This post might turn into a bit of a rant.
I love it here, I don’t want however annoyed I may sound in this post to make anyone think I don’t love it here because I do. But seriously, the men here are driving me crazy. I’m not talking about all of them of course and I really don’t mean to offend anyone – if I mention something anyone has done here then please don’t be offended. But all of it added up together makes for a bad impression on Honduras and it’s men.
First of all, I have daily harassment from men on the street. Strangers. My first week starting at my project was when I first started walking alone (as the first two weeks all of the volunteers went everywhere together) and I would have comments thrown at me constantly… and I mean CONSTANTLY. I would arrive to my project and home feeling beaten down to be honest. When the men at my project are walking with me somewhere and hear a comment (which are a lot more rare as soon as I’m with another guy) they find it funny and make a joke out of it – and sometimes it is funny but when it it so constant it becomes depressing. Especially when I walk past certain a place and you know the same person will say something because he says something every day so you’re just waiting for it and they never fail to see something horrible to you. There is a guy who is always just outside just by my house so I literally have comments from the second I leave home in the morning. And there is nothing I can do about it.
So this is annoying enough. But it’s not just strange men that find it acceptable to act this way towards me, the men at my project also seem to think it’s ok to approach me (even though they all have wives and children). At first it was just a little bit (and one very weird incident) but for some reason recently the men have taken it to the next level. But they are all also my friends so it makes it difficult to know whether it is an issue or not. But lately every time I talk to one of the guys, all the others insist that he is my novio (boyfriend). I have had two of the men ask me to kiss them (one of them doesn’t wait for an answer and I literally have to push him off me) and one of them I thought of as a very good friend before but now I’m getting more and more annoyed with it all. When I point out that they’re married they joke that their wives are dead. To add to the stress of it, they often say things to each other in Spanish and obviously I don’t understand a lot of it and then they all laugh and it doesn’t feel nice.
Even guys who I socialise with act strangely – I had met one guy twice (both times I was quite tipsy as we were at a bar) and we had messaged a little on facebook. He doesn’t speak much English and I don’t speak too much Spanish so it is difficult for us to talk properly. The third time I met him he said that it was his birthday soon and he wanted me to stay with him in a hotel after the night out. And that we could start something here and then he would come to Europe after I left to see me. Have Hondurans never heard of wooing a girl, maybe even taking her on a date first before propositioning her?? Clearly not.
It is very frustrating to feel like the men here don’t see you as someone to be friends with, they see you as an object to get into bed or to look at and say vulgar things to. It is really hard for me as I have really good male friends at home and I miss having that here (although I love my girl friends of course!) but it is sad not to be able to just have a friendship with a guy. The guy at my project who I absolutely adored and loved talking to every day is now becoming a big annoyance as I have to explain to him every day that I’m not going to kiss him because he has a wife and 2 children (he is 23). Sigh. I was really annoyed about it all today and told one of the girls there (she is there volunteering for 2 months so she doesn’t know anyone else that well) she said that when a girl in Honduras talks about drinking beers and going out it gives the impression that she is easy. So no more talking about my social life at work then.
To cheer me up though it has been a lot of fun emailing my amazing friend Glenn the last couple of days and exchanging some ridiculous banter! You don’t realise how much you miss people until you speak to them and realise how much fun you have together. So thank you Glenn 🙂
Also today I realised that maybe I am far too predictable. Laura, Brynja and I went to Mall Multiplaza today (as usual) and I went to Wendys (as usual) and without asking the waitress gave me mayo as I always ask for it. Slightly embarrassing. Then when we went to get taxis the guy who organises the radio taxi said where I live without me even having to tell him… I think maybe it’s time to shake it up a bit!
So that’s all for now… I’m hoping the situation with the guys will get better by itself soon because I do love them all as friends and I really don’t want to have to end up complaining! But when you have to avoid going into empty rooms in case one of your colleagues might pounce on you, you know it’s not good!!