Sarah's Adventures in Honduras

Saturday, April 14, 2007

walk on the shady side of the street...

So I'm sweating back in Honduras again.

It’s hot. It’s really hot. I don’t want to touch anything or anything to touch me. Peter emailed to tell me that there was some wet snow that came down in Chicago, and I immediately began fantasizing about swimming in a slushy. Mmm. Such a nice thought. It hit 102 several days last week, and living in a house with no air and functioning in a classroom without even glass on the windows, it’s been a little toasty. A lot of sitting around in our bathing suits or in towels, staring into space, thinking about ice cream, and getting nothing done. Monday is supposed to be the hottest day of the year. But there are a lot of rumors. Other rumor: Either on April 17 or the 24 the suns rays are going to be so dangerous that we can’t have school because no one should go outside. They are calling it something that translates as “sun explosion,” though as appealing as that sounds, it’s not exactly what they mean. We are also having half days every day next week because of the heat. No one can concentrate or stay hydrated the way things are right now. It’s gross.

I’m not sure what I am going to do with all my free time next week. Maybe harass more principals about wanting me to teach for them next year. Maybe start a doctorate thesis. More likely, probably soak different parts of my body in a laundry bucket of cold water.

Life here is funny sometimes.

Last night we were such a sight. Laurence peeling a potato, Hilary eating half of a (bigger than a basketball) watermelon—digging in with a spoon. Anna in her school clothes covered in flour, hands sticky with dough, Bridget eating cornflakes for dinner on the front steps…all of us sweating profusely. We were sweating so much while eating dinner (outside even!) that we had to wipe off! I had to pull my shirt up and wipe sweat off my face and neck so that I didn’t sweat on my food! Oh gosh, I’m back to talking about how hot it is.

I got home from the internet place the other day to find Laurence prowling around the premises with a fist full of leaves. “What are you doing Laurence…” I asked him, baffled at the sight. “Looking for leaves.” And that was it. Later, near his work space in the house, there was a giant bag full of leaves. Bridget was going to use the phone, but was hindered by all of the leaves and asked, “Where did all these leaves come from?” “That’s just Laurence’s’ leaf project,” we responded. And that’s not weird at all.

It reminded me of the time that there was a glass jar full of dirt on the side of the kitchen sink for a couple of days. At least we thought it was dirt and assumed it was one of someone’s projects…like the avocado seed sprouting on the counter. A few days later, someone requested that the owner of the project take it elsewhere or despose if it. As it turns out, our Oregano bag had broken and the entire time it was a big jar of Oregano on the side of the kitchen sink. So odd.

other thought from Guatemala

I have a somewhat resistible, but nevertheless undeniable urge to buy one of those large pieces of beautiful cloth that women use to strap their babies to themselves. I mean, why not have a real deal baby body strap rather than to buy one in the who-knows-when future from Baby Gap or Urban Outfitters or wherever they would sell something like that. But the resistible part of the urge comes from the obvious uncertainty surrounding the time frame for a child to potentially leave my body and need to be then strapped to me (or my husband).

I didn't buy one :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The volcano adventure in pictures...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

thoughts from Guatemala (SB07)

I often struggle to answer the question, "What is the craziest thing you have ever done?" How exactly does someone define crazy...? Risking mortality or laughing in the face of danger (not one of my hobbies ;)) I usually think of the time when we skinny dipped in a lake formed in a crater in Nicaragua. Or that time in college where we sled down the steep hill in a row boat filled with a dozen people onto a just barely, not really, frozen pond. These days, I would probably answer moving to Honduras to teach second grade :) but I'm quite sure that yesterday takes the cake for craziness in my minimally risky life.

Walking down the street in Antigua, Guatemala we met Manolo, a Guatemalan man with a long, curly ponytail and a quick grin. He talked us into to paying $8or so to take a bus 2 hours away and hike up Pacaya, an active volcano--one of those things you don't tell your mother about until much later.

It immediately started out funny because everyone who got on that bus with us were members of our ¨peer group Antigua.¨ There was the beautiful guy with floppy hair named Ian that Anna met and kept running into on her first day here, and calls her ¨substitute boyfriend.¨ There were the two girls that went to the same teacher conference with us in Tegucigalpa whose house we went to for Thanksgiving. Yeah, weird, huh. There was a guy named Vance who went to Hope and roomed with a guy I went to high school with. AND the guy who spent the whole 10 hour drive next to me on the bus to Guatemala sat with me on this bus. And there was also the guy who tried to sell us his writing at a bar the previous night. So so random. We had to laugh.

The actual hike was ridiculous—only worth it for the story. It downpoured the ENTIRE time up the volcano as we hiked uphill through the woods. So giant streams of muddy water cascading towards us as we thought of mudslides. It finally stopped raining when we got to the part where we had to hike over the loose lava rocks. That was the tricky part. Probably over an hour of careful stepping over sharp, loose rocks. We didn´t go all the way to the lava, though we had some about foot from our feet. We could see it glowing red down beneath the very rocks we were stepping on. Some of the rocks were white with ashes. Think super unsupervised. After we got to the loose rocks I never saw our guides again.

A lot of our group headed straight to the lava. Like next to falling, burning liquid. So so scary. I decided that I didn´t need to get that close. (As it turns out, my bus buddy Jacob melted the soles right off his shoes!!!) Anyway, it started to get really foggy. We couldn´t see more than 10 feet ahead of us! And we knew we only had half an hour before dark! So, without our group, we decided to start heading back. The only problem was that we couldn´t see which way to go and it was a giant field of big lava rocks. This (not very encouraging) man kept telling us to hurry because we only had a few more minutes of light. What got us to the end of that part was seeing a light in the distance of what we later found out to be a man sitting on a blanket with his daughter. WHY? Anyway, after that we still had to hike down a steep, wet hill with the tiniest flashlight known to mankind. Anna teared up with fear. But I thought it was awesome. I mean, when will I ever do that again?! I knew we would make it fine as long as we went slow and stayed together. It started raining really hard for the last part of the hike. People kept falling in horse poop that they couldn´t see in the dark. (That was another funny part. The whole beginning of the trip we were surrounded by men with horses that kept saying, ¨Taxi? Taxi?¨ hehe :)) But we made it safe and sound to the bottom. And took a picture. I felt like I was on survivor.