It has been a long day of travel for ASB Honduras. We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings and had our last meal at home to prepare us for our trip. At 11:15pm we met to get on the bus to Chicago with the students of ASB Guatemala. After arriving at the airport around 2am we realized we were too early to check in for our 5:15am flight and hung out for a bit. Everyone was pretty sleepy and conked out on our flight to Houston but once we arrived there everyone was a bit more awake for our flight to Honduras. In total our travel time ended up being roughly 12 hours.
Upon arriving to Honduras the first thing everyone noticed was the heat! The sun was high in the sky and the air was heavy. The second thing everyone noticed was the Mike’s suitcase did not arrive. The group met up with our contact and host Amanda from OYE (Organization for Youth Empowerment); and she helped us take out money. Mike and Chelsea talked to the airline and found that his suitcase never left Houston! Luckily they are able to send it to us sometime tomorrow.
All 10 teammates plus Amanda and a driver jammed into a van and headed to our hotel. The driving was crazy! We noticed a lack of driving regulations and multiple cars were on the side of the road changing flat tires. The houses we passed were small with tin roofs. There were sugarcanes fields and people selling fruit on the side of the busy highway. When we finally reached El Progreso we found our hotel tucked in between gated walls.
Our hotel was gorgeous. It’s an open concept so to get to one of the rooms you walk on the balcony. There’s a nice lounge area in the courtyard with a pool, hammock, and a tree house! Before we could wind down and relax we went to the hotel’s restaurant to get lunch with Amanda. Amanda is graduate student that has been in Central America for a few years. She started teaching English in Mexico after she graduated, then she moved to Honduras to participate in a volunteer program for a couple of years before getting her position at OYE. Although she was from Ohio, her accent was quick and fluent. Lunch wasn’t too out of the ordinary; we had chicken, French fries, and salad.
We had a little time to swim and rest and then Amanda came to pick us up. She took us to the Mall Megaplaza for shopping and a concert. While we were there we met a bunch of the OYE scholar students. The students we met today were in their early teens and they were a bit shy but very nice! Many of them are learning English. Both the scholar students and us are extremely excited to get to know each other throughout the week!
The concert was in the main circle of the mall. It was a very locally famous man named Paloche. He was very enthusiastic and upbeat. He played the guitar and sang quickly. He interacted with the audience really well and even had little children come up on the stage. At one point during his concert he had children come up and had a competition to see who could volley the ball the most time. We enjoyed the music but we were all extremely tired. After this outing we were all ready for bed and a busy day to come tomorrow.