Thursday, January 20, 2011

Interesting Things to Note

Well, well, well...January is almost over and I can't believe it! Next week (the whole week), I will be going to my first training to learn how to implement the COLGATE program and a reading and writing program in my community. It should def. be interesting and I have a teacher coming with me who teaches at a rural school with one classroom! So, it should be nice for her.

Anyways, some things I would like for you to know:
Things I thought I'd never do:
1. Mountain climb for like an hour or more...when we say in the states that mountain climbing is a hobby, here it is a reality for some people as the communities are SO far away and always up in the mountaines somewhere...I'm so upset that we have to walk so much all the way up hill, but it is good exercise.
2. Drink coffee...honestly, the coffee is good. I can drink it black or with creamer. Supposedly it's really great coffee according to my friend here who was also a coffee drinker in the states.
3. Use a LATRINE!! So, in the states, using the bathroom for me was always an ordeal. I had to clean the seat and then I had to lay down the paper on the seat. AND, if there happened to be the slightest crack in the door I would hang up my purse or a jacket to cover it up. HERE...o no...I've used a latrine, which is a toilet without a flusher. So, this means you must throw water in the toilet for it to flush. Sometimes, they're not that clean...quite questionable actually. Furthermore, I have officially (yesterda) used an outside latrine without a door. I just prayed that noone was watching, cause I def. used the bathroom. Also, I want you to know it was difficult because the latrine had three walls and a top...and the top was so low I couldn't stand up, so it was REAL awkward trying to get my pants back up. But, anyways, I made it through and used hand santizer afterwards. :)
4. I picked coffee!! It's actually really easy...but, I personally would not recommend it for long periods of time and the mosquitos or insects might get to you.
5. I eat deviled eggs. I realize this is not a huge deal, but I didn't like them in the States and know I'm quite fond of them. This is also true for oranges, beets, and some other things that I can't remember.

More culture insights:
a. (cause I already used numbers) Many families here have maids that help out in the house. I DID NOT expect to find that. I guess it's because they have large families sometimes and people need employment?
b. Sometimes when younger people meet with older family members, the older family member touches there head and says God bless you. I think it's quite neat.
c.No, everytime I walk past this one little child, he's always asking me where I'm going and where I came from...he's a little child...I do not feel like I need to explain my life to him. Furthermore, one time I was usig the ATM and I had a Honduran friend with me and you know what? She was looking all in my business while I was checking my account info. I KNOW!!
d. Sharing is a big deal here. I guess it's because some people have more than others financial wise. So, everyone shares. I am not used to sharing to the extent that I'm expected, however and this has caused some awkward situations. For instance, it's NOT appropriate to eat in front of others at any time without offering them some. Furthermore, if you buy something and have other people with you, you have to buy for them as well. Even if they have's really crazy! It's not like in the States...everyone for themselves...Oh no.

>Blessings from God:
The Lord has been so good to me lately I feel like I should send a shout out to!!
My cell phone feel on the floor of the bus coming to Teguz today...BUT, a nice gentleman picked it up and gave it back to me (NOT COMMON, especially here).
Everyday I get to wake up with new joy, strength, and hope!
Everything always works really just does.

That's all for now and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of this first month of 2011!
See ya'll soon,
Victoria :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year, A New Start, A Blessing!

Hello Family and Friends!

The holiday season is officially over, but I hope that the feelings of happiness and joy continue throughout the year!! Here in Honduras, there was quite a bit going on. There are many traditions here that are very similiar, if not the same, as the U.S. However, there were many traditions that are different from our Holiday Season traditions. Furthermore, of course, I introduced my family to some of our traditions. So, this Christmas was definitely a Honduran-American Christmas and New Year´s!! lol. We did all kinds of things from decorating with lights, Christmas Trees and reindeer, making decorations with the children, the CD with 100 songs, a lot in English…it was very nostalgic with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, White Christmas, Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Frosty the Snowman, etc., watching holiday movies, drinking hot chocolate, eating peppermint sticks, and more! It was quite beautiful despite the lack of christmas lights in every house as is normal in the U.S. However, The Little girls and I watched The Polar Express and some holiday movies of Winnie the Pooh, Nora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse. It was quite interesting. Also, they got to try hot chocolate and peppermint sticks (the BEST) for the first time thanks to my mom.

However, there was of course an interchanging of culture, so I learned quite a bit also about some of their traditions during Chrsitmas. During the month of December, they charole in the church every week. They used to go around the town and visit people´s houses, but people stopped responding so they ended that. That was a little sad, because I wanted to charole and visit people´s houses, but anyways. Also, the Catholic Church makes a nativity scene in the front of the church (my host dad made it). I have a picture below. By the way, you can´t see it, but I found a dinosaur in the nativity scene! Lol. It must have been a Little kid or a joke, I´m not sure, but I´m pretty sure their were no dinosaurs in the manger. But, it was beautiful.

So, on Dec. 23, we made tamales and I got to help! It´s quite a process with the preparing the corn,the stuffings, the leaves of the banana tree,etc. I actually also helped cute down the banana trees that I later ¨cooked¨or dried on the stovetop to wrap the tamales in.

On Dec. 24, we played Amigos Secretos which is Secret Santa for us in the states. It was quite fun...I ended up giving a little girl a skirt and shirt and I got a pics of the sweater, but oh well. It was a fun time with the fam.

On Dec. 25, I went to the bull ridings in Lamani, Comoyagua with a counterpart and the family. It was very interesting and fun!! One time, there was a drunk guy from the crown that got into the!

On De. 31, we celebrated the New Year with food (stuffed chicken) and a doll that I helped make with my host dad. The doll represents the old year because it´s made with old clothing and you burn it at 12a.m. to represent leaving all the old things behind and moving into a NEW YEAR!!

I hope everyone´s year was great and that all the end of the year celebrations were awesome as well!! I will post more pictures later.

Also, a side note, I did a lot of preparing for this new room is painted a different color, I moved my things around in my room, I cleaned my shoes, washed all my clothes, painted my nails, and swept my room (a lot of work). Here are some pics to enjoy:

Update-Jan. 6-This is the day that they celebrate the three Kings coming to visit Jesus in the stable. So, it´s tradition for someone in the community to steal the baby Jesus from the Catholic Church Nativity Scene and then on the night of Jan. 6, the town goes around house to house and asks if the baby Jesus is here and they sing and the little kids really participate! It´s really cute. And then, when it gets later in the night, the house that has the baby Jesus shoots up a firework and all the kids go running towards that direction and there is the baby and then their a service to remember the biblical importance of the event and then there´s food afterward. Very interesting!

Happy 2011,