Saturday, February 14, 2009

The interview - Dan Rodgerson

I found a hotel in a small town near a beautiful lake. It was pretty mellow.

The days of switching busses and trekking though towns were pretty fun. There were a few stretches where I was too impatient to wait for the bus, so I hitched. I have put out the thumb about a half dozen times, and either the first or second car has picked me up. I guess I look pretty unintimidating. I cheat a little. As roads enter the small towns they have speed bumps. If you wait at the speed bumps, the folks have already slowed down so it’s easier to get a ride. Four of the people who picked me up either studied English or had visited the states.

When I found myself short on cash, I realized ATM’s are far and few between in this area. I needed to change my plans and make a side trip for cash in the other direction. It was about a three hour, $8 mistake. I figured would jump a bus, hit an ATM, and head back to Pena Blanca. I had three hours to make the round trip voyage before my phone interview with the city of Lindon.

On my way back, I took a mini-van during part of the voyage. The mini-van full of 22 people stopped on the side of the road. The driver motioned me to get out and said, “Santa Barbara is about 60 kilometers that way.” I was in the middle of nowhere. 60 kilometers is about 30 miles, and I had forty minutes to get there. I was screwed. Not only was I forty minutes away, but I needed to wait for a bus and find an internet café to call from. (Internet cafes usually allow international calls for about 15 cents a minutes.) I began to sweat.

After the first two cars passed, I put out my thump coupled with the international sign/prayer for please. The next car stopped. I explained my situation, and my drama quickly became his mission. We jammed down the winding mountain roads to Santa Barbara, and he dropped me in front of an internet café which was run by his cousin.

As I got out of the car, I saw an ATM out of the corner of my eye. The entire three hour trip was not even necessary! I had three minutes to gather my sweaty, dirty, frazzled self together.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that guy passed at that time and that he had a cousin who managed an internet café.

I think I did well on the interview and actually think they enjoyed the fact I was in Honduras. I fielded the normal interview questions and inserted a little joke here and there—will cross my fingers. They are installing a quarter of a million dollar simulated surfing machine. That would be pretty cool to manage.

Who would have thought that I could pick up a wireless internet signal in the middle of Honduras???

I met a cool couple from Australia today on the bus and bumped into a pair of girls from Europe that I had bumped into three times before. When you use the same guide book, you usually end up in the same hostels, restaurants, and attractions as some of the same people.

I went to an amazing waterfall today. I was there pretty early and shared the view with a couple from Orlando. They were with a guide. Guides don’t like solo travelers, because if it were not for the language barrier their entire job can be relapsed by a simple $10 travel book: $6 on e-bay.

Tomorrow I will get up early and visit one of the poorest and highest in elevation places in the country. Hopefully, I will get some handicrafts for my girls and see more of the countryside. It is strikingly beautiful here.

I received an e-mail from a cousin who was seriously considering joining me. I have been a bit disconnected from him, but I think we would mess well. I would love a running buddy.

Kerrie, the Canadian, once said that the places you love while traveling are a combination of beautiful, amazing places coupled with the people you meet there. I can’t agree more.

If anyone is actually reading this, leave a comment or let me know.

Dan Rodgerson

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