One of my favourite things about my project is that it doesn’t just teach its participants subject matter – they teach skills as well. And part of this is training the older teenagers to be tutors so that they can pass on their knowledge to younger kids in the project. In my first week in AYO, my first market visit was to see two 16 year olds teaching three 14 year olds about the importance of knowing our human rights. I knew zero Spanish at that stage so I didn’t understand a word except for ‘derechos humanos’ but Hector was there and as he speak English he told me a lot of what they were saying. It was amazing – they were so passionate about the education of human rights and why it is particularly important in Honduras. It was so great to see people that age talking so passionately about a subject that gets ignored a lot in the UK – whenever I used to tell people in the UK I was studying human rights they would make a face of surprise, followed by a face of ‘what’s the use of that??’ So it really re-inspired (if that’s a word?!) my passion for human rights and how vital it is in developing countries, like Honduras.
Anyway, back to the point… as it is coming up to the end of the year, my project took the tutors for a day out to thank them for their hard work. So we piled into an amarillo bus yesterday and headed to a sort of park outside of Tegus to relax, eat and play! The first thing we did when we got there was to go around the tutors and from each market or community, one person would say what they had learnt from being a tutor. One thing I have noticed about Honduran teens is that they have so much more confidence than teens in the UK – they love an opportunity to talk in front of their peers and make everyone listen to them. Hondurans also generally speak with a lot more passion and vigour than we do in the UK so I just love to watch them talk sometimes because their mannerisms are amazing!
We then went out to a field and did some games – it was hilarious! There were 4 groups, each with an animal name (the Spanish equivalents of cow, rabbit, cat and dog), and thanks to the masculine/feminine forms of nouns there were some debates about the girls in the dog group being ‘perras’ (bitches). Although the masculine/feminine difference can be confusing when learning Spanish, it can be a good way of making a joke! Anyway, we played two games – one included the students holding hands and having to pass a hula hoop along the line without letting go, and the other game was racing each other to get to a piece of cloth first and then the loser trying to tag the winner before they got away – which resulted in a few people flying! It was really, really hilarious to watch and it got quite competitive pretty quickly! I also managed to step in an ant’s nest while watching the games so one of my feet is covered in lovely ant bites today! 😦
It was then lunchtime and free time – the park had a pool so a lot of people went swimming while others went for walks around the pretty ponds, lakes etc. After lunch, they also put some music on with included some reggaeton and, maybe unwisely, I decided to show off my moves to all the students, as well as a lot of other people enjoying the park. It was hilarious though as all the students started chanting my name and cheering me on – I’m going to miss them so much! They have the name ‘Jessica’ or ‘Yessica’ in Honduras but they don’t use the nickname ‘Jess’ so the students love randomly shouting Jess all the time, and my colleagues in my project call me ‘Jess Jess Ingles’ (English) all the time, I love it 🙂 And in the last hour the staff had a huge debate about politics which was entertaining as always… more on that in my next blog!
Sadly, it was then time to leave… I really didn’t want to say goodbye to a lot of the students as we aren’t going to some of the markets any more as schools are closing for Christmas. I thought I had my last week at my project the week before I left Honduras and then I could say goodbye to everyone, but it turns out that my project comes back to work the same day as my flight 😦 and it seems too early to be saying goodbye to students as I don’t leave for 6 weeks and I might see them again in the office… but it is really sad to know it will be the last time I ever see some of them 😦 the students that AYO helps are great and I’m so glad to have met them all.