A Travellerspoint blog

And now on to something new...

sunny
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Today Erica and I will be heading to Project Manuelito for the week. We will probably be back for another week after that. I don't have a lot of time to write, and I don't think I will be able to describe the project well at this point, so here is the Project Manuelito website: http://www.projectmanuelito.org/main.htm

Posted by SarahMay86 08:44 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

More Teguc...

storm
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Well...I don't have a whole lot more to write, plans as to Erica and I's future are still being formulated. Yesterday we didn't leave the house much, although last night we went to a prayer meeting and then to supper after (Quizno's if you were wondering).

Today was spent mostly out of the house, however. Erica and I took a taxi (Laurie came with us to help us get one) to a kids science museum. It was pretty cool...and the kids were adorable. We met up with another VIA (Tyler, the one who was with Erica and I on our flight to San Pedro Sula), who is teaching at a school. It was a feild trip day for the school and it looked like the kids had a lot of fun. They were pretty good kids and seemed to listen well.

Tonight Erica and I went with Laurie to the mall to eat at the food court (we didn't have energy to cook and were pretty hungry) and we went to a grocery store there (yep, a grocery store in the mall!).

The guesthouse is behind a big metal gate and there are high walls topped with coils of barbed wire...it feels like of like a prison, or maybe like a safe house in the middle of one seeing as how the walls are to keep us safe. I definitly am glad the walls are there, as depressing as they are, but I wish there didn't have to be any.

Packing list for developing countries in the tropics:

Malaria Pills
Hydrocortizone cream
Calamine lotion
Chiggerex (you will want to be bathe in a combo of the last three)
Neosporin
Sunglasses
Sunscreen with a high SPF
Aloe (for when that sunscreen fails)
Eye drops (it's amazing how much dust and ash is in the air at times)
Loose clothing that breathes (cotton is your friend)
Sandals with good soles and ankle straps for the intense climbing you may have to do

And most importantly:
A spirit of flexibility and a willingness to change the way you've always done things and get used to something new.

Posted by SarahMay86 19:52 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (1)

Estoy en Tegucigalpa!

sunny
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Well...no more island life for me. We flew out from Coxen Hole (the biggest town on Roatan) this morning. We flew to La Cieba and from there we flew to Teguc. The connection between the flights was interesting. We just got off the plane, they asked where we were flying to and put us in groups accordingly. The we were directed to our next plane (without entering the airport) and were on our way again. We flew on these REALLY small planes...we figured maybe 20 seats. I couldn't even fit my camera bag under the seat...much less my carryon! On the first leg of our journey my carryon got it's own seat...and it was seatbelted in :-) On the second flight my camera bag was between my knees and my carryon was on my lap. We took a taxi (which was a big van) to the guesthouse here...the van felt about as big as the planes we took!

Once at the guesthouse we found our room (Erica and I sharing a room temporarily) and got some orientation and discussed some possibilities for our schedual. We will be trying to plan a trip to El Salvador sometime in October or November!!!

So, Teguc is...well... mildly terrifying. In parts, you know. It's pretty rough, but we are cautious. In Punta Gorda Erica and I could walk around, but here I wouldn't want to if I could. We heard some stories about things that have happened in the neiborhood and to the missionaries and it intimidates me, although I know that I can't let this make me never want to go out the door.

This afternoon Laurie took Erica, Tyler, and I downtown and we walked around a bit and ate at Burger King (by way, we eat mostly American-type food)and we went to a cool museum downtown. There was a Picasso exhibit there with maybe 15-20 prints of his work. When I say prints I don't mean posters I mean like prints made out of woodblocks or something with his real signature at the bottom. We also went inside this awesome old cathedral they are restoring downtown...it was so beautiful and ornate. On one niche there was an alterboy statue and under the statue there was a row of dog figurines of differing types, but none of them fitting in at all with the ornate goldleaf carving around them. We don't know what that was about.

Then we went back to the guesthouse and got Bob and Kathy and we went to a store that's pretty much Sam's Club. After that...dinner at El Patio, which was really good. I don't really know how to describe my meal there. I got ordered a chicken kahbab (sp?) which came with rice and then there was a variety of sauces and appetizers. Yummy. It's kind of like you order your meat (which comes with a personal bowl of rice) but everything else is something they bring out in communal bowls. There were tortillas, chips, cilantro, pickled veggies, cheese sauce, fried bananas, fried cheese balls, and more. We got serenaded at the restaurant by mariachis (sp?) They sang "La Bomba" and "Canta no Llores" and one more song I didn't recognize, but I think it was about Honduras.

Today I saw people begging, which I've seen before, but today it hit me again how desperite their plight is. Especially when you contrast that to the relative afluence in the mall we briefly stopped in today. I don't really know what else to say about it right now... I am very tired and I need time to process it. In Punta Gorda we certainly saw people who didn't have much at all and we knew of people who didn't have any food in their houses, but here...to see people beg was hard to see. But more later when I am more coherent and have had more time to think about this and have seen more of the city and maybe have gained a better understanding...

The guesthouse where we are staying is very nice and comfortable and the internet is pretty fast (at least at the moment). At the moment Erica, Tyler, Laurie, Bob, and Kathy are playing cards at the same table I am at, but I wanted to blog...I've been wanting too all day, although I am dissappointing myself. I had been wanting to write something witty and elequent, but I am so tired I would settle for this making sense. Hopefully it does.

Posted by SarahMay86 20:17 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (1)

Only one more day in Roatan

It makes me sad. I will be leaving at 5:15 Tuesday morning for the airport in Coxen Hole so we can fly to Tegucigalpa. Fortunately the other adventures in front of me do not allow me to be too sad. We have though made friends here and I will miss going down to the beach to walk and to the store for Fresca (a pop here like the Fresca in the states, but so much better) and piedras. Yum...piedras. They are this...well...I am not sure how to describe them! Erica describes them as exploded vanilla wafers. They are cakey cookie things that aren't very sweet and taste of vanilla.

Yesterday we celebrated Erica's 22nd birthday with a trip to an undeveloped beach at Camp Bay and dinner at Gio's and a chocolate cheesecake. Lot's of fun...(Erica, you should have more birthdays!) All of the sun yesterday has made us sleepy today...and we haven't done anything besides go to Sunday school this morning and we will go to church tonight. I am supposed to say something tonight...I hope that goes alright. Thankfully I can speak in English and it will be translated, but even able to speak in my native tongue I feel almost sick thinking about what I am going to say. I only have to say something (a "testamony") a few minutes long, but as I have no idea what to say...well...I'll get throught it. I'll look like an idiot like I always do when I say something in public, but I'll get through it.

So...some observations on life here so far:

Power outages. As you can probably imagine the power goes out here more than in the States. What is surprising is that some of these outages are planned. Yeah...planned. They might last for 8 hours, maybe less depending. The reason they plan the outages is that the island is powered by fuel brought in by boats. Amazingly expensive I imagine. Also, it gets too difficult to meet demands if there is particularly high fuel comsumption at a specific time. It sounds like a drag kind of, but it really isn't bad. Erica and I got to heat our dinner up on a gas stove (doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but if you could have seen us...lol...) and eat our food by candlelight.

The driving. I am pretty glad I don't have drive here! The rules of the road are...not even suggestions really. A driver's manual could pretty much read: Don't hit anyone or anything. And maybe follow that with a list of some common coutesies that would be nice to observe (things like who gets to go first). Have you ever been driving along a mountain road and go into a turn three cars wide? Good way to wake up if you are feeling sleepy. It's kind of adventurous-especially if you are riding in the back of a pickup.

The wildlife. I have seen monkeys, lizards,

Posted by SarahMay86 15:53 Comments (0)

School in Roatan

sunny
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So...since I went to observe a school day a few days back I thought I'd let in on the information I gathered and let you see a few of a the pictures I took there.

First off, because there isn't enough room in the school for all of the children at once school is split into half days with the younger children going in the mornings and older children going in the afternoons. Well...that's the way it's sort of set up. Actually, they try to make it so that all the children of a family go to school at the same time. The early session of school begins at 7:30 Monday through Friday. The first class is civic hour which is pretty much all of the kids standing in the school yard and one or two of the teachers leading them in a couple of songs and I couldn't really understand what they were saying, but part of it sounded like she was talking about the Bible.

Civic Hour:
Civic_hour.jpg

We visted a fourth grade classroom where they were learning math:
Classroom2.jpg

We visited a first grade classroom with two teachers...one was a younger lady who yelled at the children to be quiet and had no real control. The other was an older lady, who moved around the room helping the children individually and seemed to have the real authority. At least as far as the children were concerned.
Spelling and vocab in first grade:
Classroom1.jpg
Classroom3.jpg

They don't seem to have text books, instead the teachers write on the board and the students copy, which works all right from what I could tell.

In the first grade classroom there was a mother who was there with her son helping him. She also had along a toddler who looked around the room wide-eyed.

Classroom4.jpg

One of the classes at the school is English. I don't think all of the children have it...probably just the older kids, but I am not sure how it works. The classes are taught by volunteers from the UK.
Ian_Teaching.jpg

It is noisy in the classrooms, partially because one of the classes is always have recess just outside:
Kidsinschoolyard.jpg

Here is a link to a website with a little more info on the school:
http://www.roatanchildrensfund.com/pointagordaschool.htm

There is a female guard at the school to keep peace. Kind of. Today I was at kid's club which is right by the school and from the window I saw the guard beating a kid with what looked like a broom handle. I think the child may have been encouraging a fight that had just happened between two girls who looked like they were about 11 years old. The girls had been punching eachother in the face and I think I saw some hair-pulling. Yikesies. And then there is the whole machete issue. *shudder* I may be from Oklahoma, but I am not used to weapons, especially not machetes! While we were at school Erica and I saw a kid in the school yard tossing one up in the air and catching it over and over. *shudder*

Posted by SarahMay86 20:23 Comments (0)

Island Life

Roatan

overcast
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So...I've decided to stop with the day-by-day account of everything I have done and just write. So...life on an island has is downsides: It's really hot, and super humid and I have TONS of really itchy bug bites. However, there are some absolutely amazing things about living here...like being close to the ocean; I love the ocean! We get to see really cool things like thatched roof huts. We can walk down the beach and pick up conch shells and coral (I'm only bringing home a rather small conch and a few tiny shells though). And that's just the location.

The people on the island are wonderfully nice and friendly. We can't always understand or communicate very well, but they are willing to try to talk to us and are eager to include us. There are a variety of church activities to attend and we are greeting by a chorus of greetings everywhere we go.

On day we got to go visit the gradeschool next door and sit in on a couple of the classes. It was interesting to see the different teaching style here. The teachers try to keep them kinda quiet, but silence is not nearly as important here as it is in the US. We also got to sit in on part of an English class taught by a Scottish guy who is here volunteering. It was especially interesting for me to see since I think I might want to go somewhere to teach English.

So far other than the bug bites we are in pretty good health, which is a blessing!

I am still trying to get the hang of my internship, but it hasn't been very long and I am sure I will get a system down soon.

Posted by SarahMay86 15:48 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (1)

Days 7/8

sunny
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On Wednesday Erica and I decided to go for a walk and spent time walking with some kids who had just gotten out of school. We went pretty far and found some littler kids playing on mangrove trees at the end of a dock. They were so cute! That night we went to music practice at the church so that Erica could practice a special to sing for Sunday.

Yesterday was busier. We started out by going to a Bible study with Laurie at 8. It was a study for two of the older ladies from the church who could no longer make it to church (the church is on a steep hill). At two Erica and went with a lady from the church to kids club where they give the kids snacks, talk about God, and then the kids get to play various games like Playstation, pingpong, fuseball, etc. That lasted until 4 and at 6:30 we were gone again to a discipleship meeting that Laurie leads. There are maybe 5 members of the group, but only two showed up last night. After that we decided that Wendy's sounded really good so we drove to French Harbor.

I am sorry I haven't put more photos on here, it takes quite a while to do so. The upload to Facebook is faster, so I have put more up there.

Here is one of the little girls we saw Wednesday:
Girl_by_water.jpg

A lady by a Pulperia (small store):
lady_with_fruit.jpg

Posted by SarahMay86 09:23 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

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