Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Tour of Tegus

Kristen says...

Hello again:

I'm not sure how many times we may have mentioned this on the blog, but Tegus is really at its best on Sunday. The town is so quiet! The traffic is light, and the people who are out on the road aren't in a hurry, not tailgating or honking, they're just driving, and will get where they're going eventually, if not before.

So, of course a Sunday during Semana Santa is just compounded's Sunday-quiet plus half the normal Sunday drivers are out of's the perfect day for a Tour of Tegus!

Which is exactly what we did on the first Sunday of Semana Santa.

It was Chris' idea, that we should take advantage of the lack of traffic to drive around and snap pictures of some of the places in Tegus. I decided that not only would we take the "touristy" type places (such as they are...) but also some of our more often-visited haunts as well. I lived in London for 4 months 8 (!) years ago and am now to the point of having trouble remembering the names of the regular places I visited, like grocery stores. (It's Sainsbury's and Waitrose...Sainsbury's was farther away and had lovely bright orange bags, so I can remember that one better. I used to take my rolling suitcase to put my groceries in and bring them home. Waitrose was smaller, closer, and had green bags, and not as extensive of a selection. I also remember it being more expensive. Because I didn't go there as often, it's the one I usually forget. I can always remember it began with a W, but then I doubt myself and want to call it Tesco, which was a different place entirely, a really small almost convenience store that was just around the block from my home, and where I went to buy my Galaxy chocolate late at night...ah, memories.) But my point is that if I had pictures of these places I would remember them better!

So, we loaded Pip in the car and set of to take pictures of all the places we don't want to forget.

Here are some highlights:
Ok, I know it looks like a wall...but there's two things I like about it.  A) It's near our house so we drive by it a lot. B) It's a wall showing what they can do, like a permanent billboard or's the same thing brickmasons in Bruge did in the 1500s! I have a photo of it! It's a way for a mason to show all the things he can do, and then the customer can come by and choose the style he likes. :) Oh yes, I am a nerd!
Tumulos! (Or as we from the States call them, speed bumps!) You can't drive in Tegus without hitting a few of these babies.
Potholes: You also can't drive without seeing one of these...potholes! I actually took this shot because of the Suyapa Cathedral in the middle there, but it's pretty perfect with the speedbump in the foreground...they are all over here!
Suyapa Cathedral and the Anillo Periferico: We haven't been able to go see this beautiful cathedral up close and personal because it's supposed to be a little dangerous, but we found a place that lets us take a nice straight-on picture from afar...In front you can see the Anillo Periferico, or ring road, which basically encircles Tegus like a ring (hence the name). It's hard to get anywhere here without getting on the Anillo first.
Paiz: My supermarket of choice here, because they have a great selection of the stuff I want (usually), lowest prices (usually), and the most convenient parking (usually)
La Colonia: Paiz's rival and my second choice for supermercado. La Colonia usually has whatever Paiz doesn't have, and does have a better selection of goods from the US. Bascially, if I want just everyday cooking stuff; veggies, bread, meat, I'll go to Paiz. If I want frosting, heavy whipping cream, peanut butter, or other specialty stuff, I'll go here. Or Mas X Menos.
Or Stock.
Stock: This is actually "old Stock," new Stock was closed when we were driving around and I liked this picture better. Plus, this is the first Stock we went to on our second or third day in Tegus. Stock is a lovey mish-mash of basically everything you could want, and a lot of other stuff you wonder why anyone would buy. It's a fun place!
94.1: Ok, this is not a picture of Tegus, but it was taken in our car, actually...94.1 (read, noventa y cuatro punto uno, su F-M (phonetically: eff-ay em-ay) was the first radio station we listened to here, and is usually playing the best (and the worst) of the late 70s, 80s, and early 90s. They love Michael Jackson and seem to play a good amount of New Kids on the Block, so it's a good station for me!
Espresso Americano: Coffee shop. These are ALL OVER here! One of my students said this company is the reason Starbucks didn't make it in Honduras. I believe it.
Pollos del Valle: Best whole roasted chicken I've had in my life! The mix of spices they use is so delicious, and you get a whole chicken for Lps. 110 (about $5.50). Throw in 10 tortillas for Lps. 10 and make a quick onion salad at home, and you have a delicious meal! This is often our go-to meal when I'm coming home late-ish from school, because it's very easy to pass by here on my way home.

Discovery: Speaking of school, I thought it would be fun to take a picture of one of the multitude of road signs that points out how to get to our school. The address for the place roughly translates to "off the Anillo," so sometimes it's hard to find your way there...luckily these signs are there to guide your way. (And do you see the Espresso Americano sign in the background there? Yes, our students and staff are really happy about that one!) The reddish roofs under the sign are the school. My classroom is the under the lower, RH side red roof.
The Goose: As you come into town from Valle de Angeles (or exit the Anillo to get to Pollos del Valle) you often pass the funny sight you see above; a goose standing with its foot tied to an old tire, presumably a living billboard advertising the variety of fowl wandering near it. It makes a pretty (and funny) picture with the city in the background. The blue building to its left is the big Tigo building I drive by daily. Tigo is also our cell phone provider down here.

So there you go, a little Tour of Tegus...of course, there are lots of other pictures I didn't put up, and lots of other places still to photograph, but it gives you an idea of what you see when you are on a TeguciAdventure!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh, Where to Even Begin?!

Kristen says...

Well hello there, strangers!

Of course, you're not the strangers, we's been WAY too long since anyone's updated I've decided to remedy that.

Now, where to begin? It's actually been quite a busy time since our last post. Let's see...
March went out still hot, although not as "esmoky" as I thought it would be, which is great! :)

The first week of April was lovely...ah, Semana Santa! Similarly to last year we didn't go anywhere, not even to Comayagua for the alfombras. We were planning to go to Ojojona for the carpets there, but ended up just staying home and enjoying Teguc without traffic! :)

Of course, no "time off" from school is really completely off...there's so much to do to keep busy, planning for the rest of the semester and such. I was also trying to keep the weight off (no school = a lot of baking and eating) and to keep up with my Live Healthy Iowa team by working out a lot when all the trouble happened...

It all began during a 5-mile walking workout I was "enjoying" in the comfort of my own bedroom...I like to drink a little water when I am doing my walking and sometimes a little spills...or maybe I "glowed" a little on the floor...either way, there was apparently a little something other than dirt on the floor, and during one of the movements my foot slipped about 8-inches on the floor.

I didn't think anything of it at the time, it didn't hurt or even feel weird...that day. By the next day, Friday, I'd completely forgotten about it. And then when I went to bed on Saturday, I noticed I couldn't quite get lower back just felt a little weird. By Sunday night, I was taking Tylenol PM to fall asleep, and on Monday I fought PAIN. By Tuesday (first day back from Semana Santa) I'd had enough and took a couple hours sick leave to visit our friendly neighborhood chiropractor, a lovely Canadian gent who has worked on Chris and many of our friends...and now of course, me.

So I went to the chiropractor, and the first thing the good doctor did was look at my FEET...because they have something to with back pain?? Well, actually, it turns out they do. Chris has been telling me for years, although I never would have actually believed it, I have flat feet! I now own and wear orthopedic shoe inserts, doctor's orders...

Next the doctor looked at my spine. Apparently, through genetics, or poor posture or who knows what, it's become something like a shallow "s", in at the bottom and out at the top. Who knew?! A back brace, a big old bulky white thing, is now supposed to be worn when I'm going to be on my feet for a good long while (hahaha, have I ever mentioned I'm a teacher?)...

Finally he takes a look at my back (OUCH!). He popped it twice, tractioned it, and then had his in-house masseuse give me a lovely and relaxing massage.

Of course my back hurt worse the next day, but it's slowly on the mend now. He's never told me what's really wrong, but the words "sprain" and "herniated disk" have both been thrown around. Le sigh. I asked him today if I'd ever be able to get rid of the orthopedics (let's be honest, the back brace isn't going to be used much longer than I have the pain, and it may not even make it that long)...the short answer was no, so I'll be looking into some new shoes next time I'm in the States.

After school got back to business, and just when I was getting settled back into the routine, two things came along to disrupt it.

First of all, there was the car. Yes, the car again. Chris keeps having to remind me that it really is a good car. It's body is solid, no rust spots or anything, and only a bump here and there. It has new tires, and a full spare...and a newly re-built transmission. Newly as in we just got it back today. Newly as in, we just had it fixed in November, but apparently it wasn't really fixed and was in danger of blowing up on us...gah! Apparently, even after almost two years in Honduras we are STILL super-trusting Midwesterners.

But it's fixed now, and apparently better than it was when we bought it, so that's nice.

Secondly, we had our annual Model United Nations competition last, I don't like to brag or anything, but my students are AWESOME!!!!! I took 8 students competing in 5 different committees, and we came away with 3 medals! Two of my students won Best Delegate in their respective committees, and another won Honorable Mention, or 2nd place. Other awards my kids won were: Future UN Delegate (3), Best Alliance (3), Bazooka/Attacks (1) and Encyclopedia (1). One of the resolutions co-written by one of my students was even read on national television. I'm so proud!

Of course, along with the awesome competition was the awesome of the perks of Model UN is that the competition located in La Ceiba, on the north coast, and when we go we stay at a resort townhouse owned by one of my students, so we got some sun and surf along with our medals. :)

Here's some pictures for you...

And this is just the pool...
Haha, check out the last rule of the English section!

It's not Iowa, but it's awfully nice!
Palm trees and sandy beaches
My ocean-loving boy...I think he lived on the coast in another life...

See what I mean?
So there are jellyfish in the north, too!
From the dock
Down the beach from the resort
Needless to say, it was a great weekend! (sorry for the wacky photo-formatting, BTW...Blogger changed up the formatting and I can't seem to figure out how to move the pictures where I want them. Blah.)

We got back last Saturday, and have spent the rest of this week getting back to our routine again. Of course, we didn't have our car the first half of the week, but we survived and are mobile again...hopefully we won't be too busy breaking in that new transmission to blog! :)

Believe it or not, there are only six weeks of school left!! This school year has gone so fast...

Thanks for reading!