check out tash’s sweet bug bites!

I thought I had paid my dues to the travel gods in Livingston, when someone in our hostel stole my ipod. Turns out no. A few days ago, Natasha and I said goodbyes to our travel buddies and we decided to stay behind in Utila for a few days to wait until our volunteer work started. We figured we would be working hard translating for two weeks up in middle-of-nowhere Honduras, so we deserved some days of tanning and relaxation, and take our time catching a ferry back to the mainland and then up to the mountains.

What actually happened was thunderstorms everyday, keeping us inside on flea-infested bunk beds (you should see our poor bodies, we look like freaky somethings from those TLC specials where you have such weird wacky skin problems that they give you a trip to Hollywood for special laser treatments) reading the same books over and over and hanging out with Team Poland. We refer to everyone by “Team” plus the country they´re from. Michael and Philip are two of the most unabashed nerds you will ever meet, interning for computer technology something in New York. They wear the tiniest of speedos,speak halting English and crack Natasha and I up with their teasing. Its nice to hang out with solid dorks who you can just act like brother and sister with, but they hold the door open for you.

gambling on the dock

The storms wouldn’t have been so bad if they kept the ferries running. Several times we would wake up at five am, wondering “is this the day we can leave?!” We would run down to the docks, splashing through huge puddles, soaking wet carrying all our gear, there would be no running ferry. We’d poutingly trudge back to the hostel. We became a running joke with the staff; we´d say all our goodbyes and head off to the dock, and they´d all say “alright…see you in half an hour. I´ll put your Imperial in the fridge now.” Inevitably we would return, bummed, and play shipcaptaincrew, a really awesome and addictive dice betting game. The cool thing about betting in Honduras with the lempira, is there is no way you can lose more than five US dollars, with a 20 to 1 exchange rate.

our last night of dock jumping with Team Poland

The storm also stole my awesome micro travel towel off the dock. My showers have decreased dramatically. Sorry, fellow travelers. The storm also lost my sunglasses (okay that was me). The worst thing was someone put soap in my contacts case, with my contacts in them. Now I am on my emergency back up pair, which isn´t a recent prescription, making me get huge headaches and walk around with a constant twitching squint. People are going to think I am CRAZY!

Yesterday we finally left Utila, taking a ferry, taxi, and a chicken bus to Tela. Central America is where US school buses go to die. The one we were on was clearly made for children. Also the speedometer didn’t work. Natasha and I were in each other´s laps the entire time with a very special BO slash heavy Latin American man cologne smell. The bus driver played this CD of American hits of the 70s and 80s, and so at one point, I was singing aloud to “Everything I own” by Bread, on a chicken bus in nowhere Honduras!! Also heard some Bryan Adams, “Hotel California,” which we hear everywhere we go, and “Making Love out of Nothing at all.”

When we got to Tela, we realized a few stressful things: 1. We know no one who has been here. 2. We know nothing about it. 3. It was dark. 4. We have no guidebook. 5. The taxi driver told us that there were no rooms available. 6. We planned this very poorly.

walking onto our private beach from our hotel

We walked down a scary street and saw a hotel sign. You had to squeeze down a dark scary alley to the back of a house, yell for the owner, an eighty-something half blind and fully smelly man, who showed us the darkest, scariest room I have ever seen. The walls and the beds were crawling. Had we stayed there, would have woken up with a disease. We walked down to a nicer hotel, where for 15USD we got a honeymoon suite, with a private balcony over looking the ocean, AIR CONDITIONING!!! a pool, our own bathroom, and a television! We were in heaven. No TV for seven weeks makes you realize that you don´t really need TV, but sometimes, watching “Law and Order” with Spanish subtitles is the best thing that can ever happen to you.

canoes are heavier than you would think….also the owner turned out to be just a few feet away.

Today we walked all over Tela, and on our private beach. Even though its raining its a cute town where all the Hondurans go on vacation. We bought me a towel and sunglasses, (a hilarious pair of knock off Guccis. I know, I know!) Natasha had soup with a whole crab in it, I tried to steal a canoe, and we found a coffee shop with mocha frappacinos. There was some cool cultural food fest going on with Garifuna dancing and drum circles, mouthwatering fruit and veggie stands on every corner, and I found a watermelon BlowPop in my purse I´d forgotten about. Great day!

Tomorrow its more time in a chicken bus to get to La Esperanza, where we´re staying with some Peace Corps people and working with a medical team from Montana.

love you miss you wish you were here