Monday, November 17, 2008

Lessons from El Salvador, Part III and Final

Click here for Part I and Part II.

21. A fruit that smells like overripe (and not in a good way) stinky cheese can have a startlingly sweet, completely un-cheesy taste when made into a fresco. (Namely, noni -- it's wonderfully medicinal, too!)

22. Wandering around a Salvadoran shopping mall is somehow much more entertaining than the same activity in the States, though the food court is strangely familiar.

23. Never make positive generalizations about bus drivers. Lesson #14 is hereby amended to "Most El Salvadoran chicken bus drivers are far more civilized and courteous than Guatemalan chicken bus drivers..."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Lessons from Honduras

1. Always change enough money at the border to pay for transportation, a meal, and a night's lodging, in case you can't find a working ATM until the next day.

2. Make a habit of making friends with the local sitting next to you on the bus. It's fun, and can come in really handy if you encounter unexpected "adventures" along the way.

3. Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that you're a (comparatively) rich white tourist and that people will treat you that way -- but that doesn't mean you have to act like one.

4. Tree piping termites are crunchy and taste like lemon.

5. Better safe than stuck: take the early bus and you can laugh at all your friends who miss the ferry because they wanted to sleep in an extra hour.

6. Underwater bouyancy control is an awesome skill, and fun to play with.

7. Hallowe'en on a Caribbean island: no pumpkins, but plenty of pirates and princesses.

8. Feeling like an outsider in a group of people you "should" fit in with isn't really one of those things that gets easier with experience.

9. Don't make an island the last stop on a trip with a deadline for getting back to the mainland during hurricane season.

10. Fresh, warm, buttered coconut bread is a positively mood-altering experience.

11. Preparation and contingency planning are fine, but worry will get you nowhere. Once you stop worrying about things, they generally work themselves out just fine.

12. It may seem like a cruel trick of the universe that the people you feel the strongest connection to are those with whom you are given the least time to spend. Don't hold back just because you know you'll have to say goodbye -- give yourself fully to the friendship and cherish every moment. You'll meet again someday.