Friday, July 29, 2005

In a village of starving people, never trust the fattest man

If it wasn´t for Puerto Cabezas´s fattest man I would be at sea right now. He´s the owner of the boat I was to go on and he had led me to believe for the last week that when the boat leaves I would be on it. It turns out, he told the captain the day of departure, ¨I don´t want the gringo going.¨

Still trying to get on another boat...

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Great White Lobster Diver

I have been hanging out at the dock here in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, for about a week trying to get on a lobster boat. I´ve gotten to be pals with the crew of ¨The Lady Dee III¨ and will be heading out with them today. They actually don´t call me ¨The Great White Lobster Diver,¨ it´s really more of a self-appointed title. Like calling a fat guy tiny, they call me, affectionately, ¨Negro.¨

It should be a really interesting experience. The divers make up to 20 dives in a single day and they don´t have all of the fancy equipment that many recreational divers are used to. All that they have are mask and fins, tanks and regulators. I do not trust the equipment that they use or the air they put in the tanks so I will not be SCUBA diving, only free diving.

If we manage to fight off all of the pirates, out run all of the drug runners, and escape all of the sea monsters, I should be back in two weeks or less. Actually I don´t think it will be quite that dangerous or exciting, considering 25 boats come and go from Puerto Cabezas on a regular basis. But it sure would be cool to see a sea monster.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hit and Run

I was on my way to the airport in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, the other day and I was involved in an accident. My cab driver, by Central America standards, was quite a good driver- he wasn´t speeding, he maintained the same lane, and he didn´t smell of alcohol. Despite all of this the accident was unavoidable.

There we were minding our own business in the right lane, trying to communicate through my broken spanish and his broken english, when a vehicle merged into us from the left lane- CRUNCH. The cab driver maintained control of the car and pulled over the first chance he got. The other vehicle did not. It was a hit and run. The vehicle that hit AMBULANCE!!! didn´t even pull over to make sure we were ok.

Every bus, every taxi, every restaurant in Central America, is its own little adventure.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Follow me to my tropical paradise...

Why Honduras? Why Central America? The reason is simple and it´s stupid...

My favorite T-shirt was assembled there, of course.

My fave T-shirt has a scary headshot of Tattoo from Fantasy Island surrounded with the text, ¨Follow me to my tropical paradise.¨ So I followed him all the way to the factory where it was hand sewn. The guards thought I was crazy, the factory workers thought I had a few loose stitches, and the mangament was just suspicious. They thought I was some kind of real journalist looking for an expose on the garment industry. Little do they know that I have written indepth articles on important issues such as nude beach etiquette and farting on planes- not quite heavy hitting journalism.

It didn´t matter, I got no farther than talking with Michelle in Human Resources, who sat as tight-lipped as Michael Jackson in his recent trial, responding to each question in 5 words or less. I did find out that it took 8 people less than 5 minutes to throw my shirt together.

My main goal was to find someone who works for the company who made my shirt and give it to them. I was largely ignored and laughed at by several thousand employees as they headed home for the day. My translator, a 17 year old recent high school grad, at one low moment of desperation turned and said, ¨Now I know what it feels like to be a Touron.¨

Finally I found one smiling but shy 24 year old man named Amilcar. When I asked him what he thought of my being there because of my T-shirt, he responded, ¨I think someday you will be a legend.¨ Amilcar may only have seven years of schooling, but I think he is cut out for a position in politics where he can put his enhanced ability of International BS to good use.

Anyhow, the search begins again for a new favorite T-shirt.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I´m Batman

San Pedro Sula is one of Central America´s most crime riddled cities. After watching the new Batman last night, I felt inspired to do something about it. The above picture is how I look the day after.

Crime fighting, in reality, is quite hard. Never is this more true than when you are armed with a rubber frisbee, dull swiss army knife, and the closest thing you have for a colorful costume is a pair of Spiderman boxers.

Batman uses fear of the unknown; I use laughter and body hair.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Copan Ruins

Today I visited the ruins of Copan in western Honduras. I arrived in the morning and had them nearly all to myself. The grass was damp, a fog was lifting, the trees were dripping dew, and everything was completely silent except for the mosquitos.

I walked around and took photos before getting a guide to tell me what exactly I was looking at.

The thing I found most interesting was the Ball court. The Maya played a game with an 8 pound rubber ball. The goal was to have the ball roll up a sloping stone wall and hit a figure at the top. To do this they could use everything but their feet and hands. In Mexico they played a similiar game in which the losers would be sacrificed. In Honduras the losers were shamed with living. The only player who would be sacrificed would be the games MVP. Of course he was promised loads of virgins and the highest place in heaven. Players trained for years. Every kid wanted to be the best so they could be sacrificed.

Here is a website with some photos of Copan:

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

You might be a Touron if...

...nothing makes your day brighter than a nice solid BM.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Casa Guatemala

After a flat tire, multiple mini-buses (seating capacity 15) crammed full, at times with approximately 27 people and ten chickens, I made it to Guatemala.

Norma Love from Mocoron told me to come here and visit her sister who is the head of an orphanage with over 250 kids in it. Over the next few days I will be helping out where I can, mostly taking care of a 23 year old man whose body has been ravaged with Polio. It´s sad, but his personality is very positive. My short time here pales in comparison to the other volunteers who dedicate from a few months to nearly a year to the orphange.

The orphange is its own village reached only by boat. Its self-sufficiency is quite impressive. To learn more about Casa Guatemala visit:

This is a great place for tourists wanting to do something a little different. Each visitor can make a difference.