Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cruise Posting: Roatan, Honduras

Ok, I'm finally taking time to blog! The destination this time is Roatan, Honduras. This was another port that HH & I had been to on our first cruise. The first time we'd gone sea kayaking and snorkling. We knew enough of the island to know that we'd want an official excursion, and though we loved our experience last time, we wanted to do something different this time. HH actually tried to get into a scuba excursion, along with a brother & BIL, but they were too late. So, what we did instead was a cultural tour with my sister Laura & her husband Randy. We had a really great time! The tour lasted for half the day, and then we did some shopping (and eating, of course) for the rest of the time. Our tour was mostly about the Garifuna, who were originally slaves there. As slaves, they kept getting sent out to war for the island, and finally the women dressed up as men (and the men dressed like women dancing with masks back at home). When the enemy saw that they were really fighting women they quit fighting them because it was unethical. Because the Garifuna had ended the war through their cleverness, the island granted them their freedom. They still tend to keep their same culture, despite changing times. They eat flat bread made from yucca roots, and we tried fish soup, and other various bready things. Roatan is pretty poor. They have some wealthy people (the ones that own the fishing companies), but most of the island is poor. The tourguide talked about the poverty as being in the past, so they must be better than they were, but compared to our standards they are still poor.Our tour took us past some shipwrecks. One of the boats had the metal taken off of it and made into another smaller boat.
Both times that we've been there we had unofficial guides when we were street shopping. Teenage boys will start walking with you, asking what you want to find, and where you are going. There were two of them, one for each couple. At first they seemed like pests (more so because we knew that if they stayed with us then we'd have to pay them for their services), but it turned out that they were pretty helpful and made the day more fun.

One thing we were looking for was Lenca, a type of pottery that they make there & I had bought some last time & loved it & wanted more. So then, of course, they offered advice on the best place to get Lenca, they picked a Noni fruit out of someone's yard for HH, they directed us to the post office and helped us buy stamps. When we stopped for a bite to eat & I opened up a purchase and saw that it didn't open correctly, one of the boys ran back to the store to replace it for me because we didn't have time to finish eating and walk all the way back to the store (Yaba Ding Ding).
(Why, yes, it DOES look like my Handsome Handyman is checking that girl out....)

(Here are pictures of my lovely Lenca--the first two pics are the pieces that I bought last time, and the second two pics are of the new piece that I bought on this trip : )
Other noteworthy things from this day:

We tried this Lichi fruit, which was delicious!
We tried stewed Iguana (I just had a bite and stuck to plantains, but everyone else had a plate of it with beans and rice)...the second picture is the bones that were in it.
I danced with one of the Garifuna dancers : )
Here's a video of the dancers. Mostly the video has the male dancers, because they are more lively. Towards the end the boy is playing a conche shell, and there's a little bit of a female dancer at the very end (and just that little bit is all that the girls ever do, so you've seen it all).


Katie said...

Sounds like such an adventure. I sooo want to take a trip like that with Sam someday. The Lenca is beautiful!

Steph said...

Wow! and I love the lenca. I am curious what you had to pay the boys or their services. They did seem helpful.