This year was definitely a different kind of Christmas. There are so many similarities between Christmas at home and Christmas in Honduras, like Christmas trees, lights on houses and presents. But there are also big differences – like the celebration here really start at midnight on the 24th and people stay up into the early hours of the 25th to celebrate. And there is no Boxing day (most people are back at work by the 26th!). And of course, it is more religious for most families. So here is what I got up to…
For the last few years my host sister, Azariah, has organised an event called ‘plato de Jesus’, in which she collects plates of food from people all over Tegus which her and others deliver to people in hospital over the Christmas period. We began preparing the plates at 6pm and left the house around 7.30pm… we then spent the next few hours going around the city collecting plates and then visiting 2 hospitals to give out the food. Due to the divide between the poor and rich in Honduras, people with money use private hospitals so the public hospitals are mainly used by people who have little money. One of the wards we visited was a maternity ward; in one room there must have been about 30 women and they all had to share their bed with their newborn baby as there were no cots for the babies. One of the saddest things I’ve heard about this year was when Laura told me she’d seen a new mother leaving Hospital Escuela (one of the largest public hospitals in Honduras) with her new baby and getting an amarillo, which is the cheapest but most dangerous bus to use in Honduras. It was so sad to think that she didn’t even have enough money to get a taxi home with her newborn baby. A lot of the people we saw in the hospital were very old and weak as well. It was really sad to see people so ill and alone over Christmas but at least we could help them even a little by giving them some food.
The next day I headed to the south of Honduras with my host mum, sisters and friends Teddy and Christopher. My host mum’s mum lives in Nacaome and it is also her birthday on the 25th. It is a lot hotter in the south of Honduras than in Tegucigalpa but it has been chillier lately so the heat was actually bearable more of the time! Two of my host mum’s brothers were there and a lot of great grandchildren so it was a lot of fun to see everyone. We had some yummy food, including a traditional Honduras Christmas pudding which I can’t remember the name of but is very different to anything else! And also a piñata which one of the cousins put $100 dollars into, woohoo! It was a really fun day but a very different kind of Christmas day for me.
I did miss my usual Christmas Day in England with watching the dogs opening their presents, taking them for a walk in the cold and then a big Christmas dinner after. But I managed to skype with my Dad and Grandma and call my mum which was lovely 🙂 And I also received an amazing parcel from my family the day before Christmas with some cards and goodies, thank youu !! 🙂