Thursday, February 19, 2009

Santa Rosa De Copan - Dan Rodgerson

This is how the nachos are served. There is a small fire burning on the bottom

This is a mid-scale hotel shower. Notice the exposed wires. Electricity, water and being naked do not really mix well

Having been lost the previous day, I made sure I always knew where I was. Got a room with a nice family and read about nice rooftop restaurant above a hotel a few blocks away. Very cool little town. I nested on the top floor, found a wireless internet connection and spent a few hours returning e-mails and checking on things at home. In the hotel were two groups. The first was a group of Canadian college students who were there working with habitat for humanity for a week and a Christian Baptist group. The groups were east to tell apart. College kids were there to party.

It was valentines day and kinda sucked to be alone. While at the rooftop restaurant in stumbled a group from the college. We talked and laughed a bit and a few of them checked e-mail on my computer while the drinks began to disappear. They did not master the idea of drinking BEFORE you go out. In tourist areas, drinks can be about $2 each. That was a lot. Warned the blonde girls that they needed to be careful.

It was actually nice to find people who were there for less time than I was. Literally, I came into contact with about 100 people traveling and most were out for between 6 months to a year.

Crashed pretty early. Last full day in the country tomorrow :(

You know you are traveling in Central America when…

1. A hotel for $17 looks expensive
2. You are smelling a three day old shirt thinking, can I get a fourth day out of it?
3. Your new cologne is “deep woods off”
4. Random kids come up to you almost daily and say “one two three four five”
5. You get to a hotel that is full, and you actually ask around if anyone is willing to share
6. You become accustomed to it taking three hours to travel 60 miles in a rural bus.
7. Seeing a full set of teeth is like seeing a lunar eclipse
8. It is common that most 15 year olds are working on their second kid
9. Locals will call relatives living in the states and hand the phone to you. Like you want to talk with them.
10. You are quoted an average of 40% higher than locals on most items.
11. You get on a bus and people stare at you like you are a Martian.

Dan Rodgerson Exploroo Profile

365 Adventure profile Dan Rodgerson

Favorite Quotes

Dan Rodgerson Wordpress Link

D. Rodgerson The Bizblitz

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bobble head jesus - Dan Rodgerson

This is one of the sweetest dashboards ever. two fans, disco lights, lcd player, radio, clock

I am so getting one of these

mountains outside la esperanza

Bobble head Jesus
Woke the next morning and headed toward the bus around 7. As I was asking a local were the bus station was, I heard a voice in perfect English “where are you going” It was actually refreshing. Jessica was a peace core volunteer nearing the end of her two year commitment. I noticed two things. She spoke very well in Spanish and she had bad teeth. We found the bus stop and realized it was Saturday and the bus did not leave for another hour and a half. Nothing was open, did not want to wait. Told here I was heading to the edge of town to try and catch a ride. She joined me.

Second car picked us up. Great guy with three sons who are doctors. (well one is still in his residency) It was perfect. Jessica found out the guy was actually heading to Tegucigalpa, would have been a four hour bus ride and she scored. Mine was just an hour where they dropped me at the turn off to la esperanza. That is where I got on the Jesus bus. I climbed aboard and there were about 6 pictures of Jesus. On the windshield was printed “Jesus is love” On the receipt was printed, we work in the name of Jesus. On the radio was Christian rock. On the dashboard… guessed it. A bobble head jesus.

I admit this next part is really stupid and considered not showing my stupidity, but it is a real life travel blog. Got into town, walked through a market. Although this was the highest town in the country it was hot and my bag was heavy. I asked a lady in a small bread store to watch my bag. That was not the stupid part. I made two mental notes. It was in front of an open air market and there was construction. I wandered. I am the only eagle scout who can get lost going around the block with a map and a compass. After a nice lunch and an hour of discovering the town I went back for my bag. Where was that store? Apparently the entire town was under construction and there were four open air markets that all looked the same. Panic began to set in. My guide book, passport, everything was inside.

I raced frantically though the streets like a mother who has lost her child at the mall. It all looked familiar but I could not find the store. I got a cab and told him my story. Once again, my drama became his mission. We re-traced steps from there the bus dropped me off, after a few minutes I was reunited with my pack. Not sure if I mentioned it before but I love my pack.
Feeling stupid I made my way back to the bus, put my pack on top and sat down waiting for the bus to leave. I asked the lady sitting next to me when it was going to leave. “an hour and a half” Grabbed my pack and headed to the edge of town. Thumb out, first car. Nice guy. An hour and a half later arrived in a small town called San Juan. Same dance, bus was not for an hours, thumb out and got a ride in the back of a pick-up but he was only going half way. Got another ride and made it to the small town of Gracias. Thought about staying but it seemed kinda stale and I really wanted to explore some ruins before I left. Took another bus another hour and a half to Santa Rosa de Copan.

I have been slowly throwing things away out of my bag to make room for things to bring home. With only a day and a half left, need to start grabbing them.

Dan Rodgerson Travel Profile

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

Rodgerson Travel Profile

Rodgerson Home page

the waterfall - Dan Rodgerson

Rodgerson Linkedin

Daniel Rodgerson Hotlinx

Dan Rodgerson Livejournal

Favorite inspirational quotes Dan Rodgerson

Daniel Rodgerson Myspace link

Friday, February 13, 2009

Road back to civilization - Dan Rodgerson

12 people in the back of a pick up truck

my buddy...

The morning I left

Hugs and thanks to Norma and her family.

The same trip in reverse. 4 am. 12 people three rows of four in the back of a truck. This time was a bit different because it was cold and rainy.

The woman’s group of the town gave me a Honduras shirt so I would not forget them.

When I got to Puerto Lempira, the first thing I wanted and needed was bread. I wandered down to the port, no boats. Found my way to the airport. No flights until the following day. I had a day to kill.

La moskitia felt a little like gilligans island just without maryann and ginger. Well, also without the ocean or the professor making contraptions out of coconuts. On second thought, it was nothing like gilligans island.

Took a shower, got a hot meal. Took the lap top to the restaurant. A sales rep from cannon was having dinner with a client. It seemed awkward. They saw that I was alone and asked me to join them. The awkward couple were my entertainment for the night. Dinner and few beers and some colorful conversation.

As I walked through town, I felt like Jason Bourne.

The next morning I made my way to the airport. Terrified I boarded the plane and took my same seat as before. As the pilots started the engine, a man stood up and wanted to pray. I thought great, anything that may help! The direct translation of a phrase of his prayer was “we pray that we do not get destroyed in the air” I thought….the air? What about the ground! I bit my toungue and did not interrupt. I figured god knew what he meant and that he understands Spanish.

A few people in the jungle jokingly said that God did not understand the language and prayers of moskito. This is why their lives were so difficult. I told them I would relay the message. The prayer on the plane really should have had a calming effect but It actually made thing worse.

I warned the guy next to me that I did not like to fly. He said nobody likes to fly. He did not want to talk. Bumpy flight but arrived in la cieba in one piece. I got out of the airport in a hurry, like the airport was on fire.

Back to chicken busses, and my guide book. Three things I want to do before I leave. visit ruins, a waterfall and climb a volcano. Problem is, I learned from the colorful couple, there were no volcanoes in Honduras. They did however tell me about some caves on the way to la esparanza.

Rodgerson Adrian Articles

Other Rodgerson Blogs

365 Adventure profile Dan Rodgerson

Wordpress Dan Rodgerson

Motivational Quotes Daniel Rodgerson

Dan Rodgerson Awards

the rain - Dan Rodgerson

More random thoughts

People here work in the rain. I think they know that in a few minutes, things will hopefully dry out.

It is a strange tribal life where the leaders of the churches are essentially the leaders of the community. No police, judges or written law. The land technically belongs to the government but with written permission that the tribe can utilize the ground. There is no mail system or telephones. There is a medical clinic that is staffed only three days per week. I think it is a nurse practitioner.

The Sandinista/ contra war in the 80’s was a huge impact on this town. There were nearly 10,000 refugees from Nicaragua which came to this small town. There are still many remnants and reminders of that period.

The military dress in camouflage and carry machine guns. I have been here for several weeks and not real sure what they are looking for or protecting.

The moon has been full has provided light in the evenings. People have been up a bit later.

One thing I could not undersand. If the people here work so hard and the food is so scarse, why are many of the people so thick?

The kids here climb coconut trees for juice and a snack.

It has been a wild experience to be here but I miss the luxuries of civilization. Have not taken a hot shower in 4 days, not shaved in over a week. I have dirt under my fingernails and all of my clothes are dingy and moist.

Feels weird that there is an end to my adventure. It has been an amazing eye opening experience. In just a few days I need to return to my regular life and the realities there. I guess that is the purpose of an adventure or vacation…to get away from real life for a while. I plan to head out of the jungle either tomorrow or Friday morning for a phone interview on Friday.

When I was in Puerto lempira, the parrot that was on the floor of the restaurant made the sounds that rooster make in the morning because it has spent it’s life hanging with chickens. There are so many places I can go with that but I will just let it be.

Spent the day half crashed because I did not feel good and the other half trying to research grants with the theme of sustainability. We had some long discussions about how to help. One woman said that if we gave each family a grand they would not have the knowledge or education to spend I wisely. If we gave they all a cow or pig, they would need resource to take care of it, feed it, coral it, protect it etc. The answer is never simple.

Before I head back I do want to visit a huge waterfall and a place which has some ancient ruins. I hope I can fit it in.

The trip back with be rough. Back of a truck for another four hours. That still only gets me to a place that can only be accessed by plane or ship. Not really looking forward to that but it will be closer to hot showers and something other than rice and beans. Never realized how much I miss bread.

There is not an orphanage in Mocoron but there is one on the way to Puerto lempira. I want to visit one because I have never understood why there are orphanages here and people are waiting years to adopt in the states. There are plenty here to go around. Not really sure what I will do at the orphanage but I want to experience it.

The people are black here. Not tan or Mexican but jet black. Like African black. Not sure why I expected anything different. Going to crash. There has not been much sun and that means not much electricity from the solar system

Dan Rodgerson Wordpress Blogs


Dan Rodgerson Bizblitz

Daniel Rodgerson Quotes

Dan Rodgerson Clip Marks

Daniel Rodgerson Hotlinx