Copan Ruinas

8/5/2010

 
  Just got back from the Copan Ruins. It was a crazy whirlwind trip, but well worth it! To begin with, Friday we went to a festival with Dilma, one of the women from the hospital. Her daughter was participating in the “most beautiful Indian” competition that was put on during the festival. One girl from each grade (and a few of the boys) each had handmade costumes made with all sorts of natural materials including beans, corn, seeds, wood, etc. They were absolutely gorgeous and it was pretty incredible to see the detail put into each of the costumes. It was also really fun to be there and see all the little Honduran kids just hanging out and having fun. It is amazing how kids of every culture are exactly the same. You see the same cliques and the same stereo-types. They also had a lot of typical Honduran food that I was really hoping to try, but sadly we had to leave before we got to try any of the food.

So we headed off to San Pedro Sula where we were expecting to meet up with the rest of the group. It was quite a long bus ride, about 6 hours, which put us into SPS at around 6pm, right around the time it was getting dark. Just as we were pulling into town I gave the others a call to double check our hotel reservation, only to find out that they were all already in Copan Ruinas and we did not have a hotel reservation in SPS. Needless to say I was somewhat concerned because I have only heard terrible things about the safety of San Pedro. So we hopped off the bus with little to know idea of where we were going to stay, and I was praying hard that all would be well. This is a good segway into talking about one of the huge blessings I have seen here; I am daily thrown into extremely challenging situations where I am forced to come to my knees before God and beseech his protection and provision. I truly see him constantly providing these. Even things as small as the fact that I usually don’t know whether there will be a bus at the time that we need to take it, but it has always been provided at the right time. Anyway, so we hopped off and made our reservations for the bus for the next day and got a recommendation for a hotel. The taxi driver that we ended up with was great, however he had no idea where the hotel we suggested was. But he was dropping another couple off at a different hotel, so we decided to just check there to see if they had room. Turned out to be a great hotel with a wonderfully cute couple working there. I felt very secure with the hotel and the taxi driver (which has not always been my experience) and it was such a relief to feel well taken care of. The only bummer is that somewhere in the midst of the shuffling around I lost my sandle and umbrella. Fortunately fairly small things but still so frustrating nonetheless.

The next morning we got to the station an hour early for our bus, however we were not certain where we needed to board. So we waited inside the station for an hour, and when we finally got on the bus it was just about to leave and was entirely full. We were a bit baffled as to why no one told us the bus was here sooner so we could actually have a seat, however such is life. So we ended up standing for the first few hours. However I saw some amazing acts of generosity toward myself and Amber and it was just incredible to see how caring people are. One man offered to hold my bag on his lap because I was fighting with it a lot (ok sounds kind of sketchy but he was a very amiable older man who didn’t look like he could hurt a fly). Then a few others offered their arm rest for Amber and me to sit on. Later two guys offered to move over so Amber could sit in a seat with them. Turns out they were part of a church band and were on their way to do a concert. It was cool talking to them for a bit, though I had to chuckle when they began discussing how they thought it was possible that 9/11 as God’s judgment on the states for not teaching the bible in schools anymore. It was a tough conversation to have with the language barrier, let alone the fact that I couldn’t really hear what they were saying. I have not had much opportunity to really delve into religious conversations with people here as I would like to. It appears to me that the last thing Honduras needs is more missionaries, they appear to be overflowing with those. I think they need now is people who are working hard (in the name of Christ) to rebuild this society.

It appears like this country has had periodic spurts of development, but everything that appears like it was at one point nice is neglected and run down. It feels like there is very little hope of things getting better soon. It’s so hard for me to figure out why these countries have such an impossible time developing.

Anyway, so we made it to the ruins and met up with the rest of the team to take a tour. They are incredible ancient Mayan ruins and it was just gorgeous and awe inspiring to be there. The rest of the team had taken a horseback riding trip prior to arriving at the ruins and were rather worn out, so I felt like I had the better end of the deal because I was fresh and very much enjoyed the ruins.  Later we took the most sketchy/amazing ride in the back of a truck to some hot springs. We piled in like cattle and were all quite eager for the ride holding on to the sketchily affixed railings of this truck. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes into the ride that we would be standing there for an HOUR before we arrived at the springs… I was really quite convinced that either we were all going to die or the truck would just stall out and die. We had 16 people piled into this tiny truck. The bed had holes developing where we were standing, and every time the driver turned the corner and we were thrown against the railing the whole sides of the truck began to sway as if they would fall off. When we arrived at the springs the truck was smoking. The hot springs were… nice? About half of us decided we didn’t want to pay for the expensive springs so we stayed in the janky pools down below. But we still had plenty of fun. And just when we thought the ride there was bad, the way back was even more ridiculous! It was dark and had begun to rain. Then the fog came… We were all in the back soaking wet, muddy, and the ground was even wetter. Also the way back was considerably more uphill than the route there and halfway up every hill the truck sounded as though it was about to die. Somehow, still not sure how, we made it back alive and nearly all of us considered kissing the ground when we returned. It was the greatest roller coaster I have ever been on, the suspense and adrenaline lasted for an entire hour!

When we all returned we were starving, but pretty much everything was closed. There were some street vendors selling food, and I wasn’t convinced at how safe it was, but since it was the only thing available I decided to take a chance, and it was actually fairly tasty considering what it could have been. The stray dogs there, however, are a force to be reckoned with.  I realize now how incredible it is to have animal services to pick up all the stray dogs. They really can take over!

Sunday morning we had breakfast at an amazing little café. We had nutella and banana crepes and fresh fruit. The city is actually quite incredibly beautiful. The roads are still cobble stone and the roofs are tile. It is a beautiful place surrounded with green hills. Though I was only there for less than 24 hours I enjoyed every minute of it! The ride back was fairly uneventful, but LONG 10 hours of bus travel in one day can certainly drain you. Fortunately I have a wonderfully active mind and can keep myself entertained with just thoughts for a few hours ;) All in all, a great weekend!

Blessings!

 

9/17/2010

I don't want to be someone that you're settling for. I don't want to be someone that anyone settles for.《Sleepless in Seattle》

11/23/2010

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