Cucarachas at 3am

The intended plan: go to Honduras, take a week or two of Spanish lessons, take some day trips and visit the islands. Plans shot to shite…

Through a friend, I found the shoddy, poorly run Central American Spanish School (CASA) in Honduras. My friend however, had attended classes with a private tutor while she learned to Scuba dive on Utila Island. I signed up for classes at the main school in La Ceiba, Honduras, yet I only attended two days. My experienced teacher Karla, was the only redeeming factor relating to this school.

The school is located in the Sauce neighborhood of the city La Ceiba. There is nothing in Sauce. It is a tiny community area, with fenced in homes. There are no restaurants. Though it is far from the central part of the city, the good news is that taxis can be taken all over the city for 20 limpiras. (Which is equivalent to one US dollar.)

The school tries to keep the students sheltered from the rest of the city. For example, the director promotes the city mall as a place to purchase needed items and use the bank. The school also provides opportunities to take day trips at a grossly overpriced rate with their own tour guide. After only a little bit of research I found that I could venture on these trips without the necessity of their creepy tour guide.

La Ceiba is the third largest city in Honduras and you need to take the usual travel precautions/cautions. (i.e; Do not walk around alone at night, do not act like a loudmouth idiot tourist. Take taxis. Pay attention to your surroundings. Do not get inebriated while you are out… And females always need to be especially alert in any foreign country.)

Fortunately, I met an awesome young person from the states at the host family’s sparse, dirty, cockroach infested home. She offered me a few tid-bits of information about the family. She was disgusted with her host’s lack of interest in their guests as well as their unhelpful and at times rude behavior.

My American friend explained that cockroaches explored the home nightly. To keep her room free of roaches, she sprayed her room with Raid daily. Although she advised me to do the same, I did not bother to follow her suggestion.

After two nights in my dingy room, I had not seen nor heard any of the large creepy crawly insects. I thought perhaps those nasty things kept out of my room. During the third night, I suddenly awoke around 3am, because I had a very vivid dream. In my sleepy state, I dreamed that something was crawling on my chest, only to find…something crawling on my chest. Yep, I opened my eyes to find a 2 inch brown cockroach slowly moving towards my face. 

Horrified, I flung the beast off of me and jumped into the middle of the bedroom. My heart beat at an abnormally high rate and I scanned the concrete floors and walls for the culprit. Finally, I found the violator of my sleep and dashed to my new friend’s room and borrowed her can of cucaracha killer. As I drowned the poor sucker in the vile liquid, I hate to admit my satisfaction as it writhed on it’s back with its many legs moving slowly. The thing’s legs wriggled until finally, it ceased to live.

Sleepless, I sat in the middle of the next room on one of the cheap plastic lawn chairs. Until dawn, I remained on vigilant watch for some of the dead insect’s family members.

Exhausted, I made my way into town, withdrew cash from the automated machine and made phone calls to hostels. After I consulted my guide-book I decided to head off into the jungle. I reasoned, if I was to encounter large insects, at least they would be exotic ones. That afternoon I ditched the host family and caught a pick-up truck with some other travelers off for a jungle adventure.