Goodbyes, good times and bad men- Week 4 in La Esperanza

La Esperanza Travel Blog

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Al breaking it down Karaoke style
Tuesday meant back at school...I was finding it hard to walk due to the huge bruise going right across my bum. Oh yeh, Sally was ill, well actually she had a stomach me and Seb took the class. Now I had no idea what was going on, as I missed the lesson planning session on Monday, so it was more of a, make up as you go along session, on the body....with the head and shoulders song turning out to be a firm favourite with the 2nds and 3rds. The 1sts were colouring in the body again.

Also, I was planning to start building next week, but wanted to stay in the school, so I thought it would be good to build the toilets, as they dont actually work. I was given a quote of $60 for the toilets, and didnt mind forking that out...but then the guy selling the equipement and materials said $1300! We found out later that it was gringo pricing, as they saw Seb! We thought this was ridiculous and so have now scarpped the plan of the toilets and are concentrating solely on the teacher and fund raising for one.
Will on that table
Tuesday was also the day of the meeting with the patron of Pueblo Viejo, and the head of families...however they didnt speak englsih...and although my spanish had improved, it was no where near the level required to discuss the things we were discussing, and so I had to cancel the meeting and tell them that Sally would discuss it.

We headed back, and I went to discuss the teacher situation with Save The Children for an hour or so...before having to prepare for tomorrow. It poured down, maybe for 6 hours continuously...retired to bed early after getting through fried bananas, beans and rice for dinner! Yum Yum...again, it got duly thrown up in the bathroom...our bathroom got flooded, the sewage was was lots of fun.

Me, Will and a kilo of choc chip ice cream
..had a cold, couldnt go to school, and later found out Sally still had the bug, and couldnt go was left to Seb, the only person who couldnt speak a word of spanish, to take the class! Instead I thought I would visit the all of you lucky people, you just need to walk down the high street for your closest ATM....i take the bus for 1 and a half hours to Siguatepece, to get to my closest ATM. But that would be too easy for me....what do I do, I fall asleep on the bus, and thinking I've missed Siguatepece, I get off, to find that I was only asleep for 15 minutes and have gotten off at a different service station in the middle of nowhere. So I start walking...and ask this little boy how far Siguat. is, he says 4 hours I walk some more, an hour later, the local bus comes past and I'm able to get a ride to Siguatepece.
..get my money and go back. A nice 5 and a half round trip, just to get some money.

Returning, I felt ill, so after getting home at 6pm, it was back to the sack...managed to get out of dinner, unfortunately Seb did not have such luck...and slept for the day.

So I left you all on a fine Thursday morning. Both me and Sally were back in working condition now...and this marked the penultimate day at school. The rastafarian bus, thats supposed to be a rainbow shall be missed...thats what I shall miss a lot. We had decided to mark our end we would give an english exam to everyone apart from the 1st years, who seem to be developing their colouring in skills, it reminds me of geography lessons...

So we make it in, and heart attack hill doesnt seem to be as heart attackish as it used to be.
After a game of football and random throwing-little-children-up-in-the-air games, the first exam was set to begin. The 2nds entered...the announcement was made...there was an air of anxiety in the room...a 4 page exam covering the body, colours, days of the week and numbers...but they got sheets to help them.Some of them stormed through it...Sally's favourite Denilson was his usual best, with surprise package Allan also good for a tip. Some people didn't really understand what was going on...the divide was evident...but an hour had come to an end, and that was that. Some satisfied, some not so...and on to the 1sts...colour in the words session...and that was really that. Although me and Franklin had another little chat about his weekend...and his girlfriend Yesica.
In the pool bar
..he's 5, she's 5, its cute.

A break time full of photos and cool videos, and a crunching game of football. Boys vs girls, first time both sets were on the football pitch together...and there was no love lost. Me on the girls team, and Sebastian Jefferies on the boys. The girls are pinned back in their penalty box for the early part of the match, making half hearted attempts to get out of the area. The boys took an early lead, however an own goal later it was 2-0. With 10 minutes of break to go a goal from the half way line brought the scores back to 2-1. And then a through ball later, Jesica was through on goal, rounding the on coming keeper she tucked it away in the bottom right hand corner...2-2. The rock being hit against a piece of metal went, and it was the end of the game.
Prizes shared...the tired players retreated back to class, especially me, who was gasping for breath...don't think I'm fully acclimatized yet.

The 3rds were the last exam of the day...we have found out that there is girl in the class who has a mental disability, only on our last day did our teacher decide to mention this to us. She answered all the questions on the sheet as numbers...yet even with this mental disability she was allowed to go up 2 years. There isn't much help that she can get out here, as maybe only the big cities of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa will be able to accomodate mentally disabled children...but even there it will cost a lot. Maybe this is something the soon to be charity can spread its wings into...once there is enough money...and once we've achieved everything else we set out to achieve.
The day was over...the penultimate day had come and gone, just like the last 4 weeks had. We walked back with the kidergarden teacher, the walk is kind of refreshing now...until the girls made me and Seb run after a pick up, only for the pick up to do a U-Turn and come back in our direction. But its good sprint training...which was useful, as after the hour walk we saw the bus drive a cheetah i was off, but unlike a cheetah I was tiring...but I kept going...with Seb closely behind me...they saw us...and stopped, at which point so did I...crawling onto the bus I dozed off to 70s and 80s love songs.

We went to the chinese, marked our papers, scores varying from 6/54 to 35/54. The likely candidates did well, Allan, Denilson etc. But there were also some surprise packages...which is always good to see. We went to Save The Children, where a bank account was sorted out, and Sally put in the first installments. We then got prepared for our evening session. It was Sallys, Will´s, Krish´s and ´Dorothy´s penultimate day in La Esperanza. So we all decided to go out for a nice meal.

Opallaca's was the destination, and everything was going great. The lads had a lot of bantor going, the drinks were flowing, the food (oh my god the food - a barbecue of meats...pork, beef and chicken!) Was incredible! But all of a sudden, Dorothy started to act a bit strange, crying randomly, hugging the waitresses...and then she went blank. She couldn´t walk by herself...she had over dosed herself on Thyroid medication...not on purpose...but because she hadn´t taken them for 3 days, she thought she´d take them in one go...which for a qualified nurse was not oh so clever. She went into the toilets with the help of Hannah and Elisa...and looked completely out of it....the doctor needed to be called, and she was taken to hospital. We thought she would be alright as the doctor said she was now stable after flushing out the we carried on our night.

Owen short changed us again...but anyway, Sally, Al, Will, Krish, Seb and I headed off to the ice cream parlour. Me and Will finished off half a gallon of choc chip ice cream, whilst the others had some nasty fruit, cream and ice cream concoctions. The night was good, better than it sounds here, just a bit of a downer with Dorothy´s incident.

Friday started with the hangover headache and the stomach not feeling so fantastic, but we made it to school, just about, holding my head in my sombrero, in case the ice cream wanted to make a guest appearance. But we made it, and got through the 2nd set of exams. The final day at school came and went, it was emotional, but I realized I would be back, because I needed to sort out the english teacher, as well as dropping off more photos, and in case Seb went crazy....Sally was presented with her gift...When I do finally leave its going to very hard.

I have become attached to this school, more so the pupils...and the fact is that these children are bright, and can achieve a´s just about opening doors, giving them the opportunity to do so...and then letting them make the decision about walking through the door or not. We made the presentation of the winning students in a big school ceremony with random london gifts kindly donated by Sally being the prizes. My favourite Joselyn, in the 4ths, scored a cool 54/54, the only one in the school. Whilst in the 6ths, there was so much cheating that it was hard to pick out a true winner...but we got one, and everyone was chuffed with their prizes.

And so we left...the same inaugrial walk back, but luckily managed to get picked up on the way. We thought we´d drop by the hospital to see how Dorothy was doing, as we had not heard much since the incidents of the previous night. Now I had been to the hospital before, in the unsuccessful attempt to get some crutches, and the people seemed depressed enough on the outside, but the inside was a million times worse. The faces reminded me of those you saw in pictures of widowed old women in commmunist russia...everyone seemed so depressed, the patients seemed happier to be there than the nurses...and I really wouldn´t want to be a patient there...ever.

Anyway, we headed through the trenches till we got to the childrens room they were working on, only to find it empty, deserted....a little boy and girl came up behind us and told us they had gone to Tegucigalpa...asking what happened, they said heart attack!!!!! Heart attack...we needed a second opinion. We hunted down Guermo, the (we think he´s in the closet) doctor who explained to us there was no heart attack, but that Elisa and Hannah made sure she went to Tegucigalpa (which was a good thing)...and that they went with her, which is also another good thing (eventhough it was prevented by our friend Guermo as well as i-to-i) as she had a respiratory arrest on the way there...anyway she was now stable in the private hospital in Tegucigalpa , which was good. We left...a bit shocked...but relieved...and ready for tonights adventures.

So the day when the original crew would be split had come...but we knew it would be celebrated to the nth degree, even we were down on a few people....Rachel even made a guest appearance from Tegucigalpa. So Krish, Will and Al had been drinking at the lagoon near their construction since 8 in the morning...unfortunately we never got that luxury at me and Seb thought we´d over eat and catch up on the drink at the chinese restuarant. We did the over eating...but were still behind on the drinks...Fogon was the destination for the meeting.

Me and Seb starting off with a few cocktails, whilst the rest came stumbling down the road...the beginning of a fantastic fantastic evening. We were there at Fogon for a good few hours, drinking the night away....and then Al and Krish decided that karaoke would be their forte...they may have been a tad mistaken. Attempting "Waiting For Tonight" by J-Lo...well the video may haunt them for a while....kinda like I Predict A Riot by Chocolate Box...I still have nightmares.
So after the Fogon session we headed over to PapaPauyas, the only nightclub in La Esperanza. On the way Krish decided that he´d jump onto the hoods of trucks....only to be confronted by a man with a gun, a big gun, at which point he stopped. So we headed to was about 10pm, Friday night, expecting a big crowd...nope...we were the only ones on the dance floor. That didn´t stop us though...we graced the dance floor with our presence...Al attempted a back flip and ended up laying on the floor for 5 minutes in pain...Krish attempted break dancing, and also lay on the floor for a while...Will scaled a pile on 20 plastic chairs and started cowboy dancing on the wooden table....Seb and I were not as pissed as them, but did grove down...and Rachel stared on in horror.

I ordered some white wine...and it was 21% wine...I have never felt so sick in my life. Anyway we spent a couple of hours there, Krish buying bottles of champagne towards the end...but we were getting a bit peckish...but it was 12am... La Esperanza was in the middle of its sleep, nothing would be open...but we thought of one place, our saviour on many an was our only me, Krish and Seb made our walk to the chinese restauarant, with Krish stealing a plantain en route. But no! The chinese was closed, they were getting into their cars ready to leave...a desperate plea later we had our freshly cooked 2 plates of Sweet and Sour chicken....I love that place.

We headed back with our food to continue the night...some drunks were making a bit of trouble but that was sorted out quickly, and we carried on where we left off, champagne and sweet and sour chicken...what else is needed. Lots of pictures, banter and laughter later we made our way out, for an emotional drunken goodbye...the group was now split...although we´d see them tomorrow for a proper send off. Those guys plus Sally will be missed, in 4 weeks they´d become great mates, with great laughs... La Esperanza will be very quiet without them. Me and Seb made the 20 min walk home at 2 in the morning.

With Saturday came hangover number 2, and the send off of the original crew. After which it rained, and rained and rained even more. In fact it rained for the whole we spent the day bumming around, doing a bit of shopping, interneting and then spending some time at the chinese. In fact that was a bit of an incident.

Basically, as I´ve said in previous emails the drunks here are disgusting...and me and Seb have become good friends with the people at the chinese. But today was the worst....they just grabbed every part of the girl possible, their breasts, their crotches...and I think it was the last straw for me and Seb. So Seb grabbed one guys hand and pushed them away whilst I pushed another away. At that point, the group of 15/16 Honduranian guys stood up and there was a stand off. Seb started talking Borat and screaming profanities, whilst I shouted that they were disgusting and what they were doing was very wrong. A man then said that I wasn´t Honduran, and this is part of the culture, with me replying, if this was what it meant to be Honduran, then I´d rather be raped by a dog and burn in hell (all in Spanish of course). Seb continued shouting Borat profanities. I continued drinking my beer, and the 16 were asked to leave the restaurant...however they stood outside waiting. They were waiting there for a good hour whilst we helped clean up the restauarant. We were offered a ride back, but we thought we´d do the walk, there was an appeal of all this tension.

But anyway, we started walking, and found that they were all in their cars waiting for us. So we picked up 2 big bits of rock and started our walk back home. The car was following us, and we took back streets, the 15 minute walk back took an hour...but we got back.

Sunday morning we informed Nery, one of the sons in our family. He is like the daddy of La Esperanza.. ..he owns many of the shops and the pool bars. He knew the people we were talking about, and left immediately to pull a few strings. We went to the pool bar (I carry my machete- which is the size of my leg!...around with me everywhere now!) to shoot a few balls, and saw the people there, except they seemed very quiet, and a bit scared...Nery had had a word or 2...they haven´t gone back to the chinese since.

Seb and I wandered through the famous Sunday market....the biggest disappointment ever...although watching the Lencas trading was cool.´We thought we needed a break...and headed for the luxury hotel in La Esperanza.. ..Cabanas Los Pinos, there we went swimming and ate lunch....some gorgeous Iranian chicken!

(The owner who recently passed away was an Iranian American who lived in Honduras for 5 years). It was great relaxation...we spent most of the afternoon there...heading back late afternoon ready for a rainstorm.

After getting truly soaked we headed back to our homestay. Javier missed the toilet again, so there was a poo floating around on the floor in the toilet. We then got served chicken rolls that didn't taste quite right...Seb duly threw up in the toilets.
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Al breaking it down Karaoke style
Al breaking it down Karaoke style
Will on that table
Will on that table
Me, Will and a kilo of choc chip i…
Me, Will and a kilo of choc chip …
In the pool bar
In the pool bar
La Esperanza
photo by: brett4321