We took a Sunday drive to the nearby village of Valle del Angeles, stopping along the way at a dog training center to look at puppies. Jenn had planned to bring her dog with her to Honduras but finally decided it was too complicated to transport her, and she would look for another pet here. The moment she held Sam, a cocker spaniel puppy, the search was over. We would look for a "cajero" (ATM or money machine) and return for him on the way back. Valle was a quiet, picturesque town with shops and shops of striking Honduran black Linkin pottery, brightly painted cartoonish roosters, and dark carved wooden boxes. In one woodshop, the craftsman showed us the intricately carved landscapes on his boxes, I left with a small one and asked for a photo of an old man in the shop with a deeply lined face (his father?) as we left. We had to drive all the way back to the city to find a cajero, and returned for Sam just in time.
Jenns school was not closed for the American holiday, so I was on my own Monday. After a walk with the puppy, I settled him in his box in the bathroom as agreed, and called a taxi to explore downtown Teguc (tay-GOOSE), as its called by the locals. The apartment manager wrote down directions for me to read on the phone, and for my return - there are no addresses in Honduras, so I had to describe how to get there. The Parque Central (central park), closed for construction, was bounded by tin walls, over the top of one section workmen could be seen laying brick for a new structure. All around it and down several streets were booths piled high with things for sale - no tourist items here, but clothing, shoes, watches and alarm clocks, household goods. The large white cathedral facing the park was adorned with pigeons on every little ledge, I quietly entered and walked through to see the paintings and gleaming gold altar, side rooms of burning candles lit in offerings.
The National Art Museum, in need of visitors on this busy work day, held a nice mix of lovely and sensitive paintings from the past century and ancient pottery from the Mayans, the Spanish colonial period paintings were sadly dark with only the gold leaf accents showing unfaded color. In widening circles, I moved out from the downtown center and found another old church surrounded by carts of fruit in painted wheelbarrows, profuse flower displays and the competing odors of food booths. When the taxi dropped me back to the apartment, I snatched up Sam and took him for one more walk, before packing for my return flight.