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We Meet Again: Central America (Guatemala, Belize & Honduras)

So I left Colombia for Guatemala, my flight was not a direct on. It was scheduled to stop over in Miami. However, when I arrived in Miami, I found out my flight to Guatemala was cancelled. I was in line for 2 hours, finally when I got to the counter; I was put on another flight for the next day and told that because my original flight was cancelled due to bad weather, which was not their fault, I would be responsible for my hotel and expenses in Miami. How nice American Airlines, this will mark my first and last time I will travel with AA. This meant I arrived a day later than planned, the only good thing was that I met a person from Turks and Caicos, which mean that whenever I visit Turks, I have a place to stay.

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In Guatemala City I stayed at my favorite bed & breakfast – Dos Lunas Guest House – the owner, Loretta is super nice and helpful, plus the guest house is very clean, breakfast included and free transportation to and from the airport. Next morning, I took the Alamo bus to Quetzaltenango (Xela) to visit my former host family and Spanish teachers. It was great being in Xela again, for one, instead of the cold rainy weather; it was pretty warm in Xela. I met with a friend and my former Spanish teacher at my favorite café – Café Baviera. Sad, I could only spend a day in Xela, next day I left for Belize.

The journey to Belize was long but sort of comfortable with linea dorada bus – 5 hours from Xela to Guatemala City, 8.5 hours from Guatemala City to Flores (overnight bus) and 4.5 hours from Flores to Belize City. Once in Belize City, took the 12noon boat to Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker was amazing as usual – the slogan is ‘GO SLOW’. Folks start drinking the smooth coconut rum pretty early in the morning. I went on a snorkeling trip and my Belizean friend made dinner using the fish they caught – tasting :).

The snorkeling trip was amazing until the Captain got pissed off at some folks in the boat for not following instruction. The instruction was not to stand on the coral reef because it gets destroyed. Well, folks decided not to follow the instruction and the marine police issued a warning to the captain.

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So dear tourists, while you pay about $100 or a bit more to go on snorkeling trips, remember to follow instructions given to you in order to reserve these coral reef so others can enjoy them too. When you go back to your respective countries, these Belizean captain and tour companies rely on these trips to feed their families, so when you don’t follow instruction they face the risk of losing their licenses or being fined or being banned from taking tours to these areas. So be respectful of the nature.

Two days later, I made my way back to Flores so I would catch the bus to San Pedro Sula, Honduras where I’ll then transfer to La Cieba. I took the Maya del Oro bus service, they take you from Belize City to Flores for $25 (same price as other international bus service – note – chicken buses might be cheaper), it was less comfortable than linea dorada or San Juan express shuttle bus. I slept the night at Flores and took the morning bus to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with Maya del Oro bus which was scheduled to leave at 6am but did not until almost 7am. The bus was not comfortable at all; it doesn’t worth the $42 I paid. I finally made it to La Cieba at 8.30pm.

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All decent hotels in La Cieba were filled up due to the 1st annual summit on Afro-Descendents which is the reason while I was there. At the summit, the president of Honduras, president of Costa Rica, president and ex-president of Guatemala and other top officials of Central American government were in attendance. There were over 500 persons representing 42 countries and 4 continents in attendance. I felt blessed being among talented and passionate intellectuals, activists, community organizers and persons of African descent.

I ended up staying at the Banana Republic Guesthouse, not my favorite place but I didn’t care this time around because I was at the summit for most of the time. At my last night in La Cieba, I had to jump over the fence of the hostel because the gate was looked and the person with the key was not around. It was 3am in the morning and I didn’t feel like standing on the street to wait for him to come back so jumping the fence was it.

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I stayed one night in San Pedro Sula at the amazing place called ‘La Posada B&B. I paid $14 for a dorm bed (pretty nice, just three queen size bed in a spacious room with clean bathroom), a kitchen, swimming pool, walking distance to the mall, AC in all rooms, free internet & Wi-Fi, free pick up & drop off to/from the bus terminal and free breakfast.

Well, am on my way back to the U.S. Classes starts on Tuesday.

Until my next travel

Thanks for reading my blogs throughout the summer

La Nigeriana (The Nigerian Girl)

Carnival in Honduras

After Cuba, I’ve had a blast revisiting Panama & Honduras. I went to Panama after Cuba to see places I missed the first time. I met up with a Swedish guy I met in Guatemala in March and we traveled together to David (Panama 2nd largest city), Playa Las Lajas and Santa Catalina. There is nothing in David but the hostel we stayed at was awesome -Hostal Bambú, very laid back staff and it had a swimming pool. In Playa Las Lajas, really there is nothing much to do here expect chill & surf and same goes for Santa Catalina expect it has better wave for surfing -both places are beautiful. Actually we only went to Santa Catalina because we wanted to visit the Isla de Coiba (It used to house the most dangerous prisoners & political prisoners in Panama and it’s rich in nature), but we couldn’t go because of bad weather.

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Then I went to San Blas island where I met really amazing people. I stayed at Isla Robinson for a night and moved to Isla Franklin which I liked better. It was cleaner, nicer and much lively. It was sad to leave but am glad I made the trip. As usual, Panama City was great, did a little shopping. Its impossible to go to Panama City and not shop because they really have cheap stuffs. Oh, by the way if anyone of you is interested in a Panama girlfriend, I can hook you up.

Then off to Guatemala City to pick up my backpack that I left at Dos Lunas guesthouse and took a 22 hours bus ride with Hedman Alas for $54 to La Ceiba, Honduras. I moved into the ‘Central America Spanish School’ volunteer house and it felt great to finally have my own room to myself. I shared the house with 3 wonderful girls from New York. We partied together and ate each others food. My second week in Honduras was very crazy, it was the start of the much talked about carnival and am pleased I was here to experience it. The carnival was a week long affair with Saturday being the biggest day of all. So for a whole week, we attended the carnival in different neighborhood, the earliest time we arrived home was 3am but I think it was worth it.

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On the first day of carnival, we met Ricardo (a local from La Ceiba), he took us to the carnival venue because we were lost and introduced us to more local people -it turned out fun.

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The Friday of the carnival, we partied extra hard (me, the 3 girls from NY -Chemique, Christine & Alex, Tessa -from Holland, she works at my school, Joshue -a Spanish teacher at the school, Matt -another American living in La Ceiba, Tiara -also from New York, Josephine -my German friend who came from Guatemala to attend the carnival and some other people. I really can not explain that night, it was so much fun and we met another America from Tennessee -he is a peace corp volunteer here in Honduras. The Saturday’s Carnival was much grand – they had a parade from 12 noon to around 5.30pm, then the party began until Sunday morning. The parade was really cool – for me the most impressive show was that from Tigo (a cellular phone company) and the US military. Tigo had a Bike show -with girls & guys doing stunts -really cool and the US military had planes flying, doing stunts in the air and flying really really really low, I mean you should almost touch it.
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My house mates left the Monday after the carnival, which means Tessa and Joshue are all I have left in La Ceiba. By the way, partying is not all I do here in La Ceiba, I volunteer at a government day care for low income family. The kids love me, every morning when I arrive at the school, they run and give me a hug – isn’t that just sweet. I love La Ceiba mainly because I can fit in and I can pass for being from here and I don’t have to worry about people staring at me like they haven’t seen a black person before or yelling out negra or other stuff like that.

Oh this past weekend I went to San Pedro de la Sula. I took a taxi from the terminal to the hotel and the taxi driver insisted on charging me 100 limpiras, normally the price is 50 limpiras. I told him no & that he’s charging me twice the rate, I got down to ask the hotel receptionist how much its suppose to be because I hate to cheat anyone out of their money -she told me it shouldn’t be more than 50 limpiras then the taxi driver went all crazy and started calling me a ugly black trash and other racial sluts. Funny thing is that it didn’t upset me, I think after 9 months of traveling in Latin America, am numb to racial sluts and the likes. By the way I gave him the 100 limpiras – my thinking was $5 doesn’t make a different in my life & it must really mean something to him for causing all that unnecessary drama.

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DSC05323I was happy to return to La Ceiba. On Sunday, we went to Sambo Creek -a Garifuna town 30 minutes outside of La Ceiba to eat dinner. The food was good and surprising the town was buzzing with music & a lot of people, the club was even open & filled with people dancing. It was fun, I liked it. My trip is almost over, I have only about 3 more weeks and I don’t know what to feel – to be happy or sad. It will feel good making money again, having my own apartment, eating the Nigerian food I like, starting graduate school and seeing my family again. However I wish I still have money and time so I could continue traveling and experience new things……

until next time…………..