Tuesday, November 8, 2011

VH1's Best Month Ever!


Since it’s already November 7, I’m having a hard time getting motivated to write a blog for October.  However, I’ve been pretty consistent thus far and can’t get behind now. 

The beginning of the month was filled with much anticipation for what was to come later and just getting by with day to day work things.  Working with one of the teachers in my counterpart high school we finished up a series of classes teaching kids about personal strengths/weaknesses, how to adapt skill sets to certain career paths, communication skills in the work place and ultimately how to prepare a resume and prepare for an interview.  We gave this class as what Peace Corps calls “teaching of teachers.”  It basically means while we were training the kids themselves they will give the class next year as a senior project to other students in the high school.  Here’s hoping it’s successful since I’ll only be around for the first three months of the school year before my service ends and with all the teachers’ strikes here it’s hard to tell what next school year will be like.

I also spent some time working outside of Guaimaca with a woman who I met at some workshops last year.  She is the kind of person I wish lived in my own community so I could work with her more easily.  This woman is motivated and realizes what resource she has in me here, so she’s taking advantage of it.  It seems to me people here in my town have never realized this, which is why I got so into my Chamber of Commerce project – they can go there and get all the help they will need once they realize what they lost in my two years here.  Anyway, this woman has worked with other Peace Corps volunteers in the past and is on her game.  She’s aware of the fact that Christmas is coming up and as a small business owner/jewelry designer she’s doing all she can to earn some decent money right now.  She and I discussed some options of how to deal with uncooperative members of her cooperative and I also did some graphic design stuff for her (ok, more like creating signs with MS Word).  I’m hoping to work with her some more in my remaining months here and maybe get her in contact with a volunteer who lives near her.

So, why does the title refer to the best month ever?  Because it’s my birthday month and two friends came down from the States to visit me.  It was epic!  The actual Wednesday of my birthday some of my counterparts from the high school took me out to eat, which was very nice of them.  One of the teachers I work with even gave me a card with L. 200 in it!  I was so impressed.  After that I came home to a fun evening with three other PCVs here at my house.  Just some good ‘ol fashion gringo fun – speaking English and all.  Thursday we got up and headed into Tegucigalpa because there was a soccer game we were going to.  Now when I say we, it’s grown to about 34 people.  The Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS came to play Club Motagua, one of the two teams from Tegucigalpa and also the team I’ve chosen to be a fan of.  Since I could care less about soccer in the US or the MLS, I was supporting Motagua.  This game was so crazy and exciting for various reasons: 1) The sheer number of volunteers that went to the game – I really think 34 was our final count; 2) David Beckham who plays for the LA Galaxy and had been rumored to not be coming showed up in TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS and played; 3) The Peace Corps’ greatest Safety and Security Director, JC, who recently had his last day with us, attended the game with us; 4) The U-S-A chant – oh yah, we did it!  It was so great to finally see David Beckham play because he was still playing for Real Madrid the year I lived in Spain, yet I missed him there and since he’s been in LA I’ve never bothered to make the drive down south to see him.  So you betcha I went to see him when he shows up in Honduras.  Friday I enjoyed some Americana, Honduras style with great shopping and international food and closing the night off with dancing at a Spanish tapas bar called Nox.  Who ever said getting older is no fun?  Life is what you make it and I’m making mine fabulous!  Starting the new year of my life with a three day birthday celebration is just how I roll.

Saturday was the day I had been counting down to for about three months.  Jen and Ash arrived to Toncontin airport in Tegucigalpa and I was so stoked!  Now, Ash and I go way back to 4th grade and the last time we had actually hung out was well over two years ago.  Jen has been my best friend since college and she had actually made the trip out to CA while I was on my visit home back in May.  Having them both here was so much fun and something I was really needing.  The first few days we came back to Guaimaca and they saw how I “rough it” here.  They experienced my cold showers, hand washed some clothes in the pila and saw first hand what it’s like to be harassed by strangers as you walk around town.  My town is not the best of what Honduras has to offer, so I took them to the town of Copan Ruinas, which is in the Western part of the country only 12 km from the Guatemalan border.  There we stayed in the Blue Iguana Hostel, which is really nice and owned by great people, and was actually voted as one of the top 10 hostels in the world.  (Yes, I like it that much I’m giving them free advertising on my blog!)  We spent the first evening at a fellow PCVs’ house as he hosted a great dinner party and he cooked some amazing Indian food.  We also visited the archeological site of the Mayan ruins and learned some history about them, which was really cool and something I had skipped the year before.  We ate a fabulous dinner at Hacienda San Lucas – an absolutely amazing property overlooking the small river valley, town of Copan Ruinas and the ruins themselves.  At the hacienda they serve a five course meal always by candle light and the food is amazing.  For only $28 it’s definitely something that must be done when in Copan Ruinas.  We spent a relaxing Saturday at the thermal hot springs with the two PCVs who live/work in Copan Ruinas.  It was seriously one of the best days I’ve had in Honduras.  There was even one pool where they set out mud for masks and you can get a great facial while sitting there.  Part of the package we paid for included the most amazing spread of food too – fresh fruits, artisan cheeses, fresh rolls, spreads, some roast pork, and hard boiled eggs which were amazing with this great rock salt on them.  That evening was the infamous Halloween party which used to be the event of the year for Peace Corps volunteers.  However, due to new rules, which are really strict, no one is allowed to go anymore.  Last year it was packed with at least fifty Peace Corps volunteers in great costumes enjoying the opportunity for some gringo time.  This year there was a motley crew of people hoping to see all the costumes the gringos put together only to learn of the sad news.  Sorry to disappoint Copan Ruinas.  Maybe if Honduras can get its act together Peace Corps could relax the rules a little bit.  But yah, about that…  Sunday was our last day in town, so we did some souvenir shopping and visited the beautiful Hacienda San Lucas again for lemonade and coffee.  We had one last dinner with my fellow PCVs and another friend down on vacation and reflected on what an amazing weekend it had been.  I doubt either of the PCVs I’ve referred to here will read this, but if you guys do, thanks again so much for an epic weekend!  You went above and beyond of what it is to host someone in your site and also made great impressions on my friends.

After our jaunt to Copan we visited Valle de Angeles, one of my favorite places in Honduras and spent a few more days in Guaimaca.  Taking my friends back to the airport was sad and eventually made it really hard coming back to an empty house.  At least my pets were here waiting for me and I’ve got plenty to look forward to on my social calendar for the month of November.  Work?  Well, we’ll see what happens with that since it’s “summer break” here and also the holiday season.

Thanks again for reading and staying up to date on my super exciting Honduran life…only slightly sarcastic! ;)

Hasta la proxima vez…

2 comments:

  1. I would love to go to that place and stay at the nicest accommodation in town.

    Hostels Sao Paulo

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey! i read it....what a solid review of an epic weekend. i hope i see you soon! xxo, kyla

    ReplyDelete