Journal Day 16 May 28, 2013
Today was our last “real” day in Honduras; by real, I mean that tomorrow we are just driving all day to get to San Pedro Sula, and then on Thursday it’s back to the States. So lucky for us, we went out with a bang.
Breakfast was at 8:15 and we had pancakes, fruit, eggs, bacon, and other American delicacies. Nothing like a good, hearty breakfast to start a long, eventful day!
First event of the day: visit the Copan Ruins! These ruins were an ancient Mayan civilization: one of the last ones built! Our toothless guide, Tony, joked and told us that the Mayans just didn’t like Guatemala and Costa Rica and wanted to stay in Honduras. But we followed Tony around as he told us the history of the different structures that we saw. There were temples, statues depicting past rulers, such as 18 Rabbit, a ball field, burial grounds, and more. Most of the structures we saw were the exact structures that were excavated, and they were in the same place as when they were found! Only a couple were replicas. We got to climb up some of the structure and see the great view of the city. And naturally, we took a bunch of pictures. Additionally, our BGR SOCs asked us to take pictures in Purdue shirts at the different places we are around the world and post it to a Facebook page, so Lindsey, Aidan, and I all took some cute pictures in our Purdue gear and then hopped up on one of the ruins and recorded the BGR Common Bond dance to “Good Time” by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepson! It was really fun!
After the ruins, we ate some lunch at the cafeteria there (I had basically the same thing as the night before) and Eloisa even treated us to ice cream cones! It was wonderful.
Upon arriving back to the hotel, we had our final class while sitting around the pool. We discussed our experiences at ABSS and some of the pros and cons of bilingual schools like it. It was hard to focus though because right after we went horseback riding! Almost all of us walked down the street to where a bunch of horses were tied up, and we got to pick which horse we wanted. I unfortunately picked the one named Tortuga, or turtle. And yes, he did eventually live up to his name. But anyways, we all got on our horses and began our walk up the mountain trail to visit an indigenous village up there. The ride was mostly uphill (like I said, mountaintrail) and the horses weren’t the biggest things in the world. I basically felt awful the whole time and thought that maybe I should be the one carrying the horse. But there were 4 guys with us to make sure everyone’s horse was behaving, and they continually had to click at Tortuga and hit his behind to keep him moving. In fact, on the way back, I was the last one the entire ride. But it was really fun because everyone’s horse had some temperamental moments (such as when Jenny’s kicked another person’s), some people had to get off their horses and switch, and some horses had to stop and go to the bathroom and such. I even had to stop and get off my horse once because my saddle wasn’t straight apparently. But somehow, I managed to stay on.
I had mixed feelings about arriving in the village. It was really cool because we got to see yet another side of Honduras (one that still spokes some of the Mayan language), but it was hard to see, because all the children immediately swarmed us, waving their cornhusk dolls in our faces, practically begging us to buy them. I felt so guilty for continually turning them down, especially because they were so cute and cheap, but I had already bought some. Plus, the couple of people who did buy some were subjected to the whole group of the kids surrounding them, wanting them to buy theirs and nobody else’s.
It would have been nice to stay a little longer and maybe check out the school and some of the buildings or join the kids’ soccer game, but we saw the clouds rolling in, and the last thing we wanted to be doing was trekking down a steep mountain slope on horses who might get skittish with the thunder and lightning. So we cut our visit short and headed back the way we came. Since the storm was so close, we were forced to be in a continuous trot, which, if you ask me, is the least comfortable speed a horse can go with a human on its back. Why, you ask? Well, you tell me if you’d enjoy a constant bumpy ride with your butt slamming into a hard saddle and your vertebrae smashing together every second. Yeah, didn’t think so. But the rainfall started as soon as we dismounted, so we had a nice run back to our hotel.
We took some time to chill and shower and whatnot, and then it was off to dinner! Our horse guide recommended a place called Twisted Tanya’s, so we checked it out. It was a good thing we did! The bar/restaurant was in a building where you had to go up a flight of stairs to get to the main part. It was basically a giant covered balcony that overlooked the city streets. It was really quaint and cute, with paper lanterns and cozy decorations everywhere. And the best part? In English! Woohoo!
I ordered some quesadillas and a brownie and ice cream for dessert (hey, it was our last real night in Honduras), and we had a blast! The waiter even let us hook up our iPods to jam! It was a really fun last night. We even saw our “friend” there…the guy we met last night who was the New York med student that took our pictures at Via Via. He had met up with some other travelers and they were eating dinner. We later saw them again when we all went to Via Via after dinner, and they showed up and sat by us. The med student began doing personality tests on us too which was kind of fun, albeit random. We all decided there was something a little off about him. But I did have a nice conversation with his friends from Switzerland who had been backpacking the past 4 months. Can you imagine? Just showing up in a new country and not knowing where you were going or what you were going to do that day? Crazy!
When we decided the night was over, we went back to our hotel, which we were temporarily locked out of, until the front desk man came and saved us. We were very sad that it was the end of our reign in Honduras 😦
On top of the world
Twisted Tanya’s with Katie and Laura
Twisted Tanya’s with Kayla