The night before the trip to Honduras I didn’t even bother to go to bed, so I knew I was setting myself up for a long day. To meet aviation guidelines that we be at the airport guidelines 3 hours for departure……well to heck with that. Two hours was close enough and gave me plenty of time to hit Starbuck’s.
Our flight from Charlotte took off a half hour late, so we landed in Miami at the same time that our flight was boarding. Of course the gate was on the opposite end of the airport. By the time we got to the gate, they were just beginning to page errant passengers, but we still had plenty of time before takeoff. I’m just grateful that we didn’t have to recheck our bags.
Customs in Tegucigalpa went smoothly. You have to get fingerprinted and have your photo taken. I think the lady got aggravated because I was trying to put my hands on the finger print machine with nicely curved fingers like my piano teacher taught me, but you have to lay them down flat. She also didn’t seem very impressed when I smiled for the camera like I was in Glamor Shots. I was afraid to ask if I could check the picture.
I got a little nervous that our ride wasn’t there to greet us. However, at the time I didn’t realize that we had landed 25 minutes early. We sailed through customs and only waited a minute for our bags. Mauricio, the school’s general manager, showed up when I was trying to get new SIM card for my phone. AT&T hadn’t sent me the unlock code yet so I couldn’t have used it anyway.
Mauricio was immediately a wonderful and gracious host. By this point we were starving, and Harper is an absolute beast when he’s hungry. I didn’t really know what to expect, but “upscale mall” was not the first thing I would have guessed. Nor was I expecting an enormous food court with offerings including American chains, Chinese, and Honduran food. We wound up with baleadas from the first place he showed us. It was a lot like what you would get at Moe’s, and it was delicious.
The ride from Comayagua to Tegucigalpa was uneventful. The 4 lane highway is nice, except for a mile or so when we were on the old 2 lane road, then it became nice 4 lane highway again. Throughout the trip we saw sparse forests with patches of brown trees. Mauricio explained that there is a parasite that infects the trees and kills them. He said the interior wood is still good, and the wood could be harvested and used for building or furniture, but instead they clear cut and sell the wood to burn for fuel.
Our first stop in Comayagua was the school. It looks very tiny from the outside, but you enter a large hallway with stories of classrooms lining the sides. Think mall. In fact, all of the classrooms have glass walls on the interior, so you will be able to walk by and see what is going on in any given class. They are all equipped with sound systems and smart boards.
Next he took us to the grocery store and got us a few staples to get started. We just got drinks, bread, peanut butter and jelly. At that point I had no idea what the housing was going to be like. I did not see cheddar cheese.
It turns out that my apartment is located in the back yard of a house owned by Memo and Esmerelda. I just have a large bedroom and bathroom. Esmerelda said I could use the kitchen if I wanted to cook. The garden is lovely, and there’s a large patio under the main house with tables, a TV, and a couple of hammocks. And yes, there’s wifi!
Memo and Esmeralda took me to the grocery store with them to show me around. First we went to the mall, so they could show me the banks and theater. They have Tarzan and Ghost Busters now! The grocery store was much larger than the first one we went to. They do have cheddar cheese, so I will stay.
Dinner was a simple dish of rice and vegetables, along with salad. PERFECT. We were joined by Memo and Esmerelda’s daughter, granddaughter, and another little girl. Later their son came in to eat. Everybody was very welcoming.
So my first day was very full, but nice. Today we’re going to get out and explore, as well as plan what we’re going to do to make Harper’s time with me exciting (like just being here isn’t enough).
Sorry there aren’t a lot of pictures yet. I’ll work on that as I go along!