Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Word of the Day Wednesday

A friend mentioned this saying last week at breakfast, and I feel like it's fitting for today's word of the day...considering yesterday's post. (Thanks Margie!)

"Las suegras son como las estrellas entre mas lejos mas bellas"
(Say....Umm, just guess on this one, okay?)

"Mothers-in-law are like the stars...the farther away the better."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

are all mothers-in-law like this?

First, I was "poisoning" Jose by feeding him (you know, because he can't feed himself) leftover pasta. That can cause a bacterial infection, you know.

Then, my cleaning methods weren't good enough. Evidently, an old rag with water is better than using Clorox wipes.

Now, she's showing up at my house unannounced and coming in without even knocking on the door.

What is this? Is this a Honduran thing, or are they all like this?

At least she's not as bad as a lot of these stories!

Friday, June 19, 2009

MY five essentials

My fellow ex-pat blogger over at Laurie's Blog Spot posted what she thought were the 5 indispensable items for expats coming to Honduras.

My list is a bit different. Men, just stop reading now because my list is tailored more for women (high maintenance women, to be exact). ;)

1. Skin care products. If you don't like Ponds, stock up and bring your own.

2. Make-up. Whether you like the drug store or department store brands, you need to stock up while you're in the US. You can find just about all of the drug store brands in the supermarkets, but the products are rarely in stock. I ran out of bronze Almay eyeliner a few months back (actually, a maid stole it) and went to the supermarket to get some more. Not only was the Almay liner double the price, but they only had ugly colors (I'm guessing the overstock from the colors they can't sell in the US). The department stores are the same way. You can find Lancome, Chanel, MAC, Clinique, etc, etc, but they are always out of everything that you want. And colors that are appropriate for fair skin? They usually don't even carry it. Also, I have yet to see Bare Minerals or Lush or anything organic or mineral based. Ugh, I miss Sephora.

3. Feminine hygiene products. You can find "sanitary napkins" everywhere. But tampons are a little more difficult to find. Where they do sell them, there is usually only brand, they are almost always super, and they are almost always double what they cost in the US.

4. Underwear. There is no Victoria's Secret, and what the department stores here carry is of poor quality. So, bring panties. And bras. :) Or just be prepared to order it all online, and then pay a hefty import tax (sometimes 25%) when it gets shipped here.

5. Books. I have to agree with Laurie on this one. The selection of books in English is very limited, and they are outrageously overpriced. Amazon has been a blessing for books because you can get some for $0.01 each!

I think I could probably go on and on....but these are the first 5 that came to mind. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Now Hiring... food workers in Tegucigalpa

Job Description
You will be responsible for listening attentively (or not) to customers and taking their orders. It is not necessary to enter the order correctly. You will repeat the order back to the customer, and when they correct the order, enter it incorrectly again. (Feel free to do this multiple times.) Feel free to give them the wrong order even if they did repeat it to you 5 times (see example #1 below). You will NOT accept orders that are not on the menu (see example #2 below). And this means no customizing the order, even if our slogan is "however you'd like it." You will learn how to say "no hay sistema" (the system is not working)...but only when they have waited in line for 10 minutes, already ordered, have a debit/credit card, and don't have cash with them to pay. Also, you will be responsible for telling customers that you are the supervisor/manager/owner, even if you aren't, in case they ask to speak with a superior. Finally, regarding those signs that say "your order is free if your order doesn't match your receipt" is just a joke. It is your duty to get really pissed off if someone points that out to you...and make up some excuse why it's not the restaurant's fault and we, therefore, do not have to give a free meal.

Example scenarios
#1 - When you give them their meal and they check it and it is incorrect and they say "for the 5th time, I only want bread, meat, cheese, mustard, and pickles," take their meal back to correct it. BUT, just to be sure, go back to the window and ask them if they want vegetables, you know, just in case.
#2 - If they want their burger cut into pieces because of, let's say, recent dental work; this is obviously not available because a cut-up burger is not listed on the menu.

Mandatory job skill
Complete stupidity

Desirable skill
Bad attitude

Friday, June 12, 2009

international health insurance

Remember a few months back when I wrote about Holli and helping her get home? She was in a nearly fatal motorcycle accident in India and suffered major brain trauma. The hospitals there, like in most developing countries, weren't sufficient to care for her injuries. So she needed to be med-evac'd back to the states. Do you have any idea how much that costs?? Evidently hundreds of thousands of dollars!

So it got me to thinking. What would my family do if I were in an accident like that? The hospitals here probably aren't much better than the ones in India. And I don't have US health insurance to cover something like that. And who just has $150,000 laying around?

So a couple of weekends ago we were visiting with friends here in Tegus. (The husband commutes from the US every couple of months, and his wife and family live here permanently.) They have health insurance that works in Honduras AND in the US. And it covers emergency evacuation for situations just like the one Holli was in.

So since then I've been researching international/travel insurance. One of the sites I found was And according to the prices on their site, it's very affordable depending on the deductible, even on a Honduran salary. ;)

So if you are traveling abroad (studying abroad, backpacking, whatever!) or living abroad like me, then I suggest you consider what you and your family would do if you were in an accident like Holli's. If you want, you can click HERE to obtain a free quote for international health insurance. It's quick and painless, and this kind of insurance could turn out to be priceless if something ever happened to you abroad!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bring a canned good, your Bible, a friend, and...your gun

Please read this article about a pastor in my very RED home state of Kentucky.

Didn't you know that our nation was founded on "a strong belief in God and firearms?"

A gun raffle AND patriotic music? Y'all can count me in. ;)

taxi driver murdered, very close to my house!

(photo from

I was greeted by this scene yesterday as I was heading home after work. There was an obscene amount of traffic on the Blvd. Suyapa, and as I got closer to the road that goes into my neighborhood I saw why. There were about 20 police cars/trucks on the other side of the street (the same side as UNAH, for all you Tegucigalpans). The whole area was taped off with police tape, and there was a parked trailer that said "Crime Scene Investigators" on the side.

"Woah what is this about? What do you think happened?" I asked the driver.

"For there to be investigators and police tape and stuff, either someone was murdered or kidnapped," he replied.

And he was right. A taxi driver was murdered at 3 pm on Tuesday afternoon by a gang member for refusing to pay the illegal "taxes" that the drivers are "required" to pay to the gangs. He was the 3rd driver to be murdered in the previous 24 hours.

Very scary!

(To read the article from El Heraldo in Spanish, click here. To read the very rough translation in English via Google translator, click here.)