Wow it’s been a whole 2 weeks since I last posted… I will try to make this post nice and long to make up.
So where to begin… well, as I mentioned before the past week has been Semana Santa when the whole of Honduras is on holiday. It was so good to have a week off and relax… although I love my project, it is great to not have to get up at 7 and be free to travel a bit! On the Friday before Semana Santa, there was a big football between Honduras and Mexico (I think, I’ve forgotten already!!!). My project was meant to be giving a maths lesson to the parents involved in the project at the city library… but, of course, like all governmental building in Honduras they all close for a football match… all day!! Isn’t that nice for them! It was fun though because we set up a TV and lots of drinks and snacks at the project and watched it there and it was so funny to see Honduran’s reaction – especially when they scored two goals in the last 20 minutes! Afterwards me, Laura and 3 guys from my project went for some cervesas and me and Laura were forbidden from speaking English which was interesting. But it was a lot of fun 🙂
The next day 4 of us volunteers, one of the volunteer’s host sisters and two other Hondurans headed to the host sister’s grandparent’s country house near a place called Danli. It was rural. And it was hot. It managed to go all way up to 40 degrees… me and Joel even got a cheeky beer on the way there to cool down a little. We played some drinking games and relaxed in the evening and walked around the farm there the next day before having a typical Honduran lunch of carne, frijoles, queso etc. Mmmm!!!
On Monday I went to Mall Multiplaza with Brynja and just as we had finished shopping and were about to head home, we realised there was a huge storm outside. HUGE. The rain was coming into the mall (it later flooded) and the whole building had a power cut. So we dashed into a taxi and headed to my house… it wasn’t to be. We rain didn’t stop and the roads were quickly flooded, there are a million hills in Tegus and every time we went down one there was a mini lake with a few cars completely submerged. At one point our taxi was up to the door handle in water and the water started coming into the taxi!! The taxi also lost it’s bumper and wrecked it’s tyres in the effort to go up a hill… we had the pleasure of being charged double for his trouble to not get us home. We ended up meeting a friend and waiting it all out before trying to go home again… in all it took us about 4 hours to get home!! And when we got there, my bedroom was also flooded. Lovely. I didn’t have a camera with me but these pictures are pretty accurate… http://www.elheraldo.hn/Media/Fotogalerias/Metro/Default/Tormenta2/Lluvias-en-Tegucigalpa5#galeria . Or if anything, they play it down. When we have flooding in the UK, we literally talk about it for weeks and months. The flood was forgotten about here the next day.
Then on Wednesday, we headed to Tela which is a town on the North coast. The weather was still quite miserable for the first couple of days but we managed to fit in some beach time and a lot of parties! It was so nice to be away from the dirt, hustle and men shouting in Tegus!! On Friday, me and Brynja headed to a National Parque called ‘Punta Sal’… we went on a walk (where we saw a monkey and lots of huge spiders) before relaxing on a small but very secluded beach for the afternoon. Paradise.
And something I have to say is that us Brits have a REALLY bad reputation for getting drunk and having sex. Our newspapers rave on about it all the time, older generations complain about us ‘young uns’ for it and other countries look down at us. But after being in a strongly religious country for 2 and a half months (and expecting it to be very different) I can definitely say that we just don’t hide our drink and sex culture very well and other countries must do. The church has a lot more influence here than in the UK, and many other countries in Europe, so I just think it is more important here for them to hide their drink, drug and sex culture. But it definitely does exist. There is a curfew here that alcohol can’t be sold after 2am and so all the bars and clubs close at this time. But instead of going home, everybody just goes to house parties and carries on drinking etc. It seems that in the UK we’re simply much more liberal and insist on having the freedom to express ourselves – even if it means opening ourselves to criticism. But it is just nice to know that ours isn’t the only society that is ‘sex obsessed’ and out of control.
There has also recently been an article in the Daily Mail about the most dangerous cities in the world… San Pedro Sula (in the North of Honduras) tops the list. Tegucigalpa comes fourth. In the whole world. I managed to show the article to some people at my project (and translate the title into Spanish, woo hoo!) and straight away they said there was more than 3 murders a day in San Pedro. Scary. But I just don’t feel that scared… one of the other volunteers at my project (she is Honduran) won’t go to the markets because it is too dangerous but I love going and I never feel in danger. Although I was a bit freaked out when we went to visit of the market’s bosses once and he had a big pistol just sat casually on his desk. I just feel quite safe here… I still take precautions like not wearing fancy jewelry and keeping my money hidden but I don’t feel in a lot of danger. I don’t know if I’m being brave or naive.
I have definitely got the travel bug from my trips to Danli and Tela so expect more gaps between posts and lots of adventures from me… hopefully in the next few weeks we’re going to visit Lake Yojoa and the Copan Ruins. It will be 3 months into my time here soon… it is flying past!!