I hope everyone had a great day of love and friendship, as they say here :)
Well it's my first holiday in Honduras and it went quite well. When I got out of my "shower" (I have a warm bucket bath every other day, the other day I get a shower) this morning I found a heart shaped mug filled with candy and two cards from each of my sisters here, it was so sweet. Then a few of the other trainees cut out hearts and gave everyone a valentine. Then I remembered it was mail day and I found a huge box, 2 big envelopes filled with magazines and books, and a valentine's day card from my mom - yay! Thanks so much ;) I was so happy to get my photo album from my last year, and my family loved looking at it. Then after training I got to come to this internet cafe to call Chris and wish him a Happy Valentine's day and Happy 4th anniversary (which is Wednesday) and it was really great to hear his voice, even with a 10 second delay!
Well to backtrack a bit and finish telling about my volunteer visit with Grace, on Saturday we went to Tegucigalpa. We caught a "jalon" with a guy driving to Teguc (a jalon is basically hitching a ride with someone, usually in the back of a pickup, but we sat in the front with the driver). Avoiding the bus saved us a good 45 minutes so we arrived in Teguc and met up with her friend, Heidi, an American who works for an NGO there but isn't a PCV. Grace shower my the PC headquarters, which was really nice, I used some of their free internet, and grabbed some books from the PC library. While we were there some current PCVs walked in to use the internet and invited Grace and I to an embassy party - apparently they wanted PCVs there to liven things up a bit. So we said yes and told them we'd meet the guys later.
Then Heidi showed us some of the sites of Teguc. Teguc can be dangerous at night and there are a lot of thefts and holdups there every month, but during the day if you are with other people you usually are ok. So we went to this park to see the vista over Teguc, which is in a valley surrounded by mountains. Heidi's friend Travis played the guitar while we chilled there and the time there was very tranquillo. Then Heidi and Travis took us to a Honduran christian youth group they go to, and it was fun to meet the youth there. We did some icebreakers that were fun and sang and then I listened to an interesting message about the friendship between Jonathan and David, in Spanish! By the end of it my brain was fried - I understood everything but it took some serious concentration.
So being that we were both tired, Grace and I decided not to go to the embassy party. We went instead to, yes, Ruby Tuesdays! It was one of the best meals I've ever had. They had the same exact salad bar with the honey mustard I love, and I also ate a huge burger topped with cheddar, bbq, and onion straws. The Ruby Tuesdays in Teguc is really nice, but it cost a huge chunk of my allowance. But it was worth it. I was soooo incredibly full when we left. We walked down the street to the huge new multiplaza mall, and this place was amazing. It's as nice as any mall in NoVa, and definitely not typical of Honduras. But we walked around and looked in the shops, which include Benetton and department stores and electronics stores and a huge food court and a T.G.I. Fridays, a Tony Roma's, and a ton of other chains. Well it was nice to be in fantasy land for a few hours :)
We rented a DVD, "Ray" about Ray Charles, and went back to Heidi's to watch it on her computer. Very good movie.
I slept on the floor of Heidi's room, but not very well because there was this stupid dog barking all night. But we woke up early on Sunday to go to an English-speaking church that Heidi goes to. It was so nice to go to a Bible study and a service in English. Most of the members are missionary families and families who work for international companies or work for various NGOs (non-governmental agencies, or nonprofits). There were a ton of kids there too. It felt sort of like our church in Hawaii, a normal English service surrounded by open rooms and palm trees. The service sort of boosted me up, it was nice.
Well I was starting to feel antsy to get back to Siguatepeque so Grace and I left in a taxi to the bus station. We ended up waiting almost 2 hours because the bus we chose was broken and wouldn't work right. We finally got off and found another bus to Siguat and made our way. Grace got off right before Comayagua and we said goodbye. I'm so glad I met her, they really got lucky when they matched the two of us up! I know I'll visit her again and we might go on some trips together. On the way to Siguat a guy next to me asked me as I was reading, "You're reading in English huh?", and I looked at him strangely and said "Yes, English". Then he was like, "Have you studied English a long time?" and I was like, "Um, I'm American." and he was really surprised. Well it doesn't happen often because I'm usually with other gringos, but it's nice when I get taken for Honduran, that's the 2nd or third time now. Funny huh?
I finally got back to Siguat and was lazy and took a taxi home. When I arrived my neighbor ran out and was like, "You're alive!!". Apparently when I called the PC duty officer and told him I was staying with Grace an extra day, my family never got the message like they were supposed to. So my sister was realllllly worried about me. She had finally gone over and called PC, who told them I had called the day before. But she had stayed up late on Saturday looking out the door waiting for me, then was alone all of Sunday waiting for me while the rest of the family made a trip out of town for the day. I felt soooo bad. She said she was dying of worry. Next time I think I'll call directly. Oh well, it's nice I have people here who care about me so much they overeat, which is what my skinny sister said she did while she was so anxiously waiting for me.
Well it's good to be back for the week. It'll be hard to leave Siguat on Monday to go live in another place for a month for Field-Based training. Health people will be living in Santa Cruz de Yahoa, a place really close to the huge lake of Honduras and apparently close to a really beautiful waterfall. It's also supposed to be much hotter than Siguat.
I have to write a 4 page paper on my volunteer visit experience in Spanish tonight, so I better go. I hope all is well and you all had a great day! I'm going to try to write some letters this week :) Love and miss you all!