My first impressions of my new homestay in Sabanagrande, Honduras (Tara/STM/Honduras/2012)
I remember our small bus turning off the highway and asking “is this it? Is this Sabanagrande?” and getting a rush of excitment when the answer from Rodolfo was “yes”. My house came very quickly, barely giving me a chance to notice anything about the town except that it did not have street signs. The process of getting out and grabbing my bags, stepping through my new front door, all happened with me in a happy daze. I felt caught up in a multitude of emotions and wondered if it was really happening after all this time and preparation. Rodolfo introduced me to my host mom and went over a couple of things with her while I awkwardly stood in the living/dining room tring to take in my surroundings. When Rodolfo left, my host mom showed me to my new room; we went through one kitchen, out in to a courtyard, and found my seperate living space. The first thing I saw when the door opened was a sign saying “¡Bienvenidas Tara!” with 3 balloons all on my wall. I was surprised and touched by that small gesture to try and welcome me, which I tried to communicate in Spanish - most likely incorrectly, for the first of many conversations to follow.
I was left to settle in and unpack my bag and I took the opportunity to check out my room. My host mom had not bothered to explain that there was no running water, but I knew this from the girl who stayed in my homestay last year. I thought I was mentally prepared for this but when I walked in to my ensuite bathroom with all the furnishings (shower faucet, toilet, sink) but it had two large buckets of water sitting in the shower it started to sink in how different this arrangement really would be. It was that 25l garbage pail and smaller 5 gallon bucket that made reality catch up with my brain and it finally clicked: I was in Honduras, and these next two months were going to be an exciting challenge.