Yesterday afternoon found us at the bank to exchange our dollars for lempira. The folks at the bank responded graciously to our fumbling efforts to make our requests. Then we went on to the grocerty store to stock up on water, gatoraide and snacks. Finally, about 4.30, we were able to meet our host families. Many of the usual host families have guests in town for the huge fiesta which takes place this week culminating with a parade and a huge party down town on Saturday. It´s the feast of San Isidro (Saint Isador), the patron saint of farmers and the patron of La Ceiba. We will participate in a smaller version of the fiesta which will take place tomorrow evening in our small neighborhood of El Sauce where we are all living. On Saturday, we will go to the parade and then, because the downtown party starts to get a little rowdy, we will have our own fiesta at the school, complete good food, followed by a demonstration from local dancers.
Since some of the host families are otherwise occupied, we are staying in a wide variety of homes, but all still in the same neighborhood. One group is in what amounts to a mansion!! Others not so much -- but all in comfortable homes with welcoming families.
Today we had our first opportunity to participate in our volunteer experiences. We each had the opportunity to visit two different sites. The four possibilities include the school for children with handicapping conditions, the school for the community that scavenges on the dump, a day-care center/nursery school and an orphanage. Each place has its graces and challenges. As we have more opportunities to interact, we will find even more ways to be of service. Already we are learning an incredible amount about Honduras and especially the people who live here.