Sunday, July 22, 2007

Our First Guests

We officially hosted out first guests in Honduras. Can you believe it? My friend Jen and her co-worker/friend, Kevin arrived in San Pedro Sula 5 days after me and the kids got here. As soon as that was, I enjoyed having the company from "home". They stayed for a few nights and then were off to Tela for a few days and then the island of Utila for about a week of diving. The top photos are from a restaurant we took them to in Puerto Cortes that is right on the beach and also has a pool where the kids enjoyed swimming. Jen and Kevin are teachers in Nevada so with the summers off they took the opportunity to do some traveling. Jen spoke pretty much no spanish when she arrived, and by the time she left she was giving it a good try with the words she picked up along the way. Way to go Jen!
Kevin spoke spanish enough to get them through the tough times and getting them from here to there. I wouldn't recommend traveling to Honduras unless you know a fair to good amount of spanish or else I would think it could be quite the headache otherwise and possibly a little dangerous.

After spending a little time in Honduras, they took a 12 hour bus ride through Nicaragua to Costa Rica and had a few weeks of adventures there. Then they were back to San Pedro Sula to visit with us a little more. We debated on if they wanted to go to Belize or Copan with me and the kids. Since I had not been to see the property yet that Papa and I own there, and explaining what the town was all about, we decided we would go spend a few days in Copan. The only snafu was that Papa could drive us there, but couldn't stay since he had to work early Monday morning.

We spent the next 4 days being like this little kitty up on the roof chilling out. Spending time relaxing. Doing a little sight seeing and walking around town, talking to people and eating at some of the many restaurants there. There are many types of restaurants where you can find many good things to eat if you want to get away from typical Honduran food as well as many good tipico food as well. Jen was afraid of eating anything with strange meats or anything dairy for some reason. This is probably one reason she didn't get sick at all while on her month long vacation.

I love Copan. I really do. I don't know if it will ultimately end up being the place we build a house. Papa's business is doing too good in San Pedro Sula, which is the industrial capital of Honduras. But I daydream about living there one day. The days can be hot, don't get me wrong. But the nights are cool and AC really isn't needed. It can sometimes even be cold enough for sweaters. I actually wore makeup while there. At home in SPS, I have given up even attempting to put anything on other than sunscreen.

I was very nervous at first being in Copan without Papa. He's my security here in Honduras. I think I'm a fairly strong, independent person who can handle her own, but with the language barrier I start to feel pretty vulnerable. But I totally shocked myself because I actually know some spanish! When I was forced suddenly I had all these things to say. I could hardly believe it! It really was a boost in my confidence as far as my ability to learn the language.

Here are some photos from our getaway in Copan:

Brother Sprout chilling at Casa de Todo. He is trying to smile for the camera but it usually ends up being the funniest and cutest darn faces.

Jen, Sister Sprout and I took a horseback ride up to Hacienda San Lucas which is a restaurant/hotel/tourist destination worth visiting. We had a guide that walked with us all the way up holding Sister's horse. In fact, the first night we were in Copan, we ate at the same restaurant that the owner, Flavia Cueva was eating at and ended up having a long chat with her. She's a pretty cool lady and actually was a spanish teacher for like 30 years in the US and went back to her birthplace (Honduras) to pursue a dream of building the hacienda on some abandoned family land that overlooks the Mayan ruins.

Guess who's horse was the mama of that little foul? Yep - mine. My horse was also the matriarch and would not let any of the other horses take the lead. In fact...Jen's horse also wouldn't let Sister Sprout's horse go in front of hers. The pecking order I guess.

We took a foot tour from Hacienda San Lucas to a place called Los Sapos (the frogs). It is the birthing place of the Mayan women. It's an incredible place to visit. Looking at the rocks and thinking about those Mayan woman who birthed their babies there centuries and centuries ago with no drugs. Ugh.

This is a front view of the the birthing center. A serpent sculpture is the most noticeable. There are other animals carved, but they are hard to tell what they are. The women would have given birth on top of the serpent.

This photo is hard to tell what it is. If you saw it in person and could make out what's going on, it's pretty cool. It is a carving of a woman giving birth. There is a big round belly next to her hands. The blob under her hand would be the baby. You just have to see it in person.

On the way back to the Hacienda we walked past this fresh spring where the indigenous people come to do their laundry and bathe. A very tranquil spot. The air smells like flowers and earth here. In the dry season, the river is dry, but the fresh spring always runs.

Sister Sprout taking in the view and relaxing at Hacienda San Lucas

Brother Sprout at our hotel Calle Real near central park, but up a very steep hill.

Sister Sprout giving us a pretty smile. This patio area was really nice for the kids to be able to run around.

We took a tour of the butterfly gardens. Very beautiful. The owners are a husband and wife. They also have an orchid nursery with so many different kinds of orchids they are going to be published soon in a book and CD. The owners of the gardens collect and maintain the gardens (butterfly & orchid) and are very enthusiastic about their work. They also live on the land and I spent a lot of time talking about how he built his house. Pretty neat guy who has been living in Honduras for 14 years now.

We stopped at the public library in town. There is a nice children's section with lots of books. We spent some time reading the many spanish and bi-lingual books. Mama's got to work on her spanish too!

We have a regular taxi driver that we call while in Copan Ruinas. Hi Cesear! Aren't the taxi's cute? There are quite a few in town. It costs about US $.25 to go anywhere around town per person. More if you need to go outside of town.

Just wanted to share these big beautiful brown eyes! Thanks Sister for taking the photo.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm one of your mom's email friends. Just wanted to tell you I love your blog. It is so informative. I missed your updates while you were having blog troubles last week. Glad that is over with. I told my daughter Lynda about your blog and she checks it out all the time too. Glad you are settling in ok.

Ranty said...

I LOVVVVVE Copan Ruinas! Your photos of Hacienda San Lucas and Los Sapos brings back such great memories.

I'm returning on the 2nd of August, by the way! I wish we could go to Copan, as well as meet you in SPS, (how cool would that be - two Minneapolitans meeting in SPS??) but alas we only have 8 days, so we're heading straight to the north coast.

Someday, however, I decree that we should have a Honduras blogger rendezvous in San Pedro Sula or Tegus... and we should eat sushi.

It would be seriously rad.

Tom said...

I am so glad everything is going well.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someday I can visit Copan!
-- Grandma Sprout

Aaron Ortiz said...

Congratulations on leaning Spanish. They say once you dream in a language you have mastered it.

Having just gone to Pulhapanzak, Copán is next on my list of Honduran places I wanna visit. I love it too, but have only been there twice.

Honduras Sprout said...

Vicki - Hi again! I think your daughter did leave a comment. I love hearing from people.

Ranty - I think a meet up would be excellent one day!! Have a fun and safe trip too.

Tom - I think I am finding a routine here now. Starting to anyway...

Grandma Sprout - if that passport ever would come!

Aaron - Oh I have a ways to go on Spanish. I think I would be at about the level of a two year old. I think I can speak spanish about as good as my 2 year old son can speak english.
Pulhapanzak is beautiful. My husband has family in San Buena Ventura and the waterfalls and park are not too far from there.