Lauren's Peace Corps Experience in Honduras

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed and experiences described in this travelogue are mine personally. Nothing written here should be interpreted as official or unofficial Peace Corps literature or as sanctioned by the Peace Corps or the U.S. government. I have chosen to write about my experience online in order to update family and friends; I am earning no money whatsoever from this endeavor. Please do not copy or forward any of these contents without my permission.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well I survived the holidays. Happy New Year everyone! There is so much to catch you up on...

My parents finally arrived a day late to San Pedro Sula. I went to the airport and collected them without was just a long long day on the bus to get them and back to Dulce in the rented SUV they got. My Honduran friend Mari went with me to get them. Mom cried of course when she saw me :) Our rental car was soooo posh. I was in heaven. They don't realize what a luxury it is to be in control of your vehicle (instead of on the bus) and in air conditioning. Dad drove back to Dulce, and scared the wits out of mom, since Hondurans drive a little differently here...passing around curves or with inches to spare between cars. But we made it just as it was getting dark. The time in Dulce with dad passed so quickly. They brought so many suitcases of food and gifts and treats. My friends threw them a party that Sat. night and they had a great time. Since we lost a day we only had a few hours the next to show my dad around...we walked around for about 3 hours and met the majority of my friends, although very briefly, and he saw some of the work I have done with the latrines and improved stoves and water barrels and saw some of the poorest houses in the town and the nicest. They were both impressed with my house and the town and the said he had expected it to be depressing or something here, but it's really quite cheerful, even with families who don't have much.

Around 11:30 we left to go to Santa Rosa, met up for lunch with a good PC friend and walked around a bit, saw the PC house, and then left for Copan Ruins. We spent two nights in the cute little town and saw the amazing mayan ruins (the "Paris of the mayan world"). I thoroughly enjoyed the hotel and hot showers and the food and the beds. Tuesday we left to get Ian from the San Pedro airport and just inside the city we had a very bad car accident. We were stopped waiting for a huge truck to turn left in front of us, and all of a sudden a truck hit us from behind and pushed us under the truck in front of us. It wasn't our fault. It was pouring rain as all we climbed out of the driver side door. We put mom in a taxi to wait for Ian at the airport while dad and I waited in the rain for the transit police to sort things out. We were there about 2 hours. The SUV was mostly totalled, squashed in between the two trucks. We were very lucky to walk away I think...the worst injury was my neck, which I couldnt turn for a few days. Finally we got our stories on record and agreed to meet with the judge the next day in San Pedro. Alamo was awesome and took care of everything. We had a nice reunion with Ian and mom at the airport, got another rental and made for the coast to Tela. We stayed at a really nice hotel on the beach and ate awesome seafood that night, all 4 of us. The next morning dad and I had to go back to San Pedro an hour away and tell our versions of the story. Our lawyer was pretty on top of everything and the 2 trucks split the blame and the cost of the accident. That afternoon back in Tela, Ian, Dad and I went kayaking with a guide in a steady rain on a river through some very scenic mangrove forests. Due to the rain we did not see the promised howler monkeys or crocodiles, but saw some great birds, bats, flowers, and beautiful jungle.

We dropped off dad the next day at the airport sadly, he only had about 5 days total with many mishaps, but still we enjoyed the time with him. Then mom, Ian, and I drove to Ceiba and stayed the night there. We were going to visit my friend Mike's little garifuna village but decided not to in the heavy rain. We stayed at a nice hotel on the central park in Ceiba and relaxed. The next morning we left for Roatan! We took the 2 hour boat ride and due to the choppy waves, we all got pretty queasy. I managed to stick it out inside while mom and Ian hung off the back in the fresh air. We got to the island around noon, with mom praising god to be on solid land again, and grabbed a taxi for the West End of Roatan. We had a great few days there. The island is very relaxed although more touristy than the rest of Honduras. It was pricey through my eyes and cheap through my mom and brother's, coming from the states. I could never afford to go on my salary. Although it rained frequently (hello, rainy season!) we got enough good sunny hours on the beach to get a tan and go snorkeling and enjoy some beautiful sunsets. I can't wait to go back with my friends in March and do some diving! We spent Christmas Eve there and Christmas day and went back toward the mainland the 26th, and I was sooo ready to go back home. Vacation is hard work!

I'll have to write about the last week next time, what we've done the past week in Dulce. I'll just say that we had an awesome New Year's Eve last night at a great party, dancing, singing, drinking whisky and cokes, playing guitar and eating great food, and of course, fireworks. But we'll get into that next time.

Love you all and wish a very prosperous and happy new year to everyone!


  • At January 2, 2006 at 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You don't know me, but oh my gosh, I am so sorry you and your family got into a car accident while on vacation! I'm glad you all are o.k. I am nominated for Bus. Devel. in Asia, September 2006. I came across your blog and I've bookmarked it! I look forward to your future posts. Stay safe!


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