As I mentioned in my previous blog, I went to Copan yesterday. There were 18 of us in a 15 passenger van, but since 8 of those were kids, 3 of which were under 2, it really wasn't that bad at all.
It's a little over an hour drive, but the scenery is amazing. I took a lot of video out the window and will be putting it to music and then on youtube, once I finish some other projects I'm currently working on. So many videos to edit; so little time!
Once we got there, we were warmly greeted by the family and the smell of cows. I love the family and the smell of cows, so it was great for me. More members of the church and family arrived later, and it soon became lots of fun. As per usual, I mostly just watched and picked up bits of conversations here and there, but it beat working all day, which I would have done had I not gone to Copan.
Copan is a state that's south of Cortez, which is where San Pedro Sula is. It's mainly a farming community, with family spread out in the country. We saw a lot of cows on the way there, and while we were there. There were several coffee bean places I saw on the way there that were drying out the beans, which was really cool to see.
I made a couple new friends while there, though they all had 4 legs. One was a little squirrel that the family had as a pet. The young boys that went with it discovered it first, and although pride and my desire to be seen as an adult first kept me from approaching, the ability to pet a squirrel won and so I got to pet the little squirrel. Things quieted down before we left, and he curled up under his sock and was sleeping. I got this picture of me petting his nose as he sleepily checked to see if I had food for him:
I also made friends with a little stray dog. People and animals have a very different relationship here than they do in the States. In the States, strays are usually considered dangerous, and are picked up by animal control whenever possible, and people's pets are precious to them and get regular vet visits, special food, and all the love and attention they could possibly want. Here, animals are considered animals, and are basically all equal. The gate was left open and many of us ate in the yard, so some stray dogs wandered in and people tossed bits of food to them that they didn't want, as well as the bones.
The pet dog of the family looked in about the same condition as the strays, but was more comfortable around people and more welcomed in the house, though the strays snuck inside a couple of times. It was one of these strays that I ended up making friends with. Once the food was gone, she still stuck around for a bit, and when I called her over and started petting her, she stayed beside me and let me pet her as she continued to look out for food. For being a stray, she was actually in good condition. Here's one of the pictures I took of her while trying to get a good one of her ears, one of which stood up straight and the other of which hung down:
So, yeah. Those were my animal friends.
I also ended up having a conversation with one of the family members, Cynthia. She's about my age, and worked in the kitchen at the school with me before they moved. I was super excited to be able to have a full conversation with her, even though it mostly consisted of her asking "How was ____?" and me saying, "Good." When saying my good-byes to her, she told me to come back. I definitely want to.
I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but there's an area that we all walked to near this beautiful bend in a little river. It has something to do with Cynthia's parents who were pastors and the plans they had for the area. I believe that they own the land and are building a church there. We were there for about an hour, and I got some amazing pictures of the scenery and the kids throwing rocks into the water, like this one:
Amazing, right? This should be a puzzle or something, one of those 1000 piece ones that takes weeks to do and takes up the entire kitchen table, and when you're done you can't decide if it was even worth it because it's hard to appreciate the beauty of something you slaved over for so long.
Anyway, it's definitely a beautiful part of the country. San Pedro Sula is the second largest city in Honduras, and although I'm close enough to the mountains that I can appreciate their beauty to some degree, out in the country you can see levels of landscapes in front of the mountains, giving them that extra level of amazingness.
A friend of a friend lives in Copan, running an organization he started that focuses on the kids, with after school programs during the school year and summer camps of some type during the summer. I'm still praying about what God has for me during the summer, and I'm definitely feeling a pull to Copan, but it could just be because I miss camp where it always smelled like manure and there were plenty of trees.
I'll definitely have more information about what my summer is going to look like as I get more information. So, I guess that's it about my trip to Copan. I also got to watch some real cowboys wrestle some cows into the back of their truck. That was fun to watch, especially the young bull cow that started jumping up and down when he was tied into the truck. And by truck, I literally mean a pickup truck whose back is altered to be a cage in which to transport large animals. I would have snapped pictures of that, too, but it felt rude, so I didn't.
Hope you enjoyed this blog!