28 March 2011


Yuscaran is beautiful.  It's a nice colonial town situated on the side of a mountain.  I think its horribly hot, and the hondurens are constantly complaining about the heat, but it's no where near as hot as where Jeff is (I think I will wait to visit him).  Still, the sun is tremendous, and it's really hard to concentrate in classes in the afternoon.  My host family is great--my mom works at Hondutel, my dad is retired, I have a 27 year old brother with Down Syndrome who is very high functioning, a host sister who is 14 and lots of fun (she's teaching me songs in spanish), and a host brother who lives in Teguz and studies medicine at the Universidad Catolica (he's 19).  They are a fun family because they are physically affectionate in a way that is normally uncommon for families here, possibly because they have a kid with down syndrome. 

Today was interesting--it was shadow day where each of the aspirantes got assigned to a business for a few hours.  The rest of the week have to work on developing business plans for them.  My first two businesses were closed due to a lack of power (this is fairly common, it was out for 8 hours yesterday).  I ended up at a ferreteria or hardware shop, but pretty much this one just sells motor oil and bicycle parts, and is a partition of the lady's house. 

This weekend I hung out with my family.  They own the hotel next door which they are renovating, another hotelito on the other side of the house, a casita in the country, and a farm with cows, coffee, bananas, and mangoes.  One of these days my father is going to take me to milk the cows--I already learned how to make leche cuajada, a kind of queso fresco.

It rained this afternoon which is super rare in this season, but I loved every second of it.  My host sister Paola took pictures of me jumping in the puddles.

23 March 2011

Villa de San Antonio

This will be a short one. I´ve arrived in Villa de San Antonio, which is just south of Coymayagua. Salud will be here for FBT for the next 40 days. It is about 10 degrees warmer here than in Zarabanda, 84F at lunchtime. I have a good hostfamily, my own room and a shower(cold).

I do feel rather disconnected, not having FB txt me all the time, only getting internet once a week or so. Sending me a email or FB message or comment here would be groovy.

Let´s get some Spanish and AIDs education work on.


20 March 2011

Three weeks in. Yesterday, Saturday the 19th, H18 went to Tegus early and went through Immigration. The 53 of us were there from 9-12, and we almost all were processed. They were open just for us, but their computers went down near the end. We went to lunch and went back afterwards for the last 8 people to finish. We all now have residency cards and a resident stamp in our passports.
Lunch was awesome. We went to a strip where there are 8 or 10 American restaurants. Sam and I had a deep dish Hawaiian at Pizza Hut, while others ate at Popeyes, BK, McDs, or Wendys. Jeff also got a Pollo Spicy and Frosty to go. We spent L230 at Pizza Hut, which is only about $11, but we are only making L58 each a day, so it was a big splurge. 2 days of income on one lunch, but so delicious. (Sam says her stomach disliked American food more than anything else she’s eaten in Honduras)
About 23 of the aspirates are participating in a March Madness pool here. We get two different ESPNs here that pick and choose what they want to show, and one has been showing the CBS feed dubbed in Spanish so we have been able to see a few games. Sam currently has the best bracket. One of my brackets took a hit when Pitt lost, I had them in the final four, but my other bracket is still looking pretty good. We are hoping that the VCU-Perdue game today is the top game in that timeslot so we can watch; the last game we were able to watch was the CAA title game.
This Wednesday, the 23rd, we leave Zarabanda for Field Based Training. Jeff and the rest of Salud will be in Villa de San Antonio, near La Paz while Sam and the rest of Negocios will train in Yuscaran (departamento de El Paraiso). We will be in those cities for 7 weeks of more technical and language training. They are a ways apart, but we will be able to travel one way or the other on several of the weekends to visit each other. Jeff is looking forward to having to use more Spanish at home without Sam around to be the ‘good’ speaker. We are also wondering what it will be like, as we have a great host family here in Zarabanda, with good food, a hot shower and a washing machine. Our clothes are holding up pretty well, but not having a drier means that our jeans are slowly stretching out. We’ll see how we do if we have to actually wash them in the pila at our next house (most people do laundry by scrubbing their clothes against a concrete block).
More pictures up on Facebook. I might figure out how to post them here once we get more regular internets.


12 March 2011

Hello family, friends, and those of other PCTs. A few of the other aspirantes have reported that parents or friends have found our blog. Bienvenidos!
It is our third Saturday here, day 16 in Honduras. This weekend we have both Saturday and Sunday off, but most of us went to school this morning anyway for yoga with the wife of the Assistant Country Director and soccer. It was a nice relaxing three hours.
This past week was busy with a lot of stuff. I had 17 hours of language classes and the balance of the time in school on general safety/health awareness classes or project specific technical training. Thursday Salud went to visit the Centro de Salud in Santa Lucia. A centro de salud is a public health clinic, and the doctor there gave us a lecture on the Honduran health system in Spanish. I have a lot of work to do on my Spanish, but I can notice a big difference from when I arrived after only two weeks of classes.
Friday, we spent the afternoon gardening! A part of the family health initiative is family gardens. We cleared some land, started compost, dug beds, and planted both seeds and transplanted seeding tomatoes and yucca. I really enjoyed it, even if I almost sliced the pad of my thumb off while peeling a limón that I picked. (Not a bad cut, but I shouldn’t use a dull knife)
We are starting to get into learning real things, which is nice. (Sam is still having lectures in MBA language, like the 7 books of rural banks, or the 7 points of cashflow) Salud had the two field trips, and a presentation by a current PCV doing work on childhood malnutrition. That was extra interesting because it was fully in Spanish.
The food has been good. Beans, eggs, fried plantains and rice have been the most constant foods, with lots of carrots, chile dulce (bell peppers), potatoes, chicken and ground beef common elements. We also get a sweet coffee with breakfast every morning, I’ve definatly had more coffee in the two weeks I’ve been here than in the past two years.
I have a phone, and have figured most of it out. It is way cheaper for me to call you (0.5 Lempiras a minute, or less than 2.5 cents USD) so if you would like a call, email me and I’ll get that within a week or so and call you, or you can txt me and I’ll call you back. I got one message from Greg through the internet portal, which came after it sent me a message saying the session was terminated so I don’t know how well that works.
Photos on Facebook.


06 March 2011

Week dos

Since Jeff can apparently neither spell nor use correct grammar in English, I will be writing today´s update.  We are living in Zarabanda, Francisco Morazan, Honduras for the next week and a half, until we go to our FBT (field-based-training) sites.  I would tell you where they are, but I´ve forgotten (Jeff says he´s going to Valle San Antonio in La Paz).  We now both have phones on Hondruas´largest phone network, TIGO, and the numbers are up on Facebook.  It is free for us to receive txts and calls, so feel free to call us with Skype or whatever.  We both called home last night, but we can´t afford to do that too often on PCT pay (57 lempiras per day).  This week we were broken up into different language levels, and we also started our project-based classes. Jeff and I were part of a safety and security exercise this week as well where we got ¨car-jacked¨.  If you see pics on facebook, don´t be alarmed.  Jeff placed into the Novice high level and I placed into Intermediate low.  We both have to make it to at least Intermediate mid to be placed in the field, but would like to be higher than that for ease of communication.  We do pretty well, especially when together or with others because what one doesn´t know, the other might.  Yesterday we went to Santa Lucia, the closest town to our house.  It´s about a 45minute to an hour walk, mostly uphill.  It´s gorgeous and quaint with a cute little church and a nice overlook of the mountains.  It has a spanish wikipedia entry if anyone wants to look it up.  I´ll make it quick since our host sister is waiting for us, but so far our experience is much like when we studied abroad (minus the sitting in a cafe drinking beer all evening).  Since we get up before 6 we go to bed early.  It´s also a lot more dangerous to be out at night on a bus or whatever.  Anyway, that is all.  Sarah, you are leaving soon, yes?  Have an awesome time!  Everything will be great, I´m sure.

Sorry if this was a boring post, I didn´t plan ahead.  Maybe pics next time?