Sunday, February 3, 2008

More about my host family, the school, and town of Copan Ruinas

After spending some time talking with my host family with my newly learned broken Spanish, I were about to find out that Oto and Cory Casasola have 3 sons and not two. Cory is a stay home wife with a little store front selling potpourri of stuff. Drinks, candies, catch-up, eggs, dry noodles, rice, etc. There are many such stores in Copan Ruinas, so a family is not going be able to make for a living from the store. Mama Cory does all the house work, from cooking, cleaning (including our rooms once a week). Our lodging cost even including laundry - luckily they have washing machine. I did not know so I paid $2.5 to have my done, I'll have her do my laundry before I leave for Tela.

Papa Oto is working for ENEE (Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica) for 27 years. All their sons are going to be following their dad's step by going to university and study to become electricians.

David and I interacted with Mama Cory, Papa Oto, and their son 2nd son Denis (24 years old?), and one of their friend Kevin often. Their youngest son Nestor is around, but doesn't interact with us much. Their oldest son Elmer we hardly ever seen.

Oto, and Denis goto work very early around may be 5:15 something.

In additional to the family, couple their friends also staying, Kevin who is married and lives in Santa Rosa de Copan but lived and work here on weekdays to avoid 6 hours round trip commute, and a girl that doesn't interact with us at all (I think I saw once so far).

The family has a cat, who make out with its girlfriend during the nights (cat fight)!

For those foodies out there, my breakfast usually includes fresh fruits, and orange juice. And sometime cereal, rice "soup" with milk added. Lunch is varied. And dinner usually include tortilla, refried bean, and some salad.

My typical school day consist of getting up around 6-6:30 and either study a little or go for a run. Then shower. Then study a little more and head for breakfast between 7 and 7:30. After lunch, I study for 2 hours or so. I then head to the Internet cafe or the school (if the Internet there is working). Finally I walk around town central for a little bit, before heading home for dinner. After dinner we either chat a little, play game, or head back to our room to study more.

So far in school we had Ada from Israel, Christina from Montana, Louis from Colorado, Rudolph from Bahamas, and Lisa from Quebec Canada. During the busy summer season, there might be 30 or more students, in two different houses, and 3 shifts - morning, afternoon, and night. They are training new teachers, since couple people sit in on my lessons to see how the teaching is done. BTW, my teacher Nelly liked Obama, and seems like other people beside American are eager to see someone else replacing Bush.

A little more about my teacher Nelly, she has 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys. The youngest is 12 years old. I think only the 12 years old lives with them, the others mind be working or in college. She collects stamps, coins/currency, glasses (cup), stones, and souvenir tiny little bottle of alcohol. And her husband collects key chains from all over the world (has over 590).

We went to a nearby hot spring for our school field trip. And Rudolph got too hot and with his low sugar, high blood pressure and cholesterol, he was stumbling trying to get out the river. Luckily Christina is a nurse and able to talk to him and we help him get to the shore. As for the hot spring itself, it is a very small, and may be 5-6 people can fit in it (we had 8 people). To get to a bigger and more pools, one need to pay $10 person!

As for the town itself, right now the grade schools here are in their summer break, so many kids are around the town. School should start 2nd week of February. But some family sends their kids to "summer" school. There is a bilingual school in the town, where it cost about $100 per kids per semester. And that is a lot of money for the people here, so some family get helps from foreign donors or aid or from family from US. This school is mix of poor and rich kids. English teachers are paid for one year.

A little more about school David, Lucy, Charlotte, and other volunteer is helping out. It is for poor students, and the volunteers are not paid. Although they do get something like Spanish school? Volunteer´s duration depend on the volunteers. Charlotte is their boss, but is promoted to Antigua Guatemala - which she isn't happy about. The volunteers teach different grades, and interact with them with games and lessons. Not all kids are eager to learn and many of them are behind for their age. It is not an easy job to say the least.

O, the electricity goes out every once in a while, it is normal here. And in day time no one ever turn on the room lights even if it is dark to see things. I guess emery is expensive here as well.

Apparently there are many churches here, not just catholic, Adventist, etc. My host family is belonging to the Adventist, at least Cory. She helps out at the church outreach activities on weekends once in a while. Most of the Honduranos are deep in their faith, the money and wealth have not creep into their believes too much yet as that of richer nations.

The street of Copan Ruinas can get very dust after the rain stopped. Mixture of dirt, horse and dog manure. You get mud over your pants or you get to breath in the dust or into your eyes.

As for the people of Copan Ruinas, they are mixture of very dark skinned to white skinned (even blond haired). I guess it is a legacy of intermix of people of European origin and local population.

I did not see any man with bold head or male pattern boldness. As for the women, most are muy bonitas! Too bad I don't speak Spanish, else I might come back with a Honduras girlfriend or two :)

According Kevin, people get married very early - somewhere between 18-20 - the poor the people the earlier they get married. None of the three sons are married.

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