February 14, 2013

Trip(s) to the doctor

What's with that finger?

Have you ever done something so stupid that you would avoid ever telling anyone, if you weren't bleeding to death and needed to be rushed to a doctor? Wow. I did. And to make it even more embarrassing, it was the second time that I did the same stupid thing, failing to learn my lesson the first, less severe, time. Now here I am telling the whole world about it, or at least that tiny portion of the world that reads the Blogicito.

I almost cut off my finger between the last joint and the tip. When it happened, there was so much blood gushing, including spattered on the wall and my clothes, that I wasn't even sure at the time that my entire finger was still attached. I quickly wrapped a paper towel around it and ran down to the garage to tell El Jefe that I needed to go to the hospital – now! Thank God he was home! He looked up at me surprised, looked at the by now bright red paper towel wrapped around my finger and started getting ready to go. He didn't ask any questions!

So what did this dastardly thing to my poor finger?

February 13, 2013

Another big, hairy Honduran spider

Big hairy Honduran spider
Big, hairy Honduran spider

So here is another tarantula – or wolf spider – or other Honduran spider of some kind. Last time I misidentified (see the comments), so maybe I should just say here is another big, hairy spider.

Sorry the photos are so bad. It's almost impossible to get a decent photo inside my house at night. Besides, I was probably shaking at the time and I was definitely in a hurry to dispose of the spider before it got away to some hiding place. ;-) Rather than taking blog photos, El Jefe wanted to kill it – right away! – but I was opposed. If it was a tarantula, it really isn't harmful, just big and scary.

February 8, 2013

You can't beat Honduras

Mighty Brite lamp
My new favorite thing - Mighty Bright

I often joke that no matter how much you plan, how organized you are, how many back up plans that you have, Honduras will get you in the end. You can't win against Honduras! After all these years, I understand the laissez-faire, 'si Dios quiere' (if God wills it) attitude. Why fight the inevitable?

We found out in advance that electric power across most of the North Coast was going to be off last Sunday. In La Ceiba, it was to be off from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Since we need our coffee in the morning, and our iced tea in the afternoon, we made a plan. The freezer and fridge can stay at pretty good temps for that period of time, IF you don't open them. Unfortunately, usually we end up having to open them to get tea or ice or something. So the plan was that El Jefe was to get up early, a little before 8 am., turn on the coffee maker and put the tea pitcher, ice, and some muffins for breakfast in the ice chest.

We felt so clever. It seemed like a great plan. The power almost never goes out before the stated time (though it does sometimes stay out longer or, more rarely, comes back sooner than the announced time). I prepared the coffee maker so that all he would have to do is press the button. It has a thermos carafe so it would stay warm enough.

So what went wrong? The power went out at MIDNIGHT on Saturday! And stayed out until Sunday afternoon. We didn't dare open the fridge. I made coffee on the burner on the gas grill.

Honduras 1; Gringa 0.


P.S. I love, love, love my Mighty Bright book light.
I bought it for lighting a Kindle eBook reader but I use it more often during power outages. (It is a little too large for the newer Kindles.) No more brushing teeth in the dark. The 3 AAA batteries last forever (well, almost) with the LED lights and it's much handier to find your way around the house in the dark than a candle. El Jefe wants one, too.

February 5, 2013

Should I come to Honduras?

Pineapple fields of La Ceiba
One of my favorite photos

I get so many reader emails about crime and safety in Honduras. The majority are from members of charitable groups planning mission trips to Honduras or worried parents of young people who are planning to come on this sort of trip. Some are from people with relatives in Honduras who they want to visit. They want to know what I think and whether I know anything specific about crime situation in the area to which they are going.

Frankly, I dread these emails. I wrote a whole series of articles on crime and corrupt police beginning in September 2011 and continuing through January 2012 (see the monthly archives for the lists of articles or click on the 'crime' topic in the topic list). The more I learned, the more depressed I became. Finally I had to just stop reading and watching the news for a few months. It was obvious to me that the Honduran government is not capable of taking serious, competent action against crime, not even within its own police department. It took me several months to get back to blogging again.

These reader emails just tie my stomach in knots. I can tell that most of them want me to say "Don't worry. You'll be fine." I don't want to tell these people not to come to Honduras but I'm not going to do what many others do and tell them that it's not any worse here than anywhere else. While I agree that foreigners are not particularly targeted for crimes, it does happen. A British tourist was shot and killed during a robbery on the street in broad daylight in San Pedro just a couple of weeks ago. Robberies of tourists and mission groups are not rare, those types of crimes just don't make the news and they are often downplayed for obvious reasons.

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