Saturday, August 4, 2012

Travel & Day #1

It's been a long first day, but we have safely arrived and had our orientation.  We met at the church at 12:30AM to drive up to the Phoenix airport for our 5:00AM flight.  Thanks go to Dave and Dan Jorg who helped with transportation.  We flew from Phoenix to Houston, and then on to Roatan.  Here we are getting ready to board our first flight.

Roatan is a small resort island that's not too far from La Ceiba and we got pretty cheap tickets into there.  Apparently it's a big scuba diver destination.  It was apparent as soon as we landed that we were in a completely different country.  The airport was tiny--with only one runway and no taxi ways.  We had to wait until several planes landed, and then all the planes taxied back to the terminal together.  As soon as we got off the plane we were immediately hit with the humidity and the smell of the salt air, and the tropical vegetation is completely different than what we're used to seeing back home.  The driving here is crazy too.  We took two taxis from the airport to the ferry terminal, and it was very clear that pedestrians do not have the right of way, and neither do any other cars other than the one you are in. We made it safely to the ferry terminal, and got our first taste of the Honduran cuisine.  Here are Phil and Caleb waiting to board the ferry.

The ferry ride took about an hour and a half, and the ferry was actually really nice. It was clean, comfortable, and air conditioned.  A few of us got some sleep on the plane rides or ferry, but in general we've all been up a long time by this point.

Two of the missionaries met us at the ferry terminal and brought us to the missionary compound.  The driving in La Ceiba was just as crazy as Roatan.


The compound is definitely a compound.  It seems like we must be in a pretty rough neighborhood.  All of the houses have very high walls topped with barbed wire, razor wire, or electric fence, and our place is no different.  The compound has a dormitory that is still under construction, which is where we are staying.  The first two floors are finished, which is where we are sleeping and eating, but the third floor is basically open roof at this point.  There are lots of avocado and mango trees, and we're free to eat from them....but they won't be ripe for a couple more weeks.

Here's a look at the dorm rooms we are staying in.  We're in one big room together.  Some have confessed to being chronic snorers....

After getting settled a little bit we walked over to a nearby soccer field where a couple of local club teams were playing a soccer game.

We met a couple of kids at the game that we talked and played with them some.  I was sure I was going to get stabbed.  One of the kids was running around with a rather large paring knife and pretending to jab it at his friends and throwing it back and forth between different kids.  It was a weird experience, and hard to know how to react.

All in all, the first day went very well.  We are looking forward to a full day tomorrow.

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