Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Adventure Begins!

We made it!

After weeks and months of research, nervousness and planning - we're here! We arrived in Tegucigalpa at approximately 12:10pm Iowa time.

I don't know where to begin for the story of the last 48ish hours - but I'll try...

Evening of 7/5 - Stayed with my Grandma in Des Moines - thanks Grandma. Had a classic dish with my family (oven toasted hot dogs.....long story for another day). Sat around and chatted with mom and dad and then Kristen and I ran an errand. We watched some TV - Kristen was in bed by 10ish - I stayed up until about 10:30 and watched the news with everyone. Gave Grandma a hug and a kiss to say goodbye (until December) and went to bed (no tears but definitely hard to do).

3:15am 7/6 - Wake up - ya.....way too early. Brushed teeth (showered night before), got dressed, etc. Wrote Grandma a note (since she wasn't going to the airport with us) - pretty hard thing, a few tears shed.....

Goal was to be at the airport between 4 and 4:15 - we made it. Lugged in the suitcases....had to switch some things around in the checked baggage as we were over 50lb weight limit with a few and under on some others. 4 bags checked and then it was off for some breakfast at the expensive airport cafe. Some water, coffee and Jaarsma doughnut holes - yummy! That was a good last breakfast in the States for awhile.

Daniel and Amanda showed up (brother and sister-in-law) to see us off which was very nice. Good conversation to take our minds off of everything that was about to happen.

5:45am - We said our goodbyes - or as I like to call them - "see you laters". Goodbye seems so final to me - see you later is a much better way to look at life I think! In any case - we all got kinda weepy, but made it up the escalators by 5:55.......

As we checked through the security counter, they made some announcement over the P.A. - something about our gate. Turns out, Continental wanted to leave early so they were calling for remaining ticketed passengers to make their way over to the departure gate ASAP. What an awesome way to start this.....we're late for our first plane. We rushed through security - no biggie (which I was surprised at given the massive amount of electronic devices I had in my carry on - seriously, my entire business and personal communication system was in my carry on).

6:10am - On the plane very uncomfortable though, pretty stuffy. It was a Continental Express Embraer. Small plane - 3 seats per row, 2 on 1 side, 1 on the other.

6:20am - Take off - on schedule! Worst part about the flight - 2 girls in front of us, probably 8 or 9 continued to pass gas throughout the flight...yuck that was not good. Maybe more on that story later...

8:40am - Arrive in Houston (couple minutes late). We race over to the other gate to make our flight and the boarding gate lady told us we were the 1st of the 11 passengers that had the same itinerary (DSM to IAH, IAH to TGU).

9:05am - Say goodbye (or see you later) to the last US building - Houston Airport.

Flight down to Tegus was great - very easy - lots of legroom.

11:05am (or 12:05am Iowa time) - Arrive in Tegus (few minutes early). Unfortunately no video :( I was a dummy and didn't take the camera out to document the airport. Airport is very nice. Definitely more modern than I was expecting. Got through customs, etc without a hitch. All 4 checked bags arrived safe and sound - nothing broken or missing - YAY!

11:45am (Know that anytime I document now will be 1 hour different from Iowa time because Honduras doesn't observe daylight savings time) - Meet Christiana - and the adventure really begins.....

Our driver starts making his way to our new apartment. Driving here is very interesting. It is definitely not structured. People kinda make their own lanes - you might be driving along and then all of a sudden a motorcyclist appears between you and the car beside you. All types of vehicles here - nothing different or really weird from what we'd see in the States. I would say the biggest difference (other than the driving) with the cars/trucks, etc is that there are not as many BRAND NEW vehicles out on the road. I would say the majority of the models are late 90's, early 2000's.

12:00pm - Arrive at our new apartment, walk up 3 flights of stairs and walk into this gigantic place. Wow - very nice! Definitely even better than I thought it would be. (pictures are currently uploading to Flickr....) 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, nice couches, patio, new appliances, very nice!

1:00pm - Get our first Honduran food (which I think is really Guatemalan) - Pupusas! Yummy - corn tortilla with cheese in the middle - these are awesome!

1:30pmish - Back to the apartment to pick up our new friend - Wilmer. We went over to the mall to get setup with Internet and Cable via Amnet (a local Mediacom type company). After purchasing Internet/Cable, drop Wilmer back at the apartment complex and head out to the grocery store for some of the essentials.

2:30pmish - 1st shopping experience in Honduras. Lots of veggies and fruits to choose from, but we decided we would get just enough to hold us over for a few days until we purchased pots/pans, etc and had our car. Among the essentials: Bread (just like in the States, but smaller loafs), water, butter, sliced ham and turkey, cheese, diet pepsi, and yes, I picked up some Honduran beer and some wine as well!

3:30pm - Stop over at a Tigo store to pickup a cheap cell phone ($20). Tigo has a partnership I think with AT&T in the U.S. From everything I've seen, read, etc - the 2 main cellular providers are Tigo and Claro.

4:30pmish - Arrive back at the apartment, plan out what will be happening tomorrow (meeting with Maria to go out and get additional supplies). Say adios to Christiana and basically collapse on the couches. Wow, what a crazy day!

We start to unpack and take pictures of the new place and our surroundings. Kristen takes a nap - I make myself some dinner at about 6 and I crash on the bed by about 7pm. Kristen's out by about 9.

And, thus ends our first few hours in Tegucigalpa. Quite a day....very excited to see what new experiences we'll have in the coming days, weeks, months :)


  1. Glad you had a safe trip. It's raining in Iowa today I bet you're shocked.


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