Day 7 Tegucigalpa

Today is cold. Probably shouldnít complain about it considering it is warm here compared to home and as we do have about 19 degrees and a mild warm humid breeze. I am not looking forward to getting back to winter, although like the rest of the team I am looking forward to getting back to loved ones.

Today, we were planning on taking the kids up to the villages for some souvenir shopping, but management has decided that the children need to focus on their training totally with the tournament so close. So today is all about that for them. I was also hoping to get you a report on what happened on the kids outing, but I can see that they need to be left to concentrate on their training, so I will try one of the adults that went with them.

A few of us have decided to brave the streets and go for a walk to see what we can see! Most of the adults have been out and about, there are shops across the road, kind of like a Kmart shop I am told. More on our little excursion soon.

The Slovenian team arrived today at lunchtime, a small team totaling nine including management and adults. The kids have been eyeing up the Argentinean team, trying to see who their opponents are. They have managed to figure out most of them as some of the team speak English and I can see friendships starting already.

Gary asked me to send this message, so here he is.

Hello all, Honduras is rather interesting although not as bad as I thought it would be. The Argentinean team turned up today so we went and talked to them, which was great fun. Canít wait till the tournament, starting to get hyped up. Thanks for all the support that everyone has been giving me and the team, we all really appreciate it.

Adios

P.S. Hola Josh y otros. Ņ Que tal? Soy legende. ŅQue estas hacienda en Nueva Zelanda? No sabe como mucho tiempo el dictionario salvando mi culo.

Thanks Gary, I get some of what you are saying, and take no responsibility for the rest.

And here is Ryan and Hayden (or it might be Hayden and Ryan, Iím still not sure who gave me the note).

Hey everyone at home. We have been trying to ring home, but we canít do collect calls. We wish you were all here with us; we are having the best time ever. We are getting real excited now since the tournament is only a few days away. We met some of the Argentinean team, they are cool.

The girls are even better.

Love you guys lots. XOXOXOXO

Hayden & Ryan

Thanks boys.

This is the team heading for their training session today. You can see the Argentinean management eyeing them up as they go past on the left.

At the entrance to the hotel is a sign and on it is the order of events for the tournament, so hereís a picture for you to keep track of who is on each day.

After lunch the team headed across the road to the Kmart like store where they brought various items, shoes being the main attraction. Here they are making their way there.

From there they went back to the motel, which you can just see the corner of on the right hand side of the photo. However the 4 musketeers, myself, Dave B, Mike Y, and Richard B decided we would walk into town and see what we could see. Turned out to be a great adventure.

This is Piñata street, at least thatís what I called it, about 5 piñata shops up and down each side.

 

From there we turned down each street that seemed to have the most traffic and found ourselves in the town square, about 4 km. There was this very old looking church there along with lots of alleyways, shops, people, in fact if you wanted to buy it, it was for sale there.

We went into quite a few souvenir shops and I brought some stuff, as did the other guys. One shop I went into had a very serious guard there with the biggest shotgun I have ever seen, shells in his belt, sidearm on the waist, mirrored aviator sunglasses, flash uniform with ironed creases and shiny shoes (you are going to have to try to get the image from the description, I wasnít game enough to take his picture). He pointed at me, motioned with his gunnus hugenissio (Spanish for "do what I say or else"), then pointed at my backpack. Frankly he could have had it, but all he wanted me to do was leave it at the front of the shop.

Which I did.

Dave told me I should stick up for myself more, I think he was jokingÖ

Walking was great though, everyone was very friendly, most everyone said Hola! Apart from the disabled beggar who yelled out in the market place "Americana gringoís". We are still trying to figure out whether he was warning the shop keepers or just making fun of us. Everyone could see we were tourists and we only had the occasional beggar hassle us.

What is very different is the taxiís. Imagine you are walking down the street, the ratio of taxiís to privately owned cars is 70 to 58 (We did a count, yep 70 taxiís to 58 other cars passed in a short space of time). Now imagine that every taxi, and I mean every taxi, toots at you, and waves out the window.

Is it Mikeís legs.

No.

Itís their signal to ask us if we want a ride, and itís constant, all the time, in fact it gives you a little bit of a headache, especially as the streets are narrow in places and the cars travel slow. See below. The white ones are the taxiís

Dave and Mike were looking for shoes, you would think they could find what they were looking for in this pile, but no, most locals have smaller feet and when the guys point at their size 11ís, the shop keepers just hold up their hands and say no, mucho grando (Spanish for "what huge ugly feet")

However I can say that if you are into shoes, Honduras would appear to be the place to be, shoes everywhere. Copies of all the major names, and pretty good prices too.

On the way back to the hotel we came across this place, where if you leant through the fence just that little bit too far, it would be all over, see below.

This next picture is amazing. No, donít scroll down, wait for it. This is the first and last police ticket issued in Tegucigalpa...ever! You can just see the cops helmet next to the car. I donít know what the driver could have possibly done to get a ticket, maybe run over 10 people, or escaped from custody, or something like that. Because it sure wouldnít have been for failing to indicate, stop, give way, carrying an unsafe load, speeding, failing to wear a seat beltÖI could go on, but you get the picture.

Tomorrow is a big day for the team. They are off to weigh-in, well those sparring are weighing in, the rest are supporting. Breakfast is at 7:30 and then itís off for the day.

By the way, breakfast is the main meal of the day here, followed by lunch, although the team has asked for this to be changed around a little, with dinner being much bigger now. Tonight it was spaghetti bolognaise, salad, rolls and a piece of cake for pudding. Lunch today was crumbed chicken, salad, and french fries, very western food and very nice too. Breakfast was interesting. You can have cereal or a cooked breakfast. Cereal is rice bubbles, chocolate rice bubbles, and something else I am not too sure of. The Cooked breakfast was scrambled eggs with bacon pieces, cold ham selection and cheeses, bacon pieces which are small strips dripping in fat, and this bean curd stuff, which is like a huge tray of, well it kind of looks like someone has tipped the chocolate cake mixture out of the bowl without cooking it, only it doesnít taste like chocolate. More like refried mashed beans. I liked it, but I think I was one of the few. Oh yes, we also had this stuff wrapped in this big green leaf, which when you unwrapped it, was a beige colour and tasted like nothing. Donít know what it was either, but I donít think I will have it again. None of the kids had it either.

So far there havenít been any real illnesses, a few overtired, and a few with small stomach upsets, but no one sick as such. Lets hope that continues.

Well, thatís about it for today, Iím off to the top floor of the hotel to file this, as itís the best place for reception. My computer has gone caput, but fortunately Dougís still connects through.