The time goes so fast here!! Every time it gets to Friday I don’t understand where the last 5 days have gone – but Sunday nights seem to come by way too fast as well! So by the time you get a chance to look at the date it doesn’t seem possible to be so far through my adventure here. Today, of course, is International Women’s Day which doesn’t mean that much to me at my project (except that all the men aren’t here today but none of the women speak any English so I can’t ask where they are!). Although, for Laura it is quite exciting as she is volunteering for a feminist women’s organisation so she is going around Tegucigalps on a march today! Some people say ‘oh that’s great’ and some say ‘whaaat, but its so dangerous!!’ so who knows but I’m sure she’ll have fun…
My project is still amazing – I really can’t say how much I am enjoying it and from speaking to the other volunteers I seem to have the best one so I feel really lucky! Last Thursday we had a meeting and the director was saying something about ‘tomorrow’ and ‘half past 6’ and ‘a trip’ so I thought ‘ooo we’re going for a meal in the evening’! No… she meant half past 6 in the morning! The rest of the day I had everyone telling me there was a swimming pool where you were only allowed to wear two things – your hat and your sandals. Literally had this joke ALL day. So I dragged myself out of bed the next morning and got there nice and early… but, of course, we didn’t leave until half 7! Then we had a two hour bus ride to the San Martin Ecoturistico Hotel and Park in San Ignacio. We had breakfast when we first got there – the plato tipico of plantano, frijoles, eggs and tortillas – and then went to the hotel pool where we just messed around fo about four hours. We then had lunch which was fish and the plantain chips (I need to find out what they’re called!) which was really nice. After this, I started to feel really tired after a long swimming pool session and a big lunch so I was looking forward to getting back on the bus and getting home. But then we got onto a different bus for a tour of the Park´s features – first we saw a big valley thign which the guide gave a big explanation of but I failed to understand any of it! But then we went to the thermal pools which was really cool – having been to New Zealand, they like to tell you a lot there that they have the only thermal pools in the world etc. – but these ones could definitely rival it. It smelt exactly the same as Roturua in NZ so it was like being back there and they had a swimming pool that literally almost burnt just to touch it. But they also had some jacuzi type pools that were a lot cooler – we also saw an iguana which was fun! And then we went to their eco-lake which I´m guessing is where they caught the fish that we had for lunch so all in all it was a really amazing experience and hopefully I can find a way of taking the other volunteers there but it is in the middle of nowhere! Afterwards, I had arranged to meet Laura in the centre and stay at mine – we were meant to meet at 6 but of course we were a good 45 minutes late because we stopped 3 times on the way back for everyone to buy different foods from the little stalls you have everywhere. But when I finally met Laura we managed to order a pizza for takeaway which was a proud moment so all good!
The next day we met a couple of people from my project and went to a village outside of Tegus called Valle de Angeles – all of the guide books and websites about Tegus say that at weekends it is overtaken my tourists and people visiting from the centre but it isn’t overcrowded at all. You can see why people come here from the centre though – it is so relaxing compared to the city with no noisy traffic, no staring as the people must be a lot more used to white people and fresh air!! We had a wander round and some lunch with my project friends before they had to leave and then me and Laura just sat in a cafe all afternoon relaxing…and getting sunburnt of course. When we first got there, at about 10am, we were in a shop when the power went off but we’re quite used to this by now and we assumed it would be back on within an hour. It wasn’t. We got to our hotel for the night at about 4 in the afternoon and still no sign of it – in the end it didn’t come back on until midday the next day. So when Brynja came to meet us, we had to walk down to the centre of the village in pitch black for about 15 minutes. And I mean pitch black – we couldn’t see anything!! It was terrifying, especially when a man walked past and whispered ´hallo!´ to us. But we managed to find a restaurant serving food – no idea how they cooked it – and bought some candles so we managed to have some light and warmth back at the hotel. The next day we had another problem when we couldn’t use any of the ATMs because of the power cut so we had to go back to the city in hope of electricity – so we did manage to survive a night with no power in a tiny Honduran village but had to give up pretty earlier the next day.
This week I have been with my project to a couple of places – on Wednesday we went to a market in Comayuguela and on Thursday a community centre in a tiny village outside of the city. They were teaching the children about self esteem and what they need to do to become tutores to younger children. The activities in the village were also for the parents (there were about 40 mums and one dad!) and I saw with one of the guys for a bit while he was taking details from the mothers about their family and home. One of the questions was weather they had electricity or televisions in their homes – most did have electricity but hardly any had TVs. And also what kind of floor they have, most said concrete. It’s so strange how close they live to the capital city of Honduras but they have completely different access to things such as water and electricity. Also, one woman I’ll use as an example was 34 – she had four children, the oldest being 18 – and her husband was 47. So she was 16 when she had her first child and her husband was 29. But that is a completely normal family here. As we were walking back to the main road to get the bus home, a little boy walked with us and he had no shoes on – and the ground was all broken up and covered in stones etc. The people from my project asked him why he didn’t have any shoes and he said his family couldn’t afford them – so sad. He seemed perfectly happy and friendly though. The children in Honduras are unbeliveably cute by the way – I want to bring them all home!!
This weekend is going to be full of a salsa club on saturday, a picnic in a local park and, hopefully, a swimming pool so I’m sure I will have lots to update on next time. Still no laptop but as soon as I get it I will put photos on Facebook and some on here.
Have a good weekend everyone! x