Monday, August 25, 2008

*almost* ROBBED!

Before I explain the story, you have to understand the layout of the house we live in.

After Jose and his brother went off to college, his parents decided to downsize and built an apartment over the office of their business (a rent a car and travel agency). It's a large "apartment" with a kitchen, living room, dining area, 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, and a studio...all on the second floor. However, the fact that there is a business run below us makes it a lot different from most homes here in the city. You can see in the picture below that there is a small parking lot on the left, and the entrance to the office is the smaller red door on the right. The windows you see on the second floor are in the living room. The whole apartment goes straight back from the front view of the house.

There is another large building to the left of our house. Jose's parents are entrepeneurs :), and built another commercial spot there several years ago. Therefore, the backs of four or five stores back up into our "concrete yard."

Okay, now I can tell the story. :)

On Saturday night, around 9 pm, I was sitting in the studio on the computer, when Jose's mother comes running down the hallway yelling that there is a man on the roof of the commercial spot next door (the one that connects to our yard!). He was trying to break in. As you can see from the last picture, he could have jumped onto our "balcony" from the other roof.

Jose's dad ran downstairs and out the gate, with his gun, yelling for the man to get down. A few moments later, we hear a gunshot. YES a gunshot! (Sara, it was a scene straight out of Law & Order or something!!!). Next, he comes back into the gate, screaming for someone to bring him the keys to the car. He had only shot the gun to scare the man, and then the man had started running away down the street. Rosie, the maid, took him the keys, and he left chasing after the man.

Meanwhile, Jose's mom is trying to call 199 (like 911 in the states). Can you believe that no one was answering??!?!? Finally, they picked up, and said they would be right over.

About 10 minutes later, Jose's dad pulls up with the police behind him. They had caught the robber and had him handcuffed in the back of the police pick up truck.

The police told us that we need to be careful. When he gets out of jail, he might come back for revenge.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

what a fun week :)

This past week has been very eventful. :)

Wednesday night was the big soccer game between Mexico and Honduras (it was in Mexico, unfortunately). We went to a bar called Loca Luna to watch it with friends. Practically the whole city shut down for the game (except the bars of course). And I have never seen fans like the ones here in Honduras! When Honduras made their first (and only) goal, I thought the floors of the bar were going to fall in from all the people jumping. They were all jumping, and hugging, and kissing. My friend Mandy said she almost cried. Haha! The night was fun, but Honduras lost to Mexico, 2-1.

We were extra-patriotic...we had a Honduran flag on the car.

Our friends Juan Carlos and Kurt at Loca Luna.

Mandy and I in our jersey's. :)

Before the end of the game... WHO'S GOING TO WIN????

After the game...sad faces. :(

On Thursday night, Jose and I went to the Museo para la Identidad Nacional. Our friend Juan Carlos (Mandy's boyfriend) works there, and invited us to a special event for the opening of the Francisco Goya exhibit. I love art, and there was a nice reception afterwards. :) Even better....the photographers from La Tribuna were there. I've been trying to make it into the society section, haha!!...maybe I'll be in there in a couple of days. :)

me with friends (left to right) Mandy, Patty, and Michelle at the reception
And last night (Friday), we had a cookout for Gustavo (Jose's brother) because he left to go back to the states today. We went to Jose's family's "country house" in Valle de Angeles. We cooked burgers, ate corn on the cob, and played cards and pool. It was a fun, relaxing night. :)
This week was fun, but I'm looking forward to the next because Jose had an interview yesterday, and got called for another interview at another place too. I'm anxious for Monday to get here so we can find out the status on both of his prospective jobs (and mine too!). :)
I'm also counting down the days until I get to go back to KY for Drew and Sara's wedding! I'll be in town on Sept 16. I hope I'll get to visit you all! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Off! my new perfume

Every morning I wake up, shower, put on my make up, and cover myself with my Deep Woods Off. It's become a part of my routine. After my first couple of days here, I learned that there really is no other way to keep the bugs away. And there are A LOT of mosquitos in Tegucigalpa. This is because of several reasons (a poor drainage system, for example), but mostly because people don't understand that standing water provides a breeding ground for mosquitos. Take the pila for example.

This is the concrete basin that was used originally for handwashing clothes. I'm sure some families still use it for that. In our house, the maid uses it for filling up buckets of water to mop the floor. I've used it wash the dogs. It does come in handy for things like that. BUT, why does it need to be filled with water all the time? It's breeding mosquitos...that are biting me!! Helllooo!

The thing is...I'm not trying to keep the bugs away simply because the bites itch. In Honduras, there's more to worry about, of course. The types of mosquitos here just happen to be the type that can carry dengue. "Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses...Symptoms range from a mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash...Dengue haemorrhagic fever (fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding) is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children."

You would think that this type of disease can only be contracted in the deep jungle...but it is actually more prevalent in over-populated urban areas just like Tegucigalpa. And in 2007, 76 people contracted the haemorrhagic fever (the fatal type of dengue!) in Tegucigalpa alone! (and the numbers are even higher for 2008, read here:

So now, everytime I get even the slightest bit of a symptom (headache, muscle or joint pains)...I announce to everyone in the house that I have dengue and I am going to die. (dramatic, no?)

And we all know that deet isn't the safest product to apply to our bodies 24/7...but it's either risking cancer from deet...or itchy mosquito bites that might give me dengue. What would you do??

Friday, August 15, 2008

dedicated to Mandy

One of my friends in Honduras responded to my blog with this message:

Hi Hannah it's Mandy. I finally saw your blog and I like it. Just one house does have a yard and grass, not all houses are like Jose´s. And this is for Hannah´s friends back in BG - it's not as bad as you think!!!!!!! Honduras is beautiful, it´s just a culture shock. Don't be scared to come visit us, I know you´ll like it, I can bet on it!!!!!!!! Byeeeeeeeeeeeee, Mandy

I'm sorry are right! Honduras is beautiful, and I'm really loving it here so far.

So, because of Mandy's message, I feel the need to set a few things straight...
-A lot of people DO have yards here! After visiting other people's houses/apartments, I've learned that not everyone lives like Jose's parents. And while the yards are not even close to being as large as the ones in KY, they do have them, and they are a treat from the ugly pavement in the rest of the city. :)
-People DO use dryers! Jose's mom told me no one used them because the dirty water makes your clothes stink (what? I can't believe I believed her). But the truth is, she's stubborn :) and likes drying her clothes the old fashioned way...on a clothes line! And she's not alone...a lot of houses have clothes lines. However, a lot of them have dryers too. :)
-While it IS very dangerous here, and I'm being very careful, so far I haven't even been "cat called" at since I've been here. (Although people DO stare...but that's another story.)
-I brush my teeth with the tap water *GASP*, and I still haven't gotten sick. :)

I have been here exactly one month today. While I do miss my family (VERY MUCH) and friends, and Charlie of course, I haven't been very home sick! At first, I was very critical of everything here. But now, I'm starting to appreciate the things that used to frustrate me. (Example: Lack of organization/structure at my job is actually a's much more relaxing!) And you'll never believe this....instead of Spirit Master time (15 minutes early) I've begun to operate on Honduran time (at least 15 minutes late). Haha, I'll be a catracha (girl from Honduras) before you know it. :)

So you see, it's not that bad. :) It is very different from KY, but I'm absolutely loving every second of living here. I hope you'll come visit!! :)

"Unpackaged. Unfiltered. Unspoiled. This is the majesty of Honduras. From the breathtaking sunsets in Roatan, to the misty green mountains of Pico Bonito, Honduras is a vibrant wonderland, full of adventure and breathtaking beauty. It is the centerpiece of Central America. And you will be as awed by the splendor of it’s land as the warmth of it’s people. Discover all the reasons Honduras is the Central America you know in the country you’ll love."

Monday, August 11, 2008

el restaurante

For those of you that don't already know this, Jose and I are going to be opening a restaurant here in Honduras, in one of the available retail spots that his parents just built. Why a restaurant?? I have no idea...but it's been fun learning about how to do it. Who knows, maybe it will become famous and we can franchise it...then we'll be famous!! :)

We have decided to open a sandwich shop, offering specialty sandwiches (it won't be a "make your own" place like Subway), wraps, salads, daily soups, and smoothies. The location is right across the street from one of the biggest gyms in the we want to make our options natural, healthy, and for the diet-conscious.

I came up with some ideas for names last night, and he and I have narrowed them down to 3. We need your help!

1. Agovago - (say AH go VAH go) it's another word for avocado...but it's not Spanish. (from a website: "Over several centuries it's been called by many names: ahuacate, avocaat, agovago, albecatta and alligator pear.") By not being a Spanish word, we offer what I call the "gringo appeal." For some reason, the people here are drawn to products/services from gringos (north americans) more than products from their own people. The word is different, funky sounding, and relates to a vegetable...therefore saying that we offer healthy foods. Also, it starts with the letter A...therefore putting our name at the beginning of alphabetical listings (ie, yellow pages).
2. Sin Culpa - ( say SEEN cool PAH) this is Spanish and the literal translation is "without guilt." Get it? You can eat here without feeling guilty because we offer healthy selections.
3. Very Verde - ( say very vEHrDAY) verde means green in Spanish. We offer the "gringo" appeal by using the English word VERY, and we let our customers know that we offer healthy (green) products and services.

What do you think??? Please post comments...I really need help. I can't decide between the 3!!! :) Also, any other restaurant advice would be greatly appreciated!