Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our new home!

We moved into our new home in Tegucigalpa and its more than we had expected. For those interested, you can find us on Google at http://m.google.com/u/m/AmmPsf

For the lat 3 months we have been living in a very nice 2 bedroom house in La Ceiba. There were four of us in the house - me, Jana, Eugenia, and her son Rigo. It wasn't very large, but there was suffient space for all of us.
When we arrived to our new home, we were surprised about how big and nice it is. There are 2 bedrooms, an office, kitchen, a nook for eating, and a large living room. Rey and Elise left behind quite a few things so there was only a couple items we needed to buy.
The yard is fairly large and we are looking around to see if there is somewhere we can put a garden. I have no idea what kind of vegetables we can grow here, but e are looking forward to trying.

We had an interesting adventure last night. The water system here is new to me and getting to know it is more than a little exciting. Apparently a water truck comes to the community twice a week and fills the pipes with water. Each house has a cistern that fills, and the house uses that water. Ours is a little different than others. Instead of the cistern begin on top of the house, which would use gravity to flow into the house, we have a water pump that pressurizes the house.
We were initially concerned abount how long the water had been in the cistern. So, when we arrived, we began using it quickly to empty the cistern, so that it could be filled with fresh water. When the cistern emptied, I noticed the pump was still running, even though there was no water. Not wanting to damage the pump by running it nonstop, I unplugged it.
The water truck arrived last night and started pressurizing the lines. We checked and confirmed our cistern was filling. However, when I plugged in the pump, nothing was going into the house. We checked all the knobs and confirmed everything was open, by still no water. We were more then a little concerned because I was nighttime and didn't know who we could talk to for help.
We weren't sure if the cistern is large enough for everything we need, so we decided that while water is coming to the house, we would try and fill the pila (a concrete tank that holds water for washing clothes by hand). We grabbed the largest kitchen pot and a large thermos and began carrying water from the cistern to the pila.
Last night we learned a few things - Jana and I can move water faster than a one inch pipe can fill, and for some reason the water pumped into the community is warm.
When we finally finished filling the pila, I took another look at the pump. I figured that because we ran the cistern empty, there just wasn't water in the pump to run properly. I looked all over the house for a water spigot that was downhill (in hopes of bleeding the system of air), but couldn't find anything. I finally went back to the pump to see if there were reset directions and found on the very bottom a small screw-in valve. I opened it up and a lot of air came out, followed by a lot of water. I turned on the pump and put the valve back in and I could immediately tell it was working based on the new sound.
After 30 minutes of playing water brigade, we finally got the water running into the house.

So far e have been working all morning cleaning the house. Washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, washing clothes and much much more.

Christmas in Honduras

Last night was Christmas Eve. Jana and I were expecting a quiet evening with our host family, maybe a candlelight service at a local church, an opening of presents at midnight. I don't think we could have been more wrong.

The tradition here seems to be entirely different than the 'Silent Night' we grew up with in the US. Here Christmas eve is referred to as 'Noche Buena', and is a time for celebration.

We had already been warned about people lighting fireworks, so it didn't surprise us that people were lighting them off all week. However, that didn't prepare us for last night. At midnight it seemed that the entire town came outside and lit off fireworks. There was everything from simple sparklers and fountains, to large bombs the size of your forearm. I don't remember ever seeing that many fireworks at any fourth of July party.

As the fireworks were going off, everyone came out to say Merry Christmas to their neighbors. We really enjoyed being able to wish everyone in the neighborhood a merry Christmas, and to do it while wearing shorts was even better!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Starting December

Its been a bit since I had the opportunity to write on the blog, so I will try and get things caught up here. The weather here in La Ceiba has been quite dynamic. For example, in Seattle, it can be sunny for 5 minutes, then rain for 5 minutes, then sunny again. Its similar here in La Ceiba, except it goes from the mid 80's and sunny to torrential downpour.
Because of the climate, everyone in the city has been sick. The flu hit both of us, but Jana more heavily than me.

We have been enjoying our Spanish classes. We are both feeling more confident in our conversations with others (I am sure I'm getting half the conjugations wrong) and speaking is starting to feel more natural. In fact, we have gotten to the point yesterday that we weren't sure if we were talking in English or Spanish.

I had the opportunity to go to Cayos Cuchinos a few weeks ago. Jana had already been and wasn't up to going again. The group went snorkeling along a reef and I got lots of great pictures, I even got a close-up of a barracuda. After snorkeling, we walked through the forest and saw a Pink Boa. I got brave and got close enough to touch it, but then it started curling up to strike and I backed off.
Probably the most interesting part of the trip was the boat ride back. A cold front was coming in, so the swells were quite large and a lot of spray was coming in. The guides passed out the snorkels so we could actually see what was going on.

All in all, we are enjoying life here. We are looking forward to Christmas with our host family in La Ceiba and then off to Tegucigalpa in January.





Saturday, December 01, 2012

Christmas at Wendy's

We went to Wendy's to use the internet and was quite surprised by some of the balloon art. When was the last time you saw the nativity in the form of balloons?