Looks a lot like adventure.

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Originally uploaded by trackbrad.
Today marked our 7th bus ride longer than 7 hours, putting us over half-way through our journey.

Without question, we are in a third world country. Most of our day is spent arguing with cab drivers over fares and the correct amount of change, discovering unmarked bus routes, street names and prices before bathing in rivers and eating meals that costs less than $6 for two people. The neighborhoods consist of dilapidated concrete structures smaller than most American garages, yet house families of up to ten. We negotiate garbage-lined streets, packed tight with whistling vendors selling raw meats and try to avoid pickpockets and men urinating openly in broad daylight (not in a corner or an alley, but on the sidewalk facing the traffic). Less than a quarter of the streets are paved. Homelessness and child beggars are everywhere; the little we can do will never be enough.

This is Tegulcigalpa, Honduras – a city of over 1.2 million people. Devastated by Hurricane Mitch, “Tegus” has very little in way of “sights” beyond a crowded city park filled with charismatic street preachers and Policia. It is easy to take pictures of the beautiful sites as we have been doing, but the dangerous and forlorn areas are more difficult – for one, we may come out of the barrio cameraless and two, it feels rude. We have tried to take a few shots from a distance for this entry, but the sights we describe above are far more common that we have let on… Everywhere we go, the two bearded gringos draw constant stares and seem easy targets for overpriced cab fares (although we are becoming much more shrewd).

Anti-Americanism is common, which should not come as a surprise given our extensive involvement in the region over the years. As one of our fellow travelers in Costa Rica advised us on Nicaraguan and Honduran sentiment, “Don’t be wary, but be aware.”

Both of us are tired from little sleep in the heat and humidity (we both sweat through most of the night), riding long buses over narrow, windy mountain-sides and pushing very hard to keep our aggressive schedule. Although we have seen an incredible amount in our short time and our travel time has been extremely efficient, we are very much looking forward to slowing down in Guatemala and Belize before coming back to the States. So far, this has been an incredibly eye-opening journey, which can not be explained but only experienced.

I love how you always mention how cheap things are over there. "This hostel cost $4/night, our meal was less than $3/person, the bus fare was about $7. Hopefully you're going to end up with more money left over than you expected!

Also, Michelle went on a mission trip to Honduras a few years ago. I remember her telling me how needy the people are there. I pray you guys are finding some way to minister.

And finally, I discovered today that my grandfather, an attorney, spent quite a bit of time in Honduras rescuing an orphaned child and bringing her back to the States some 40 years ago. He had to return 20 years ago after there was some probably with her legal status. I browsed through some pictures of him in Honduras today. It looked really beautiful.

((Longest comment EVER?))

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