Girls in Guanabano

On Monday afternoons I go with Hector (who I affectionately call ‘mi tio’; my uncle) to a community outside of Tegus, called Guanabano. Hector teaches a class of Maths or Spanish for an hour and then we play games for the rest of the time. This is a bit of what we got up to yesterday…

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The girls live in a very poor area and their houses are lucky when they have electricity or a TV. I asked them about their families and even though they are all between 8 and 11, their parents are all under 30 and they all have at least 3 brothers and sisters. They have huge families cramped into tiny houses made of really basic materials and hardly any amenities… I’m hoping to visit one of their houses soon as it will be really interesting, but sad, to see how they live. They are great girls though and I always look forward to seeing them on Mondays šŸ™‚Ā 

Alternativas y Oportunidades

Wow, I have been so useless lately. I guess things in Honduras are just normal now – things that I see now, that would have shocked me 5 months ago, still surprise me but are a lot more regular. I seem to be busy a lot too and the evenings where I do go straight home from my project, I just want to relax and not try and think of interesting things to tell you all about! This post though is dedicated to my project, Alternativas y Oportunidades – my gran sent me a letter for my birthday and mentioned that I don’t talk about my project as much as I do my social life. Oops! I guess after the first few weeks it just became like work at home – and I definitely wouldn’t have written a blog about my job at the Purple Onion or CEVA. But Ive had a fun couple of weeks at my project so thought I would share some of that with you all now…

Mostly at my project I am involved with making presentations, doing research on various topics and helping with translating. So obviously this isn’t anything too exciting – well actually it’s quite depressing. I’m making a presentation at the moment on poverty – having lived in Honduras for 5 months I thought I had seen real poverty and knew what it meant for people to be poor, hungry and desperate. But actually, I think I don’t have a clue. Most of my time is spent in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, and while there are a lot of desperate people here, I believe that poverty is worse in rural areas – due to the lack of jobs, health and education infrastructure etc. So I haven’t seen how bad it can be for people even in Honduras. And according to my research, Honduras is only the 15th most poverty stricken country in the World. 15th. That means that 14 countries suffer worse than Honduras does and more people are living in extreme poverty every day – I just cant imagine it. So it can be hard to research that kind of thing and feel like I’m doing so little.

But anyway, back to the more fun things. As I mentioned before, it was recently the 23rd anniversary of my project. We had a huge celebration – it turns out they celebrate like this every two years so the next one will be big at 25 years. But I don’t understand when they began this tradition, as surely they didn’t bypass the 20 year anniversary. Hmm. The celebration was great anyway, the first day was at the community of La Cuesta that the project helps. It is the only project to help the people there so they are very grateful and a lot of people spoke about their experiences with the project and how much they have been helped. There was cake too of course, two even!! And they were huge, always a good thing!

The next day the project did a presentation event at the library in the centro. It all felt quite like a school evening with all of us in dresses and suits and guests signing in; it was a lot of fun. There were more talks from participants, performances by the students and a play by the project. It was really nice to see so many people there celebrating the project and showing how much they appreicate the help they get.

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Last week, I helped mi tio, Hector, with his classes on ‘Learning to learn’; these were at a school in Comayaguela and at La Cuesta. Hector puts a lot of preparation into his classes but the kids just don’t seem all that interested to be honest. For example, I made some posters for the class and Hector would ask them to copy all of the information from them. Then at the end of the class, they would all give their paper and notes back – so they were all most likely going to forget everything they’d been taught. Especially in La Cuesta, as there is no appropriate space as a classroom so the students have to stand and listen, soĀ there are far too many distractions around. I do love the younger children though, they find me quite fascinating and asking me questions about England all the time… and there is always a debate about Manchester City vs Man United. And I love being called ‘profesora’ šŸ˜€

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On Friday, I went to the graduation of Lurvin’s IT students – of course there was yet more cake. All the students clearly love Lurvin, I’ve been in the computer room when she is teaching and she’s really good at teaching and just really lovely. They were all thanking her a lot and they got certificates to show that they could use different applications etc. The wife of one of the men that works at the project had done the class also and they are one of the cutest couples ever. His wife, Vilma, is at the project a lot and always helps out, even though she doesn’t get paid and it was the cutest moment ever when she went up to get her certificate – Abraham was clapping and smiling so much, aww!

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Ā Lurvin and Vilma:Image

Ā I also went to the house of one of the women at my project last weekend which was really nice as some people from the project were there and the food was really typical Honduras and yummy. The area was quite dangerous though apparently and was clearly a poor area – Emma’s house was justĀ 4 rooms and had a metal roof. It was the first time I’d been in a house with a metal roof and the first thing I thought was how noisy it must be when it rains hard! It was hard for me to see though as I absolutely love Emma, I call her my mum in my project, and she works so hard but has to live in such a poor, dangerous area. So many people I meet here deserve so much better than what they have.

So in case I disappear for a while again, I will definitely be disappearing from the 5th of July for a bit. We have the ICYE camp from the 5th until the 7th – which will be my mid-term evaluation and everyone elses pre-departure camp. It is so strange that everyone else is leaving and I’m staying. Apart from Laura, everyone else – Michelle, Max and Loui – will be leaving Honduras pretty much straight away. It seems so surreal that we are having the ICYE camp already and the time has gone so ridiculously quickly. I haven’t ended up spendingĀ much time with the other volunteers as we’ve all ended up with our own friends etc., but we would all see each other every now and then for a meal or night out and I’m going to miss them all. Especially Laura, but she is not leaving until August so I’m not going to get emotional over that just yet…

So what are me and Laura going to do until she leaves in August?? Well, travel of course! Technically I’m meant to use my time off at the end of my volunteering but then I would most likely have to go on my own and I’m pretty sure my mum wouldn’t let me. So instead me and Laura are going together straight after the ICYE camp to Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. We had been planning to go to South America but with our limited funds and time, it just didn’t make sense. So instead now we can take our time seeing more of Central America and Mexico and make the most of those lovely, heavenly beaches! My tan definitely needs topping up…

I will try to post before then and maybe a little while we’re travelling but we’ll see how organised I am…