Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Day of Adventures

This was certainly a day packed with adventures. And yes, that may be a submarine in the photo above!
We started out the day with a 2 hour power outage. Then Dennis dropped by to tell us that there was a bad leak in the main water tank up the hill (where the well water is pumped into), it would have to be drained, dried and repaired which meant that we would have no water for several days. Fortunately, we have our own reserve tank and can go several days using it for everything except drinking water. Don went right in to the kitchen and began filling pitchers, empty juice and Coke bottles with drinking water. I mentioned that we could buy a jug of drinking water. Later, Dennis called to report that he would not shut off the water until Monday when he got the parts he needed, so catch up on laundry, etc. in the meantime.
Rick and Luz called to tell us about an open house at the girls' school this morning from 8-12, so we got ready to go. As we were walking up to our car, we noticed this strange looking ship out in the sea. If we hadn't already locked the house and gates, we would have pulled out our telescope for a closer look, but it sure does looks like a submarine (click to enlarge). Could not tell whose submarine.

The principal met us at the gate to the school (kept locked) and explained that it wasn't really an open house, per se, but a "welcome back to school" party for the kids, and parents and sponsors were welcome to visit. She said that Susan, Rick and Luz had already been there. It was pretty chaotic and loud. Loud speakers in the courtyard booming out music, kids running around, lots of balloons, people walking around with plates of food, much laughter and talking.
We made our way to Leydi's classroom without getting hit by a soccer ball and only one child ran into me. Whew! Leydi's teacher, who introduced himself as 'Carlos', greeted us. He was happy to meet Leydi's sponsors and gave us a brief report. He said she is a very good student and very serious about her work. I said I was amazed at how quickly she was picking up English; he said, yes, he has been working hard with her and she is just soaking it up. I asked if she was having problems in any areas, and he said no, but he was being attentive to the possibility. He saw my camera and very quietly said "class, photos" and they immediately formed this little group!! Honduran children love to have their photo taken, well, except for Leydi who clearly thinks I take too many photos. That's Leydi on the right in the back row.
She did smile for this shot with Don. She had called 'Mr. Don' over and told him in English that she had white shoes for her P.E. class. She had a plate of food wrapped up to take home, perhaps to share with Concepcion. The kids were all eating or just finishing up when we got there, and what a feast they had! For a child like Leydi, this was a great treat. They even had cake. As we were leaving, we met one of the office women carrying a plate of food and asked what kind of cake she had, and instead of telling me, she handed the plate to us! Not sure what it was, but it was good; heavy and dense, like a pound cake, very moist, very different flavor - yucca, perhaps.
We found Gracie and this classmate alone in their classroom. I asked her if she was having fun and she shrugged and put a hand to her ear. I said "yes, it's very loud, isn't it?" The fifth graders in the next room where incredibly loud. Don't know where the rest of her classmates were.

It was a far cry from anything you'd see in an American school, but the kids were having fun and generally speaking were not out of control. And so eager to have their photos taken! Lots of happy faces and full tummys.

As we made our way back to our car, Leydi came running up to the gate, crying "Mr. Don. Mr. Don. When can we swim at your house?" Yes, all in English. Rick and Luz had taken all the girls swimming Wednesday after school at the resort where they are staying. That was really a treat! Leydi was initially fearful, but pretty soon was splashing and having fun. Apparently she really liked, because she wants to go again. Don said he didn't know for sure, we had to find a place to take them. She was relentless in trying to pin him down!!

We went to the market to get fruit and the pharmacy to get drugs. This time I got generic Protonix, 70 tablets for about $7.00 US. Unbelievable. In the US I pay anywhere from $117. to $135. for 30 tablets!! And we got a 15% discount off the total because we are residents!! Woo hoo!

The adventures were far from over. After lunch, I picked up Debi and we set off for French Harbor to get haircuts. We're both tired of Nadia's cuts and ready to try someone new. Brenda was recommended by a friend, so we went to her shop. Lights off, door locked. Lunch break, maybe? Debi called one of the phone numbers on the window and the person she spoke with didn't know where Brenda was nor had a number for her, but said the shop was closed permanently. I had to stop at Ace Hardware and get a small can of stain for Don, so Debi went over to the saleswomen and asked if they knew Brenda. No, but they recommended Lucy in French Harbor, said she was very good...and cheap, about 100 lempiras ($5.00) for a cut. We were off in a flash! The directions: yellow house in French Harbor, sign says "Lucy". We found it, right on the water. She was busy with other people, but her helpers welcomed us, gave us hair styling books to look at and asked if we also wanted manicures.

When it was my turn, I was shampooed by her assistant, and prepped with clips and cape. Lucy asked in Spanish what I wanted and I said "mismo, pero corte about this much en todo," and prayed that she understood. She did! Fabulous cut, nicely shaped. (I know, a minor miracle!) They did charge me 300 lempiras (still only about $16.) Debi wanted something different and although it was cut a bit shorter than she expected, it was so cute! She was delighted. Lucy was going to charge her 140 lempiras because Debi mentioned that she is a resident, but the assistant whispered in Spanish that she had charged the other woman (me) 300 lempiras, so that's what Debi was charged also. Next time, we'll mentioned the residency first for the discounted price. Posted by Picasa

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