Saturday, March 31, 2007


Hey Hanszen, what time is it? It's 8:30 a.m. and this weather SUCKS!"
-- me, this morning
Beer-Bike was cancelled, at least for today, making the putative climax of this segment of my time in Houston a wash. It rained all this morning and a student died overnight, so they made the call (or I heard about it) around 11 a.m. They say it will be rescheduled but to date I, at least, have not heard any specifics. Maybe some day this week or perhaps in two weekends' time are but some of the speculation I've heard. Watch this space to see how this all plays out.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Once and future biker

I am in Houston for Beer-Bike, and I am going to be biking on the alumni team. It's only two laps (2/3 of a mile) rather than the three (full mile) that I have done for the men's team in the past. Here's the thing, though. I haven't been on a bike in nine months. I don't have a bike in Honduras, and even if I did, I would be riding a mountain bike on bumpy dirt roads, not a road bike on a track.

I'm going to go out and practice a bit today, but I'm not too concerned about it. After all, I think it's one of those things that you just really can't forget. Like, well, what's that simile?

That's right. It's like riding a bike.


Musings on life in the United States

  1. I know when I left in June, a lot of people had iPods, myself included. But you can't swing a cat on the Rice campus without seeing someone with white wires flowing down from his or her ears to a pocket or purse. I've got to get to the Apple store ASAP so I can roll around campus with my awesome 30GB Fifth Generation iPod.
  2. I remember when reading this posting that I was thinking "wow, I will never do that," with respect to brushing teeth and tap water. But not only have I thought it while watching TV in Honduras but here in Houston I was doubting if it was really the right thing to do to use the water straight from the tap to brush my teeth last night. I passed the "eight hour test" (no diarrhea or vomiting) so I guess it was the right thing to do.
  3. I love being busy with interesting things to do. Today (er, yesterday; Thursday, March 29) I (1) went to a class, (2) attended a demonstration of Windows Vista, (3) went to a talk by the lawyer who argued and won the landmark Roe vs. Wade case in the U.S. Supreme Court, (4) crashed the Rice Young Democrats meeting, (5) went to a town hall meeting sponsored by State Representative Ellen Cohen, even if she had to stay in Austin to vote on budget issues, (5) went to Kira's terrific recital, (6) watched Hanszen's softball team almost win against the GSA, (7) filled and tied some water balloons and (8) went to Willy's Pub. And talked to and caught up with friends, it should go without saying.
  4. Having essentially free domestic calls on my cell phone is great, but something was up with Cingular today and my calls had a lot of trouble going through. Similarly, I got a number of voice mail messages without having had my phone ring. Cingular, get your act together. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Love this place

After my friends did double takes and wide smiles broke across their faces; after several of them started speaking to me about live in Spanish; after I wandered my old haunts and met new people; after I commented on all the changes but noted that the more things change, the more they stay the same; after friends scrambled out of the commons to greet me, shrieking like I was the Beatles; after filling water balloons for hours while listening to great music; after picking up my accumulated packages; after being invited to events by old friends:

I find myself vindicated in asserting that Hanszen College is the greatest place on the face of planet Earth.

I love this place!

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I'm feeling lucky

I flew from San Pedro Sula to Houston yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, but because I can't get from San Manuel to San Pedro in time for a noontime flight, I was staying the previous night in San Pedro. So because of this, and to give myself maximum time to deal with any problems, I headed out on Tuesday morning.

I was going to take the rather direct and well-trodden route from San Manuel to Gracias to Santa Rosa de Copan to San Pedro Sula (top map). The road from San Manuel is not paved but it is in all right condition, indicated by the yellow line on the map. Unfortunately, there was a protest/strike right in the middle of my prospective routing (red) blocking all traffic on the road for at least two days, so I had to devise an alternate plan.

So I decided to take the long way, from Gracias via San Juan and La Esperanza, then to the main Tegucigalpa-San Pedro Highway (bottom map). It's longer, both in distance, but also in time because of the terrible condition of the road between Gracias and La Esperanza, marked in red. There are unreliable transportation services, but I was not going to miss my flight for anything! So I got a ride to San Juan and was ready to wait for a bus to trundle down the very dusty, very bumpy road to La Esperanza, taking at least two or three hours to make the trip.

Fortunately, I accosted a guy who was stopping to pick up a Coke at a store and asked him if he could take me towards La Esperanza or maybe all the way to Siguatepeque. It turns out he was going to Puerto Cortes, and could take me all the way to San Pedro!

This may not be apparent if you don't know Honduras well, but this was an unbelievable stroke of luck! What could have been three or four uncomfortable buses was a pleasant ride with interesting conversation, right to the door of my hotel. And for free!

Long story short, my bad luck that there was the protest closing the road was not all that bad. Hooray!

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I'm in Houston

I am in Houston! Until Monday early morning! And then again from April 13 to 16! I am so excited I can't stop using exclamation points!

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