This past weekend we went to Roatan Island.  It was certainly one of the most gorgeous places I have been! It is an extremely expensive (ok expensive relative to the rest of Honduras) tourist island, however it was so beautiful that it was worth it. Interestingly enough, the tourist areas were nearly empty. Apparently during the week all the big cruise ships come but on the weekends there is virtually no one. I was quite glad that it was so empty, more room for us to enjoy.

Without a doubt the best parts of my trip were the two times that I got to go diving. I just got my scuba license in the fall and I was able to put it to great use diving in some of the most beautiful places ever. I am sure that I didn’t even get to see the coolest parts of the island, but it was still so incredible! I saw pipe fish, clown fish, zebra fish, sting rays, lobsters, huge schools of every kind of fish possible, eels, and to cap it all off I saw a sea turtle! They happen to be my favorite animal ever and it was amazing to see on right there so close. I really wanted to race after it and touch it, but I decided that might be a bad idea. It is so magical swimming around and being so close to all these amazing types of animals. It really feels like a city just like they portray it in the movies.  I realized that I have a long way to go in becoming a professional diver, but I had a ton of fun. Definitely inspires me to go diving more! And it was really nice to be able to see more than 3 feet in front of me! Haha I am sure that the conditions here were not even the best they can be, but compared to California diving it was incredible! I decided I may have to forgo one of the later weekend trips to dive twice, but for me it was well worth it.

The rest of the weekend was just fun hanging out with the others from the team. 16 of us all made it over to the island so it was pretty sweet just seeing everyone and comparing experiences. It seems like everyone has some things better and some things worse. I realized though that I am quite happy here in Olanchito. I really enjoy our host family and I think that I like the aspect of our hospital that we have to forge our own way. It can be really frustrating at times, but I feel like I am accomplishing more personally. I suppose we could be more helpful for the hospital if we were not faced with so much resistance, but as far as personal growth it is so much better.

Unfortunately one bad incident happened. One of our teammates had a lot of his stuff stolen. It was really sad because he had so much with him. Theft is certainly a prevalent threat here. I have tried to be so careful and praise God I have not had anything taken yet, but even a momentary lapse of attention can result in a lot of problems. Such a bummer!

I think being away for the weekend and speaking so much English almost made it harder to come back and be here. Monday Amber and I were both exhausted which I believe is a big reason why it was so much harder to be back. I enjoy the weekend trips, but I am sure it would almost be easier to just remain here and not become unaccustomed to this lifestyle.  Or maybe I just need to not be such a weirdo and enjoy my weekends away and come back and enjoy my time here as well.  I feel like my emotions are sometimes out of control here. I suppose when you are thrust into something as strange and challenging as this that is bound to happen, but still I wish I had more control over these sudden swings of emotion.

Speaking of emotion, this week is the one year “anniversary” of the death of our host mom’s son. It is terribly sad and she is quite emotional. It’s challenging to know what to do in a situation like this, I suppose just give a big hug and let her know that it’s ok to cry, but still a tough time for her I am sure. And not only that, her grandson is currently in the hospital with Dengue Fever. It’s a bit of a rough time, but she is a strong woman and I certainly admire her.  It’s great because she often sits at the table with us at meal times and chats with us. She has been a wonderful host mom.

Thanks for your prayers. If you can be praying now that my patience continues/increases as I feel like I have been a little snappier lately, and also that we continue to make headway here in the hospital and be as helpful as possible.  I would also love to hear a quick message of how you are doing!

Blessings!

Jen

 

dad
7/28/2010 15:58:38

Jemig!

(That's Dutch for "dang!")
You're right, things do go all over the map for you. What are the other stages of culture shock?

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