Sorry for my delay lately with keeping up to date with the blogs – as some of you many know there was an unfortunate incident with my laptop (yes i stepped on it) so i’m still waiting to get that fixed and it is imposible to type a long blog on my ipod!!
So since my last entry I have had two more weekends here in Tegucigalpa. Last weekend I went to a Christening with my host family and was Honduran style late – a good half an hour into the ceremony! It was really nice to see though and the meet up afterwards had some really good food and wine! And I spoke to one of the extended family members and it reinforced the fact that people who live outside of Europe has visited a lot more places in Europe than I have!! My mission when I get back home is to go on a big Europe tour (hopefully with Becca?!!) and see Germany, Switzerland, Croatia etc. But I’ll concentrate on Latin America for now. After the family event, I went to meet the other volunteers at the mall for another expensive meal at TGI Fridays – we have since discovered that Applebees is just as nice and a lot cheaper so I think that will be the new favourite from now on! After food we went to a birthday party at a very nice house – the birthday girl was one of the girls we met at the ICYE orientation camp and she’s lovely! I met some friend´s of Michelle´s (the Swiss volunteer) too and they taught me how to dance Honduran style. My thighs were hurting so bad the next day – definitely something I need to get used to but I love it!!
Then work was another blur of giving out more school bags but it was fun as always. I also now have a Monday tradition with one of the volunteers who has been here for 4 months already and we go to the crepe place for lunch, sooo yummy!! I absolutely love the people at my project but there has been a couple of interesting things happen – firstly, since I got there I have had some attention from the guys that I work with. Which can be slightly annoying but it made me even more annoyed when I found out that they were actually all married! It turns out in Honduras (and maybe other Latin American countries) people no longer wear wedding rings – they used to but it just isn’t done anymore. So a guy could be chatting you up and everything’s going well… and you have no idea that he is actually married. It´s crazy!! Also, the reaction to the mention of gay people is quite disturbing – it´s not really anger or anything but they just find the idea of gay people and me spending time with gay people is really funny. So coming from a quite liberal (sometimes!) country it is really hard to not say something… Oh and someone at work told me about how easy Americans and Europeans are which is quite annoying, especially as the pregnancy rate here is no better than the UK. But our attitudes to casual sex etc. are in the media A LOT more than here, where it is all hidden so it´s not dealt with, so it is easy to see how that reputation gets around…
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been in houses and at work when random power cuts have happened – there’s no apparent reason for them and you have no idea how long they’re going to last for. It could be minutes or days!! The ones I’ve seen so far though haven’t been too long and a novelty at the moment – but I can imagine that when it happens when I’m in the middle of writing something like my blog it will be massively annoying!! Also, I cheekily asked my friend at work last week how much he gets paid (I’ve been really curious to know and he mentioned that he doesn’t get paid a lot so I couldn’t help myself! He didn’t mind though) and it is completely shocking. I’ve been worrying about getting a job after volunteering and needing to earn at least a certain amount but it seems like I’d be lucky to get much compared to the people at my project. Afterwards I told him about how much trains, buses etc are in England… so lets just say I worked out that for me to get a train from Wakefield to London is about half of what he earns in an entire year. It’s just mind blowing and very frustrating!!!
So the week went really fast (as it has been doing a lot since I’ve been here!) and then it was the weekend and it was a great one!! A new volunteer arrived a few weeks ago from Iceland but she is living outside of Tegus so myself and Laura met her for the first time. The three of us went to El Picacho which is a park with a Christ statue … kind of similar to Brazil’s but not as impressive I don’t think. The park is so beautiful though, its like a completely different world to the city even though it is so close and it was so relaxing just wandering around and looking at the amazing views of Tegus. I will put pictures on facebook soon… but there is a strange haze which I think might be the severe pollution!! After that we went to Laura’s house to relax a bit and eat pizza before going to her host brother’s cousin’s leaving party. The party was at his dad’s office which is actually a very nice, big house converted into an office. The party was on the rooftop with amazing views of the city, it was pretty cool! It was great meeting more people too and I spoke in Spanish for most of the night which was really fun – and we even played ring of fire, who knew they had that in Central America?? Haha… and then we FINALLY left at 6 in the morning, before driving around trying to find chips for an hour. We eventually got into bed at 7 when it was already light… definitely worth it though! And me, Laura and Brynja have made lots of plans for the next month as Brynja is only here until May so we have to make the most of the next couple of months!! I can’t believe we’ve been here 6 weeks already, a quarter of my time in Honduras!! It’s going so quickly and all of the weeks seem to be merging into one so we really need to make the most of our time from now on because it’ll be time to fly home before we know it!!
I’ve been having a lot of fun the past few weeks and going to parties with people who can afford holidays, smart phones etc. so I feel like I sometimes forget the extreme poverty here. I can see why those you can turn a blind eye to the bad things here do often ignore it – I was walking through the centre the other day and saw a woman with her disabled son who must have been about 18 sat on the street selling something (as a lot of people do here). Her son, who in the UK would definitely be in a care home or similar, was just laid on the floor with a makeshift shelter to stop him getting burnt. It’s just so sad to see things like that and knocks you right back down to Earth and why this country needs so much more help than it gets. I was walking with a guy to work today and he had headphones on so I asked what music he was listening to but he said it was the news – “always bad. This country is sinking and we are sinking with it”. When anyone says something like this I just feel so useless and helpless to do anything to make a real difference… It really seems as though Honduras is going further and further downwards rather than making progress and it’s scary to think what will happen in the future. I have my fingers crossed though…
Thank you again for reading!