Oh I did not want to get up this morning. I really just wanted to sleep in, at least when I started coming to. But I started thinking about the day and what it had in front of us. We were taking Douglas back to the airport. Afterwards Nahum and I planned on going to the gay nightclub in the capitol of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. I was a little excited to experience what a gay club is like in Honduras, probably a lot of hot Latinos all in one place and all gay! So that was enough to motivate me to start the day.
It was a line at the shower with six of us going into Tegus. I decided to take my time waking up and moved deliberately slow getting started. The girls brought me some coffee and a back up pot for when I ran out. I sipped coffee and had a smoke as I was waiting for my turn at the shower. I ended up being the last one to shower, so when I was out, dressed and ready to roll, we rolled. Anibel drove with Douglas in the front seat. In the back seat I had the passenger side door with Kevin next to me sharing the middle with Nahum. Foncito was also squeezed in on the driver's side door.
After passing through Choluteca we needed to pull over to get some fuel. The new truck they bought ran on diesel because it is the cheaper alternative in Honduras. Coming up was a police check point in front of a Texaco. We would kill two birds with one stone, make our stop for fuel and bypass the police by exiting on the other side past the check point. In Honduras you do not see many police cars out and about patrolling. What you get is check points in and around towns where the police put out cones in the center of the road. When you drive through you got to slow down as they check you out. If they so decide they pull you over and check everything out to make sure it is on the up and up. I suppose drugs are a big concern there, the DEA even has compounds there helping out with drug suppression. But they do this likely because their municipalities do not raise enough tax revenue to pay for more police and police vehicles that can chase you down. After all it is a third world country with an absence of money worshipping.
Anyway, we pulled up to the pump at the Texaco, stopped and got out to pump the gas. I was paying for the gas with my credit card, so I always had to get out and provide the card and ID before they would start pumping. But on this day, the station was fresh out of diesel, so we could not get any. They told us the station up the road had some, so we would be okay and had enough in the tank to get us there.
The next station was several miles and even more kilometers down the road. I started worrying that we might not make it, but then I saw the station up ahead. Better yet, this station was a DIPPSA station and their holding tanks were right across the street. We pulled up to the pump and jumped out ready to do the transaction. Yet again they had no diesel and said they had just sold the last tank to the vehicle before us. Was there a shortage of diesel in Honduras? Had something in the world gone bad in regard to oil? I had not seen the news in a couple of months with the traveling I have been doing, so who knew if there was some issue, but the bottom line is there was no diesel.
So we loaded back up and started out again in search of the next station. We did not have to go far to get to the next one. We were on the outskirts of a town named San Lorenzo, so when we pulled out of the last station we entered the city and a few more sightings of more gas stations. We hit the jackpot this time and finally were able to fill up the tank.
The road to Tegus is through the mountains so is very winding and sloping. The highway is only two lanes but is a major highway for Honduras. It was a nicely kept paved highway, so speed really wasn't an issue in theory. Because it is a major thoroughfare there is traffic consisting of everybody traveling between the two bigger cities as well as the 18 wheelers. Going through the mountains behind the loaded 18 wheelers was a test of patience. They went very slow going up and coming down the mountains. Finding a clear line of site with all the curves made it near impossible to do any passing. But in the end all you can do is take your time and make your way to Tegus, it was better to arrive safe than die in a hurry.
Since we had rushed out this morning we did not get any breakfast. I think we were all getting a little hungry as we were nearing Tegus. But we were short on time and did not want Douglas to miss his plane. Besides, the boys waned to go to Church's Fried Chicken. It was a very big deal for them, to eat American fast food when they were in the big city. Unfortunately, that would not happen until after Douglas checked in at the airport. We stopped just before reaching the city at a little restaurant. Douglas would be the only one to eat this time. He would get some food before boarding and the rest of us would feast later at Church's.
When Douglas finished eating we asked them if they had any zip-lock bags there at the restaurant. Foncito worked at a grocery store in Tegus and said they did not carry them, but I don't think he really knew what we were talking about, probably not something he ever used in his life. Luckily the restaurant did have some sandwich size zip-locks and gave a few to Douglas. He needed the bags to use for storing his liquids and gels for the ride home. He did not want to check a bag so he could get in and out quickly. I thought the bags had to be a certain size larger than the ones he had and I knew you could only have one. It took him two bags to get everything packed away. Apparently he made it back without incident, so it all worked out in the end.
We pulled out of the restaurant about 11:30 a full two hours before take off. So we were making good time and got Douglas to the airport and checked in with plenty of time to kill. Nahum and Kevin stayed with Douglas at the airport while Anibel, Foncito and I said our goodbyes and drove over to the house where Foncito had been staying with his uncle. We were going over there to pick up a puppy for Foncito, really more for Nahum and the ranch decoration.
This was the first time I got to drive through Tegus and see the central business district. It looked like the typical housing I had seen all over Honduras, concrete structures with the red roof tiles, which were now coming in large sheets. But here it was much more concentrated, a lot more. Tegus was indeed a big city teeming with people. They were everywhere, many standing in the middle of intersections making their livings selling anything that would sell. At every stop, light or no light, there was someone there selling something whether it be a real thing or a service such as washing the windshield.
There were not a lot of tall buildings, but they did have one modern building that was about 15 floors high. On the main boulevard there were many shops and clubs with lots of energy you could feel on the street. At one intersection in the boulevard I saw some kids selling puppies, right out in the middle of the street! Denver's bums get a little brave every now and then, but these people had no fear of the automobiles. But then again it was slow going with so many people in the street!!! We also drove by the National Futbol (Soccer) Stadium where the national team plays. It was obvious that Anibel and Foncito were proud of their team and had a sense of nationalism associated with it. It was also the first stadium I had seen up close outside the United States.
After reaching the end of the boulevard we went a few more miles to what was known as Estados Unidos, or the United States of America. From what I gather is was a housing development for the poor that was built with help from the US, hence its name. This is where Foncito was staying with his uncle, his mom's brother, and his wife and two children. They were very poor living in the city and I do not think his uncle worked. Foncito had been working at the supermarket and helping out as much as he could on a salary of about US$25 per week. But even in the bog city they had some ducks and chickens running around. An amazing site indeed to see agricultural wealth in a big city like this when you are only used to seeing such things on a farm.
I think Foncito was embarrassed for me to go to his uncle's place and see how poor he lived. Of course, I came from a poor family too and would never hold such a thing against him. But he does not know that, and I don't yet know his language well enough to tell him more. But some day soon I will. I guess he had told Nahum at the airport that he was embarrassed for me to go there, but Nahum told him that I would never say anything to him and not look bad on him for it. It really wasn't that bad, it was a house with three rooms all in a row with all having doors onto the patio area. It was small, but they had a love seat and chairs inside, but they were relatively ragged. His uncle and wife were very nice and hospitable just as was everybody I ever met in this country.
After getting a chair I sat down on the patio and Foncito asked me if I wanted any water. I accepted and drank some water while I had a smoke. In the meantime Foncito started searching for the puppies. His uncle had a stack of wood on the edge of the patio area. They were looking all through and under these boards and then started looking all around the property. But to no avail as their search came back empty. Of course, they were very small puppies so they could not have gone far. After about 10 minutes of no success everybody joined in the search. It wasn't that large of an area, so it didn't take long to go through it all.
But still we could not find the puppies. I sat back down after walking the place looking myself. I looked over and inside the house where Foncito was running his hand along the side of n upholstered chair. Guess what? The puppies had crawled under the chair and then inside the stuffing part of the arm of the chair. They had to pull the fabric off the chair in order to get the puppies out.
Foncito gave them some water and then put them in a box. At that point we said our goodbyes and departed to the airport to pick up Kevin and Nahum. It was also time to eat some chicken, and I was hungry. We went a different way back to the airport opting for the faster highway versus going through the center of town again. When we arrived back by the airport we went straight to Church's to get some chicken. Nahum and Kevin had walked over and were eating their fried chicken when we walked in.
Anibel and Foncito both ordered the #3 with three pieces of fried chicken, some French fries and a biscuit. Top make it easy I went for the same combo, beside I was very hungry and could easily down three pieces. It sure was good too. I had no problem getting it all down, but I was full. I am sure the big coke helped to finish filling me up after eating. Nonetheless it was a good meal and the boys were very happy.
Nahum and Kevin had also hooked up with Erica too. She had been at the house a few days before, but had come to the capitol to attend a Christmas party for her work. She had arranged to ride back with us since we were in town to drop off Douglas. Erica is Anibel's sister-in-law, or Carmina's sister. On the way back she sat in the back with Nahum and Kevin with me in the front seat and Foncito in the back of the truck watching over the puppies. A long ride in the hot sun from Tegus to Choluteca, at least three hours. A hardship we no longer have to endure in the country now that we have made it illegal to ride in the backs of trucks.
I also had a big box in my lap for the duration of the trip back home. Erica had picked up a big cake for the party to celebrate the New Year. It looked and smelled good. I could not wait to taste it. At this point I started getting very sleepy, probably from the stuff in chicken that makes you drowsy. Regardless, I let myself drift away and turned down my hat to block the sun's rays. I slept most of the way back, so it was a faster trip back than it was going. But I did not feel so well when I woke up.
I had been fighting off a sinus infection for about three weeks that I got while I was in Oklahoma. It wasn't painful and I was too busy that I never went to see the doctor or get any antibiotics. But I also knew that in Honduras the Amoxicillin I wanted was sold over the counter. SO I asked Anibel to stop at a pharmacy when we got back to Choluteca. He tried. When we got to town it was after five so many of the shops were closing for the night. That included all of the pharmacies, they were all locked up and lights out. I was hoping to get rid of this thing once and for all and I had psyched myself up for it to start tonight. But what could you do if there was not store open?
We decided to head back to the ranch at that point. But first we needed to pick up a piņata for the kids for them to bash for the holiday. We also needed to stop and get more fireworks, this time a lot of fireworks, to set off when the special hour brought in the New Year. On our way out of town, I was tired and ready to just lay down, Anibel took another unexpected turn. I was thinking "what now?" I really wanted to get home because I was not feeling too well at all. He went two blocks down the street and then turned into the parking lot of this pharmacy, it was open!!! I really wanted to use my credit card and conserve my cash, which was another requirement I had specified in my qualification of the pharmacy. But this one only took cash. I wanted to drugs so bad I really didn't care. As it turned out they were very cheap costing only $250 Lempira for 50 pills. That would be enough to kill my infection and have some leftovers to bring back to the US for a future infection.
I ended up giving Nahum's mom a couple of the cards of pills as she was also having an infection in her chest. So I did not bring any back with me, but I knew we would be feeling much better the next day. But now I just wanted to go to my bed, stretch out and fall asleep. I think everybody that went felt the same way that night. We were all wiped both physically and emotionally.