one of our sunsets in Utila, Honduras

We’re getting really good at waking up at obnoxious hours to take obnoxious busrides to get to beautiful places. Maybe when I get back to the states I can lead courses on how to torture your sleep cycles for all the right reasons. After doing a 3am wakeup call for the bus ride from Antigua to Copan, we turned around and woke up at 6am or earlier to take two buses and a boat to get to Utila, enduring a grueling 10 plus hours of travel, but oh man its so worth it now that we’re here!

The first bus ride was pretty nuts, on one of the curviest roads we’ve seen, and this guy Kru we’d met the night before at the hostel said that when he had taken it that morning, they saw a bus overturned on the side of the road with people crawling out of it, and they had to stop and help. Total travel confidence booster for some girls about to travel the same road. Indeed it was so curvy that the woman behind me threw open her window to vomit out the side, right next to my head, which was really special. And the child that replaced her for the next leg of the journey thought that waiting until I had drifted off to sleep was a good time to start wopping me on the head, or squeezing her face in between the seats and breathing little kid breath really hard.

our hostel in Utila, called Alton's. I highly rec.

But after everything, we’re finally here in Utila, a beautiful island off the coast of Honduras filled with cheap backpackers trying to get certified to scuba dive. It’s cheaper here than anywhere in the world, and today we start four days of training. I’m back in school! We had homework and study materials and everything. This afternoon we get to watch videos and take short quizzes to test our information retention. Yay! I love school! I can’t wait to highlight facts.

The water is clear and blue and gorgeous, and warm enough that we’re diving in our bikinis, but I am totally nervous. I’ve never really done anything where if you mess up, you could totally kill yourself, or bust a lung, or similar. When we were in Caye Caulker, this tiny little 18 year old German kid in our room was diving in the Blue Hole, and he had been constipated for four days prior to diving.

my stitches. possibly barbed wire.

You go reeeeally deep in the Blue Hole, and he resurfaced too quickly, so the gases and poopies in his bodies compressed and then expanded. When we found him in our hostel the kid looked like he was going to die. He was in so much pain he could’t remember his English, and we almost airlifted him off the island. After watching that happen, and with all the fun stomach problems I’ve been battling on this journey, you can imagine my excitement. Add to that my sliced open foot wound which, although almost completely healed, I’m sure will spontaneously open in the presence of a shark and get me killed, and you can sense my hyperdeveloped paranoia.

studying for scuba diving

I’m sure everything will be fine. We actually do most of the stuff right in front of our hostel, with shallow water diving and learning how to breathe, not hyperventilate, and navigate underwater.

We’re taking the class with this Spanish couple we’ve been traveling with since Antigua, Ana and Juanlo. They have been dating since they were 16, are now 30, and a year ago decided to quit their jobs and travel the world. They spent the first five months volunteering in national parks in the US, and now they’re in Central America with us. They are so rad and so cute together. Ana used to work in a poultry factory, inspecting the chickens for quality, and she has a really hard time watching us eat all this food off the streets, which is pretty funny. They say they can get me a job in Spain next year teaching English. I’ve learned about so many rad opportunities for life around the world I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities there are, this world is so great and huge and I’m so thankful!

Love you miss you wish you were here.