Day 5 Tegucigalpa




As you can see, this is the team reading the messages from last night that you left for them. I haven’t located a printer yet, but I think there’s one in the business centre down stairs. I nearly get mugged bringing them the news from home, so keep them coming. They understand how much people want them to email home, but they are very focused on what they are here to do and internet is expensive in the Hotel if you aren’t on wireless. So, in answer to some of the questions you have left on the team messages page, I thought I would ask them, and here are some replies.


Dear Bryce, Anne hates her photo being taken, she told me so, but since you asked so nicely, here is a photo of her I managed to get.



Dear Juanita, Ryan says he told Hayden to behave himself and they miss you too, but are having a great time and have lots of stories to bring back.


Dear Jamie, thanks for the advice. I may not be able to tell the twins apart but perhaps you can reflect on the importance of that when I give you a thousand press-ups to do at training when I get back!


Dear Gloria, Amy and Siobhan didn’t buy anything at Tiffany’s, although they tell me that they liked the $485,000 blue diamond that was for sale, and Mr Ballard liked the $26,000 watch, but he didn’t buy that either.


Dear Jessica (my oldest daughter), thanks for wishing me happy birthday, but just so you know, it’s the 10th here, not the 11th as we are 1 day behind you. Hey that gives me an idea, why don’t you guys reading this give us here the results of the tournament as soon as you know them, so we can see what happened and who won and get the coaches to change things so we win everything! Yeah, what a great idea.


Wait, I have to give you the results first…but you get them a day before I send them…which means I am sending them from the past…ok, now I have a headache. Curse the international date line!


At 9 this morning the adults (16 of us), excluding team management, went for a ride to the mall, to see if it was safe for us to take the kids today.


This is Richard just before we left, with his $500 note ready to spend!




Driving past some of the houses on the way was an eye opener. Actually getting in the van was an eye opener. Seating for 7, and the rest of us kind of just sat anywhere else, with Mr Yates calls of “please wear seat belts” echoing in our ears. Well Mike, we would wear them, but even those seated didn’t have any!


You can tell the reasonably well off houses, they have a large brick wall around them. The semi-wealthy houses have a brick wall with razor wire round the top. The wealthy houses are even easier to spot, they have the wall, the razor wire, and an electrical fence on top of that, covered in little signs that say, touch this and die scumbag crook. Ok, the signs are in Spanish, but I’m betting that’s pretty much what they say. See photo’s below.


Semi wealthy house




Normal business security




Wealthy property with electric fence on top. You can just make out one of the signs.





Now perhaps some of you are a little worried about us getting out and about in Tegucigalpa. Don’t be. There are security guards all over the mall we are going to, as well as our hotel and we all feel quite safe, which is why we are going there, and the guards at the entrance have a variety of weapons, handguns, shotguns, clubs etc as Tim demonstrates. They are also friendly!





We watched them stopping people coming into the mall, those not well dressed have no show, like the beggars etc. We all feel very safe so far and this afternoon will be taking the kids to the mall. We wanted to go to the markets, but that’s just not going to happen. So the mall it is.


I spoke to several people there, shop keepers, shoppers, and they are very friendly, although not many speak English. I am fast learning Spanish, it’s very similar to Italian which I speak a little. With the crowds, I just say “Fanni passare devo andare del dottore”, which means “let me through, I’m a doctor”. I’m not sure it works the same in Spanish, but I haven’t been arrested yet and people do move, although it could be because they have no idea what I am saying and just get out the way anyway.


During our recon some of the adults, who shall remain nameless, had Wendy’s! The thing is, a chicken burger combo thingy cost $75 lempira, which is the local currency! But don’t panic, that converts to about $7.50 NZ as near as we can tell.


So, with it safe for the kids to go, they were very excited to get out of the hotel and gathered in the lobby to get into the 3 vans which were taking us shopping at the “safe” mall.


However, that’s not exactly what happened…read on.


After driving for a while, we noticed that we were not on the same route that we had traveled in the morning. And as the standard of the streets became progressively worse, we got progressively worried, as none of the drivers spoke English. Pretty soon we were driving the slums, or the lower income areas if you like. With a bit of luck, Mr Breen can put a link here to all the photo’s that Doug took, and you can see for yourself our little “journey”.  

 This one I took, as I was amazed at the wires coming out of all the power lines!




After a while, I stopped worrying where we were going and began to think that Mike, who was in the first van, had asked the hotel to get the drivers to show us some of the city, but it turns out he hadn’t, not that I knew it then. As you can see, we sure had a tour that was interesting to say the least. Just at the end we turned into this really narrow street that went up a hillside, where the vans parked in a tiny courtyard.


See below, we were the second van.



The drivers all got out and we got worried again. Our driver pointed at us and motioned for us to get out, then he made the ‘walking with your fingers sign’ and pointed up the hill. Now I was worried, and went to see Mike, where I discovered he hadn’t arranged anything and was just as worried.


Turns out that I had been talking to the hotel reception earlier in the day about a vanload of us going to see some ruins and the local churches tomorrow, which are apparently very big and very old. The guy on reception had misunderstood and thought we all wanted to go there today, not the shopping mall, and had told the van drivers to take us all to the museum!


Well, it was a relief when we finally got it through to them we wanted to go to the mall. They were very apologetic and we were very relieved and soon on our way back down the windy track. I still don’t understand why we ended up in a courtyard that you couldn’t swing a cat in, I mean how could this be the parking place for a museum, but all was well in the end. So, sorry guys, I guess it was a language thing. However we did get to see some sights that we hadn’t planned on, and the team got an eyeful of the real Honduras.


At each intersection there are people selling stuff, or begging for money. One little girl about 4 years old ‘works’ the intersection down from the hotel, running out into traffic to beg at car doors when they stop in traffic jams. It was kind of upsetting for some of the team, including me, but this isn’t NZ. The team is under strict instructions not to give anything to them as once you do, you become a target for any others in the vicinity, especially if you are walking.


Here are some working the street.




At another section of the street, there are these two guys, one in a wheelchair being pushed by the other down the middle of the road, not between opposing traffic mind you, but in the middle of one lane. The cars just drive round them and they beg at windows when traffic stops, although I don’t know how they are still alive. Again I have to say, ‘It’s not wrong, just different’ because it kinda helps a little. Still makes you think though, doesn’t it. Good old NZ.


Finally arriving at the mall, the team spent 3 hours shopping their little hearts out and generally chilling, with most buying something. I will try to get some pictures of what they brought later on, or maybe Doug has some (he did, see his pics). Which reminds me, hasn’t he done a fantastic job with the photo’s.


Here’s Melissa with her $45 Burger King Meal!



Tonight we have dinner at 8pm, and then probably another early night.

(ed:nb - a little birdy tells me that the $45 was actually 45 Lempira i.e. about $4.50)