Saturday, June 16, 2012

Of Flying Shrimp and Squid

Day 1, June 10, 2012
We made it! Dilcia and Normita made it all the way from their tiny, timeless mountain village in the west of Honduras all to the new, modern world of ancient Spain.
Up until the moment we arrived, Spain was an abstract place somewhere very far away, so understandably, the trip by plane was way more feared and anticipated than the actual destination.
At the airport in San Pedro Sula the girls got to see the whole process of fueling, loading and cleaning. Migration and security was a piece of cake, almost a disappointment  after all the effort it took to get the right paperwork in order. Then it was time to board…
The girls had seats on one side of the isle, me on the other. But the excitement of sharing the experience of flying for the first time with my girls was somewhat overshadowed by the passenger who sat next to me: Stefanie. A five year old girl who traveled for the first time too, all by herself!!!
The flight to San Salvador was short, but rocky. We flew through a heavy storm and the plane started shaking and trembling. All three girls looked at me for assurance, so I lied to them that it was completely normal, even though rain hit the windows and lightning lit up the sky. The girls trusted my statement much more than I did myself and were soon absorbed in their individual touch-on screens.
The flight from San Salvador to Madrid was long but uneventful. Boring, even. And the plane wasn’t half as cool as the one to Salvador, because it didn’t have individual entertainment screens. Ha! The girls were quickly become experts in traveling by plane… And except for the delicious North Sea shrimp that were served with our salad and that both girls refused to even try, all went very well.
Entering Spain was no problem either. No questions asked why I, with my Dutch passport, traveled with two minors from Honduras. The girls were overwhelmed by the size of the terminal, the seemingly endless escalators and glass elevator. When we finally made it to Arrivals, people from the 4th Youth Forum on World Heritage were waiting for us.
We made it. Now others would take over. Hurray!

I expected food to be an issue for the girls, and I was right… Besides the fact that they are hungry all the time, they’re also used to very little and are thus very picky. Their first dinner at the eco-resort of Alcalá de Hinares (about an hour from Madrid) was a bit of an ordeal for them, although for me it was pura fiesta. Typical Spanish food!!! Manchego cheese, ham, fish, sardines, baguette, ham & cheese croquette and fried squid. It was almost 10.00 pm and the poor girls had no idea what they were eating, except that they didn’t like it very much. Except for those round, fried things. Calamares! When I explained them later what squid actually is, they weren’t half amused as I was!
Bed time. Much needed…

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