Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things I learned on our first day in Honduras

Chris Harpster and his son, Adam, picked up Caitlin Stone and me at 3:00 sharp yesterday morning and we set off for Asheville to catch our flight.  Coming up Buckner Gap in North Carolina, we blew a tire and learned that two people can change a tire in 20 minutes in the dark and that two flashlights were sufficient to see by.

We made the plane with time to spare and learned that even at 6:00, there can be air traffic - thanks to the fog.  We arrived in Atlanta and met up with the rest of the group as they came in from Knoxville and Tri-Cities.  Adam learned that it is easy to fall asleep almost anywhere.

And then we arrived in Honduras.  Upon landing, we learned that there can be delays even when there is no air traffic.  It took about fifteen minutes for our gate to be made ready.  The next lesson was that you can start out in the middle of the line waiting at Customs and end up being last.  We met up with Susie Cox, Beth Dowty's aunt, who flew in from California to join our group.  Waiting seems to be a national pastime and no one is anxious about getting anywhere in a hurry at all - unless you are in a vehicle or riding a motorcycle.  Then the need for speed urges drivers to use their horns as often as possible.

The afternoon rain storm came as promised but it lasted longer than the ones we have in Kingsport and immediately clogged the streets with water.  I suppose this is what makes Honduras a country as full of green as any poster of Ireland.  This is a beautiful country.

Our first meal in country was at Power Chicken.  Yes, that's right, the mascot looks like a pumped up chicken in an outfit reminiscent of Super Man.  The food, though, was really good.  We had chicken, beef, pork and short ribs, spanish rice, fried plantain slices (no, I didn't try these) and yucca fries (yes, I did try these and they are good but needed ketchup ;-).

In the afternoon, we learned not to send the men to the grocery store.  I am sure there was a long line at checkout but it still took them an inordinate amount of time to buy bread, peanut butter and jelly, water and snacks.  Maybe there were too many snack choices.

We returned to Hotel Villa Nuria, having dropped our luggage off before lunch, and Gordon began the process of checking us in.  This involves having someone come into each apartment with the residents to make sure there are the requisite number of dishes, silver, pots, pans and towels.  Also to see that all the lights and the air conditioner are working.

Then we spent the last of the evening unpacking ourselves and then all of the supplies we brought with us.  Sister believes we have more than any of their other trips.  You all have been very generous and we thank you.

The final learning of the day was that the internet likes to keep you waiting, too.  So I waited until this morning to get this message to all of you.  Today, we will visit La Lima shelter and I promise to take pictures.  Then we will learn whether the cord I brought will work for downloading to the computer!

So much to learn and only a week in which to do it! 

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