Sunday, February 20, 2011


Maria and I bought veggies this morning. She was so stoked for the carrots. She started grabbing them as soon as we got there.
So this picture includes everything we bought this morning minus one carrot.
1 lb broccoli
1 medium cabbage
2 lbs ptotato
1/2 lb tomato
1 lb onion
1/2 lb green beans
1 papaste (I think that's what it's called
1 lb carrots
1 lb yucca
Total cost: 80 Lempiras (~$4.23)

This should pretty much last us the week.  We might have to pick up something at the market on Thursday, but this is it.

Coming sometime soon will be:
Typical Meals for a Week
Approx. Cost of Living in small town Honduras

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Backyard

Here is a 180 degree panorama of our backyard.  It looks a little funky, and I didn't take ANY time to make sure the lighting was all the same... I just threw it together, so this is what you get. 
There is a lot going on in the backyard.
There is the pila where the laundry is done.
There are about a dozen lines for drying the clothes hung between the house and various trees.
There is the hammock (or as Maria calls it her swing)
There is Abuelo's horno.
We can't forget the animals:
8 pollitos (baby chicks), a rooster, a turkey, & 2 dogs.
There are lots of food producing trees too:
Avocado tree, Cacao tree, mandarin-lime tree, sweet lime tree, regular lime tree, two mango trees, the tea tree (they make tea from it's leaves).  They grow ginger.  There's bunch of various herbs growing in misc. containers.  There's extra roof tiles, and a misc. pile of wood and some concrete blocks.   I'm sure that I'm missing a bunch of stuff too.

Here is a closer view of the misc. garden boxes and the horno off to the right... and don't miss the turkey at the bottom right.

And remember how this looked when we first moved in...
Here we are now.  There's still a lot of work to do, but progress is being made.  And I am proud to say that except for moving a few of the really heavy rocks I have done it all by myself!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Language

Before coming to Honduras I was talking with my parents about the language and how long it would take for me to adjust and become fluent
I think we pretty much agreed that it would take about 3 months.
It has now been 3 1/2 months.

In High School I took 4 years of Spanish, followed by more semesters in college and I ended up getting an associates in Spanish.  After university I didn't have a whole lot practice keeping up with the language until I met Marco.  He and I speak mostly Spanish to each other, but it is more of spanglish than true Spanish, a spanglish that we're accustomed to. 
When Marco would talk on the phone to friends or family in Spanish I had NO idea what he was saying.  I could pick up an occasional word here and there, but it was not the Spanish that I had learned in school.  A million miles a minute, slang thrown in there, words slurred together.

When I first got here I was pretty lost.  I constantly had to ask people to repeat themselves, or to slow down, or to use different words (ones that I knew). Some did, while others said the same thing, at the same speed, and I just smiled and nodded, clueless as to what they were repeating over and over again. 

One time some kids were talking to me and I said something back to them, one of the kids said to me that no one understood what I said.  I told him, and I think he understood, that I rarely understood anything that they ever said.too.

Fast forward 3 months... how are things going??

I hate Spanish.
Actually let me rephrase that.... Spanish makes me frustrated & depressed.  And I hate those feelings.  Ok.... maybe it's not THAT bad.  I definitely don't feel that way all the time, and I am learning lots of new words like "carne molida de res" which means ground beef.  Most of my new vocabulary involves going to the grocery store, or has to do with my kids... "gatear" means to crawl, which Cooper is all over.
When Marco talks to friends or family now I understand almost all of the words...
It's just making those words into sentences that is difficult.
When we were at Karla's in Tegucigalpa I would turn the TV to the news channel and read the ticker tape.  My goal was to read the words and form the sentences before they were gone from the screen.
The ticker tape repeated itself so I had multiple opportunities to figure out what was being said, so eventually I ended up understanding.

One of the most frustrating things for me is when the family is all gathered together and they are laughing and having a good time and I am completely lost, sitting there smiling like an idiot.  That's hard.  They are having such a good time and I wish that I could be a part of that, instead all I want to do is go and hide because my head hurts from trying to put all the words together into sentences.

Things aren't all bad.  Things are improving, and most of the people that I have met now know to slow things down for me, and if I look completely confused they'll try to explain in different words.

(In my high school Spanish class if we did not know the word we would have to use different words do describe our way around the word we did not know.... ie Birthday Cake - a sweet desert that you eat to celebrate the day that you were born.)

Maria & Spanish
Maria is a pretty amazing little girl.  Ahh... so wonderful and precious and adorable and smart etc, etc, etc.
I think she understands quite a bit of Spanish, I think she still knows more English, but her Spanish is definitely progressing.
Here are some words that she uses regularly:
salud = bless you (after someone sneezes)
venga = come on
vaya = get out of here
mira = look
bomba = balloon
Abuela/ Abuelo = Grandma/ Grandpa
zapato = shoe
nino = boy
agua = water
gracias = thank you
luz = light
oscuro = dark

Isn't she so super cool!!
I think so.
Here are some pics of her from a couple weeks ago...  She didn't have any bottoms on so that's why these are all of her tops.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valle de Angeles

While we were in Tegucigalpa we (courtesy of Karla & Jose) made a little day trip to Valle de Angeles.  Which is a little tourist town close to Teguc.  They rented a mini-bus and driver for the day so we could all go together (Karla, Jose, Luis Gustavo, Abuela, Ana, Olga, Marco, Maria, Cooper, & I).
(Olga is the lady that keeps house and takes care of Luis Gustavo.... she is like part of the family.)

We parked the bus and walked into the center of town.  The roads are closed for a couple of blocks so there is no traffic on the roads which is nice.  The church and a park are in the very center of town with shops and restaurants bordering the square and on all the side roads too.  
We played in the park for a little bit, Maria liked the fountain.
We had lunch at a restaurant down one of the side streets and wandered back to the park to relax a little more.  Maria and Luis Gustavo ran around a gazebo...
I took some pictures of Ana, Olga, & Karla's family...

Jose held my purse...

Abuela hid from the camera....

and Cooper hung out in the ergo...

Marco and I went into a few little shops and eventually got Maria a wooden folding chair that's pretty cool.
Then we went and got back in the bus and drove to meet a friend of Karla's.
They know the caretaker of a property out there that has been abandoned for 10 years. 
There are play things on the property for little kids and they thought that the kids would enjoy it.... which they did.
Marco and the other guys there played a game of soccer.
Maria LOVED the houses.  She would pretend that she was cooking for us.
Cooper LOVED the swing.  He would bounce his little legs up and down with excitement.

After we said our goodbyes to Karla's friends we headed back to Tegucigalpa.... but not before making two more stops.

We stopped for corn...
grilled corn. boiled corn. fried corn pancakes sprinkled with sugar. mini corn tamale's. and a drink that tasted like warm sweet liquid cornbread.

Maria slept thru most of the corn stop.... she woke up just in time to have a piece of corn on the cob.

Then we swung by a little town that had a lagoon with a boardwalk 3/4 of the way around it.  
Karla told me that during the day the turtles that live there come up and bask on these little sandbanks, but we got there too late and they had all gone to bed for the night.

It was a great day.  I REALLY enjoyed seeing Valle de Angeles and want to go back.  There were so many little shops that we didn't get to see which looked so interesting.

Friday, February 11, 2011


There were 3 things that I had in mind that I wanted to do while in Tegucigalpa.
The first was more of a need than a want.... take care of immigration paperwork.
The second was to go to a park for the kids.
The third was to go fabric shopping (Abuela is going to teach me some sewing stuff!!)

We took care of the immigration stuff on our first two days there.
On another on of our days we decided to go to Chiminike.  It is a children's educational play museum.  
The kids had TONS of fun.  We were there for 2 1/2 hours and they did not want to leave.

At first Maria was a little afraid of the metal frogs on the benches...
but slowly she crept closer...  At the end she still wasn't completely comfortable, but she did think they were super cool.  When I was uploading the pictures she kept saying "Ria, Stavo, and Frog!!"
The first area we went into was geared towards younger children. 

A little later Cooper even got on one of these little bikes and was practically running (alone!).
There's Abuela holding Cooper.... a rare picture of her.

Another of the rooms was mini-city.  It had a little construction area, a bank, a grocery store, a radio station, and television station.

We could hear each other talking so we sang songs.
This was the body room.  Maria is climbing thru a blood vessel.
Climbing up.
and going down the slide.... it was a little on the fast side.
The biggest game of operation I've ever seen.
The weather room.  Cloud raining on the mountain which filtered down to the river.
Where Maria and Luis Gustavo went fishing.
This was the Honduran Cultural room....This was the only picture that we got of them with masks on at the same time....
We stopped outside in the courtyard for a little snack.
Here is the view from one of the windows.
At the end we went back to the room we started out in to wait for our taxi. They had a whole bunch of costumes for the kids to dress up in (plus a stage for acting) and Maria found this Tigger costume. She loves everything Winnie the Pooh, so she had to put it on.... getting it off when the taxi got there was real fun.
We had a great time.  And I think every time we go back to Tegucigalpa we'll have to stop by Chiminike for a few hours.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Road Rash & Goose Eggs (and a new layout)

Monday Cooper was off-roading in his walker in the back yard.  
While I was gathering the laundry from the line...
He reached a little too far to try to pick up a rock and crashed out of his walker.

Now he's got a case of road rash...
and then to top things off, poor little guy, fell off the bed this morning and got a goose egg on the back of his head.

Cooper is now officially mobile. 

Check out the new layout... 

I just got a Formspring account, just click on the button to the left and it will take you to my page.  Ask your questions & I'll answer.

I've also added my email address, in case you'd like a more personal approach.

There are also links posts about:
-Living in Honduras
-Arts & Crafts

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet Moments

When we got back from Tegucigalpa our fan quit working after about 15 minutes.  
Yesterday Marco got out his tools and started tinkering with it.
For those of you who don't know, Marco can fix pretty much anything.

Maria, Cooper and I were hanging out on the bed watching Marco fix the fan.
He was tinkering away, loosening and tightening screws, tapping this, shaking that, turning the fan on and off until it started to work again.  
At one point I glanced over at Maria and Cooper and they were both just staring at their dad fix the fan. 
Completely mesmerized

I don't know what it was about the whole moment, but I was completely filled with joy.

The Breakdown

This is the view that we had from the bus (on one side) when we were broken down.  It was a beautiful hot sunny day..... I did mention it was hot right?!?
Water here is sold in bottles, but it is more popular/ less expensive to buy water in plastic bags.  To drink, you tear a little hole in one of the corners.
Between waiting for buses we got off the bus and waited in the shade.  By this point most of the other passengers had left on other buses.
Here is Cooper passed out on Ana's lap about 10 minutes after the bus got going.  Maria joined him  a couple of minutes later.