Resistol, snacks at Casa Alianza & finally made it to Yuscaran – Part One

Hi all

In the last post, I told you about Gabe and the 400 lemps he generously donated to the kids at Casa Alianza. This has been now used to treat the Casa Alianza football team to snacks and drinks on Friday which went down very well. If Gabe is reading, the kids loved it and I will send you the pictures in due course. It was appreciated by all. Thank you.

On Tuesday, it was my friend’s birthday. Her name is Luz. Happy birthday again, if you’re reading. We went to Chili’s. I have written about this place before. It is expensive by Honduran standards and is quite Americanized, but it is tasty and I do find it funny when I go there. I went there in my first week in Honduras. It was one of the volunteers birthday, Melissa, and I remember all the staff at the restaurant came out with maracas and drums and bells and whistles, to play to her “Happy Birthday”. Well, Luz didn’t go without. Hazel and me are thinking of going there some time to say it’s our birthday and get the attention just for the sake of it.

I also want to say “adios” to Emma Kneebone who returns to England tomorrow after 11 months here in Honduras. She came out the same time as myself and it was quite sad to see her go. We shared some Guinness the other night, brought back from Salvador by Lideny (it’s not sold in Honduras. These poor Catrachos are missing out. So am I for that matter). I’m not sure shared is the right word. I drank her Guinness and my own, but we shared memories anyway, of the stop off in Houston on the way to Honduras and how excited we were before we came. We both agreed that our favourite thing about Honduras is the people. They can by mad and dangerous, but on the most part, they are so friendly. Neither of us want to leave. I should be coming back in January anyway. But we have both fallen in love with Honduras. Lideny, who was a volunteer in England the year before, made sushi which was delicious and her cousins made wantons, which were equally muy rico. Lideny is Honduran but speaks English like a posh lady, she has a lot of British shrines in her apartment and I like to call her Mary Poppins (she pretends to hate it but really she loves it). I haven’t seen much of Emma throughout the year but I wish her the best. If you’re reading, I hope your brother’s concert goes well. Take care. And remember, “cabeza” is “head” and “cerveza” is “beer”.

This week I have been writing about drugs. I have read that up to 90% of street kids in Central America have taken some form of drug. The most common is the dreaded Resistol, which is a shoe glue, that the kids put in used bottles of pop and sniff it. It’s so popular that the street kids are often referred to by the unsavoury nickname, “Resistoleros”. I have written about this before. It basically melts their brains, destroys their nervous systems and gives them all sorts of breathing infections. There are no statistics about how many kids die from it. The company, HB Fuller, have had all sorts of criticism and abuse thrown at it, but they still happily sell it in Honduras, without age restrictions. HB Fuller make millions of dollars in Central America due to this. You have to wonder how much of this shoe glue is actually used for mending shoes. I have read that HB Fuller have allegedly said it’s society’s problem, not theirs. A nice way to avoid responsibility and continue making millions. At least 83% of street kids have tried, or taken, some kind of solvent. It’s tragic. When you see what it does to kids, the way it turns their faces grey, their eyes sunken and directionless, they’re driven mad by their need to get the drug, you do wish that HB Fuller would come down, see what it does and take more responsibility of their products. They’ve claimed it’s not toxic. Possibly words of someone who has been working in the Resistol factory for too long.

Today, after about 5 million attempts, I finally made it to Yuscaran. I was not let down either. It was beautiful. It was a lovely warm day for it too. It’s a quiet town without much happening, and people are happy to sit and stare at you, especially if you look like a gringo like Hazel and me. David Soto came along too. It’s unfortunate that mi amor Pamela had to be in Tela for work. I was basically walking around making wise-cracks about everything all day. Nothing really new there then. The day didn’t start brilliantly because I left my bank card in my room and I hadn’t much money on me (and an empty stomach). Luckily Hazel helped out all day. We got a bus that was en route to Danlí and then got where the road goes off to Yuscaran. We waited for 30 minutes for a bus, which didn’t seem to be coming, so we caught a lift in a pick up truck. There were some amazing views going into the town, but there was a really annoying pop song going through my head at the same time. For some stupid reason, hanging out with Hazel makes me remember all the cheesy Irish pop songs of the last 20 years or so, and not any good traditional stuff that I actually like. I have no idea why this is. Hazel doesn’t resemble any trashy Irish pop songs (apart from B·Witched. hahaha). Anyway, on the back of the pick up truck today, the below song was going through my head. It’s So Young by the Corrs. Maybe it’s my mind playing tricks on me, reminding me that I’m going to be 32 years of age in a week or so, and I’m dying to hang on to my youth.

Thank fuck it wasn’t West Life really, eh! The Corrs, I am sure you will agree if you’re a male heterosexual or a lesbian, are slightly better to look at too.

Anyway, when we got there, we wandered around a bit aimlessly around the old Spanish colonial town. It sits in the shadow of a glorious hill. Like most small towns in Honduras, there is a central park. This is by far the best central park I have seen. It has a wonderful working fountain and a nice wooden bar, which was unfortunately closed. It was like a small tidy jungle too, with queztals crying from the trees.

On our aimless wander, we came across a shrine of death in some house. There was a statue of, what I think was, the angel of death looking over a body (not a real one), but with photos of real people on the walls nearby. I was a bit mystified and spooked by it, but I still took a picture of it to spook all of you!

It is quite late at night, so I am going to stop there and start part two of this tomorrow. By the way, the stats on the website said there have been over 4,000 views of this blog. I would like to thank all of you for following. It’s been lovely reading your opinions and thoughts.

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About Nicholas Rogers

I am an English journalist/copywriter living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and I have been here since 2011. I originally came to work with Casa Alianza, which supports street kids and vulnerable youths. I then stayed on, after meeting Pamela Cruz Lozano, who calls me her adopted Catracho. I work freelance journalism and I have my own translation business. Why did I come here? For the challenge, to open my mind and get out of my comfort zone. I love literature and I've written a book with street kids. I write novels, short stories and poetry, all of which you will find on this blog, as well as a lot of information about Honduras. View all posts by Nicholas Rogers

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