It started with picking them up from the airport in San Pedro Sula (thankfully with all their bags, Lucy's family weren't so lucky). Kirsty was understandably on edge, being in the murder capital of the world, even though that is technically now Caracas in Venezuela, but we were only there for one night and then started the all day journey to Candelaria.
With Amy's mum, Penny, and gran, Sue, in tow, I eased the newbies into Honduran bus rides with a nice minibus ride from SPS to Gracias, only to turn around and take them on the four hour chicken bus ride along bumpy, unpaved roads. In my dad's words - "It was four hours of us torture. I shouldn't have to sit there and try to convince myself that it doesn't hurt!"
|Heaven in the form of a bus|
Moving quickly onward, we spent the next two days in Candelaria where they got to see all of my classes, experience their first taste of traditional food (they weren't big fans) and get over their jet lag in 35 degree heat. It was definitely a tough start to their time but I think they enjoyed meeting my kids and seeing me in action.
|Feat. fried chicken|
|Kirsty blending into the fort|
|Los Aguas Thermales|
Day 2 in Gracias saw us head to La Campa to do the highest zipline in Central America. Kirsty very bravely got through some nerves to do the first two ziplines accompanied by one of the guides and the rest by herself and my dad even more bravely offered to step back and take pictures. My hero.
Our next stop was the Copan Ruinas, a first for me too. We only had one night here so had to make the most of it. After we had some delicious lunch in Casa de Cafe, next to our awesome hostel, La Iguana Azul, we went to Macaw Mountain, a scarlet macaw sanctuary. It was brilliant place with an amazing array of birds and you even get to hold some of them!
|Yes we can!|
The main attraction at Copan, as the name may suggest, are the ruins. Alongside our excellent tour guide Virgilio, we wandered around the remains of an ancient Mayan civilisation. I have seen a fair few Mayan ruins recently and I have to say that Copan might possibly be my favourite. Not only is it in Honduras making me a bit biased, it is incredibly well preserved and a very compact site, making it easier to imagine what the city would have been like back in the day.
It seemed like half of the PT volunteers were on Roatan that week which meant that wherever we went, there was usually a lot of us! Over our four days in Roatan we sunbathed, swam, snorkeled and went for a ride on a catamaran, among other things. We also went out to visit Calum and Tom´s project in Punta Gorda and to celebrate Garifuna Day with them. Garifunans are the people that live in Punta Gorda and arrived in Roatan from St Vincent.
|Stay cool Roatan|
|Before you ask Amy, I don't know what fish they are!|
|The whole crew in Punta Gorda|
My two favourite parts of the week were visiting the sloth sanctuary and our night dive. How many people can say they have been clambered on by a monkey, dive bombed by a macaw and hugged and kissed by Sid the sloth all within half an hour?! And then seeing as we were back at Honduras' reef we decided that we might as well make the most of it. But why not mix it up? And that´s how we ended up doing a night dive and seeing bio-luminescence and strings of pearls. It was the most magical experience, like swimming through the night sky, even when we got lost in the dark!
|The monkey wasn't my best friend...|
|But I loved Sid!|
We had to fly back from Roatan to San Pedro as we were leaving on Good Friday and there was no public transportation. One more night in San Pedro Sula before heading back to the airport, two weeks after they arrived. I would like to say that it was a tearless goodbye but I'm afraid I can't.
After this visit I really feel like I'm on the homeward stretch, a feeling that excites me and terrifies me at the same time. Having part of home come here has made me realise just how much I've missed it but the thought of leaving Honduras makes me want to cry at the same time. I guess I've still got a few months to come to terms with it!