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Friday, December 24, 2010

Celebrate!






Merry Christmas




I wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday season.

This is what 50-something looks like




I went down to breakfast. When the hostess seated me next to the window I asked her to take my picture. I explained it was my birthday. She took a couple, and this is the best one. The buffet had good stuff, including fried plantains (plantanos fritos), fruit and a good selection of sweet breads. I took several of the sweets, figuring that it is my birthday and the diet would start tomorrow. Christmas carols played softly in the background with the lyrics sung in a mixture of sometimes English, sometimes Spanish. It sounds a bit odd at first to hear familiar tunes sung with words I don't understand.




As I was almost finished with everything and got coffee to finish eating the sweet treats I got, I realized that the tune in the background was the Happy Birthday song, sung in Spanish. I looked up and the waiter presented me with this. I took a couple of bites before it occurred to me to take a picture. Sorry. Anyway, I almost teared up as the hostess popped up and wished me a Happy Birthday. I finished this off, then finished off the plate of sweet rolls I had originally gotten. I was stuffed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

They Say It's (My) Birthday!

(I'm) gonna have a good time!  For those of you not into Rock and Roll that's a quote.  Sort of.

Slept in, drinking my first cup of coffee.  I have breakfast included in my room rate so I'll head down for the buffet after a shower.  Yesterday I got in here around 11am.  The drive up in the military shuttle wasn't bad.  We passed by a recently happened wreck, and drove on by even though it was a shuttle full of medics.  I'm pretty sure the guy was already gone.  Traffic was just driving by.  I am still pondering that in my mind.  Got to the airport, and it wasn't the jungle of humanity that it seemed to me when I arrived a couple  of months ago.  That made me feel better.  I walked out to get a cab rather than wait an hour for the hotel shuttle.  A woman who spoke English was just getting out of a cab, so I asked her if I could use her cab.  I told her where I needed to go and she talked to the driver and 70 lemps was the fare, less than I had expected.  I got in, and since I don't speak Spanish well, I just spent my tiime looking at the city.  We started off in the right direction near as I could tell, but nothing looked familiar after a bit.  I've never gone to the hotel from the airport, so I just hoped that the Bible on the console was a good sign.  He started to pull up to a building that sounded like Intercontinental, but was no place near my hotel.  I tried to tell him where I really wanted to go, but he gave me a blank puzzled look.  I pulled out a keyfob I have with the hotel name on it.  He put the flashers on, grabbed his cell phone, and walked across the street to other cab drivers standing around.  He came back, we turned around and in a few minutes I recognized the hotel/mall area.  I gave him 100 lemps ($5) which was almost a 50 % tip, and he was happy.  All's well that ends well, and I saw more of the city.  I also realized just how much I need to memorize landmarks in Tegus.

Lots of napping and internet surfing yesterday.  No swimming yet.  After breakfast maybe.  Guess I needed the naps because even with 2 long naps during the day I slept well last night.  I think the hotel must have Skype blocked because I have internet but can't log into Skype.  So, it lights a fire under me to go get a Tigo stick - cell based internet - to cover for these times when my main internet source doesn't cut it.  You can buy the internet in increments of days, such as a week or even a day at a time.  I need to see if a week's worth of internet is 7 different days, or if it's consecutive.  I will use 3 days here, and would have 4 'in the bank' if it's based on 24hrs per use.  Things like that are different down here.  I also want to get my cell phone down here able to call the States.  There are just times I want to call and not Skype.

I hear that shower calling.  And breakfast.  I'll take my camera over to the mall later and get some pictures for you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vacation

I'm on vacation till next Monday.  My birthday is Thrursday, Christmas is Saturday.  I'm going to a luxury hotel and just chill by the pool.  Actually, chill isn't the right word, I'm going to laze in the warm sun and let handsome Hispanic men cater to my needs for drink, food, etc.  That's the plan I'm playing in my head.  Of course, I need to go pack my carry-on and backpack.  I'm taking computers and hard drives to catch up on some stuff, DVD's with computer certification things to study, DVD's of Spanish lessons. And 3 swim suits.  A simple pull on dress, and some shorts and jeans and tshirts.  Should be enough.  I'll catch my usual 7am cab, have breakfast at the DFAC, but instead of heading to work I'll head to the airport shuttle.  From the airport I'll catch the hotel shuttle.  Once in my room it's swimsuit time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nightly W(h)ine

When I was at Valley of Angels a couple of weeks ago I bought a total of 4 bottles of liquor.  2 of them are bottles of blackberry wine.  I had some motivation in getting the second in that 2 attractive males mentioned they would like to taste it.  I figured that I had little to lose.  Well, they neither one came by for the glass of wine, so I finally opened one of the bottles tonight.  I don't know how you mess up making blackberry wine, but this wine is not very good.  Then again, maybe I just don't like wine anymore.  Everything tastes so dry.  I thought it was just left coast wine, but apparently Honduran wine is also very dry.  sigh.  It is potent, though.  One glass and I'm feeling the effects.  I'm thinking the second bottle will be a gift to someone.  Not sure yet just who.

Faster Internet!




I got my faster internet. It is really nice. So, I was able to upload a few pictures, and I will start taking more pictures, I promise. This first one is just some buildings along the road on the way to work. As I looked at the pictures I took a couple of weeks ago, I decided I want to get better ones.




This is an overpass where the new bypass around town will come back in. I don't hold my breath that it will be completed anytime while I'm here, but it should be nice eventually not to have all of the truck and buss traffic going right past my hotel. You can see part of the hills that surround the valley, and some of the cloud formations that make the view really neat. I want to attempt to get some of the cloud formation pictures, but getting a good angle for a picture is difficult.

Tonight I start packing for my 4 days in Tegus back at the InterContinental. I'm looking forward to laying by the pool. It is difficult to fell like it really is Christmas with it being like summer here.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nope

No cable modem in my room yet.  The room next door is now empty.  I hope they don't rent it out until my cable modem/router setup is moved over here.  I had to have Carlos reset the cable modem for me tonight.  I'm thinking that just maybe someone is using it during the day directly connected since Chris changed the password on the wireless before he left.  Whatever.  I was once told that manana doesn't so much mean 'tomorrow' as 'not today'.  When it comes to getting things done I believe it. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Internet

My internet connection is degrading more each day.  When Mom and I Skype we can't have the video on anymore.  On Friday they move the cable modem into my room, so I should have good internet then.  I'm not sure if that is why, but Photobucket won't upload my pictures.  So, unless something happens, the picture situation should be all better by the weekend.  Then again, this is Honduras, so I will actually be really surprised (happy, but surprised) if they actually show up and get it moved on Friday.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Drive to work, part 1




A few weeks ago I was complaining about the loudspeaker from the circus across the street. A few days later they did pack up their tents and move on. Then, a week or so later a different circus showed up and set up in the same exact location. This one doesn't broadcast the recorded carney voice emphatically saying something in Spanish. They are much better neighbors, although during the shows I can still hear something over the loudspeakers. One morning last week I decided to take my camera out while driving to work in the taxi. This is the first picture I took. Yes, those are camels. This is December in Central America, so I'm assuming they are doing some kind of nativity scene. I could be wrong...

Mixed bag week

Last week was a mixed bag of good and bad.  I am stressed by work, and will be until they get me more help.  I went to Valley of the Angels yesterday on a MWR trip, and had fun.  I was sick 2 days of last week.  I got a hammock chair at Valley of the Angels.  Oh, and I have enough pictures to post pictures every day for awhile.  Where is the picture now?  When attempting to upload the pictures early last week (yes, I had good intentions before I got sick) my internet connection wasn't cooperating.  If it does cooperate later today, I'll start posting pictures from my drive in to work as well as my trip yesterday.  And, as a bonus, while I was gone yesterday the carpenter came in and finished my kitchen sink cabinet.  It is really pretty.  I have had a bit of a mess to clean up, but now that the work is done I can start really cleaning and unpacking.

Friday, December 03, 2010

One Down

I just paid off the first of my credit cards.  There are 3 more to go, and they have much more owed on each.  But, it's a first step in the right direction.  Happy Dance!