A Washing Machine with no Dryer, More Gringos, and Crazy Dogs (7/5/12)
I washed clothes for the first time today. No, it’s not a monumental event, but it’s special to me because of how we (Oscar and I) did it. There are two options: wash them by hand in la pila (the sink) or put them in a washing machine. That choice was easy. Like Oscar, I prefer to use the washing machine. Everyone else in the house likes to wash their clothes by hand. Perhaps it gets all the germs out. But I just couldn’t bring myself to rub my clothes with a brush in the same area where people brush their teeth, wash their hands, and wash dishes.
The washing machine isn’t a standard one. It’s outside. And I don’t think you can actually change the temperature of the water. To start the machine, Oscar had to connect one of the tubes in the back to the sink to get the water running. Then he just chose the setting with the most time so that my clothes could wash as long as possible. After my clothes finished washing, we then had to hang up everything - outside. Here’s the new part. Oscar had to show me the “proper” technique of hanging my clothes up; it’s not as simple as I thought it would be. There’s a small tree that we use to hold one of the clotheslines up. It’s there to make sure that the dogs don’t bother the clothes while they dry. What happens if it rains? You wash and dry again. Luckily, that didn’t happen this time.
On a separate note, I find it hilarious how los Catratchos (the Hondurans) sing American songs with little to no conception of what the lyrics mean. While I was showering, I heard Oscar singing:
“Sticks and stones might break my bones, but chains and whips excite me!”
“Do you know what that means?” I asked when I got out of the shower.
“No,” he said with a grin, now extremely curious to figure it out.
“Well…” I said, hesitant to corrupt his innocent perception of the song.
Admittedly, it was hard to translate that part of Rihanna’s song to Spanish, but I didn’t need to finish for Oscar to figure out what I was trying to say.
Suddenly, he exclaimed, “Oh my gosh!” (in English), covered his mouth, and had a look of guilt on his face after realizing what he was singing. But even so, he kept on singing the song anyway…priceless.
After an entertaining morning, I headed to the OYE office. The work pace started to pick up a bit today. Chris (the other intern) and I skyped with our boss Michael. I have to translate an e-mail for Michael today. While difficult, I actually appreciate doing that because it teaches me so many useful words and phrases. Today was especially exciting because more Gringos came too! The new intern’s name is Jenlain (Jen); she’s from George Washington University. She came along with her friend Morgan, who’s working with another organization in Honduras. Both of them had been to OYE before for their Alternative Winter Break trip. I’d love to come back here again too!
In the evening, I hung out with Oscar’s best friend Mera, his sister Marcela, and their other friend named Ruidys. Interestingly, Marcela began talking about how she can find out if a guy is a virgin by looking at his neck. “What?” I thought. That makes no sense at all. Without a doubt, that was the highlight of the conversation. What took a close second, though, was this super weird dialect of Spanish that Oscar and his sister showed me. It’s so cool, yet so weird at the same time. The name escapes me, but in short, he adds a “p,” “f,” or some other sound in between syllables to make words.
“Say hello,” I said.
“Hofolafa,” Oscar responded.
“How are you?”
That’s ridiculous – as if Spanish alone weren’t complicated enough! It’s useful for them when they (Oscar and Marcela) don’t want anyone to understand what they’re saying; it’s not a common dialect. Oscar learned how to speak it from his Aunt, and Marcela just understands it. Sneaky Honduran kids….
Throughout the conversation, I couldn’t help but look at the huge dog that Mera had in front of her house. Like most of the other “pets”, it’s used only for protection. As such, it’s vicious – very vicious – to strangers. Thank goodness it was locked up. Stray dogs aren’t as crazy, but I’m still not adjusted to them. There are so many of them. So many. And on top of that, they look really weird. Maybe next week I’ll be able to walk past one without fidgeting. Maybe.
Random word of the day: Chancho – This means pig. Oscar jokingly called his best friend this when we were hanging out – so mean, right? Afterwards, I taught him how to say “pig” in English. It’s so, so funny hearing him say it with his Latino accent. This must be how my Spanish sounds to them – funny. That explains why they always laugh after almost everything I say.