Kathryn's Peace Corps Adventure

The opinions expressed and experiences described in this blog are mine personally. Any musings that you read here are not affiliated or endorsed by Peace Corps or U.S. government. Or Starbucks. And I'm not making any money from any of this, so don't send a lawsuit my way. Got it?

Friday, June 30, 2006

you give me fever

4 years ago I was living in Spain and my roommate Darcy and I woke up one Saturday morning to watch South Korea beat Spain in the quarterfinals in penalty kicks. We were screaming in a bar at 8 am and on the news as some of the "fanáticos" that watched the game.

Now I'm here in Honduras and my life has been taken over by the World Cup. I am traveling throughout San Ramón with my radio to make sure I don't miss a game. (Yes, it's a boombox, no it is not playing "Fight the Power" like in Do the Right Thing) During the preliminary rounds, the games were on 8, 11, and 2 so those filled my days for 2 weeks. I have huge charts of the schedule in my house, I talk about the games with the teachers at the colegio, I try to read the papers as much as possible.

It's getting close to the finals and I have to see every game now. I have a TV but just like the U.S., cable takes forever to be installed. I have been waiting for 3 weeks now and am super frustrated.

Classes were ended early last week so people could go home and watch games. The Germany/Argentina game just ended and as they went to penalty kicks, the streets were empty in Gracias, Lempira as I'm sure that most people were watching that.

I think since I don't have the Cubs to cheer for (or get angry about), all my tomboyish energy has gone into watching these games.

Monday, June 26, 2006

again with the tarp!

I was on a jalon to Santa Rosa with the soccer team to watch them play. Due to lovely rainy season, it rains most of the time now and there was no exception for my travels on Saturday. To try and keep dry someone brought a tarp with them to cover the back of the pick up (a blue one at that), which was a good idea theoretically. (spelling?)

The problem was that there were 12 of us in the back, a bumpy, curvy road and a small tarp. Water was everywhere. I could barely keep my balance and it was hot under that tarp. Coming back was even worse, imagine those conditions and add 10 guys who have just finished playing soccer, it smelled like a gym locker and Fritos (but Fritos also smell like a gym locker).

San Ramon lost 8-4 and I learned a new idomatic phrase, "andar tatascanos", which basically means that they got drunk before the game on Tatascán, the drink choice of Honduran campesinos, and were playing drunk. I'm surprised they were able to score 4 goals. But my future husband didn't play either, so there's a reason...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

tired yet fatty?

I've been jogging in the afternoons and have a pack of kids that follow me during my jog. Basically, I'm just jogging circles on the soccer field for about 20 minutes, no big deal.

The kids make me laugh though when they say, "Aren't you tired yet fatty? You can't jog this long." I tell them that 20 minutes is nothing compared to the half marathons my friend Greg in Chicago runs.

The fatty comment? Females come in two sizes, flaca or gorda. Since I'm not skinny, I naturally fall into the fat category. It's semi-refreshing to hear people be honest with you rather than hear "No, you don't look fat in that dress..." as they whisper about you looking like a stuffed sausage to their friends. But it's something that I'm not quite used to hearing from total strangers yet. If I beat them in a race though, that generally shuts them up. I'm becoming a real jerk, right?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

sure hope my potatoes come to visit

papas vs. papás....that accent mark is the difference between my title and "sure hope my parents come to visit". My 6th graders laughed at me but I caught the mistake right away. Is that a sign of improvement or just another thing to add to my "Jackass actions in the Peace Corps" list?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

no, máteme

Luis and Brayan received a sweet computer from the states two weeks ago and they asked me to come over to install it for them. After I hooked it up, they asked me to help them with some games that came with the computer. We were playing this game where you are a POW in a Nazi camp in 1944 and trying to escape. It's fun and you get to blow up lots of stuff along the way (how I miss Grand Theft Auto) but it's in English and I was asked to do a lot of interpreting along the way.

Some of the stuff was absolutely impossible like a letter that said, "Kaiser, Let the guards know that they cannot steal any of the fkdsnkngj, skngskgnskdf, ksfnskdfnsd (All words in German) or they will be executed". I just looked at Luis and told him not to steal and he looked at me like I was nuts.

The thing that made them laugh though was this German nanny that was running from room to room screaming, please don't kill me. The fun part about Spanish are all the little rules and how direct translation never truly works.

"Please don't kill me" correctly translated would be, no me mates. I said, no máteme, which translates to no, kill me. Luis and Brayan were laughing at me the rest of the afternoon and when I left the house they shouted, "Kill me please!". I wanted to smack them both.

In other news, there is no school all of next week because it is student week which means I get to watch a whole lot of World Cup. The colegio had a futbolito tournament which was really fun to watch. I foolishly sat in the sun for about 3 hours and I have nasty sunburn on my shoulders. The colegio set up a speaker system so that they could announce the games in true Spanish form complete with "Gooooooooooaaaaaalllllllllll!". During a halftime though, some of the students started saying what's up to all their friends and William grabbed the mic and yelled, "Prof. Jhonny loves Cati!", which embarassed the hell out of me, made everyone laugh, and caused me to give William the finger in front of a lot of people. Lucky for me, everyone thought it was cute (what William said and my giving of the finger)and it ended up just fine. That's the way it goes. Everything always seem to work out in the end.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

hotter than the milk lady

Honduras 6 celebrated their one year anniversary in country by having a Las Vegas casino themed party. Since some of us from Hondu 7 are friendly with them, we were invited to the party..but I was also there to help my friends Crystal and Simon with a baseball tryout, which wasn't really me helping but rather them helping me. How can I have a baseball team and not know how to throw a ball? I can explain what a fielder's choice is and why the Cubs haven't won a World Series in almost a century, but the little things? I'm a lost cause.

The party was held in a really sweet boarding house that was rented out for the night. It was a chill party with some Texas Hold'Em and watching the Heat beat the Pistons. Some people had a little too much mango beer and when I was helping Simon walk a friend of ours back, they jumped on my back and said that I was hotter than the milk lady...whatever that means.

But it was a quick visit because I needed to get back to San Ramon. The kids and town have been missing me. Kids wrote in chalk on my house that they miss me and I ran into Juvini who thought that I was mad at the colegio and went mojada to the US. I just told him that I was traveling and added 5 mini kisses to prove to him that I couldn't leave.

Mini kisses as in those fake kisses hello, of course because like all the good ones, he naturally has a girlfriend.

I should tell him that I'm hotter than the milk lady, then maybe he'll marry me...

bus adventures & schoolgirl crushes

This is what traveling is all about, va?
601 am: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
606 am: Again. Try to hit snooze, get tangled up in mosquito net, fall off bed, feel like an idiot (what else is new?) and decide to get up.
625 am: Throwing random stuff into bag in a rush to catch the first bus to Santa Rosa with one shoe on, hair in a crazy mess and toothbrush in mouth.
631 am: Running down the hill hoping not to miss said bus.
636 am: Get on the bus, see Julio (soccer player/future husband), blush, run fingers through mess of hair, say hi, smile like an idiot, then hope to become invisible (doesn't happen).
805 am: Approx. 10 minutes from Santa Rosa, bus gets a flat tire.
810 am: Bus runs on flat tire at the rate of 1 km/hour.
825 am: Reach bus station, out of patience, pay the 10 lemps to take a taxi down to the other bus station.
835 am: Get in line to buy a ticket to San Pedro Sula (SPS) for the 900 am bus only to watch two empty direct buses pass by the station. (Idiot!)
930 am: The 900 am has arrived.
935 am: Bolo on the bus screaming nonsense (or Spanish, I can't tell). His arms are flying all over the place and causing quite a scene on the crowded bus.
937 am: He passes out in the aisle. Am I watching the Simpsons or is this actually happening?
945 am: The ayudante, being the cool guy that he is, gives me his seat at the front of the bus and I think, "This is going to be an awesome ride to SPS with this great view".
1000 am: The back of the bus starts to smoke and breaks down.
1025 am: The next bus passes by, takes only the passengers going to SPS, not to Teguc and it is crowded again.
1027 am: Nice guy passes me a plastic stool and I sit in the middle of the aisle.
1045 am: Seat is available and I knock out within minutes.
1200 pm: Arrival to SPS, land of the gorgeous guys (sometimes)
1210 pm: Taxi to another bus station, I talk to the driver and he only charges me 30 lemps for the ride. Sweet!
1230 pm: Bus leaves for Las Vegas and I am convinced to purchase mangoes.
215 pm: Close to Vegas, a car has driven into a ravine. Bus stops and everyone exits to stare and share their opinion on what has happened.
245 pm: On the "strip", accident #2 involving a pickup truck, a post and a bolo. You gotta love the bolos.
300 pm: Finally, finally in Vegas ready for the Hondu 6 one year party.