Saturday, June 17, 2006

Things that seemed strange when we first got here, which we have gotten used to, but which may not be obvious to all of you in the US (by Todd)


All over the highways of Honduras you see yellow school buses. Many of them will have writing on the sides along the lines of "Garret Park County Schools," etc., etc. Are these Honduras' extensive school transporation system? Nope. They are public buses, which Honduras buys for cheap from the US. I would estimate that more than half of the public buses are yellow school buses, although they often have some design or name painted on the back.

You would be surprised at the number of people that can fit in these buses. You know those signs they often have in the front, saying "maximum capacity: 50 passengers"? Well, those are a lie. When the seats fill up, you squeeze three onto a two-person seat, or you stand people in the aisle. When it's really full, you can even squeeze two rows of people into the aisle.

The buses roll through at a roughly set schedule. On their front they usually have painted their destination, like "Talanga-Tegucigalpa." There is also a "wingman" kind of guy who rides standing next to the driver. Every time the bus stops, he gets out and shouts the destination of the bus, getting passengers to come on board. His job also includes collecting the fare once the bus is underway and organizing the passengers when it's crowded ("everyone standing move to the back of the bus." or "make two rows!").

When you want to get off the bus, you ask the driver to let you out. There are a few regular stops, but anywhere in between is fair game. If you want to get on the bus somewhere that is not a regular stop, that's fine too. You just wave the bus down.

There are also vendors who will get on the bus for a short time to sell food. They get on at one stop, walk up and down the aisle with a basket full of pizza, or bags of popcorn, or cold sodas. Then they get off the bus, and catch the next one going in the opposite direction.


Blogger Mrs. M said...

Hi. I was looking through some blogs having to do with Honduras because I will be moving there shortly to teach. Are you there with a mission group? Are you in Tegucigalpa? I'm trying to talk to anyone possible that are near my age and living in Honduras...I only know one person there. Thanks!


P.S. I loved seeing the old
public school buses when I
visited last summer

Monday, June 19, 2006 8:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Here are some Peace Corps / Honduras blogs that I have found. If you know of any others that I have missed please let me know. Thanks!

-Mike Sheppard
RPCV / The Gambia


Saturday, June 24, 2006 2:26:00 PM  

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