Internet connection is rubbish up here, so I’ll probably only update the blog once or twice a week from now on. Unless I somehow learn to have patience with computers.
Felt kinda bad when I left Antigua cuz the family I was staying with had already gone to church by the time I got up. Instructions from Dom: meet at the coffee shop at 8.30am, get driven to Copan by Marvin, and Kike (short for Enrique) will meet us off the minibus.
Wasn’t too bad a journey, took about 4 hours. You forget just how mountainous this area is until you’re winding along mountain highways for that long. Immigration was interesting: just a bit of a shed at the side of the road, lots of money changers meeting you as soon as you pull up, and a shop selling snacks. We got through quite quickly though, and I got two more stamps on my passport!
Copan is about 10 minutes after the border. Its absolutely tiny: there’s a population of 6000, everyone seems to know everyone else or be related to a lot of people here, and its quite peaceful (certainly more so than Antigua) but there’s still plenty going on. Just like home!
So Marvin drives to the central park, and none of us know what Kike looks like, but there is no-one meeting us. So we unload our stuff and wait at the ‘meeting point’ cuz Marvin had to get back to Antigua. And we wait. Five of us sat on a wall near the church in the centre of town. After about an hour we decide to phone Dom and tell him Kike hasn’t shown up. Dom says he’ll try to get in touch with him, but we got there quickly and Kike probably wasn’t expecting us until about 3.30pm (it was now 3pm). So we sit there for another 45 minutes and decide to phone Dom again. He hadn’t been able to get in touch with Kike, so he gave us directions to Kike’s aunt’s hotel. Good thing since it then started to rain.
Natalie, another volunteer who’s been here a while, shows up at the hotel not long later, and then finally, Kike turned up! Well not really: he lives two doors up from his aunt. Turns out Ramon (more about him on Friday), was waiting at the school for us and he was on the internet, which was why Dom couldn’t reach him. Kike then took us to our homestays. I’m in the hotel next door to Kike, Robin is in the aunt’s hotel, and Keith (new volunteer) is about 100 metres up the road, near Nicola (another volunteer who’s been here a while).
It’s a decent enough room, and I’ve got my own bathroom which is cool. No hot water, but I’m getting used to that now. Biggest problem is the ants. They’re everywhere. Getting used to them too though.
Kike showed us where the internet café is and set up accounts for us, then Kike took us all for a meal to Llama del Bosque, then to Café ViaVia for drinks. Us newbies came home early though – tired after our journey and two hour wait in the park. Got to sleep easily but a cockerel insisted on crowing from about 3am and my window slats don’t shut properly, and my bathroom window isn’t so much a window, but more a hole in the wall with a grate over it!