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Honduras Honduras and Guatemala 2005

Monster In Law

Tried once again to upload my photos and once again I was unsuccessful. Had breakfast in Casa de Todo: pancakes with Maple Syrup!

Casa de Todo – coral building at the bottom of the hill

Went to Café Welchez after lunch to meet Robin, Jimmy and Lauren cuz we had organized going to the cinema in Hacienda El Jaral, which is about 15 minutes drive from Copan. There’s a hotel there, and next door is a water park, a cinema, a few shops and a cow museum (go figure). I never knew you could get so many cow related souvenirs.

There was a few minutes while the trailers were on when we had a horrible feeling the film would be dubbed in Spanish, but luckily it was in English with Spanish subtitles. So we got to see and hear J-Lo in all her glory. To be fair, the film wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.

Honduras Honduras and Guatemala 2005

Sunbathing

Had pancakes for breakfast. Yum. Quite cold today, by Honduran standards at least. All the locals are wrapped up in jumpers and scarves. Oscar set us to work finishing a trench on a house the locals started. We reckon they reached the tree roots and decided to pass the buck. By the time we’d finished Oscar was nowhere to be found and no-one seemed to know what we were supposed to be doing next, so we had another early finish. We got a chance to watch coffee being harvested, and came across a random huge house in the middle of all these huts. It was absolutely massive, had a double garage, and was so nice I would live there. Totally out of place though. We caught a lift in a government pickup today, so we didn’t have to pay.

The weather improved a lot by the afternoon, so Robin and I spent the afternoon sunbathing by the pool. I did a few lengths but it was baking hot and that just made the water feel colder than usual. I went to Casa de Todo on the way back and had a Granita, which is basically a coffee-flavoured slush puppy. Not as nice as Café Welchez.

I’m getting a lot more freckles and what could be described as a tan on my arms. For me at least. Legs are still as white as milk though!

Drying Coffee in Sesesmil
Honduras Honduras and Guatemala 2005

Working

First day digging trenches. First day riding in the back of a pickup. It was bloody hard work and I’ve got two blisters already, but I enjoyed it. Not sure how I’ll feel after four weeks but it’s good at the moment! There’s a guy who we’ve affectionately nicknamed “The Old Bastard”. He’s (Oscar) the foreman’s dad, and he’s a real busybody. Has to get involved with the work, even though we’re all certain he has nothing to do with it.

It’s shocking how much they’ve dug and all by hand. As you go up the mountain, there’s trenches along the roadside and every now and then some guys digging more or filling them back in. And there I was, armed with my pickaxe and shovel, and spent two hours with my arse sticking out of the hedge (I had to dig out the bank near the road). Luckily the pipes are pretty small (about the size of a hosepipe) so we don’t have to dig too deep. We did have to remove two small trees to reach the house though, cuz we hit the building foundations.

So we’re in a village called Sesesmil Dos. Apparently the valley is called Sesesmil and the villages have just been named Uno, Dos and Tres as go up the mountain. It’s really beautiful up in the mountains: it’s very fertile and there’s fruit trees and coffee plants everywhere. All the locals bring us fruit all the time: definitely getting my five a day! The houses are very basic. Bigger than I was expecting, but they have dirt floors and wooden “windows”, and the families are probably still quite cramped. All the people up here seem to be farmers of one sort or another. Not many people have transportation. Some have horses and some have bicycles, but the vast majority catch lifts in pickups owned by the more prosperous farmers.

We got a pickup ride back and cleaned up. Kike then took me and Robin to Macaw Mountain, the bird sanctuary. The green macaw was my favourite. Got to hold a scarlet macaw and a little parrot (I think) called Paco. Kike and our guide showed us a tree called “The Naked Gringo”, and pointed out my sunburn to show us why it was called that. It’s a reddish colour and the bark peels off.

Sat in Casa de Todo and finished my book (The Chamber, John Grisham). Not a great ending. Watched Down with Love, which was OK but was a bit silly.

Honduras Honduras and Guatemala 2005

Gecko In My Room/Ramon

I decided to have a change of scene today and sat in the very pretty garden at Casa de Todo (the internet café/souvenir shop/café/launderette) to do my homework. At school I told Karla about Toy Story, then we did more work on pronouns, and then moved onto the preterite tense (one of the past tenses). I was very happy. When we went to Café Welchez I even felt like I understand more already!

Karla, Robin, Edgar and I played Scrabble when we got back to school. I’m rubbish at it in this language too, although I did get a few good words which surprised me. I got stuck with the ‘z’ in the end though. I only know 4 words with ‘z’ in: luz, lapiz, nariz, (can’t remember the fourth now) and I didn’t have any vowels!

I was held hostage in my bathroom today by a spider. He’s determined to stay, but I don’t want him there. So I just have a really good look for him before I touch anything in there. A gecko has also decided to inhabit my room. Geckos don’t really bother me, but I don’t really want to climb into bed one night with him. And I had to kill some nasty looking bug that hitched a ride on my newly washed jeans. I’m sure it was a very small scorpion or something.

Everyone in Copan seems to go out on Friday. Much like everywhere else. Robin and I met Nat and Nicola in Café ViaVia and had a drink there, and then we all moved onto Tunkul’s next door and met lots of other people, including Francis, Maurizio, Kike, Ramon, and many others. I had a good laugh with Ramon, through my limited Spanish and his limited English. He seemed to think he was getting somewhere and told me he liked me, and a couple of seconds later, Nat pulled me to one side and told me he has a pregnant girlfriend! He was funny though so I hope we hang out again, maybe with him flirting a little less! Boys. You’re all the same. Twats. Might have to teach Ramon that word!

After Tunkul’s we walked down to Camino Maya Hotel, because it also has a discoteca underground! It was kinda boring, but it was nice to find out that some places in the world still play Ace of Base in 2005.