Saturday, March 13, 2010

Stress in Copan

I wrote this last night from my hotel room.

Wow, today has been stressful and I think tomorrow will be, too. This has been the first stress that I've felt since we first started the trip and I had no idea what to expect. I can already tell that this will be a long post but this one is not for you guys...I really need to get all this out of my system. I try to talk to Rob about it but he is wired completely differently from me.

First, I totally blew it by not planning further ahead for our accomodations for Semana Santa week. I know...anyone who travels in Central America knows that Semana Santa week is the biggest travel week and that you have to reserve months ahead. Its just been so easy up until now. We arrive somewhere and every hotel has openings...and not just a few openings but our choice of rooms. Our thought was to head to Belize which is less catholic and would probably have more hotel openings but as I thought about it this morning, it dawned on me that it is still holiday week in Belize and of course everyone there would head to the beach, too. Then as I was reading the guidebook, I realized that the only boats from Honduras to Belize leave on Monday and Tuesday and are unreliable and that with Jessica staying with us until the Friday before, we would still be screwed for the first weekend of the holiday. I started making phone calls to hotels in Utila and they were all booked up for the week. I was really beginning to panic because although my spanish has gotten good enough to communicate in person...half spanish and half mime, over the phone, I am totally useless. Of course the bay islands are english speaking but those hotels are booked solid. Then I was looking through the guidebook and read about Lago de Yojoa. There is a place called D&D Bed and Breakfast and MicoBrewery run, obviously, by an American guy. I called and he actually answered...I asked "Tu hables Inglais" and he answered "I sure as hell do." I asked if he had any openings for Semana Santa week and he told me that I would have to go through his new website. I let him know that I'd totally screwed up and was worried that we would be homeless for that week and he was totally cool! He let me know that even if he is booked that he would find a place for us even if it is in his extra bedroom. He asked where we are from and I told him "Dallas" and he responded, "Oh, from your accent I thought you were American but you are actually from the Republic of Texas". I gushed to him about how great he is and how grateful I am and he told me not to judge to soon...that he might be a complete A** Hole." I cant wait to meet him. I have a feeling that he is totally our kind of person. I hung up feeling better and got on his new website and reserved a room...actually for cheaper than what we have paid in any other town in Honduras. Then he called me back and asked what my husband does for a living because he needs some help finishing his house and is willing to work something out. I assured him that my husband would happily help him out and to please put Rob to work. Now I'm even more excited. I think its going to be wonderful week in an off the beaten path location. I hope he isnt offended that we are in no way beer conniesseurs and will not appreciate his wonderful beers.

Once that was all taken care started to set in that my friends will be arriving tomorrow. I feel very responsible for their safety since they are all coming only because I've assured them that it will all be cool. There are 6 of them, in total, Jesi, her husband Stokely, their 2 daughters (11 and 8), and Jessica and Jamie. Jessica will be meeting Jesi and her family in Houston and then flying together into San Pedro Sula, catching the fancy luxury bus to Copan and arriving in town at around 5, in time for dark (yay dark...dark=cooler temperatures....we love dark). Jamie, on the other hand, has a very complicated itinerary and will be arriving in San Pedro Sula a bit later, will catch a later fancy luxury bus, traveling through Honduras alone in the dark and arriving later in the evening. I will not be comfortable until the whole group is safe and sound in Copan with me...or at least on their fancy bus on the way to Copan. There was already some drama this evening, Jamie's flight to Miami was canceled while she was in the air to Raleigh. By the time she landed and found out, all the other flights to miami were booked and she was put on standby. I started running through the scenarios, realizing that if she doesnt get to San Pedro Sula in time for her bus...there really isnt much point in her even coming to Copan and although I know that there are some good safe hotels in San Pedro Sula, its not a nice city and after spending a week in Guatemala City, I know what that means and I dont want any of my friends staying the night alone in that town. Thankfully, that crisis was averted and they got her on the flight tonight to Miami.

Tomorrow will still be a long day while I wait for everyone and worry about all of the things that can go wrong....and I mean everything. I wish I could be more like Rob and not worry about things but its just not in my personality. Lets see, here is my current list of worries...someone wont make their airplane connection...someone wont make their bus....something scary will happen at the San Pedro Sula airport before they get on their bus...something scary will happen on the bus ride...they will get here and hate it...everyone will be mad that the hotel that we booked is all the way up a big hill....that even though we hunted for a hotel far enough from the central park which last saturday blasted music until 3 in the morning, that the stupid chickens right next door will keep everyone up...that it will be too hot here and they wont be able to sleep, its really hot and there is no air conditioning...that not everyone appreciates this kind of adventure and that some of my friends might be those people. I have a side worry that Semana Santa actually starts before that week and that since Jessica is staying an extra week and will be leaving the friday right before the week starts that we will have a hard time finding a hotel room the last few days of her visit. I think thats it. Darn, I'd hoped that getting it all down woud make me feel better but its not.

The last 2 months have taught me that in central america...planning is a waste of time and only creates unnecessary stress. Very few of our plans have actually occured as I expected...if any...but everything always works out as it should. But its different when we have an endless amount of time to work with. My friends have a week so every minute counts. There are children and single girls and parents involved so safety counts...not that safety doesnt count for just matters more with kids involved. As I think I said before, I feel very responsible for the group's safety and their good time. I want them to get a taste of what we are experiencing down here. Honestly, what they will experience is not quite the same as the freedom that we have to wing it (besides Jessica who gets to wing it with us for 5 days) but I have really grown to love this part of the world and I hope that they love it too. I'd love to inspire the kids and open their minds to the big world outside of their normal world.

I feel like the mother hen in the chicken coop next door and I will not be able to relax until all of my little chicks are within sight.