Saturday, August 10, 2013

Episode 1: The Mannells Meet Honduras

View from our living room window

Hello everyone! It has been a crazy fast few days as we settle into life in San Pedro Sula. So far our days in the city have consisted of awesome views of the Merendon Mountains (and the pretty house across the street), heat that puts Midwest summers to shame, and a glorious reunion with Cocanas, the best cookie in the world. They are super cheap here and just as good as I remembered (I probably ate upwards of a hundred of these in Costa Rica, not exaggerating).

But, I should probably start at the beginning of our trip. Remember in Home Alone when Kevin/Macaulay Culkin's family overslept and ran furiously through the airport trying to catch their flight? Well, our race through Terminal E in Houston would have made them look like freaking tortoises. We had a 54 minute layover, which would have been plenty of time to get to our flight, except that United Airlines sent our gate-checked carry-ons to baggage claim. We then had to go back through security, where we mercilessly begged people to let us cut them in line (most people were super nice about it -- chalk up 1 super big point for humanity). Our gate was of course aaaaalll the way at the end of the terminal. As the attendants announced they were closing the doors, David was 100 yards away, sprinting toward them and waving his arms wildly. I can only imagine what this spectacle looked like because I was several hundred yards behind, where I had spilled the contents of my carry-on all over the floor of the terminal. Anyway, we made it onto the flight and proceeded to sit on the tarmac for about 30 minutes before take-off. Go figure.

Our first few days here were a lot of shopping and paperwork. The school has been awesome in helping us get settled -- from filling out immigration and banking paperwork to taking us on our first grocery store trip. On our second grocery trip, it started pouring rain about a block before the taxi reached our apartment. We took a picture to commemorate the effects of a Sampedrana cloudburst: 

We also discovered that we can buy Inca Kola here. Inca Kola apparently has a decades-long rivalry with Coca Cola. It is also Peruvian and delicious. (In other beverage news, there are at least 3 national breweries here and not a Budweiser to be found. Hallelujah.)

We've also spent a lot of time at our new school this week getting ready for the start of the year. It is gorgeous there -- right at the base of the mountains and chock full of open air hallways and courtyards. Although the temps are really not so bad in the shade here, the classrooms are thankfully air-conditioned. I snapped a couple photos of mine the other day (it's huge!): 

This is the view of the courtyard right outside my room (and David's. His classroom is right below mine on the first floor):

The school also took us and the other new hires (there are about 20 of us) to the beach in Tela last Saturday. We didn't bring a camera because we wanted to splash around in the waves without worrying about our valuables, but one of our new friends had a waterproof camera with her. We can hopefully snag a few of her photos on Facebook soon.

This weekend we are furiously planning for the school year. We are also going to finally buy hangers so that our clothes don't have to be stored in a rumpled pile in our wardrobe. More updates from Honduras will be coming your way soon!