Yesterday made two months since we moved to Honduras. To me there really didn't seem to be that much adjusting necessary. I feel like my expectations were pretty dead-on. If anything maybe I set my expectations a little too low. When I first started my research to determine whether or not I wanted to live here I set off to the Google and was bombarded with headlines like "Inside the world's deadliest county: Honduras" and Welcome to Honduras, the most dangerous county on the planet". Those were not encouraging to say the least. I tried my best to find something that wasn't so scary and eventually I did. There isn't a lot about moving or living in Honduras online especially compared to other places. This post which actually mentioned the school where I'd be working along with a future colleague's blog helped me make the decision to come here. That being said I was expecting the security situation to limit me a lot. I also prepared myself for the other special treats that come with living in a less developed tropical country like limited A/C, undrinkable tap water and a general lack of many of the comforts I was used to in the U.S..
I'm happy to report that Tegucigalpa WAY less murdery (if that isn't a word it is now) than the internet would have you believe. That's not to say that there isn't crime. While I've yet to witness anything firsthand it doesn't take a genius to figure out that people have safety concerns. Everyone (who can afford to) lives behind walls, gates and razor wire. If they're super fancy they spring for electric fencing in lieu of the razor wire. I think the absence of such precautions usually points to a poorer neighborhood. I wouldn't know since I'm not stupid enough to go and find out. I don't have many pictures of life on the street since using your smartphone in public might draw some unwanted attention.
I was shocked the first time we went on the town. The internet had me believing that everyone stayed inside behind locked doors once the sun went down. Let me tell you that isn't the case. In an area near a few of the nicer hotels people were walking around going from bar to bar. They were sitting outside having drinks NOT locked up in the house somewhere. There were no drive-bys or kidnappings. Again I would bet that in the rougher areas people don't hangout like that but I would not know. We've already established that my mamma didn't raise no fool.
I think anyone with common sense and street smarts would be fine here. I didn't grow up in the suburbs. I went to high school in downtown Houston before it was revitalized. I'm used to…how should I say the "urban landscape" if you know what I mean. I know how to pay attention to my surroundings and avoid situations that might not end well. I will tell you that my resting bitch face comes in handy. No one messes with me when I walk down the street. I look completely unapproachable and it works in my favor. They do stare but that probably has a lot more to do with them trying to figure out why this foreign chick is walking down the street than anything else.
On the whole I am enjoying the city and all of its unique challenges like trying to navigate streets with no signs, or catch a bus (stops are rarely marked and there are no published routes/schedules) or even finding a store where I can obtain proper peanut butter. The kid has an incredible social life so much so she's rarely home on the weekends. The dog thoroughly enjoys her walks in the neighborhood and sunning herself in the patch of grass in front of our apartment.
In case you're wondering about it Honduras is no longer the murder capital of the world. That title now belongs to Venezuela.