November 3, 2009


I was broke when I went to Honduras and I couldn't afford a disposable camera. I mean I was leaving the USA with just $20 to my name. All the pictures you see were taken by the other members of the team with the understanding that we wouldn't put them up on the internet unless it was you in the picture and no one else or you could delete the persons in the pics. So that is why they are heavily edited. ENJOY.
Anyway the trip to the airport was uneventful I was processed and "randomly" searched. Now to be fair EVERY time I traveled even before I was Muslim I was ALWAYS "randomly" searched so I didn't expect them to NOT do it this time. Maybe the machine was psychic and knew I would one day become Muslim so might as well get me used to the routine?

During the flight I made friends with this Honduran farmer and we had a CIVIL conversation about religion and during the conversation we got to talking about beliefs he said that he believed Jesus (pbuh) was a prophet, or else why would God pray to himself? I responded with a lame, "ME TOO!" and as he continued to tell me his beliefs they were 99% identical to Islam except that he didn't know Muhammad (saw). He had heard about him but he hadn't made up his mind about him yet. How cool was that?

When we arrived in Honduras we were smacked with dry heat like no other. You see we went during one of the hottest heat waves in their history. I also didn't know that summer friendly hijabs existed so I was wearing thick winter hijabs. SUCKED.
the airport. After one day in Guaymas we wanted to return to it SOOO badly we even had an escape plan and everything.
This is the first place we stayed in was the town of El Progresso. The building you see here is a Jesuit hospice with HUGE mango trees in the back and a couple of sweet ladies who cooked for us. Their was an epic soccer match in the front lawn were we played against each other and I totally kicked butt. I was nicknamed Argentina because I was good and because they swear I cheated, pushed and tripped people. ABSURD! I tell you. It was ALL accidental. We then played another epic match to redeem their honor and were joined by local kids who kicked our butts.
I actually went vegetarian while I was in Honduras because I didn't want to eat haraam food. I later found out that they actually slaughter their own meat and they say "en el nombre de Dios" which translates to "in the name of God" aka "Bismillah". So dang it I could have eaten it. So my diet consisted of fish, rice and beans. I grew up on beans and the Honduran cuisine and the Salvadoran cuisine are nearly identical, so I was in heaven.

The ladies who cooked for us thought it was strange that the other classmates would stuff their faces with food but I would only eat beans, salad, fish and rice. They also found it weird that I would be the only one who would finish everything that was on the plate. They approached me one day while I was washing my dish and asked me if I was a vegetarian and a nun in training. I told them I was Muslim and I could only eat meat that was slaughtered in God's name. They kept reassuring me that they slaughter their own meat and they say the same thing.

Because they told us we wouldn't be having electricity I was afraid I was going to missed fajr but Alhamdulillah that wasn't the case. Not only did I wake up for fajr ON TIME but I actually would wake up maybe 30 minutes before fajr and pray qiyam. It was B E A U T I F U L. To fumble my way to a bathroom that had 3 stalls and grime you wouldn't believe and no warm water. To hear squish, crunch, squish, squish as my flip flops would annihilate unsuspecting ginormous flying roaches. ah, memories. But seriously I was so loving being Muslim that as long as I got my prayer done I didn't care if I had to go through an army of critters to get it done.

Anyway my classmates would openly mock me because it was SOOO HOT and I was covered. One actually told me, "can you please stand over there you are making me hot." No hunny, you are hot because you are NAKED your exposed skin is getting heated up by the sun. They were also upset because their male friend now had to sleep in the other room with the male faculty. instead of with us. Honestly I felt for him. The male faculty member is a nice person but you can't help but want to rip your head off when he engages you. Sleeping in the same room with him would have driven anyone bonkers.

As a result of the living conditions the girls (the rest of the group) disliked me BIG time and I became sorta of a social pariah. I actually didn't care because I was on an iman high. The sky was brighter, the birds were beautiful and omg the MOON was so bright.

yeah. I was high as a kite on iman.

I actually liked him (the classmate) because he was very polite and never bothered me about his new living conditions. Because trust me, had it been me who had been forced into them I would be freaking out and making sure who ever was responsible had an earful about it. He actually would knock before coming in to our room and was super respectful of my hijab. I have nothing but very nice things to say about him. NOW the faculty member would constantly barge in to the women's wing and he caught me on more than one occssion without hijab or with only a towel after the shower. What gives? He was almost a jesuit priest and knew more about religion than most of us in the group combined. Why wouldn't he just freaking knock? Where is the religious sensitivity? (the other Jesuit priests I know rock, they are super awesome, May Allah swt guide us all to the truth ameen).

Anyway the group eventually started being nice to me...after 24hrs of being in a central American country and speaking NO or very little Spanish. All of a sudden I had to go with them in to town because they couldn't shop around because they couldn't communicate with the locals. They couldn't order food in restaurants or get sodas from the ladies at the hospice (we had a tab and we could order ALL the sodas we wanted) :) .

We went to an orphanage that broke my heart. It took FOREVER to get the children to play with us because they have little to no human contact. that made me cry. Every child deserves to be loved, kissed and hugged. Once they warmed up to us they were all interested in me and my headscarf. One of the 4 year old triple dog dared me to remove it so he could see what was underneath. Being a triple dog dare I obliged. I mean who wouldn't?

At the orphanage we met Canadians and Australians who were visiting to teach for 6 months and then they go to another country. They were super cool.

Another day we went to another orphanage of sorts but due to the condition of the children we weren't allowed to take pictures. The reason: They were mostly bones, malnourished. and dying Some looked like they wouldn't last another hour. It was THAT bad. I cried. I wanted to adopt a little kid because he was 12 months old and was just hugging me and fell asleep in my arms. Poor baby. However, I found out Honduras has a law that you can't adopt children if the parents are known. It doesn't matter if the parent says, "I don't want this kid, take him, he can be adopted." Nope doesn't count. As a result nearly 97% of these children will never be adopted and will only be kicked out once they turn 18. This makes the situation horrible for the community because you have adults that can't take care of themselves, know no craft and can't even work because they lack basic social manners. I cried and made duah for them.

To cheer us up they took us on a hike and they LIED. They said, "its no big deal, its not that bad, oh come on you city slickers is not that bad, cheer up, why are you crying?"
one of many
Trust us they say. Tis not a big deal.
This is only MID way through the hike. NO big deal you say?

I stopped RIGHT here and refused to go further. NO WAY JOSE. I stayed right there while half our group continued on their way.

El Progresso

PizzaHut our proffessors wanted us to eat from the local cuisine and my classmates where like "eff that we ended up in PizzaHut. Can you spot the hijabi? That's ME!


.::Tuttie::. said...

oh that is not me on the dormitory pic. That was a classmate and I did a bad job @ editing them out. OOPS.

Hijab Chic said...

Wow! Looks amazing! :)

.::Tuttie::. said...

i forgot to add that the sweet ladies in the hospice started cooking more vegetarian friendly meals and included more fish so that I wouldn't starve. They were SUPER sweet to me. mashaallah alhamdulillah!

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Those pics from the hike were amazing!

Muslimah said...

Mashallahs that's an interesting story and really sweet of the hospice ladies, have you been back to Honduras since then or kept in touch with anyone from there?

.::Tuttie::. said...

@ The Stranger. NO I haven't been back to Honduras although I would love to. I kept in contact with one lady but she stopped responding to my emails. The family I stayed with (in the 3rd part of the trip) I wanted to keep in touch with but lost their information.

Kiddy said...

Let us examine what you have just said Tuttie.The lady stopped responding to you for a reason.Did you say something to offend her?Or was there someone else on the trip with you that you ticked off and he/she/they therefor held a grudge against you,and maybe they twisted the truth a little about you when communicating with the lady,which made her not want to have any further communication with you?

When you say you lost the information about the family you stayed with (in the 3r part of the trip)you mean you had no interest in keeping in touch with them?

AlabasterMuslim said...

Yay i finally saw a pic of you! not really, lol, but still. I feel so bad for those children at the orphanages! Inshallah someone will take care of them better! ameen!

.::Tuttie::. said...

@ Al hubs almost flipped out because of the pic. My face wasn't even showing but he asked me to put a bubble on it anyways. No biggie. I wish you lived nearby and we could just hangout.