Monthly Archives: September 2011

“Nunca Te Rindas”

Dear all

Continuing from the last post, in regards to my tattoo on my calf that shares the name of the title of this post. It’s actually taken from a poem by Dalai Lama and Ron Whitehead. My sister had it printed on a scribe that she brought back from Thailand. I fell in love with it. It’s never applied so much to me as it does now. Below you can find it English and Spanish (I copied and pasted it from another blog. I haven’t checked out the Spanish so beware: It could be a poor translation):

Nunca Te Rindas

Never give up; Nunca te rindas
No matter what is going on; Sin importar lo que suceda
Never give up; Nunca te rindas.
Develop the heart; Desarrolla el corazon;
Too much energy in your country; Demasiada energia en tu pais
Is spent developing the mind; es gastada desarrollando la mente,
Instead of the heart…. En vez del corazon…
Develop the heart; Desarrolla el corazon.
Be Compassionate; Se Compasivo;
Not just with your friends; No solamente con tus amigos
But with everyone; Con todo el mundo.
Be compassionate; Se compasivo.
Work for peace; Trabaja por Paz
In your heart; En tu corazon,
And in the world; Y en el mundo
Work for peace; Trabaja por paz.
And I say again; Y repite una vez mas,
Never give up; Nunca te rindas
No matter what is going on around you; Sin importar lo que suceda a tu alrededor
Never give up!
Nunca te rindas!
Another quote I like is below. It’s also by Dalai Lama. I suppose it’s ambiguous and it applies to us all. So here it is, in big, bold letters!

“We must be the change we want to see”

 

I was thinking about mocking myself by including the S Club 7 song, “Don’t Stop, Never Give Up….” song and I decided, no, I won’t. I am including a song by Bruce Springsteen that I like. It has nothing to do with about not giving up or anything inspirational. It’s Secret Garden and I like it because it’s soothing, even though it’s got that smug git Tom Cruise in the video. So there you go. Enjoy.

 

Advertisements

Anniversary of Casa Alianza, Keys, “Ninca te Rindas”, more street kid art & Irish music

Hola todo

Coming from a stressed out Nick. I have a lot of writing to do for the book. It feels quite therapeutic to be writing this after researching about the Barras Bravas (Honduran football hooligans), Maras, domestic violence, drugs and sex exploitation. People are still reluctant to let me use computers in Casa Alianza which leaves me writing back at house to the crack of dawn. I can’t say that I will be volunteering for some time after this experience. But there you go. The kids are funny at Casa Alianza. They are brilliant. The things they say and do are hilarious. They make me turn up. If it weren’t for them, I would have probably gone by now. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really good staff there too who really work hard with the kids, and help me out. One of those is Caroline Hernandez, who runs a computer workshop, is a great joker, she understands my position and she makes me feel really welcome everyday. Another is Lucindo, who has been helping me a lot with finding stats and information on the Maras. Lucindo is the Casa Alianza football coach too. I expect some kids to come up and ask for water, money or sweets or whatever. However, a couple of members of staff do it too, and then call me a cheap-skate when I say no, even though they have a salary (one of them even boasts that they are a trained solicitor). I hate that. I really do hate that. Just because I’m a gringo to them, it’s a symbol that I’m loaded. I have told this person what I think, and that volunteers don’t get paid, and I’m not loaded at all, but they don’t get it! I find it insulting, disrespectful and really negative for my morale, especially when I bring in Cadbury’s chocolate, sweets, wool for the kids and staff and take photos for them, as well as write a book for them in my spare time. It’s soul-destroying in a way, that this person feels I’m of use for one reason only. I don’t understand people like that. To an extent, it’s a cultural difference, but in any cultural transition, this is a sign of disrespect. Selfish. We all have a bit of it in us (I do, I know), but this person hasn’t a clue. Anyway, f–k them. I have a tattoo on my calf in Spanish, which funnily enough I had done in Acocks Green in Brum. It says, “Nunca te rindas” – “Never Give Up”. I can’t let these kids down. I would only let myself down. These kids have been let down enough in life and I refuse to let myself be one of those people who they look back on with regret. Do as I would be done by. I don’t like it when people treat me like shit, so I won’t be that way to other people. F–k them and their bags of water!

Now I’m going to focus on something positive about Casa Alianza. Tomorrow is the anniversary – 24 years – directed and started up by José Manuel Capellin, a Spaniard from Gijon, who I wrote about a week or so ago. He had a goal to get kids off the street, away from poverty, the neglect and brutal beatings they receive from Police and gangs. He saw something that needed changing and he is doing just that. It started in 1987. There are now houses in Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala, which he directs. I have a lot of admiration for him personally. God knows how many lives he’s saved. It’s on-going battle for any organisation that fights for human rights of people who are discriminated against (the staff at Refugee Council or in the field will also know what I mean). There is a video for the kids tomorrow with lots of pictures of which I’ve taken, with the background music of “We are the Children” by Michael Jackson. I prefer the song “Man in Mirror”, because it reminds me of José Manuel Capellin and his goal. So here it is – a dedication to him and Casa Alianza.

 

I wanted to go to Yuscaran on Sunday. Don’t ask me how, but I managed to lock myself in the house. I have my own quarter, which I locked my key inside. This also had the key to the main gate to let me out, but it was double locked by Carlos and Rossy. I was furious with myself. I didn’t go out the night before so I would be up ready for a long day. I did have the keys to the main house though so I was able to sit down and write all day without the distractions of Facebook and WordPress!!! It wasn’t all a disaster. But trust myself to lock myself in the house. Doh!

Today I was in the National Museum of Art with the kids in Casa Alianza. They were making artistic cardboard cut outs of themselves, as well as paintings of flowers. Some of the artwork was staggering. I am jealous of them, I won’t deny it. They can keep between the lines for starters, but some of them put a lot of energy and life into their work. Some have amazing imaginations and find it easy to put it on paper. If they work at it, they could make a living from it. Motivation and confidence is a problem, as well as behaviour. They started dunking their hands in paint and marching around the museum looking for something to demolish. The security guards had a little word with Jorge and me on the way out. Anyway, here is a bit of their art!

I was in 1331 Sala Cafe tonight, near the centre of Tegus, to meet an Irish mate called Andy Morrow, who had lived in Costa Rica and was able to give me advice on what to do and where to go. He also played the fiddle for the third anniversary of the cafe. It was quite surreal listening to good ol’ Irish music in a land where regaeton, salsa, punta and bochatas rule the airwaves, and it took me back to hanging out at some Irish pubs in Brum. Really enjoyed it. Here’s a couple of pictures of the evening. I must admit, the fiddle always sends me off into a lovely trance. Cheers Andy!

 


Ojojona bus drivers are shite (and HSBC isn’t much better) & Honduran pigs, I mean police

Hola everyone

Thanks for all your messages in the past week on Facebook and on the website. It’s a pity to say that I am used to murders here. Not everywhere in Honduras is like this, and I don’t want you to get the idea that Honduras is completely out-of-bounds. As you can see from some of the photos a couple of weeks ago, or earlier in the year when I went to Utila, this country is also paradise. It’s like the el duende and los angeles are stewed into one big confused cauldron, which sometimes prevents this country from developing faster. It’s noteworthy to state that many Hondurans were quite shocked to see the pictures of the looting and riots in England a month or so ago. I found that they didn’t understand why we would get those kind of mindless acts in the UK. There are problems in all corners of this planet. Pepe Lobo and David Cameron belong in the same prison cell, but they never will, and there you have it: it’s not a perfect world, and it’s one we must put up with.

Last weekend was one of frustrations and bad luck and HSBC being crap. I passed the weekend with my friends Marlon and Luz, who are both dentists I should state. On the Friday night, we went to a regular haunt called Había Una Vez. I went there after I went to see Andy and Chris Padgett’s band. Somehow, they ran out of beer. That was the first bit of bad luck. So we left to go somewhere called Prime. It was the first time I’d heard house music in months. It was nice to hear, but the bar closed soon after we got there so we had to leave. Back at Marlon’s, their friend (who I’ve forgotten the name of) fell in love with my English accent, and so she kept making me repeat, “A cup of tea!” She loves Harry Potter, so I told her a story to send her to sleep about Harry’s trip to Honduras, which I will type the transcript to in a later update, and hopefully not be sued by JK Rowling.

The next day was a lazy day. We waited for Stephany to arrive in Tegucigalpa (she’s from San Pedro Sula), as well as a few other friends of Marlon’s. On the night, we went to a place called La Cantin, which is an American rock bar that plays lots of Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams hits (a friend back in England, Keith Bastock, would love it!). We had a few beers and ordered some food. Unfortunately the staff were a bit shite that night, and were extremely late with Marlon’s food, they over charged us, and they were rude to Marlon, so Marlon wasn’t too chuffed. Bad luck number two. We then went to Había Una Vez again but this time they had beer, so that was nice. During the day though, I introduced Luz and Marlon to Kate Nash, an English indie singer to those not in the know. I haven’t listened to all of her music, but I like the song Foundations. It’s quite quirky and has some fantastic lyrics. So here it is.

The next day, I got up early to go to Ojojona by myself. Mainly it was just to get out the city. Ojojona is a town just south of Tegus, going towards Choluteca. I’d read you could buy great artesian gifts for a third of the price that they’re sold in Valle de Angeles, and there are also great views over the South of Honduras. Before I went, I had to get money out in the Parque Central (next to Gallo Gallo, to people in Tegucigalpa who are reading this). I put my card in, got my money, put it my bra (hahaha, not really, but lots of girls do that here) and waited for my card to come out. Waiting….waiting…..waiting. I pressed cancel a few times. Nothing. The ATM had munched it. It was frustrating. I had not credit on my phone, I had no way of calling HSBC, I didn’t have my internet banking details on me to access my account and cancel the card, and I knew that Rossy and Carlos (who I live with) had gone out for the day and they always turn the internet off when they leave the house. What should I do then? F–K it, enjoy the day, even with the thought that someone could be rinsing me of my money. So I went off into Comayaguela to find my bus, right next to the dodgy neighbourhood of Barrio Soto. Thankfully, a little old lady walked me to where I had to go. Without super gran, I would have been lost and undoubtedly mugged. Anyway, I got there. Ojojona that is. The views were splendid. They were absolutely amazing actually. Near Santa Ana. If anyone in Honduras hasn’t been there yet, I recommend that you damn well do. On a clear day, they say you can see the Pacific Ocean. I could just about see it. I knew I would stop off there on the way back, if time permitted.

 

 

It was true what they say about Ojojona. The arts are very cheap and I picked up some great xmas gifts. The town itself isn’t really that pretty and there isn’t much to do. I only stayed there for an hour or two, saw what I had to, then caught the bus back to see the views. This is where the shite bus driver came in, and more bad luck. I asked the fat slob of a driver if he could drop me off at a point where there were lots of views over the landscape that I’d seen on the way there. They two conductors looked at me strangely. “With the mountains and stuff?” They still looked at me blankly. I asked them if they were new to the bus route, and they said no. I said I would tell them where to stòp, and they said fine. People were getting off the bus near Santa Ana. They told me to get off there. “But there are no views here,” I replied. They were getting a bit annoyed, as was I, while they let other people off when they asked. Finally the viewpoint arrived and I asked them to stop the bus. They didn’t, laughed and said some rude things about gringos in Spanish. Other people asked them to stop for me but they just continued and laughed. They then drove on a bit further, far from anywhere, and just told me to get off the bus, but holding their hand out to collect my the fare, I then laughed sarcastically and said in English, “F–k off, f–king jokers!” I jumped off the bus before they could grab me and they shouted something  angrily at me as the bus pulled away, while I just waved. There were no winners in this, but I wasn’t asking these guys for much. I asked around to see if there were other views nearby, but they said no. I found a few views myself but they weren’t the ones I wanted. There was a really cool little red car parked up on the side of the road I quite liked though, as you can see below.

I then decided to cut my losses and go back home to cancel my card, hoping that Rossy and Carlos would be home. I managed to chat to HSBC and I spoke to a lovely lady who was originally from Portugal and going on a similar project to me, but in Mozambique. She must have been feeling a bit bored because she wanted to tell me all about her life, which I didn’t mind and it kind of made me giggle, but it ate up a bit of my credit on Skype too. I then went on my HSBC online account to transfer some funds to my Honduran BAC account, and I was amazed to see that it didn’t register Honduras as a country where I could do that, as well as many more countries. What makes it more amusing is that I can use my HSBC card in nearly all cash-point machines in Tegus, apart from HSBC ones. I think it’s absolutely hilarious that this bank has the cheek to call itself the World’s Local Bank.

I think not

That night, I received news of the last bit of bad luck for the weekend. Luz and Stephanie were in Luz’s apartment, when they heard a great crash. They went outside to see what happened, only to find three or four drunk policemen had crashed in to their cars. The girls went to assess the damage, but the police became abusive and threatening, stating that they had good positions in the police and they could do what they wanted. The girls then left the apartment in case of any reprisals, but very much in shock. The police here are corrupt beyond belief. Next time you go past the police back home and the pigs and bacon jokes cross your mind, remember they’re not as half as bad as here.

Until next time. Hopefully better luck this week!


Pepsi’s Día del Niño & a crackily old radio playing the Locomotion

Hi all

A couple of weeks ago was the Día del Niño in Honduras. unfortunately I missed it when I was in Lago Yahoa, but thanks to Pepsi, of all organisations, they organised a second Día del Niño with Casa Alianza yesterday. They received nice little gifts and small toys and all the Pepsi they wanted. Two hundred street kids high on free Pepsi. Like two hundred Irishmen pissed on free Guinness. Madness. They then got to smack the hell out of piñata.

This is a picture taken after all the sweets fell out after they pulverized the piñata. I am not allowed to show faces of the children (unless they are blurred) so I have to resort to showing you pictures like this. It was a riot. Great fun to see. When kids start kicking each other to get sweets it’s a bit frightening, but these kids are born fighters. Quite literally.

I have been taking a lot of photos for the children, recently. Most the pictures are for reports or website. I sometimes get the pictures printed for them. They get excited and I often feel like a piñata when they starting crowding around and demanding a photo. I don’t really like the children going to the shop with my memory card by themselves (in any case, they’re not allowed to by Casa Alianza), so I do it for them. They often don’t have money so they give me bracelets made out of wool (which I ironically paid for) instead. I don’t mind doing it. They love having their pictures taken. Many of them pose, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, that’s when you can see the sadness in their eyes. I would love to do a photo exhibition of back in England on my return and raise money for the charity, something I’m going to ask Casa Alianza in England. I think, because of the red tape and bureaucracy in Casa Alianza in Honduras, it would be a straight “no”. I get frustrated by some of the managers in Casa Alianza. Some say they want me to take pictures with the kids faces, some say no. I can understand that they don’t want the pictures on Facebook, especially kids who have been victims to sex exploitation or had connections with Maras, but I don’t know how you can take pictures of kids without showing their faces while they’re doing activities. People can still identify them, if they really wanted to look for them. But for the purposes of reports and publishing material, they need the expressions of the kids, to see them happy, to see them enjoying themselves doing the activities, to sell the service. Strange rules: made by some, broken by others. It’s not the first time, communication, lack of clarificiation. I’m used to it. It’s just a shame that Casa Alianza sometimes holds itself back, as well as the volunteers who want to do so much.

Here are a couple of portraits of me that were drawn during an art class run by a fellow volunteer called Jorge (who is also a good friend) at Parque Leona. I posted a link to a blog about his art classes a couple of weeks ago on the blog. The kids are loving the class. and they’re coming out with some great work. I’m really proud of them. I love going on visits with them. Art therapy really does work. For me too.

Jorge con un niño

I am now going to include two bits of graffiti. They are of symbols that you can see in many different parts of the city. They belong to the Barras gangs (football thugs) which in turn have connections to the Maras. It’s a shame that they have to spray these signs in Leona. It’s a very peaceful park. UF is Ultra Fiel (Olimpia) and the smiley face is Revo (Motagua). It’s patch warfare all over the city. UF are in control here, as they’ve defaced the smiley face of the Revo.

On the way back to Casa Alianza, I heard an old version of Locomotion being played on a crackily radio on a street corner. I forgot how much of a lovely little song it was. It was a little moment I had to myself. It was romantic for some reason. Just listening, midday, near the park that sits in front of the Manuel Bonilla Theatre.

When we returned to Casa Alianza, the Día del Niño party was just taking off. With the party full of Latin street kids, one cannot go without dancing. Unfortunately a lot of it was regaton and kids thrusting out their crotches in an aggressive and vulgar fashion. There was also salsa. I enjoyed that part. A few of the kids tried to get me dancing but they reminded me that I dance like an old man, which consequently made me feel like I was from the time when the original version of Locomotion came out. They also said I danced like a “loco”. They can be cruel f–kers when they want to be! My esteem for dancing isn’t the greatest right at the mo. So I’m going to play us out with this little number. Maybe this will help me learn to swing my hips. The Locomotion! By Little Eve.

Enjoy!


Security guard shot dead in front of house

Hi all

I guess the title says it all really. It happened on Tuesday about 8:00am. I was getting myself ready to go to Casa Alianza and had just gone to the local supermarket to get a few bits and pieces. I got back in the house and then heard the gun-shots fire, which were a lot louder than usual. You can sometimes hear gun-shots going off around the neighbourhood or echoing over the valley, but this was just on the other side of the wall. I automatically thought Maras, gangs, shit. There have been battles between the security and gangs preying on the neighbourhood in the past, apparently. I asked Carlos, the father, if he had heard the gunshots. He said he thought it was a car backfiring, but he saw the reactions of his dogs, as they were hopping around anxiously, and knew it was something more seriously. He then went outside to investigate and there was a crowd of people and police cars some 30 metres from the door. He asked the police what happened, and they said two of the security guards for the neighbourhood were having an argument and one shot the other. What it was about, I don’t know. Shift patterns, over a woman, a discussion on football, a joke too far…..it doesn’t really matter. A life was wasted needlessly, something that happens way too much in this world. What’s strange is, just a couple of days before, I think I was talking to the one who was murdered (I’ve not seen him since, then again, he might have been the one who murdered). We didn’t chat about anything important. Just about the heat or something. I always say hello them. I must have said hola to his murderer a few times as well.

I’ll be quite honest, I’m not entirely surprised. I knew something like this would cross my path here. That’s not a knock on Honduras, but when you hear about street kids telling you about their family members or friends dying, or when you see and read the front pages of newspapers, you become desensitized to it. Yes, it’s sad what happened, but you block it off and get on with life. Many people live like that here. I did that just an hour after and went to Casa Alianza, not really taking in what had just happened. I decided not to leave the house straightaway. Carlos felt it was best for me to stay in until things were calmer. He was right.

It was last night that it sunk in that someone was murdered. Just there. In that spot. Outside the house. What is his family thinking? What are they feeling? Impossible to imagine.

I am going to include a song that I like, kind of in memory to the security guard. I don’t know, but I’m guessing that security guards are not paid much and often from a poorer background. He was in his 30s/40s. If he has a family, they now have to work out a new way to survive, as well as cope with the emotional loss and stress. They won’t get pay outs and they won’t get help from the government. The song I choose is The Long Black Veil, sang by one of my favourite artistist, Johnny Cash. The song was written by  Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, who were two American country singers in the 50s (Wikipedia is so useful at times! I had f–k all idea who these people were until a few seconds ago. And guess what? I still don’t. But it’s a beautiful song).

Raise our glasses to the deceased.

I would like to say thanks to friends who sent me their support in Facebook. It’s freaky, but I’m fine. I’m not paranoid and I still feel moderately safe where I live. Nowhere is exactly safe in Tegus, but there’s no point in sticking your head under the ground here. There’s too much to see. One unfortunate ICYE volunteer was robbed twice on the way to where she was going recently. You live with it and get on with it. Whatever happens, whatever cheap values some people have of life here, whatever negative experiences I may come across, I do love this country, and when the shit does hit the fan, I somehow love thiw country even more.

In the next blog, I will tell you about the my trip to Ojojona and the atm swallowing my bank card.

Ciao.


Futbol en Barrio Chile y “skinning a rabbit”

Hola todo

I thought I would do an update on the Casa Alianza football team. They have been playing in a Saturday league team and, as far as I know, they have been steam-rolling through the games like Man Utd have been doing in the Premiership this season. I have seen them play before and they have fantastic squad, playing in a similar way to Spain and Barcelona: total possesion. They play with each other every day in Casa Alianza and know each others game back to front. I’ve said it before, many of these kids could break into professional teams. They’re so cunning and very technically gifted. Scouts from Olimpia and Motagua, the two clubs of Tegus, have been to look at them, but because the kids don’t have the enough resources or capital to support themselves, they can’t take them on, because the clubs can’t, or won’t, pay for it either.

I have been with them twice to where they place in Barrio Chile, which sits just on the other side of the Rio Choluteca from the city centre area. I pass it every day to and from work, and it’s sat just at the bottom of Cerro Grande where I live. It’s quite a dangerous neighbourhood and not a place for me to go wandering around with my camera alone. I hear Mara 18 are the ruling gang there and there are often grizzily stories of people being chopped up and put in the river there. What’s great is the huge cliff face just behind one of the goals. It’s very photogenic and the pictures could be put in some footy art books or something. Sometimes cows stroll on to the pitch, and the gangs look on, not to rob or kill, but because they are generally thrilled to watch the kids play. Normally I can’t take pictures of the kids and put them on my blog because of security reasons. I can, however, if the kids faces are unrecognisable, so, here you go.

The last time I went, there just so happened to be a gang there skinning a rabbit. It’s certainly an alternative ending to Watership Down, but for me it was certainly educational, especially if I find myself stranded in the woods one day, I’ll know exactly what to do (although I’ll have to catch the little f–ker of a rabbit first). I did get twenty minutes of video footage, but WordPress is being shite and asking me to download a programme for $60 or so to do it (which I refuse to, sorry WordPress and animal haters), and it’s taking up to five hours to download it onto You Tube. I took a couple of pictures, which aren’t as grotesque as the video, but if you’re an animal lover or skirmish, don’t scroll down!


Deschanels & El Día de Independencia de Honduras

Hola todos

Here is an update to tell you about the last couple of days in Tegucigalpa.

Thursday was Independence Day in Honduras. On 15th September 1821, after a couple of centuries of looting the land of its resources, Honduras and other countries in Central America finally sent the Spanish packing. Then again, the Spanish did give them back a big nice clock in Comayagua, the former capital, so they can’t shed too many tears (can they?). Every year this is celebrated with a parade around the main cities, aeroplanes flying over the city, marches, people celebrating, and it ends with a big cheer at the stadium. It is of course a national holiday and many people get a day off to watch. I went into Casa Alianza in the morning to help some kids with their homework. Unfortunately, this is when the better parts of the festival take place. I just got to see it closing down in the afternoon.

First I went to the Central Square in Tegus. There was a gathering for the FNRP party, who are the socialist party in Honduras (http://resistenciahonduras.net/), the main opposition of the present President, Pepe Lobo, who were ousted in the coup two years ago. There were many people with t-shirts supporting Mel Zelaya and waving large red and black flags. It was a great sight. I was about to take some pictures when a guy with a beard (hate to say it, but he looked very much like a terrorist in Afghanistan) came up to me, pretending to be friendly, but was really f–king annoying. He kept asking me with an insane smile what I was doing there, but every time I opened my mouth, he talked over me, asking me to speak English, then interrupting me when I did, saying he didn’t understand my English (he’d lived in USA), so I would revert to Spanish for him and he would then tell me not to. He was on drugs or something, because he put me on the phone to his wife. He then asked me if I was a spy, because he thought I was a yank and had connections with right-sided America. I told him about my work with Casa Alianza and that I certainly wasn’t a spy. He then grabbed my hand and stroked his beard with it, saying thank you repeatedly. I instantly wanted to clean it. My hand that is, but his beard could have done with a wash too. He then started going on about how he’d been arrested so many times by the police here. Then, I could see people taking their flags down and drifting away. As was the man with the beard who now seemed a bit disinterested in me. I then realised that the man probably kept me preoccupied so I wouldn’t take photos. I think they really did think I was a spy. It’s a massive shame because it was a lovely photo opportunity. I was a bit f–ked off to be honest.

I then made my way to the stadium. Carlos, the father I’m living with, told me about “las chavas” (the girls) in the parade who don’t wear much clothes but dance, well, kind of slutty to be honest. “La rispa”, the vulgar dance, they sometimes call it. Many men like to come just  to look at such performances, but when the girls are only 13 or so, it’s a bit wrong. No, in fact, it’s very wrong. There was one man who seemed to like it quite a lot, and that was Pepe Lobo, the President, who was filmed “grinding” himself against a poor adolescent girl. Pepe Lobo looks a bit like Shrek and Avram Grant who used to coach Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham. If it were David Cameron, it would have probably caused a bit more of stir (probably in Cameron’s trousers). It’s not really going to cause much of problem for Pepe Lobo because most of the country already know he’s a bit corrupt, so being a perv too is just another string to his bow. Probably not her proudest moment (or maybe it is, I’ve never met her), but there were many more middle-aged men cheering them on in the stadium, wolf-whistling them. If I’d known, I probably wouldn’t have gone. I’m going to include a few photos. It might seem slightly hypocritical of me after saying what I have about the disgusting perverts who go there and there I am taking pictures. But don’t worry, they’re not dodgy. They’re just of the parade.

Anyway, the day after I went to see Deschanels, which is Andy and Chris Padgett’s band (two of the brothers who I briefly lived with in Linaca/Tatumbla) at a bar called Bull Bar in Blvd Morazan. Bull Bar is stupidly hard to find. There are no signs at all and it’s inside a restaurant called Tre Fratellis. The band was fantastic, playing a mix of catchy rock indie tunes written by Andy Padgett himself. They sing in English and I was impressed. I often like to wind Andy up and tell him he’s ugly and if he’s shite, I’ll throw bottles at him like a good ol’ friendly gringo that I am. He takes it in his stride, the young Tatumblan. Not a place to go stage diving though. In front of them was a 15ft drop on to the restaurant. It was nice seeing the brothers again, who filled me in on the Padgett family. It’s good to hear that granny Mormon is still live, well and as bitter as ever. Some people just don’t change. Anyway, I’m going to include the website of Deschanel and a few pictures of the evening. I hope you like them. http://www.myspace.com/deschanels.