, but the toaster oven. Something must be done.

Our blender is on its way out. We had actually retired it to the blender graveyard which we just recently sent to the trash (who needs various blender parts anyway?), but took it out after further testing. Since then it has acquired a crack in which it shoots out the liquid that you are blending. It is safest to blend with two people. One monitoring the speed and the other holding it shut. Maybe duct tape?

It is getting hotter. On Saturday when I went out on the back porch to assume the writing you from the hammock position, I turned around and walked right back inside. Similarly, when I arrived home from school today I almost immediately removed all unnecessary clothing, made a banana licuado, and found a place to write you from in front of the fan :) This could be a long summer (Feb-April…) I think amplifying the problem was the lack of electricity until 3pm today. If you remember from my earlier blogs the kiddos tend to strip and not learn when it gets above 90. This afternoon didn’t go well when there wasn’t a fan to blow around the warm air.

The extensive free time was due to a week full of half days (school ending at 11:15am) followed by a weekend with no plans. Today, being our first full day back at school, was one of the longer days of my life.

More soon,


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Continuing with the bug teeny tiny ants (a new species that we´ve spotted in the house) decided to infest my empty contact case and feed on the dried up saline solution. I know it is blurred, but thing entire extended family, here.

Look closely in the bottom right of this picture. You will see white yarn. It is a contraption I rigged up to hold up our fan that took a hit and no longer stands on its own. It is strapped to a concrete block.

We´ve been doing a lot of this:

With increased baleada consumption, a couple of girls had increased waistlines. No longer. I´m to the left of the orange pole wearing the dark clothes.

We hadn´t had a power outage in a long time, but last week it went out right before our alarm clocks were supposed to ring us awake. It was out until the afternoon, so breakfast was by candlelight. The box is the good ol´ cornflakes.

My first loaf of bread baked from scratch.

These pictures deserve their own story...but for now I will let you come up with your own...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

In Honduras you can’t be in a hurry or have an agenda. You just go with the flow as things work themselves out. A half dozen people will give you information they are certain about, but in the end, sometimes, maybe most of the time, it isn’t even true. Even seemingly “simple” or obvious questions about bus station locations or bus schedules—there isn’t a way to really know.

That said, I went to the beach two weekends ago (yes, I’m trying to catch you up). When flying back to Honduras after Christmas, I noticed this interesting stretch of coastline that created almost a perfect triangle cut into the country. The beach and the forest around this area looked beautiful and untouched. Anna also noticed it, and we decided that that was where we wanted to go for the weekend. We were actually able to find it on the map (the triangle part helped ;)) and planned the bus route. When arriving in San Pedro to get on our first bus, we couldn’t find it. We got directions from people on the streets, and ended up at bus station that didn’t have buses to take us to where we wanted to go. We had an address from a guidebook for another bus station supposedly in existence, but it didn’t seem to be where it was supposed to be. We asked people about this one, but no one seemed to know about it. Finally, we found someone who thought they knew someone who might know where it was…(this seems to happen a lot). But this time he did! We arrived at 4:30, but bus tickets for the 4:45 bus were already sold out. No problem. We weren’t in any hurry. We got some licuados and grilled cheese sandwiches before heading back to the bus station for take two. To make this long story shorter, we eventually got to the beach we wanted to be at. It was so nice and relaxing—a longer than expected trip, but it was so worth it. We spent the day reading, journaling, and dozing on the beach. I must add that I’m not a dozing-on-the-beach kind of girl. I’m way too much of a control freak, also afraid of sunburn, bugs, and rabid beach dogs (don’t worry mom). We went to dinner at a little restaurant down the road, and that is when we first asked about transportation from the village to the beach town where we would catch the bus again back to San Pedro. He said, “Well, sometimes there are buses on Sunday, but sometimes there aren’t. It depends on whether or not the guy who drives the bus decides to…” Ehhhh…well…there was always the option of getting to Tela by cab and supposedly someone would probably be driving around sometime around the time we would want to go to Tela…. It all sounded a little sketch. Later that night Bridget and Lisa went for a walk on the beach. They realized that the village we were staying in I split in two by a lagoon that once in a while floods and covers the road. The place to catch the bus was, of course, located on the other side of the lagoon. At that moment, it was possible to walk through shallow water to get to the side with the buses, but it was unknown whether or not that would still be true in the morning. I pictured us walking through the water with our duffle bags over our heads :) They also found a man with a canoe that would take us across the short distance. Marilyn and I decided to take a walk on the beach and check out the situation for ourselves. It was confirmed that the buses were indeed going to run on Sunday, and that it would only cost us around 10 cents to take the canoe to the bus. But what time? Who knows?! I think they said, “Maybe 7, maybe 8, maybe 8:30…” Lisa and I decided to leave the hotel around 7:30 to hopefully walk to the canoe, boat across the lagoon, and catch an 8am bus. (That might sound kind of early to ya’ll, but I am usually already teaching by then!) We gathered up our things and started the trek to the canoe, only to see a big yellow bus driving down the road toward us!!!!! I checked my watch—7:43am. You just have to laugh, right? So we boarded the bus that would later drive through a shallow part of the lagoon to take us to Tela.

You just never know.

There are so many things to tell you. I always let this happen…shoot. Besides the fact that I left you with a really disgusting image!

Anyway, I should add that the flies around here are of a breed. Or maybe they’ve just been raised differently. I grew up with the notion that if a fly lands on your arm, your leg, or any other body part, you give it a little shake and it takes care of the problem. I mean, horses just give that toss of their tail and bam, flies be gone. Well, it doesn’t work that way in Honduras. If a fly lands on your arm, and you give it a shake, little or even violent, and it hangs on for dear life. It doesn’t go anywhere! It often takes a multiple violent shakes for a fly to leave! Or it just has to make up its mind on its own to leave. Maybe the flies down here have claws?