Friday, April 22, 2011

A Week in the Life of Semana Santa!


Semana Santa is a big week here in Honduras...and in many other places too, but it's a celebrated a little differently here.

So first, for those who are wondering...Semana Santa means Holy Week and it's the week of Easter. As you know, Honduras is a pretty Catholic country and Comayagua in particular is a very religious city in Honduras as well as big and beautiful. Therefore, about 10 or more of us (Peace Corps Volunteers) went to Comayagua to see the festivities, swim, enjoy each other's company, etc.

The weeks festivities:
Monday, April 18- traveling 2 &1/2 hours to Comayagua by bus. Arrived to see Monica and friends and went to the pool where it was beautiful, peaceful, basically on us there and quite hot. I got a nice tan and we had an awesome sandwich with good cheese and ham and mangoes (yes, I have eaten mangoes quite a bit here despite my supposed allergy-side note-I was told by a friend that possibly not eating the skin would be better). After leaving the pool, we walked around and went to Wendy's to eat where I had a GREAT salad with blue cheese, cranberries, chicken and fries (on the side) OMG I was SO excited to eat American food! :) After that, we went to the big central park and saw a procession in the large catholic church...

Tuesday-This day, we went to the lake/waterfall. It was very beautiful and large! The waterfall was about 2 hours away in different buses with beautiful views especially since you have to walk sometimes to get to the different buses-it was like walking through a random Honduran ghost town almost! We went to the park where we saw a lizard, lots of vegetation, and got a little soaked by the waterfall on the lookout deck. Some friends went behind the waterfall and jumped off! So, we watched them, hung out, played in the water, and left to hitchhike randomly with some nice gentlemen. Afterwards, we went to the Princesita which has HUGE baliadas-flour tortillas with beans, cheese and other things inside. It was a little struggle, but we managed to scarf the thing down...

Wednesday-We went shopping for clothes at the used american clothing shops and I found a great flowy skirt por FIN!! Then, we ate at Dunkin's Donuts and then we went to a Chinese restaurant where we had GREAT sweet and sour chicken and fish with boiled rice FOR FREE (friends know the owner who is a Chinese lady that's been in Honduras for 38 years)!!!

Thursday-Some friends got there hair braided at a local Garifuna's salon-I just got a french braid by a PCV friend. lol. After, we went to a waterpark with dinosaur statues...there were TONS of Hondurans and we were the ONLY Americans. Later, there was a pretty cool concert with dancing and music. They had cute little competitions with the children and others for singing and dancing. Also, in the back of the park, we got to pick some fresh mangoes off the trees. We figured out the technique finally on how to get the fruit off the trees. Also, I realized today (after seeing others with them) that I want a sarong, they are quite useful. Then, we rested....ate and went to a bar/club which was quite sophisticated (lol) and hung out on the couches and watched tv and talked with another volunteer and her father who was visiting from the states. It was interesting seeing and hearing how he was viewing the culture...can't wait for Mom to come!! Later, we waiting for the procession which blesses the streets before they make the rugs and took pics and hung out more to dance a little and see the start of the rug-making. Went to sleep around 2:30a.m. All in all a GREAT night.

Friday- Woke up early to go see the rugs and watch the procession in the streets that tramples the rugs and goes through the 12 "stations" of the Christ story with him being betrayed by Judas up to His resurrection. Ate at a GREAT restaurant with air condition...had a sandwich with awesome sauce and a greek salad. Then, later, we went to dance and enjoy the environment by the pool.

Saturday-Went shopping for foods and went HOME!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Deja Vue and New Things Too!


These past weeks have been interesting since there have been strikes for the last three weeks here in Honduras at the schools…so there hasn’t been any classes for almost a month (starting when I was in the states). So, many projects that I was going to do are difficult to get started with the teachers doing there own thing (fighting for there rights, etc.). Right when I got into site (literally the first day, my town was having its feria…it’s festival to celebrate its saint) I was enthralled in activities…possibly a good thing to forget about the sadness of being away from home once again. I’ve included some random pictures of the past weeks-mostly of the excursion (more info. farther down). I tried to load the video...but, virtually impossible~ BUT, do not fear...I posted them on Facebook! :)

BUT, we are doing some things in my site such as COLGATE, a dental and personal hygiene program with an elementary school and a kindergarten in a nearby community. It’s nice to get out and do something, even if just for only one time a week. We talk about how to brush your teeth and why it’s important…and LOTS of fun activities! Also, we’re working more with the youth group to go out and do excursions to document the nearby places that are touristy and we go and play games and bring lunch and they bathe in the river (I don’t because I’m suspicious of the dirty rivers especially with children…I know they’re peeing in the river). But, we just had our first one this past Saturday and I think it went very well…it was SOOO tiring, but it was good exercise and bonding time with the kids and it got them out of the house since there hasn’t been school in so long!!

That’s pretty much all I’m doing right now…and working so hard to get more projects off the ground and applying for grants and things for the projects because we have so many things we can do so I want to use my time wisely! But, right now, I’m in Tegucigalpa…about to go to training and then for Holy Week (the week of Easter) I believe I will be going to Comayagua to participate in the festivities! AND, Monica told me that we (PCV’s) will actually get to help with making some of the street rugs out of sand…I’m REALLY excited!!

YAY! That’s all for now…talk with you all soon,
LOVE, Victoria