Wow...so I can't believe a week has passed so fast. I arrived here in Siguatepeque, my new "hometown," and have since been...working. haha. How exciting. But it's what I asked for and soooo much more.
My first day at work was, well, rough. I obviously didn't know the workers too well yet and I had so many new material that they just wanted to get started on them before listening to what the new designs were like and practicing them. I guess I would be anxious too if I was working on macrame cords for the last 3 weeks. Despite some stress and confusion, I was able to get to know them better, how each individual works, how I could best delegate, etc. Within the last week, we've improved a lot and have made great progress on some of the new jewelry designs. Honduran spanish and slang was hard to pick up at first, and I still most definitely have my difficulties, but it's getting better and better. Now, I can finally understand a lot of the workers jokes and make jokes right along with them. That's how you know you're finally immersing into another language: 1) when you can understand and make jokes, and 2) when you understand everything they say on the radio.
I did have the fortune however to speak english yesterday, for the first time since I arrived. I met up with a few young women who are American and teach at a couple of the local bilingual schools. It was a nice reprieve--to not have to think so much when talking...and they had tons of great advice for me. One has a map of Siguat to copy for me, another introduced me to some new Honduran "cuisine" (aka another version of rice, beans, and cheese), and the other had loads to divulge about how she got "played" by several Honduran men who had several other girlfriends. Well, it is pretty machista here...even more so than in the DR which I didn't think was possible...but it's been the topic of conversation with many of my co-workers which has lead to some interesting insights about gender and empowerment. Naturally my conversations would lead to that, right?
For example, the staff and I were joking about something I had done and somehow the conversation got to how women are "punished" if they do something bad/wrong in the house. Henry, the farmacist, told me that women have kneal on top of a pile of sand or some other form of sand-like material and stay knealing until the man says she can get up. Evidently it's a Honduran "custom." Henry said women sometimes went weeks on their knees...upon telling me that, I immediately jumped up from my seat and said, "ay yo no...yo puedo correr rapido" (Ay not me! I can run fast.) I think my independent aura and refusal to accept subordinance has surprised people quite a bit...it all started when I asked if I could play soccer with the guys and they looked at me like I was crazy. Maybe I am...but at the same time, I'm totally serious about it...haha. In the meantime, I'll be going to watch the guys game tomorrow and maybe I'll find a girls team or work my way into playing with them some time in the near future :)
Alright, well there's so much I could say in terms of experiences and stories I could tell, but at least this was a little update on my life here. My apartment is beautiful but sometimes lonely, the sound on my computer isn't working so that makes things even more quite. Until, of course, the gallinas (chicken/rooster) in the trees (seriously, they nest in the trees in my backyard!) starting crowing on the hour from 10pm to 9am...yeah that's not fun. Gilman, my lizard housemate, keeps me company though...and with time, I hope my apartment will be a great hang out place. It's right in the middle of town and across the street from this lovely bakery with wireless internet. Pretty nice :) Okay, well that is all for now. After the support group at the clinic on Saturday, I'll be headed to San Pedro Sula for the annual feria and then I'll be there for my birthday on Monday :) So, in the meantime, just looking forward to all that is to come! Hasta entonces, cuidense mucho!