First experiences of Honduras

Well it has definitely been an interesting few days…

As most of you will know when myself and Laura got to Heathrow Airport at half 6 in the morning we found out we were facing a 7 hour delay due to ‘technical difficulties’ with the plane which meant we had to wait for a different plane to arrive from the Middle East… so we ended up getting to Miami at half 10 rather than at 2 in the afternoon. With no phones and no signs for where our hotel shuttle would be, alongside a definite lack of sleep, we eventually found our way to our room. The difficulty to find out where our shuttle would pick us up in an English speaking country definitely made the nerves about arriving in Honduras a little bit more noticeable…

Our flight over to Honduras from Miami was very easy and there were some lovely views over the Caribbean! Also flew over most of Honduras and I found it very hard to believe that this country has the highest murder rate in the World when it seemed to be completely covered in mountains!! However as we approached Tegucigalpa it looked very different… when looking at pictures of the country’s capital you see the world ‘sprawling’ a lot and there’s no better word. It lies in a large basin of mountains and you can get a whole view of the city and it just looks enormous! 

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 Having watched videos and read about how bad the landing can be in Tegus, me and Laura held hands very tightly and prepared ourselves to be frightened to death but it really wasn’t that bad at all! The turbulence over the Atlantic was definitely worse…

So finally, I was in Honduras! I will admit now that I have completely had the wrong idea of this country… having heard about the corruption, violence and poverty I don’t know what I was imagining but seeing a shopping mall, burger king, dominoes and pizza hut opposite the airport was definitely a shock! Many of the people in the airport also had expensive clothes and jewellery… and everyone has smart phones!! I’m definitely going to feel out of place with my old phone…

ICYE met us at the airport and we went in a taxi (without seatbelts!) to the charity’s office to wait for our host parents to pick us up. I also quickly met the other volunteers – a guy from Austria, a girl from Switzerland and a girl from Japan – it seems none of us know Spanish so at least I’m not the only one! 

So my host mum came to pick me up and she is lovely 🙂 she has lived quite a few places all over the world and in the US for 10 years so her English is excellent – she even teaches it at one of the universities! Which we drove past and there was a security guard with a huge gun… a sight I’m going to get used to here – they even have armed security outside of restaurants. 

Driving around in Tegucigalpa is definitely the experience I had read about – the city is full of criss-crossing roads with blind junctions and no one stops to see if anything is crossing and just pull out! It’s terrifying and I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to it! At one point we saw about 8 police cars and bikes flashing their lights and speeding off up a hill – so I assumed they were chasing some crime that had happened. Turned out it was most likely some low-level politician being taken home or something – my first sign of the corruption here. 

We then went to meet my host mother’s parents – they don’t speak any English so a lot of the time I was just trying hard to listen and picked up on a few words but on the whole I was completely lost! Having seen their house and my host family’s though I can’t emphasise enough how vast the divide is between the rich and poor here. The rich are extremely rich and the poor are extremely poor – I will try and take some pictures of this difference but as I’m starting to realise, I don’t want to be flashing a camera around! Nevermind how old and beat up it is…

I also met my two host sisters and brother last night (who all speak fluent English as well having gone to an American school) and we went for my first Honduran meal!! It was a subway type place but with tortillas – they had lots of different fillings and you can choose whatever you want. I went for fried beans, cheese (which is very salty here!) and cream. It was delicious 🙂 my family have made me feel very welcome already and they’re all really nice 🙂 

So that was my first day in Honduras done – I have really enjoyed it so far and can’t wait to learn more and the culture here. The only negative so far is the realisation that I will be largely confined to the house and my project unless my host mum is free to pick me up – as a white tourist I am going to stick out like a sore thumb walking around here and you just can’t ignore the crime rates. So I’m feeling a little like I’m going to miss that freedom at the moment but hopefully as I get used to it here I’ll get more confident to walk around… just not too far from home! 

Sorry if this blog was very long… I’ve had to miss a lot out as well but I don’t want to end up boring everyone! Hope you enjoyed the read 🙂 x

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2 thoughts on “First experiences of Honduras

  1. Glad to see you have arrived safe and are starting to settle in! I hope what you can remember from GCSE spanish helps you a bit, although if you’re like me you probably only remember the basics haha xxx

  2. Hi jess-this is your British sister writing…your latest post was a very enjoyable read, reading the blog of your volunteering adventure reminds me of an action novel with the main character reaching the point of the first real conflict (or in this case exciting event) although saying that it seemed the drama began before you’d left british soil with the whole plane debacle :/ I’m glad to hear you like your new honduran family, hope they enjoyed tumbling monkeys if you played (i found the two awol monkeys the day after dropping you off) an make sure your new siblings arn’t too cool that you might forget me haha…I miss you loads already, but hope your travels have been all the excitement you wanted them to be with much more to come 😀 The capital sounds strange and very much a culture shock to physically be amoungst it rather than imagining from a safe distance…please let me know on email or fb when you’ll be available to skype and tell me all about it 😀 love Bollywood x x x x

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