Last weekend I got to take a trip with my host brother, Nelson, to Tegucigalpa, the capitol of Honduras. Definitely a fun experience. Left early Saturday morning on a new bus line that cost 50 Lempiras, about a third of the regular price. I’d heard stories about passing on curves and other stupid bus maneuvers, but now I can say I have experienced it myself. We also broke down for about 30 minutes.
Tegus is a city of 1.1 million, or so I heard, and like many Latin American cities, growing way too fast. Especially after Hurricane Mitch, it’s grown a lot. But most people still are loyal to their hometowns, and wouldn’t think of themselves as from Tegucigalpa. Maybe the next generation will. But there are restaurants advertising “Fish- Lake Yajoa Style” and “Food from the North”. And funeral homes advertise services in any part of the country. It’s interesting seeing how intra-country migration produces some of the same cultural dualism as migration to other countries.
I went to a youth retreat of the local Mennonite church, and had a blast. We played some soccer in the rain (and then threw people in the mud afterwards). It was in the mountains- cold and foggy. We also roasted marshmallows over a fire… inside.
Sunday we went to the Mennonite church in Tegus. After church, the youth (about 20 of us) went out to eat Papusas (a Salvadoran tortilla stuffed with cheese or fried pork skin). Then we went to Picacho, a park on top of one of the mountains surronding Tegus (although the city now extends all over these steep mountains as well). There’s a huge statue of Christ overlooking the city, as well as a United Nations Park, and a replica of a Mayan pyramid.
Then – and this is amazing – we went to a place that has 2 lempiras baleadas. Baleadas deserve a post of their own, but basically are flour tortillas with refried beans and sour cream, and occasionally with eggs, avocado, or whatever else. But 2 lempiras (10 cents US) is less than half of the usual cost. So that was an amazing supper.
Then Nelson and I made some rounds with Henry, a bus driver who we were staying with, as he made his rounds. We finally got to bed around 11.
By the way, if anyone has a couple thousand dollars to spare, I have a GREAT idea for a prank in Tegucigalpa. Email me.
For more photos from the trip, click here.