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.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Baby shower, Teguc and GREs, and Much Flu

Hi everyone!

Well this is exciting...I am writing to you from my new laptop that I bought in San Pedro Sula. I am currently connected in a friend's house here in Dulce Nombre, who "borrows" internet using his University password. Oh well, it's very convenient, although I still have to pay for it when their phone bill comes at the end of the month. My first laptop is an HP Pavilion dv1000. It's pretty.

So I realized last night talking to my mom on the phone that I had forgotten to mention that I threw my first baby shower. My friend Mary (Honduran, age 20) got pregnant in January and well, just had a beautiful baby girl three weeks ago. And almost at the last moment, I threw her a baby shower in her last week of pregnancy at my house. It went well, and she was totally surprised, or so she claims :) She definitely cried though. My house was all decorated with pink, yellow and white with baby adornments and we had lots of food, which everyone brought. About 20 people came I'd say, and we played some fun games, which I looked up on the internet before hand. I gave out as prizes the samples Dottie gave me, fancy samples of facial products. Also lollypops. And the most important thing, Mary got a ton of cute things for her baby. Not much more than a week later, I got a call at 3:30 in the morning that they were going to the hospital, and there she had the baby, practically at the door of the hospital. She is doing well, I went to see her last night, and her baby is precious. She thinks she will name her Genesis Elizabeth (Genisis pronounced Heneesees, and Elizabeth for her mom who was killed).

Also in the news is my trip to Teguc. I had several purposes for to go to the dentist to get fitted for my mouth guard, yay. I seem to be one of the only people that Peace Corps has approved paying for a night guard, so that's lucky. Also, to take the GREs. Several PCVs were in Teguc to take the GREs, which are given three times a year at the American School in Teguc. Third, to see my friend Lauren Dickson, who was in my training group but now teaches at the American School, and lives across the street, which was super convenient. I got there Wednesday night and stayed at the PC hotel, Guadalupe 2, which is somewhat depressing when you don't know other volunteers there. I ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut and ate alone in my room and read a book. Thursday I went to the dentist in the morning, cheque. In the evening Lauren picked me up with her roommate's car (you have know idea how liberating it feels to know someone with a car! PCVs can't have one.) We were going to go to her gym but we got there too late to make the class she wanted so we went to her place. She has a really nice room and bathroom in this ritzy house across from the American School. Two other American teachers rent there, and they were very cool. We ended up going out that night, dinner at The Patio, a huge lit up restaurant serving huge quantities of delicious food at a high price, but since they give you so much food Lauren and I split one dinner and had enough to spare. Then we went to a favorite bar hangout of theirs til about 1:30 am. On Friday I had to go back to the PC office and then went with Lauren to school to observe her two Friday English classes. She teaches middle school, and it was really interesting to observe her class. She lives in a completely different world than I do now, even though we are in the same country. She teaches very rich upperclass students with perfect English who all have designer clothes and carry expensive cell phones. It blew my mind. But her class was very cute, and they all call her "Miss". She is obviously popular, although she definitely keeps them in line, as I sensed they are used to getting their way a lot with teachers or parents. Friday night we went to a body sculpting class at her gym, which kicked my butt since I am so out of shape, but it was good. Again, another world. We stayed in that night since I had my GREs the next morning. Saturday I walked across the street to take the test and to my surprise most of the test takers were Hondurans, planning to go to grad school in the states. But geez, it's hard enough for me, a native English speaker, and I couldn't imagine what it would be like to take the GREs in your second language. Blah. Two essays, two math sections, and two verbal sections...more than 5 hours with only one 10 minute brain was fried. It was a pencil and paper test since they didn't have the computer version, so I won't find out my scores for 5 more weeks. Saturday night, the 28th, we decided to dress up for Halloween with all of Lauren's friends. A group of us went as Revenge of the Nerds/Nerdy Chess Team. It was fun putting together our costumes and intentionally trying to look as un-sexy as possible. I had a lot of fun going out but was beat by midnight and so they took me home and I crashed. The next day, Sunday, I had a wonderful 8 hour bus trip home.

My first day back in site I started feeling bad. The flu hit me full force and I had a temperature off and on for about 4 days and cough and stuffy nose, the works. It was my first cold/flu in Honduras in almost 2 years, but man, it is the worst one I can ever remember. I looked like Death on Wednesday, my eyes all sunken in and me very pale. I went to the doctor but he couldn't do anything for me that I wasn't already doing. Not until this Saturday did I feel truly better, and I still have a cough and stuffy nose today, 8 days after it all started. But the awesome thing about Honduras is how the people take care of you here. Everyone heard that I was sick, even people I hadn't seen or talked to, and people sent me already-made teas and other remedies and refused to let me go outside in the rain or cold and even came and cleaned my house for me. You can't tell me things are commonly like that in the States....if I say I'm sick there, someone responds, oh geez, I feel TERRIBLE also, so stressed, coughing, blah blah blah, telling how they deserve sympathy too. Here people are genuinely concerned and try to help out. It's great.

Well peeps, other than that things are ok. Still working on those applications. My dad is helping me send out a package to the people writing me recommendations. Also, my stove project was fully funded! Thanks to everyone who helped out and donated! I will be thinking of more projects for those of you who wanted to donate but couldn't because the stove project was funded so fast.

Well I gotta go eat lunch. Love to all, and I will be in the states in a little over a month!! Yay, I can't WAIT for Christmas.


  • At November 9, 2006 at 8:07 AM, Blogger ida-o said…

    I just accidentally came over your blog while I was looking into blogs from Honduras. I live in Norway and I'm going to Honduras in the end of January to work on a volunteer project for AFS. I know very little about Honduras and I'm very excited, but also kind of nervous to go there. It sounds like you are having a great time there working for the PC! Do you have any advice to other people going there to do volunteer work?



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