Sunday, September 18, 2011

La Casa Rosada

Being the first teacher to arrive, I spent Wednesday night alone at “La Casa Rosada” (the “pink house” where the three female teachers live—they used to live in a house that was actually painted pink on the outside. Ours is more of an orangey color, but the interior has lots of pink…) and would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous when they left me there. Emely, the subdirectora (vice principal) met us at the house to give me keys and show me around. Her son Angel David was with her, and he and Chele were great helps unloading my luggage and shopping bags. So far these Honduran men are big on opening doors and carrying things for women. The house is really great. Hahah, well I should back up before I give you the written tour. We arrived at the house before Emely, but I got out and stretched my legs while we waited. Looking up at the sky almost made me dizzy I could see so many stars. The views here, even the simple ones, really are breathtaking. La Casa Rosada is a corner lot with what I consider a decent yard (having never house shopped, especially in Peña, I have no idea what would be considered decent…compared to others I’ve now seen around town it is a nice yard, lots of orange trees, some flowers and even a palm tree…now how to climb it and get me a coconut…) and fully fenced-in. A big iron-gated fence that happens to be topped with, you guessed it(?)—razor wire. Yeah. Big coils of razor wire. When I saw it I was pretty taken aback and asked Allan if that went all the way around the house. He clapped me on the shoulder, smiled and welcomed me to Honduras. Funny guy that Allan. Of course it just means my house is more secure than a house that doesn’t have razor wire surrounding its perimeter, but hopefully it’s understandable that the razor wire itself caught me slightly off guard. After some of the stories I heard in my first few days here, I’m pretty grateful for those shiny, spiky spirals.

So the house! We go in through the side gate which leads to the pila (outdoor clothes washing station) and the backdoor. From the back you walk right into the kitchen, which opens into a dining area followed by la sala (living room) so it’s a nice big, open shared living area. Once you round the hall from la sala there are two bedrooms on the right, one on the left and a bathroom at the end of the hall. The bedroom on the left is sort of their master bedroom, but they have two teachers share it when necessary. It houses a double bed and has its own bathroom. I chose the corner room on the right, mostly because it has two windows and Emely though it would be coolest. When I started getting settled in I noticed three butterfly stickers on the wall, so I couldn’t help but smile. Emely offered to stay the night with me in case I was nervous about staying alone, but I told her I’d be fine. Part of me wishes I weren’t so stubborn, but she has a family and there’s no reason she should have to spend the night away from them. I’m twenty-five and no stranger to being alone in a house, so why not give it a try? As soon as they left I got a little antsy, but I was still incredibly hungry so I distracted myself with food and unpacking. I realized I hadn’t purchased any bleach at the store, so I had a “how the heck was I supposed to wash this stuff again??” moment before diving into a simple (but naturally delicious :) dinner of fried plantains and a little pan-cooked broccoli.

More on the house later, once I’ve introduced my roommates and things will hopefully make a little more sense!

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