December Update 1: Leaving AYO

I have been so slow to update recently – with Christmas and it getting close to my leaving date I have found myself being quite busy lately! Hopefully today I can post a few updates on what I’ve been up to the last the few weeks…

The first news was the birth of my host brother and his wife’s first baby. Her name is Sua Alejandra and she is unbelievably cute:

A couple of weeks later I had my last week at my project; I can’t believe the time to say goodbye to them came around so fast! It really doesn’t feel like I have been here for a year. On the Wednesday we had a meeting to sum up the results of the year and celebrated all the different teams results. I was given a certificate thanking me for my time at AYO and we also did secret santa. Then the Friday, my last day at the project, I gave a couple of presentations – one showing everyone how to use the website I have made for the project, and one with photos from my year with them and thanking them for their support. The whole week everyone had been telling me to make sure I was free at 12pm that day and we’d be having a party for someone’s birthday. It turned out the party was for me and the other girl who had been volunteering for the past few months to thank us and say goodbye; how lovely is that! We had a barbeque, lots of dancing and they had even bought me some presents. A bag, a diary and an amazing mug with a picture of my team, it was so lovely of them and a really perfect way to say goodbye. I’m going to miss my project so much – especially some really special people like Emma, Lurvin, Estefany, Hector and Kelvin. 

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Education

Whether you live in South Africa, the UK or Hondurasm or anywhere else… I don’t think anyone could have missed the fact that Nelson Mandela passed away this week. He is one of those people who you imagine will be around forever inspiring people around the world. It is quite clear from all of the reactions this week that the memory and inspiration of Mandela will live on forever. My favourite quote of his…

Education is at the core of everything we do at my project. This week we had a graduation at my project to celebrate the youths and women that had recently did a computer course with Lurvin. It was a fun day as usual with some emotional speeches, some delicious food and some silly photo taking afterwards. Here are some pics: 

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Day out with the AYO tutors

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. 

 

Happy Birthday to two special people and a very special organisation!

This week is the 23rd anniversary of my project in Honduras!! Happy Birthday AyO!!!

I’m not sure exactly what we are doing for it but I think we are celebrating thursday and friday this week, and it will most likely include the usual chinese food and cake, so that should be a lot of fun. Kelvin is also making a display which is a replica of the front of the project so when that is finished I will post some pics of that because it’s looking pretty cool…

Tomorrow is also the birthdays of both my amazing mum in England and Laura, my best friend in Honduras! So lots to celebrate…

So Happy Birthday Mum!!! I sent you a present to your office but you failed to tell me you are in Denmark today, so hopefully you will get it tomorrow! Hope you have an amazing day, I don’t know what I would do without you…

And Laura, who I honestly don’t know what I would have done without over the last 5 months (yes, it’s 5 months this week!). We’ve fought, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve gone through just about everything together… we have really become like sisters, in good ways and bad ways. But I think we have both needed each other and we both appreciate that the other is always there. Laura hates birthdays but I love them… so I will make her celebrate it! We are travelling together soon but Laura will be leaving the day after we get back so our time together in Honduras in quickly evaporating and I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do when she’s gone… but anyway, Happy Birthday Laura! I hope you love your presents and we have an amazing night out this weekend 🙂