A Travellerspoint blog

Hope

I live in fear of being cliché, but I am learning to embrace the fact that just because life is full of clichés and what I’ve done and what you’ve done is cliché doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean something. It is real for me. It is real for you. And that is life. So bear with me as I spout clichés. As I am not bound to paint a pretty picture here for donors and I am here on my own penny, I'm going to just write this.
Why did I want to do this? This tear off into the unknown thing? Perhaps, I’ve graduated with a liberal arts degree, let’s put off inevitable thing? Perhaps the I just want to find myself thing? Despite dealing with the reality of the fact that I’m here, it did in fact, begin with a God thing.
I chose to come here in the height of a God time. Such is the curse of the Christian walk, the high times and the low ones. But what is talked of the least in this walk is the lethargic, numb times. In these times I almost beg for low times because that demands action, an out put of energy toward movement. The problem with feeling nothing is……nothing. Simply, waiting. Or not even realizing that you are waiting. Lethargy, the sluggish killer and thief of faith.
So let me paint you my picture. But this comes with a warning tag. For those of you who had hope for me, that I would discover something, this land is desolate. For those of you who were envious of my experience, (while it may not have been the particular route you would choose, would relish a chance at some jolt of life) don’t hold your breath.
I am doing thankless work. Oh yes, I play with the orphaned children and teach those deprived of an education full of the resources we take for granted in the States. (such as paper) I don’t have the energy to even enter the sphere of my failings as a teacher. But I can assure you there are plenty.
But the girls have been burnt by the world and do not give their love freely. And because of this, they are more prone to scorn those who have come to embrace them. I do not blame them for this but it hurts all the same. One day, one of the girls, Abigal showed be her photo album. In it were pictures of her as she grew in the home and also…….pictures of her with about half a dozen other female, American 20 somethings that could easily have been me. That is why the girls here didn’t make the fuss over us I thought they would. They feel like an exhibition, and we are the tourists who breeze through and try and extract some kind of life meaning. It’s really cruel actually. These girls have gone from (often) one exploitive existence to another. We pause and gander at them for a mere year. And then that’s it. We leave. We leave. And they’re still here. And what do they owe me? So being here just feels like a completely selfish act. I came thinking I could offer something. Stupidly I tried to diffuse that by saying that I was aware that this would be more for me than for them. But I still held out hope that that would not be true. After all of that run around talk I find that my hands are empty, my heart hurts, and these girls have nothing to apologize for and I would like nothing more than to blame them.
So there it is. Hurt making hurt birthing hurt breeding hurt. I think the thing I’m starting to understand about these girls is that they don’t trust anyone. Not the women who take care of them, hardly even each other.
That said, there are good days but the bad always seem to outweigh them. Or even worse, that lethargy, that creeps. That is my fear, that I’ll give up. Are there good things? Of course. I could fill a book of things I’m grateful for. And those things that make me smile everyday.
Right now its one foot in front of the other. Different day, same crap. Boy, I’m really holding out for that cliché to come in and save my bacon. That one day, soon, I’ll wake up and say, “And THAT is why I’m here.”

Posted by buscarme 19:27 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (7)

El Partido Grande y El Festival Folklorico

96 °F

Here are the pictures, as promised, from the big game. Courtesy of Hannah. And further down you'll see the celebration we had a school today! (for all the photos go to my photo library, I didn't post them all)

So we started out watching the game in our house.....Me and Yara
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And then Hannah said, "Let's go out!" and brought out the infamous hat.
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These are some shots of what we saw that night.
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And this has got to be one of my favorite moments from that night. The fact that people were rooting for the US as well as Honduras.
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The Folkloric Festival: A Celebration of Honduran Heritage

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My Fourth Grade Boys
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My Fifth Grade Girls
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The Fifth grade boy and girl (Sofia and Efrain) who were competing with other couples (each representing a Honduran region) from other grades for best dressed couple.
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This is me and Mr. Carlos, the social studies teacher. I know he is scary looking in this picture, but he's really just a goof ball.
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These were other contestants
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There was also a dancing portion. Each grade had to learn and perform a dance. This is Mr. Arlex, the music teacher coaching them while performing. And of course....streams of doting parents.
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This is Mr.Arlex and his son.
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The 6th boys, on deck for their performance.
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And my fifth graders, (Sofia and Efrain) WON for their category!
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Lots of fun, good food, and pretty costumes!

Please pray for these coming weeks. I have to write the exams for the I Bimestre tomorrow. Not excited about that and I am still struggling with filling the role of educator. It is not easy work. And now that I know what my expectations are, I am now trying to learn how to be a good teacher. Which, again, is not easy.

Posted by buscarme 20:44 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (2)

!Hoy Si! !Papa!

Honduras has been on the road to the World Cup in Africa in the summer of 2010, which they have not qualified for since 1982.

Friday they played the United States, in San Pedro! Unfortunately we weren't able to get tickets but Hannah and I donned our jerseys and went out with some friends to watch the game.
They lost.
It was not a good day for Honduras. The political situation has been eating away at the spirit of the country. One of the teachers, Ms. Claudia said to me "Honduras is a peaceful country. We are a peaceful people. We just want this to end." But no matter what side of the road you stand on, Zelaya or Micheletti, everyone comes together for futbol. Everyone. None of the sports in the States have this passion. Even our American Football. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, poor, rich, dark skinned, light. EVERYONE watches the game and feels the weight of failure or the exhilaration of success of their team.

Friday night was not a good night. Hannah and I found ourselves keeping our heads down on our way out from the restaurant so as not to entice any negative comments to Americans, even though our colors boasted Honduras.

So after losing on Friday, it meant the country had one last shot to qualify for the World Cup on Wednesday. If they didn't beat El Salvador, we were out. But not only did they need to beat El Salvador, the Americans needed to get a point on the board against Costa Rica to keep Honduras on the Africa roster. *Just a note. I did not understand any of this until Hannah and Willie and Yara spelled it out for me. Yes, big American idiot.

Because it was such a long shot, we decided to stay in and watch the game. We ordered our first pizza and watched the first half. (apparently if we just say to Pizza Hut "La casa de gringas"--the house of the American girls--they don't need directions) Score: 0-0. Then in the second half, one of the Honduran players slammed a ball into the net. 1-0. Our neighborhood erupted. And throughout the game we would flip to the U.S. vs. Costa Rica game, which was playing at the same time, to check the score. Costa Rica: 2 US: 1.

We were close, but not close enough. It felt good to win the game, we could smell Africa but Costa Rica was playing full force and there was only 1 minute left for the US to make it a draw and get Honduras to the World Cup. We could still hear the neighbors......WAIT WAIT WAIT GGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL ESTADOS UNIDOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ERUPTED, FIREWORKS, SCREAMS, YELLS. Let's go out! We grabbed a taxi, headed to meet up with our friends from school! CHAOS. PEOPLE SCREAMING EVERYWHERE. Flags flying, Honduran AND AMERICAN. People chanting U.S.A! U.S.A.! The roads were blocked at every turn. But no one cared, everyone screaming. Hugging, dancing in the street. Cars as far as the eye could see. People taking pictures with Hannah and me, the gringas, hated not five days ago. I felt so proud to rejoice in their victory and it was magical that the US was part of it, that Hannah and I were apart of that.

And to top it off......Michelleti made a public announcement, no work on Thursday!

Here are some pictures from Friday, I didn't have my camera with me on Wednesday but Hannah did. I'll post some of those on here when I get a chance.

This is the restaurant we went to.
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Here, I was about to take a picture of Hannah and our friend Willie but right as I was taking it Honduras made a goal that was rescinded because of an off sides penalty. Which someone tried to explain to me as I was screaming my head off. But of course they were speaking Spanish and I didn't understand what they were saying. ;)
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A REAL goal.
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This is me, Hannah, and our Dutch roommate. Whom I love, even if she is Dutch. And she loves me, even though I'm American.
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A shot of the street
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While Saturday was a blast, Wednesday was nothing short of magical. Again, pics coming soon.

Posted by buscarme 09:15 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (3)

Mi adventura de Copan

96 °F

After leaving our hotel at 9:30 this morning, we just got back at 6:30pm. Our bus broke down one hour into our three our trip. Even after paying for the 'Luxury' bus. But these things happen and I'm trying not to let it dampen our lovely time in Copan. I must be honest however, this little escapade was a different ball game than Tela. We didn't have as much time, so I felt a little rushed. And funds need to be more closely monitored, although it is so fun to go out and order dinner without thinking about money. And 'fancy' dinners here are much cheaper than in the states. You're really going all out if you spend more than L300 (about $15) and I don't think I ever broke that.

A word on the food.....YUM. One of my favorite dishes I had in Copan was the Churrasco Jalepeno. Three slices of beef with this creamy white sauce with a big jalepeno. Served with beans and tortillas.

The restaurant had our breakfast included, I ordered the desayuno tipico. Eggs, beans, sour cream, sharp cheese, and sweet plantains and tortillas. Y cafe con leche.

For dinner on our last night, we went to this charming hotel/restaurant in an open patio, under a full moon, with twinkle lights and we were the only customers. I had a chicken avocado sandwich with papas fritas. Que rico!

Ok. Enough on the food. Here's a shot from a stop for juice on the way there. There were many stops like this. We also had no air conditioning, which contributed to luxury upgrade on the way home.
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Here's our hotel, Hotel Camino Maya
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Strolling through the city.
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Here are some of the better photos from the Ruins. If you would like to see them all, head to the gallery or facebook!
Up we go....those stairs are a heck of a lot steeper than they look.
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And down....
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This is where they killed the humans. The color of the stone on these altars was darker than many of the other statues and such. Makes you think.....
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This is where they killed the animals....mostly jaguars. How do you get a jaguar to the altar without it taking your head off? Crafty, those Mayans. A little paranoid too. What with all the end of the world talk.
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These are the famous stairs that tell the history of the Mayan people.
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And here, you will see a major culprit of the rapid deterioration of the ruins. Evil, evil trees. Pretty destruction, though.
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Me and the Ruins. The shame about pictures is you can't really see the depth of the picture. I was very high up from the background of this. The heights to which these people built was really amazing.
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Our sneaky tour guide who didn't tell us she charged L650 until the END of the tour....sneaky, sneaky,.....but worth it. And we probably would've paid anyway.
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More of me
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One the one lempiera bill is the exact image of the ruins from where I was standing.
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Pretty view with Hannah
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This one was for you dad! Hannah pointed out in the "Dancing Jaguar" courtyard that this dancing Jaguar looks like it's doing the Hiesman pose.
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We paid a little extra to take a tour of the tunnels. Very cool. Archeologists are still doing excavations.
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I was a theatre major, thank you very much.
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Very pretty pool that came with our hotel. We came during the slow season so there weren't a ton of people around which was kind of a bummer.
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As mentioned above, our bus broke. This experience is still fresh for me, so I'm going to not dwell on it. I got car sick because I kept telling myself I wouldn't get sick while reading a book. Ha ha. These were a group of school boys outside our bus making eyes at Hannah and me.
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Our immobile bus.
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I got bored. So I made a friend. Made me miss Grandpa Crooks a bit. Love you Grandpa! Mwah! Speaking of which! I stupidly watched a documentary on Alzheimer's the other day. Cried like a baby.
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While not a perfect trip, we made the most of it. Ate good food, got in some good people watching and explored the ruins. So another check on the to-do list here in Honduras. Gotta get those pesky (but beautiful) touristy things out of the way. One more step from tourist to citizen. Next step: Dye hair and eyebrows brown and buy more wedge heels. (and of course, speak fluent Spanish)

Posted by buscarme 19:59 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (3)

A Copan Vamos

94 °F

Another week down.

Should I take a long shower?
Perhaps get a massage?
Watch a movie?

No. I think I will leave THIS morning and I think I will go here.

http://www.copanhn.com/imagenes/aguas_termales/aguas%20termales%201.jpg

And look at things like this.

http://delargy.com/images/2005_8_Honduras/Copan/copan_macaw2.jpg

Where things like this happened.

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I will sleep here.

http://www.caminomayahotel.com/habitaciones.html

I will eat here.

Do a little of this. (make sure you scroll to the bottom, that's what I'm most excited about)

http://www.caminomayahotel.com/recreacionesyconvenciones.html

Possibly do a little of that.

http://www.graditasmayas.com/ImagenesWeb/tours/Maite%20014.jpg

We'll see. Pictures coming soon. ;)

Posted by buscarme 15:06 Archived in Honduras Tagged volunteer Comments (1)

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