Being a hockey fan in the heart of Honduras isn't easy. No ice rinks, no vacant parking lots, the streets aren't level and even if they were there is no one else to play with. I try to watch soccer, but it just isn't the same... and baseball is way too boring. Adapting to new cultures is always a challenge. However, I think I have a knack for it. When I spent almost a year living in New Orleans, after the storm, I learned a plethora of effective ways to settle into something new.
First, and most obvious, one needs to embrace the culture that they are living in. Second, it is always helpful to speak the language. I never ended up learning creole when I lived in Louisiana, but I did pick up a few words here and there. Also one needs the ability to filter the advise of others. When traveling or living abroad you meet a diverse group of people. People who study hard, people who drop out of school, people who yell in public, people who cheat on their wives, people who steal, people who relax after work. All these people will eventually start to move their mouths in such a way that they produce sounds. These sounds will form words and the words will start to resemble, what may seem to be, good or bad advice. I'm demonstrating this now with my keyboard... Imagine me verbalizing all this garbage... Got it? Good, let's move on.
The one thing that would really be helpful is a strong stomach. I was never blessed with this gift, yet I survive. Because of this I can say that strong stomachs are not a necessity when living abroad. I often take an alka-seltzer with my evening meals, it has become somewhat of a ritual. I find it important to eventually develop a routine. Like a domesticated animal, humans tend to function better with a routine. Get up, wash your teeth, put on your clothes, and so on. These things help distract us of the completely insignificant role we play in the universe as a whole. They help us focus on how we directly effect those around us. The people who typically live within thirty to fifty miles from our place of nocturnal rest.
So how do we effect those around us? Is it for the better? That isn't such a profound question, but it seems to occupy most of my time. More importantly, HOW can I effect those around me in a positive way? Once I figure out how... Will it effect the universe as a whole? So to help answer these questions, among so many others, I go to places like New Orleans, Comayagua and even my own back yard in South Wales, NY... To discover a way in which I can comfortably inhabit this earth.
I also met a really foxy chick here in Honduras and were getting married soon. Peace out, enjoy the blog.
May 30th 2009
So I have survived the last leg of classes, although it isn't official yet. We still have exams next week. As of today (May 29th, 2009) I have been here for nine months and sixteen days. This got me thinking... I am not officially traveling; I life here. So I am considering changing my Blog to Wordpress.com, for a few reasons. There are most all the functions that Travelblog offers plus a few others. I can post photos and videos in each blog and I have control over the size and location. Readers will be able to subscribe, leave comments and, of course, read each blog. There are links to my flickr page and links to the Travelblog as well, so you can easily read the stuff from this site. Also any reader can follow me ... read more
May 28th 2009
Last night I was sleeping, soundly in my humble Honduran abode. I was having a dream about my hat, one of my favorite things to dream about. I find that dreaming about my hat is the second best thing to actually wearing it. Sometimes it's even better, seeing as how my forehead never sweats in dreams. However, last night's hat dream was different. One could even say it was a hat nightmare. The problem was that the hemp used to weave the Scala, from Sri Lanka, was all falling out. All that was left was some wire. The wire confused me, because there is no wire in my hat, but in my dream the hat was clearly supported by a firm wire cage. I was explaining to the science teacher, Alfredo, that the hat just simply ... read more
May 26th 2009
After a great weekend with the Mrs. I returned to the old routine. When I got to school on Monday I was greeted by one of the women who cleans my classroom at the end of the day. We have a few kitchen staff and they also open the rooms and clean up after the kids. Well her first words to me were, "Your room is full of bees." You can imagine what I thought when I heard that. I had images of nests being built and swarms of hornets flying in and around the books. I am known to tell some of the worst jokes at El Alba and the idea of bees in an English room made my day. "They must be spelling bees!" I said... classic. After a while we realized the bees ... read more
May 19th 2009
I have picked up two hobbies since I moved to Honduras. One is bike rides and the other is taking photos of roaming livestock while on my bike rides. I'll admit that the bike ride itself isn't a new hobby. I have been riding a bike since I was a kid, but a Honduran bike ride is a whole new experience. You see and learn a lot, sometimes things you like and sometimes things you don't. The livestock, for example, is something I really like. It always seems like they are going to give me a thrash or two for passing by with my camera in their face, but they never do... well, so far. They add a little spice to my bullion cube (pun intended) of cycling adventure. I also keep track of the colors. ... read more
April 29th 2009
Finally rainy season is returning. I was beginning to think I would literally melt the next time I stepped outside. The weather here isn't kind to a Western New Yorker, I think I might have mentioned that a few times already... but, it is finally starting to cool off a bit. Well... it is getting less hot, we still have a long way to go until it can "cool off." I consider myself to be a cold weather snob and I have very high standards when it comes to a wind chill. I never thought it was true, but there are times when the gusts of wind can make you feel hotter. The first time I felt a hot gust of wind, on an already spicy day, I thought it was the output of an AC ... read more
April 19th 2009
Give this video some time to download. It is about 13 minutes long. Enjoy Note: My (photo) camera had full batteries but the memory card wasn't set up right, so I couldn't take any photos. However, the miniDV was charged and ready to go. As usual the seven year old Canon did not disappoint. I figured a video blog would be just as good as a written one and our handy dandy video machine was happy to help us out. Depending on the responses I will most likely leave Punta Raton as a video entry. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll go into some greater detail. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for some new photos and info about life here in Comayagua. I tried to upload this video twice last ... read more
March 31st 2009
Exams are finished and the countdown has begun. A bell marking the beginning of Holy Week will be ringing this Friday in Comayagua. A tradition many Hondurans have celebrated for years. The time of this sacred ceremony varies from one neighborhood to the next. In our neighborhood they will be ringing the bell at 1:20 PM. At that time the streets will flood with screaming teenagers wreaking havoc on the unguarded city. The crowd of children, riddled with the occasional teacher, will be seen exiting El Alba school this Friday upon which each will go their separate ways. Since this is my first time celebrating as a teacher I am really excited. In the past I have experienced this Holy ringing of the bells, but (up until now) I never appreciated it. Now that I am ... read more
March 26th 2009
These photos really do speak for themselves... read more
March 10th 2009
Well, the field trip was a success. No students got pregnant and the director of the school didn't get thrown in the pool. Here is how it all went down. We arrived in Tegus and visited an old theater and the museum. The theater was really beautiful and it had great acoustics. There was all sorts of booths and even a presidential booth where I took the liberty to sit for a few minutes and enjoy the view. One of my 7th graders, Dennis, snuck up behind me and pointed his two fingers to the back of my head. Then he called me Abraham Clinton and that made me laugh pretty hard. If I was drinking milk it probably would have been a spit take. We hung around the theater for a while and then walked ... read more
March 7th 2009
We arrived at the hotel and all the kids with PSP's found a wireless signal. For those out of touch with hand held game consoles a PSP is a Playstation you can hold in your hands, and it uses wireless internet. One of my 7th graders found out the pass code and now I'm blogging. Currently I am in my room with Melvin and Dennis; both 7th graders. Melvin is watching the Simpsons and Dennis is playing video games. Now Nelson and Kevin, two 8th graders, just walked in the room. Nelson took Dennis' video game away and now they are both gone. Dennis would like to say the following: "Hello. Today we swim in the pool... It was dirty. And I go to take a shower and Melvin was in swimming and he swallow a ... read more