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Bylers adjust to Honduras

Yesterday we 1st class bussed our way to La Ceiba. 2 ½ hours north east of San Pedro Sula . .beautiful green country with thousands of acres of sugar cane, groves of palms (for palm oil), and then on the other side of the mountains thousands of acres of pineapples. Along the way were those Latin American dwelling of all descriptions, telling their story of poverty. In la tarde (afternoon), the wind coming off the ocean produced little fog clouds next to some chocolate drop mountains, and underneath them it was pouring rain down on the mountains. Where we were, sun shone through clear blue, 5-10 miles away. I’m anxious to explore these ecosystems further, suspecting there may well be rain forest or cloud forest conditions in some parts.

Thus far the weather has been kind to us. People are remarking: the clima es muy fresca. We have very good sleeping weather, 72-75 night, up to 94 days, which isn’t too bad when we have fans en la casa (the house), and A.C. at the office. We are located about a mile away from the office, and are learning the public transportation modes. We have walked it numerous times in the morning attempting to continue our walking routine.

Evening and Morning in San Pedro Sula:

Where the curtains are parted, the fan pulls in the cooler night air mixing it with the steamy interior. I adjust the damp sheet over my sticky torso so the cooler moving air is not an uncomfortable change from the stifling heat lingering from the afternoon.

It is past 10:00 P.M. now, and the barking of the neighbor´s dog just 5 feet from my head on the other side of the wall has subsided. The wall is a new construction and topped with rounds of razor wire. In the early morning the roosters will begin crowing all around us. Their varied pitched voices crying out at random like those blinking lights we see on some christmas trees. Later in the darkness of 5:30, I will hear an alarm clock calling out to the neighbor on the left, and exactly 9 minutes later, on some mornings, the neighbor on the right will be summoned to his new day.

Most of the windows here in this middle class neigborhood are constructed of venetian-blind type pieces of horizontal glass that can be cranked open or closed. The windows are generally open for air circulation. All the windows have wrought iron grating over them, allowing the sounds and smells to travel freely. Ones food preparation odors, family disputes, noisy pets, and loud snoring are more or less shared by the neighbors.

The front of our house has a roof extending out over a 10 ft wide patio where it meets the cement wall topped by metal grating next to the street. A large double wrought iron gate on the right permits a car to enter the enclosure, and all the neighbors in our area park their cars inside at night.

Each morning I fight the tendency to procrastinate when I think of taking a shower, but finally do the "screaming softly" routine in one of our two tiled bathrooms, cold water only. I want to shave and get dressed before the preadolescent voice of the newspaper boy rings out down the street, "PRENS, la PRENsa". A five lempira bill thrust through the wrought iron gate will get me a morning paper. The ever inflating lempira now requires 16 to equal one dollar.

Each morning the boys with the small trailer attatched to a small brown obedient horse will announce their approach by calling out "baSURa" (garbage). I have to open the padlocked gate to hand out our 2 small bags of basura, and a lempira for each.

Janet is preparing breakfast: ½ grapefruit, an ample bowl of cubed papaya drizzled with lime juice, and sprinkled with sugar, scrambled eggs, fried tortilla sandwiches with cheese in the middle, and if you wish, a bowl of cereal with bananas. We can for double the price, purchase most any of the hundreds of varieties of cereal sold in the U.S.

Our house fronts on a very narrow concrete paved street, and might be considered a row home except that each house is different. The houses across the street are not more then 30ft away. All the houses are painted pastel colors, ours is sea green with black wrought iron grating above a 3 ft wall part of which are short cement columns. The street is no more then a wide side walk, and that is its primary use.

We generally walk the 22 blocks to the office in the morning. By afternoon the temperature is generally in the low 90s. Our house has a metal roof, and seems to be even hotter then the air temperature outside.

We find our Spanish to be serving us very well, and though there are always new words, quite a few people remark that we do speak well. We can carry on ordinary conversations with most anyone with no trouble. Our biggest problem is the names of restaurant items and find other foods are different then those we have learned from other countries.