Thursday, March 31, 2011

For a Teacher, I'm Not Very Fond of Learning Some Lessons...

Kristen says...

Yesterday was a crap day...probably the most crap day we've had since being down here (well, ok, maybe the day my Grandpa died and I realized I wasn't going to be able to go home for his funeral was worse, and the day we found out that October was going to be the "Month of Uncertainty" was not fun, but yesterday was pretty bad.)

It started off fine...if you follow Honduran news at all, you know that we've had some security issues (teacher strikes (not at my school, the state-school teachers), random legislation changes, etc...if you want to know details head over to La Gringa's Blogicito, she does a great job of explaining things...)

Because of these security issues, our school was, being from Iowa, snow days are kind of golden...even though you know you have to make them up at the end of the year, random days off are awesome...and so, even though I had a lot of fun things planned at school, I didn't mind the day was kind of like a Honduran snow day...and we don't have to make it up...

I spent the morning reading, then Chris and I went on a lunch date to Criollos. In the early afternoon I digested by tatting, and Skyping with my mom...I was actually in the middle of my chat with mom when our "doorbell" rang.

Here's the part where the crap comes in.

Chris was working or on the phone or something, so I stuck my head out the window to see who needed in...I saw two guys downstairs working on our electric boxes. I asked what they wanted and they said something (in Spanish, so I didn't really understand), so I figured they were wanting in...I didn't know them, so I wasn't going to let them I went back to my conversation with my mom...

And then the lights went out.

I stuck my head back out the window, and saw the two guys driving away. I figured, 'Hm, they must be doing some maintenance', and that the entire building was without power...

And then the electrically-run garage door opened.

And I realized that we were the only ones without power.


I stuck my head back out the window and asked "¿Que paso? No hay electricidad." The guys downstairs asked if I paid my bill. I said, "Por supuesto (of course), con Wilmer."

And they looked at each other.

And my heart sank.

"¿Donde esta Wilmer?" I asked? "El fue. (He went)" they said. "Cuando va a regresar?" I asked, feeling my palms start to sweat and starting to lose my loose grasp on Spanish. "No." They said.


Turns out, someone we'd put our trust in, someone we thought was helping us, was actually stealing from us...and had been for months.

Nobody ever told us how to pay our electricity bill, so I figured that when the guard downstairs (employed by our landlord) came around with a bunch of receipts and told us which was ours, that it was ok to give him the money and that he was paying it...

Except that he wasn't. He was pocketing most of it, and paying just a little bit in a payment plan he'd worked out with ENEE (power company)...awesome.

PLUS, apparently the electricity had been officially turned off a few weeks before, but he'd illegally re-connected they'd come back yesterday to turn it back off...from what I've been told, we're lucky they didn't take our meter box completely away, or we'd still be without power.

Anyway, our landlord fired the jerk and was nice enough to not only get our electricity back on, but also to send someone to ENEE to figure out what our account number is and how much we owed, and he gave us the 2,000 Lps he was going to pay the guy that day (before he realized what he was doing)...the monthly bills (if they were correct) we thought we were paying said we owed somewhere between 2,000-3,000 Lps/month for power...our bill yesterday was over 7,500 Lps...OUCH.

So, lesson learned. Don't give anybody any money, ever. Get receipts. Don't be naive, trusting Midwesterners...Pip, we're not in Iowa anymore...

But, today was much better...we were back at school, we had electricity all day, and I have eaten A LOT of chocolate to make myself feel better.

Live and learn, friends, live and learn.


  1. :(

    that is how my heart felt when i read this story and imagined how you are (were) feeling.

    i love you!! i'm so glad it was only money and trust that he took away and not anything worse!

    enjoy your chocolate. ;)

  2. Oh no, that stinks! I'm sorry that happened to you all. I will remember that lesson. I hope the rest of your week was better :)


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