Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Job!!! Moving to Roatan - Follow up

During April, eleven months after my arrival, I interviewed with one company and almost landed a job, but no dice...Still. Shortly after, I received a response to one of my posts requesting my resume, I sent it and scheduled a trip to Roatan for an interview. Once in Roatan, I interviewed and was asked to start ASAP. ASAP meant that day or the next, UNBELIEVEABLE! To me, this was like sinking a three point shot to win the game. No wait, to tie the game so I can demonstrate what I'm made of in overtime.

Overtime begins... aaaaaaaand my coach decides to sit me out. By "sit me out", I mean do anything to prevent me from completing my work. We have our differences like Artest being coached by Bobby Knight and... let's just say it didn't work out.

The game ends, I'm still on the bench, and my team loses. To make matters worse, I get released... as in fired. I got canned for the first time!!! Chet!

This place was so screwed up that I have to begin retelling some hilarious experiences I endured while working there (and living on Roatan.)

I now introduce: "Conversations in Honduraninan"

Employer: You speak Spanish right?

Los: Of course I do! I can read and write it (coming soon) too.

Employer: "Great! I need you to pretend like you don't. My employees don't like me and always talk about my wife and I. I want you to pretend like you don't speak Spanish and report what everyone is saying about us."

Los: Really? Are you joking right now?

Employer: I'm not joking, just do it. ok?

Los: ok...

Later that day I am escorted to my new office from where I was to fulfill my duties as "Accounting Manager". I am introduced and left with my new assistants to figure out to where to begin (as customary in Honduras, no direction is given because the employers don't know what the hell they are doing so they hope they can hire someone to tell them what they should be doing).

Within the first few minutes I am there, I'm asked:

Edith: "Carlos, usted habla Espanol?"

Los: "Claro que si" (thinking to myself: Dammit! I forgot that I wasn't supposed to speak Spanish.)

I should have guessed that this was not going to be a good fit for me...


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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Socks for Christmas - Don't do it

Nothing disappoints like unwrapping a bundle of socks for a Christmas or birthday present. If the only other option you have for a gift is a hug and kind words, go with that. If you give socks, expect the reaction to look like this:
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This reaction will also precede an Alllen Iverson type rant: "Socks?!?! Socks!! I was born on this date and I get socks! Not even ankles socks, which I prefer, but tube socks?!?! Phack mein! I got socks. You know what Hassan got? A car! I get socks. Not even Hanes socks, these are the socks you get from the callejones in Downtown L.A.!! I'm talking about Socks..."

My mother raised me as a single mother for many years. I know we didn't have much money for gifts and celebrations, but socks? I would have been satisfied with a burrito from Marielas. I'm Honduran, but I don't even play soccer. Why do I need these socks? Sometimes it was socks and more, but some years it was just socks. One of the most depressing childhood memories is unwrapping what I believed was a shoe box containing a new pair of shoes. Why would I think anything to the contrary? As I began unwrapping the gift, my mother calmly (cough, cough) reminds me to be careful so she can reuse the wrapper, "Si rompes el papel te quito el regalo". I noticed this was one of my old shoe boxes and thought she got the shoes downtown or something. That's cool, I don't mind shoes from downtown. I was so surprised I even folded the wrapping paper back up for her. I removed the top portion of the box and there they were; a bundle of tube socks.
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Not even a bag of tube socks like Kmart sells, just a bunch of socks bundled together by a string. I should have torn the wrapping paper.

Life is funny though. This year my father offered me a "professional style" camera, I requested socks instead. I don't want to walk around with a big bulky camera, and I need socks.

Monday, December 21, 2009

You know you live in the ghetto when...

The bathroom at your favorite restaurant looks like this...






WATCH THE REVIEW HERE - This guy has poor taste in food though

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cayos Cochinos - God's Gift to Honduras

From Cayos 2




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It's difficult to spot, but the sun set perfectly behind a tiny key. Close up below.


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The key is growing in front of your eyes!

Coral Cays are delicate ecosystems. Varying currents, waves, climate patterns and sand accumulations over coral remains eventually create this habitat. The same factors that create this piece of heaven on earth can destroy it.


Cayos Cochinos (Hog Islands) is accessible from mainland Honduras and the Bay Islands. The 13 Coral Keys and 2 small islands correspond to the Islas de Las Bahia (Bay Islands) department. I insist on an overnight stay if you visit. A day trip does not allow sufficient time to experiencing the complete magnificence that Cayos Cochinos has to offer. You can visit Cayos on any budget; from backpacker bunk style (150 Lps per night) to resort accommodations ($120+) and even something in between ($50 - 70). "Todo Esta Aqui!" (It's all here).

I've only been on the backpacker and "something in between" budgets, and I only went on the "something in between" because we got hooked up! Thanks Pirate Island Divers!!!

The first time we visited we were celebrating our good friend's Birthday, KrH. We planned for a day trip, but decided to stay overnight last minute. We were en-route from La Ceiba so our point of departure was Sambo Creek. A brief visit to Cayo Menor is always the first stop for every visitor. Cayo Menor is the smaller of the two Islands. This is where visitors are introduced to the local wildlife and conservation efforts. You also pay your park fees here since Cayos Cochinos is protected under National Monument status. The fees are very reasonable, $5 for foreigners visiting with tour operators or resorts, $2 for Hondurans (woo - hoo!) and $10 for foreigners arriving without a tour operator or resort.

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This friendly guy was posing for pics when our boat arrived on Cayo Menor.


After visiting Cayo Menor, you are free to explore Honduras' crown jewel. A snorkeling or hiking trip usually follow the briefing at Cayo Menor. If you opt for hiking you will basically be out looking for the "Pink Boa", a snake that only exists in Cayos Cochinos. If you go snorkeling, the common practice, you while see thriving coral, turtles, eagle rays, barracudas and immense schools of other fish. Lunch at Chachahuate, the only inhabited key, is a must. The menu isn't extensive, but they offer anything you could ever want to eat on a remote island: fresh-caught fish, lobster, conch, soups, and even BALEADAS. Of course, they have plenty of Salva Vida, Port Royal, Barena, rum and guifiti on hand to quench any thirst. Almost too fittingly, Coronas are also on hand so you can create your own corona commercial! Grab a cold one and enjoy the images...

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From Cayos 2

From Cayos 2


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William Bell vs. DTP vs. Dilated Peoples





Saturday, December 19, 2009

Proposal for Honduran Soccer Etiquette - National Anthems


Returning Catracho Report image


La Sele training in SPS - I didn't date this picture so I don't know when this happened - sometime in 08

My Proposal for Honduran Soccer Etiquette: Respect every visitor's national anthem.

I would also like to issue my sincerest apologies to every Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Canadian, Haitian, and Mexican (double apology to Rosa's family for that one) and their national soccer teams for disrespecting your anthem while hosting you during World Cup Classification.

This is what currently happens when we host a foreign soccer team.

Mexican National Anthem at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula



Honduran National Anthem at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula



I know that muffling a visitor's national anthem intimidates the team before the match, but I suggest we accomplish this with our pride instead of a display of poor manners. Other than creating a negative image, the current practice may provoke negative results. If you've ever participated in any level of organized sports, you know that athletes feed off negative energy. We don't want to set off a Landon Donovan or Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Don't motivate them, make them work for it.




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You know you live in the ghetto when... - Los Angeles edition

Ice Cream trucks play Hip Hop

Your neighborhood is highlighted in red on the map at Domino's and Pizza Hut.

You can't wear a certain color.

Fliers advertising "TEEN JOBS - MAKE UP TO $50" are posted on every block.

Every block has a vending machine that dispenses a gallon of water for twenty five cents (quarter water)

You can make regular appearances on the news by running out to places nearby where they are reporting from live.

Someone comes around selling "raspados", identified by the ringing bells.

You have an abandoned building on your block.

Someone comes around and yells "Eloooooooooooooooteeeeeeeeeeeeeeees" or "Taaaaaaaaaammmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaleeeeeeeees".

A produce truck comes around and honks like you're in a third world country.

Stop signs have bullet holes on them

Stop signs read Cant STOP _______ enter name of local gang here
(I used to call the gangsters that hung out on my street the Mariposa St. gang)



You have two or more $1 Chinese food places within a 10 minute walk.

You have two or more doughnut shops within a 10 minute walk.

You have two or more 99 cent stores within a 10 minute walk.

You have two or more pawn shops within a 10 minute walk.

You have two or more laundromats within a 10 minute walk.

You can't walk 5 blocks without crossing a liquor store.

You hear police sirens at least once a week.

You hear police helicopters at least one a week.

People walk around with tattooed tears.

The local landmarks commemorate acts of violence. "That's were the Korean business owners pulled out AK's and oozies to defend their businesses during the riots." "That's where Robert Kennedy was assassinated.", "That's were the cops killed the crack head"

You know people by names like Spooky, Shorty, Snoopy, Tiny, (note to gangsters: If your name ends with a "Y", you probably need to change your name to something more intimidating.

Apartment buildings show a trace of bullets left behind by a drive by

You have a "neighborhood crackhead bum"

The "neighborhood crackhead bum" is always trying to sell you a car stereo that looks like it was just ripped out of a car

Shoes dangle from electrical wires.

Everyone greets each other by raising their chin.

Raising your chin can also be confused with an insult.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Maynor Figueroa Accomplishes Rare Feat for Honduran Soccer

Maynor Figueroa became the first Honduran to score a goal in England's Premier League on January 11, 2009. He ricocheted a corner kick off his head in a game against Tottenham to accomplish this milestone in Honduran soccer. Maynor stated that he was supposed to set a screen for a forward on his team but reacted on instinct instead.



The rare feat is Maynor Figueroa's goal being #2 on the Dec. 11 2009 edition of ESPN's SPORTCENTER TOP 10 LIST (considering that ESPN show's Honduras "no love"). I'm not sure, but I think this is the highest position any Honduran has ever reached on the "TOP 10" (not including the countdown the featured the national team).




This is a funny video of Maynor adapting to life in England...


Returning Catracho Report images

Monday, December 7, 2009

Polache

Returning Catracho Report images



Polache is one of the most entertaining performers in Honduras. I had the pleasure of attending many of his performances while I called San Pedro Sula my home. His TV show, "De Trova con Polache", was also very amusing and informative. In his show he traveled around Honduran cities and villages with the purpose of highlighting local culture there. While mingling with the locals he would improvise a song relating to whatever situation he was in. The lady making baleadas, bam! you got a song. The artisan making souvenirs, bam! that's a song. He is mostly recognized for writing songs riddled with Honduran slang.


I haven't heard one Polache song I didn't like, my favorite is Pedazo de Mujer. His songs with the most rotation are "Hablo Espanol", which is almost a dictionary of Honduran phrases and the two joints he put together to depict his love for Soccer, "La Potra" and "Volveremos a Celebrar". I can't listen to "La Potra" too often, it makes my heart beat irregularly with excitement, especially if they play Salvador Nasralla's voice over it. I used to bump this jam before heading to the Estadio Olympico with hopes that La Sele would stomp on Concacaf rivals.

To all the Catrachos, send this out to your girl. Don't bcc it, we have too many guiros running around already.




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