Saturday morning we woke up at 4:50 am.. no power on in our house and I being the genius of our house decided I would rather pack in the morning than the night before. I grabbed my headlamp and began to scramble around my room with a simple light to grab what I needed for a weekend away at the beach. Molly, Faye and I were so excited because we had just figured out how to set the automatic timer on the coffee pot and our motivation to get out of bed was knowing that we would have hot coffee before our 5:30 bus ride to San Pedro Sula but alas the reliable electricity won out… We were out of power, no lights and we found ourselves sleep walking our way to the road to nearly miss the bus coming down the road. The bus driver saw seven of us coming up the road and they stopped. The love and the pain of transportation in this country my friends, they leave 10 minutes to a half hour late consistently but if you manage to see it going down the road, they will stop for you.
We boarded the bus and were given a lot of warnings about the safety… We were pleasantly surprised the bus rides were quite nice. We all had a seat (others had to stand for the bus ride) and we kept to ourselves. I looked outside for the most of the ride, marveled at the people up, bike riding with bananas down the side of the road, kids playing futbol so early in the morning. Women doing laundry. The river lined up with clothes drying on the rocks. People asleep/passed out in chairs. The country is really something in the morning.
We arrived to the big bus central station in San Pedro to find the ticket window for the bus to Tela. The bus was not leaving for an hour so we all gladly shared a big cinnamon roll and I had a latte. They have dunkin donuts in the terminal. We all tried to stay awake to wait for the next bus. Here was our timeline:
Pena Blanca- Depart 5:35
Arrive San Pedro Sula- 7:20
Waiting in San Pedro Sula 7:20-8:35
Depart San Pedro Sula 8:40
Arrive in Tela 11:20
The second bus was hot, it was crowded. Faye and I attempted to sleep but we managed to get a seat not next to a window so the breeze was non existent. Buses are rarely air conditioned in this country. So the best buses are the smaller ones, more air flow with the windows down.
Pardon this interuption on my recap of our weekend. I am writing at school, I do not have to teach right now but the principal just walked in to our room and told us she changed our whole schedule around. If I had a dollar for every time this has happened I could feed the whole country. This day started as per usual. First grade parents are shouting because their kids don’t have their books, yet they never thought it was a good idea to put the names in the books. We are sitting here, trying to plan for classes, yet we get informed that we are teaching entirely different classes. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. ( I am telling myself)
I have no idea why the principal decided this was a good schedule to make but I am now teaching 3rd grade as well.I am teaching 3rd grade Math and 3rd grade English, but only to one of the sections. Molly is teaching 3rd grade Math and 3rd grade English to the other section. Makes no sense at all. We both now have to plan for both subjects, instead of one of us planning Math for both sections and one of planning English for both sections. So frustrating! (It doesn’t make so much sense that even trying to explain it is difficult). Deep Breaths, Show goes on.
To continue to recap our weekend we were picked up by the owner of the place we were staying. Our stay at the hotel included transportation to and from the bus station. The man was so nice and his son accompanied him. He spoke English well and him and his wife operate a hotel out of their home. They have four cabins on the beach that they rent.. The place serves breakfast each day and then lunch/ dinner are to order. They have a chalk board that tells what is offered for lunch and dinner (changes every day) and you must let them know an hour before you eat… They have a refrigerator stocked with water, sodas, beer wine, liquor. Everything is on an honor system. Once you take something you are to write it down on the notepad and you pay up when you depart. We pulled up and it was paradise. They had a small doxon who was adorable. Beautiful little girls that were at entrance. The sound of the waves on the sand, horses running by, hammocks. To quote Phillip, “It is impossible to be sad in a hammock” We all agree.
|Molly and me on our arrival.|
|Wine. My book. The bible and The beach.|
|Horses running wild.|
|The little girl that is adorable and they played with us in the water.|
|The morning we were leaving.|
|Molly and the little girl in the family that cried as we were leaving…|
We did nothing all weekend. When I mean nothing, nothing is exactly what I mean. I swam laps in the ocean, rode a horse from a local (Asked the little boy if I could ride with him), ate bread from the women selling it on the beach, played football, finished reading The Shack from a hammock. Drank white wine on the beach, fell asleep mid day and got sunburnt.
We loved our stay, we had the most incredible food and were so relaxed. We had no agenda. We never left the place. Best 20 bucks a night I have ever spent. Hot water too might I add.
Friday night we stayed up late but Saturday I fell asleep before 8:30. I was exhausted and slept well. We cheered for Notre Dame with Matt while they beat Michigan State on Facetime Saturday night. (live streaming did not work) Our dinner was topped off with a chocolate banana. The banana was so sweet and just drizzled with chocolate sauce but tasted perfect. We made drinks.. were too loud on the beach and we all crashed in bed.
I think it was a good sign of a weekend because come Monday morning I was so ready to go home. Monday Morning I woke up to find 100 bites on the backs of my calves. I was bitten by Sand Fleas. I have never heard of them before. I was SO over being sandy. Pretty quickly the blue water, sound of the waves made me want to run far away. I was miserable. I itched, and was ready to go home. Hard to believe that after only 3 and half weeks I call Pena Blanca home.
We tallied up our bill from our food, and drinks and headed back to San Pedro Sula. Once we made it to San Pedro I bought the best smoothie at the terminal. Really simple, orange juice, banana, and pineapple. (fruit here is awesome) Our bus to Pena Blanca was air conditioned too. So nice. We got on the bus and one of Alisons little boys was on the bus with his mom. He lit up when he saw her, he was so excited. It was adorable. We got home and I got right to work, laundry (our washer does not work, you have to be the washing machine, it fills with water, drains and does the final spin but does not do the wash part. You have to be the washer, get your hands in their and start digging in) I stink at being the washing machine by the way, my clothes are dried with soap and this morning my black shirt was spotted with white dry soap. Super gross. My clothes required a second rinse. At least I hope it works, I will find out after school today. I got up this morning to run them through water again. We do not have a drier, All clothes must be hung out to dry and it is best during the day because it is sunny and clothes dry quickly, but they are also hard as rocks when they are dry. You would not want to bring your nicest or favorite outfit down here.
Today was a new day, that I made a list of a few things I would like to focus on, not eating processed food anymore (no crackers, no chips, no fried plantains. (food here is terribly unhealthy, difficult to eat well) I am trying to get my stomach back to normal and it is starting today. I am drinking more water and no more diet coke. Hoping to cleanse, to feel better and to get to normal (or atleast accept my new normal) As well I just pray I do not let this place steal my joy. I have found that my rather pleasant morning is quickly being destroyed by this place, the constant schedule changing, being pulled in different classes expected to have a lesson prepared and I do not even have the kids book nor have I ever taught 3rd grade. I am choosing today to choose joy. Choose joy in frustration, stomach aches, bitten legs, hot weather….. one can hope atleast.
From a itchy, tired, sick, teacher Kristina.
****PS since I wrote this I am home sick. I feel very sluggish. I have a horrible cold, sore throat. I did not teach swim lessons today. Have been home in bed.
“I owe my life to you my Lord…. here I am.”