Sunday, September 18, 2011

Introducciones Around Town

Not long after lunch I was happy to see Chris at school—I needed him to help me exchange my dollars for limps! He was free for the afternoon, so we headed into town (roughly a 2 min drive from school) and set out to get rid of my dolla dolla bills. He took me to a bookstore started by a group of Mennonite missionaries and the kid working there was friendly. He said they aren’t getting as good of an exchange rate now, so they’re not in the business of trading in dollars. Luckily for me they hadn’t been to the bank yet that week and he had surplus limps so he cut me a break. Thanks, guy, much appreciated!

Chris took me around el mercado (basically the center/el centro of Peña Blanca, and open seven days a week) where he introduced me to a few ‘friendly’ vendors. He said it was good for them to see me with the pastor and hear I was a missionary teacher because they’d be more likely to treat me well (and not like some kind of crazy white girl?!) when I came to do my shopping. The market tour is a bit of a blur--I met SO many people! We went to a few different produce stands—one of the guys he introduced me to, Marvin, sends his kids to LYBS. He has 3 school-aged kids: one in 7th, one in 2nd and one in kinder. His wife, Doris, embraced me like we were old friends and I look forward to getting to know her as the months go on.

I met Armando “The Mexican” and his wife Linda. They have a little market and pulperia (sort of like a general store—711 type of thing, minus the slurpees. Though some of them will sell ‘bolsitas de frescos’ which are fruit-infused water with a good bit of sugar, conveniently tied into a sandwich bag so that all you need do is bite the corner, suck and enjoy) across from Marvin and Doris. Armando speaks some English, so that was fun. I was in search of Honduran avocados, so I started asking him about them. This is of course before I knew he was Mexican, because I told him I’d heard the Hondurans were better. He assured me the Mexicans were better, but sent me home with three aguacates hondureñas gratises (free) because they were on the cusp of past their prime. Of course a few days later I make the connection that aguacates mexicanas aren’t better if you ask a Honduran, but ask a Mexican and of course that’s what he’ll tell you!

I met a few store owners, and took a trip to “Copacabana” which seems to be the place everyone knows. It’s up this narrow flight of stairs; a tiny little eatery with just a few tables inside and a balcony with a few more tables and barstools that look out onto the street. Seems like a fun place to people watch. They make all sorts of slushies and smoothies, and have the “standard” Honduran eatery menu. Don’t worry I’ll get into more detail about menus as my stories go on. Eulogio and his wife Lea(h) were at the balcony, so it was great to meet them. I actually briefly met Logk (pronounced sort of like loak) at the school, but hadn’t met his wife. Logk is a former student of Chris’ and here teaching and doing Bible study. Lea(h) leads the Sunday school at their church, and they both seem really nice. Lea(h) was quick to compliment my earrings (thanks Erica, I was wearing the ones with the glasses dangle!) so she’s already on my good side :) I also met a gentleman named Oscar who owns a sort of auto supply store in town. He also attends their church, and told me “Estoy a su orden” when he shook my hand, which basically means he’s got my back if I need anything.  The coolest part of the tour is that I can walk to all these vendors and shops from my house—how exciting! Just not after dark, promise :)

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