Sunday, January 16, 2011

Castles & Romantic Languages & Near Misses

Late lastnight Stéphane and I decided that CUSO-VSO staff likely don't work on Sundays, so we ought to find our own entertainment for the day and look forward to meeting our colleagues on Monday.  At breakfast we asked the hotel owners where we might change our moneys  into the local currency, Lempiras, and what sort of touristy attractions they might recommend.  As luck would have it, there is a nearby supermarket (Mas x Menos...More for Less) where we could use an international ATM, and the family would be going for a Sunday outting on a nearby mountain top for the day.  We were invited to hitch a ride with them to said mountain top.  ¡Que suerte!

We gleefully took them up on their kind offer.  We thought this low-land neighbourhood was mucky-muck?  On the way up we passed the residence of the American embassador.  Wow.  At 10 km we pulled into a private residence.  This was the 2nd home of the owners of the hotel, built in European style, with beautiful landscaping.  The neighbours, architects from Europe, built a modern-day castle next door. No F-werding kidding (see photo). 

A few minutes after our arrival, our host informed us that we had two options.  We could stay for the day with the family. They were hosting a birthday party for both the owner (75 y) and his grandson (1 y).  They were expecting the guests to arrive by 1 pm because they said the party starts at 11 am (classic Latin American concept of time). There would be a catered lunch of fresh tacos with all the fixings, cake, a piñata, and schmoozing in Spanish, French and English.   Our other option was to go to a nearby park, sight-see, dine on our granola bars and oranges, then find a bus to take us back down to the hotel.  We gratefully chose the first option and started helping the family and their two employees (servants) set up in the backyard.

All day long Stéphane and I would look at eachother and laugh, eyes sparkling. This is our first day in Central America?!  What incredible luck we had to be invited to this beautiful place, surrounded by interesting, welcoming people, eating delicious, typical foods, and enjoying a gorgeous warm and sunny day among huge pines, inside a backyard garden.  Guests at this party included all kinds of professionals, from all over the world, or who had at least travelled or studied in different parts of the world: Canada, France, Switzerland, Ecuador, Belgium, Spain and of course Honduras.  Engineers, doctors, lawyers, foresters, a gender specialist from the American Embassy, and a TV/radio was totally mindblowing.  And the conversations!  World history tied into current politics, imperialsim, colonialism, the influence of religions, the different development models and what the people need...Wow. And strong opinions, by both men and women, about all kinds of topics, sometimes differing and discussed in a humourous and forceful manner.  I caught the gyst of most of it, but my Spanish is still very limited, so I inserted a lot of smiling, nodding, an occasional raised eyebrow, and laughter when others seemed to be laughing (likely not at me).

After the incredible meal it was time for the piñata "event". I was invited to take a swing. Blindfolded or not,  I wanted to demonstrate that I do not swing like a girl.  However, under such performance pressure,  I couldn't remember what "adelante" or "detrás" meant when the crowd was coaching me about what direction to swing.  Suddenly there was much commotion and a little screaming--I decided it best to cease to swing.  Fortunately I didn't take anyone out, but had I, there were several doctors in the house who surely could have dealt with a broken nose anyway.

Nos vemos,  Gë   

1 comment:

  1. What an introduction to a place! So fortunate that all those ducks lined up for you two, it sounds like a pretty amazing day.