Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 Things I miss about living in Honduras... (part 1)

I had the fortune to live in La Paz, Honduras for 2 months in summer of 2010 and I definitely miss it! Here's to hoping I go back and visit in 2011! :)

1.  Tortillas:
I'm not talking about those white, floury, filled-with-carb wonders of tortillas that we have here in the US.  I'm not even talking about those skinny, yellow, greasy corn tortillas that we have in San Diego.  Noooo no no.  I'm talking about doughy, fresh, thick corn tortillas, used as a spoon, hot off the fire, and served in a stack of about 10.  I miss TORTILLAS. I miss eating tortillas.  I miss making tortillas.  I miss hearing the women next door on both sides clapping the dough in unison (sometimes they laugh and call out to each other, and clap in patterns or beats).  I miss the smell of ground corn and smoke.  I miss the way tortillas soak up bean juice and hold JUST the right amount of scrambled eggs.  I miss the different ways that little kids eat tortillas-- eating around and around the edge in circles, tearing off little bits and dipping them in coffee, throwing them like frisbees, smooshing them all up in a ball and shoving it in their mouths, rolling them into little miniature tacos and eating them lenthwise, or just hungrily shoving tortilla after tortilla in their mouths after a day full of school, work, and soccer.  I miss tortillas.

fresh tortillas
Real, Honduran tortillas in Copan.  Found on Flickr:

2. "Black" Coffee:
In Honduras, they only serve coffee "black," but somehow it is sweeter than any coffee I've ever had in the states.  It is usually fresh, grown about a minute away and roasted on a cement patio in the backyard. At the time, I didn't really think much of the coffee-- I had about 5 cups a day, and it seemed so normal and ordinary.  Now I miss it. A lot.  Somehow, pouring about 29387 teaspoons of sugar into my coffee every morning doesn't seem quite the same, and makes me feel guilty and unhealthy.  Instead I drink my coffee a little too bitter, and can hardly finish a cup. Yuck!

3. $1 Taxi Rides to Anywhere in the City:
I lived in the small town of La Paz, Honduras, and it was definitely walkable.  However, sometimes (like when it was raining, or I had a sprained ankle for a week, or I had to go to the doctor, or was carrying groceries for 9 people, or was running late for a meeting, or was being lazy, haha) I splurged a dollar and took a taxi.  The main market and place where taxis left from (see picture, below) was a few blocks from my house, but taxis passed on the main road outside as well, which I could catch in about a second (being a white girl def has its advantages) and we also had a favorite driver who we would call up to take us anywhere we wanted to go (we being me and my roommates/ coworkers).  It was sooo nice and convenient. AND CHEAP!

La Paz, Honduras
Found on flickr:

4. Latrines:
Maybe this sounds weird, but if anybody has lived in a developing country for a while, you probably know what I mean by this. Let's just say that drinking Honduran water, however purified, was not good for my stomach, and it was nice to have a bathroom that was a) away from the house b) nice and breezy and c) easily flushable and not prone to clogging.  Maybe that was gross, but hey, life is gross. Get over it.

Some things that sucked about latrines:
-walking to them in the middle of the night
-that little gap between the door and the wall where anyone could see you do your business if they were so inclined
-the little animals that liked to hang out inside them (aka crazy huge wasps that like to sting you WHILE you are pulling your pants off)
-having to walk around to the front of the house to get water from the pila in order to flush, if you forgot to grab it before you went to the latrine in the first place (which I usually did, haha).

...Somehow, the cons outnumber the pros, and yet I STILL miss latrines.  Weird.

5. Speaking in Spanish:
Another odd thing to miss, especially since, living in San Diego, I get plenty of opportunity to talk in Spanish.  It's really just not the same though.  People laugh at me when I use phrases like "Que pasa, calabasa?" ("what's up, squash?") or "nada nada, limonada" ("nothing much, lemonade")  or my personal favorite "cheque leque con panqueque" (HARD to translate, but literally "cool with a pancake" although it works way better in Spanish haha).  Honduran Spanish is a pretty "normal" version of Spanish (as opposed to like, Argentinian or something), but I still miss it, and wish I had more people to speak to in it.

Hablo Espanol, by Polache explains this better than I do :)

Check back tomorrow for numbers 6-10!! :)

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