17 July 2017

Turistas en Copan

Day 8 was the beginning of our touristy part of the trip. We went back into Tegucigalpa to the airport. We were on a chartered flight, so we could get right into Copan quicker. Our group of 18 were on a plane for 18 people. It was tiny! Our group got special permission to land in a closed airport that had an "airport" that was one room. Our airport security was armed military. Always an adventure.

I'm sitting in the front row!

My view was this little cardboard door to the pilot.


We drove to our hotel, which felt like a resort, called Hacienda San Lucas. This place is beautiful and overlooks Copan from on top a hill. My family was exhausted, so we napped and relaxed in the hammocks and drank DELICIOUS lemonade.
Each night, including this night, the Hacienda made us AMAZING four course meals every night. While we were killing time until dinner, it started to pour. Not like a downfall, but like someone turned on the faucet in Copan. We played cards and enjoyed the rain by candlelight.
Fresh tropical flowers everywhere

We stayed adorable cabins in the middle of a tropical rain forest.



...and every morning we would wake up to lots of bugs outside our door. Not my fav.

kitchen at the Hacienda

Cute decor in our rooms.

Cats and dogs

Still pouring

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture.

Saturday night, we called 3 different numbers, looked all over online, and people had asked locals in town, but we could not find where the Mormons meet for church. We finally decided to have a devotional with the people in our group, and we headed to bed.
Sunday morning, my sister and I are getting ready for breakfast and the devotional, Jared Mitton comes and bangs on our door and yells, "Churri found the Mormons!" Churri is our bilingual translator who was a great help to our trip. He spent the whole morning walking the streets of Copan and asking people about the LDS meetinghouse. He finally runs into a member who gives him the address.
So we pile into two trucks, with gringo men and boys in white shirts and ties in the truck beds, and we trek over to the little LDS building. The church's font is outside and the building is small, but the typical LDS meetinghouse plaque is outside and the amazing members are inside. The meeting was inspiring and it was a great opportunity to meet with the members in Copan.
Sneaky picture: Christmas song special musical performance by the primary kids.
That afternoon, my family and I visited the Macaw Mountain bird refuge. There were big macaws and parrots and vultures. We even got to hold birds. However, about half way through our visit, it started to POUR. Again, this isn't just rain, this is rain forest torrents. We ran through the rest of the exhibits, seeking shelter along the way. I was the only one prepared with her poncho, so I was less drenched than everyone else.

Fruit Loops

Aviary for the little guys

AND it meant that I got to be the one who rode in the back of the truck with my poncho flapping in the wind behind me. It was SO fun. And since it was raining, our driver picked up some others along the way to give them a quicker ride home. Imagine a truck bed of Hondurans and one gringa in her poncho, riding around in the rain storm. That is when I got the most looks from anyone as a foreigner haha.

DAY 10
The group packed up and headed down the hill to the Copan Ruinas. The Mayans lived here about 1500 years ago. They found the ruins in the Middle Ages and have progressively built them back up, stone by stone. I'm so glad we had a tour guide because I learned so much and it was so interesting to hear about the Mayans.
model of what the ruins looked like

Altar with all 16 Mayan rulers from this dynasty.

Museo de esculturas (models and actual artifacts found in the sites):

Caesar picked us up from the museo and dropped us off in town, where we had lunch and then explored. My favorite part of visiting new places is just walking around among the people and seeing the town from a walking pace. I can duck into a shop and look around or buy some local food. I can be around the people and see how they interact in their normal lives. Nothing forced or touristy.
Later that night, we enjoyed another delicious 4 course meal, then we had a wrap-up reflection time. It was our last night in Honduras, and we talked about our experiences and how the people of Honduras touched our lives.

I'm grateful for the time I had with the Hondurans and with H4HC and with the Casa Noble boys.

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