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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An emotional week and Mother’s Day celebrations

It has been a pretty emotional week to be honest. First homesickness struck and then there was our first airport goodbye. Brynja, who you will be able to tell from this blog has become a regular in my life here in Honduras, flew out yesterday. It was an emotional goodbye; I managed to hold back the tears when she was there but as soon as the walked through the gate and we couldn’t see her the tears came! It was especially hard for Brynja as she has only been in Honduras for 3 months but has gotten very close to myself and Laura, and a lovely guy called Noel. So there were sad faces all round. We had a meal the night before which most of the volunteers and a few others came too and with the departure of Brynja looming, we realised that we all need to make a lot more effort to spend time together. I think it has been really hard for me to see Brynja leave as I am staying the longest of everyone and all I can think of, and people like to keep mentioning, is that I will have a lot more goodbyes to deal with. My host sister leaves to Arizona on the 1st of June to study, Loui (one of the Danish volunteers) leaves a week after to travel, Michelle (the volunteer from Switzerland) will be leaving in July and then Laura will leave me in August after our trip to South America. That is a lot of people I have become very close to over the past 4 months and I will be quite alone after they have all gone. Hopefully though when the new volunteers arrive I will make some new friends… and maybe be a little bit stronger for the time that it comes to say goodbye to them too! I love travelling but goodbyes are definitely the worst bit. I wasn’t very emotional when I left the UK, mainly because it seemed too surreal that I was leaving, but I’m glad now that it wasn’t too emotional or I don’t think I could have handled it! I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to Honduras…
 
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I have just been generally emotional as well for who knows what reason – I watched the film Click last night and the scene where Adam Sandler finds out his dog had died (which is the same breed as my dogs!), I just burst into tears!! I like a good cry to films but it usually takes a proper emotional build up like the Titantic or Moulin Rouge… not a dog dieing in a film about a remote control. Who knows! So I think my trip away is coming at just the right time tomorrow and hopefully while I am lazing on the beach topping up my tan, I can take some time to reflect on my time here so far and sort my emotional issues of the moment out. But as my mum knows very well, I tend to build things up and then it all comes out at once. So maybe I’m only just dealing with missing everyone as I haven’t really felt it so far but I will be ok soon enough 🙂 Having a break in the Bay Islands and my birthday (which Laura has promised to spoil me for!! 😀 ) is exactly what I need at the moment…
 
Today has been a great day though. Well actually at first it was a little strange (when is it not in Honduras?!), firstly I got on the bus to work and an old lady was sat on the seat opposite and in front of mine. Despite not being sat near me I could just sense her turning around to look at me constantly and it was getting quite annoying after a while. The woman then suddenly asked me to pay her bus fare – I was completely shocked. Did she assume because I’m white I can afford to pay for everyones buses? Or because I’m white I’m really generous? I have no idea but before I had time to recover from my shock and confusion, the man next to her had paid for her. But she continued to keep looking around at me the whole journey. Very odd. I then went to the supermercado to buy the pasta that I’d been asked to bring for my project. While I was queuing to pay a man in front of me kept turning around and looking at me – I just thought ‘please, not again!’. He then asked if I spoke English and when I said yes he began asking me all about why I’m in Honduras and telling me how he went to Switzerland. And while it was friendly, it was just a bit strange. He even waited while I paid so that he could walk me to my project. Once there he insisted on giving me his number and email. So I seem to be making lots of new friends today – maybe they are my replacements for when everyone leaves?!
 
Anyway, after that it was a great day! It is Mother’s Day in Honduras this Sunday and my project had a big celebration for it; they take the day very seriously here and especially in my project as they help so many single mothers. So we all brought food in and had a big lunch together with the mum’s having the main table. We also played games, gave awards to the mums and some presentations. I even did a presentation on women’s rights (in Spanish!) which I was secretly hoping they would forget about but they didn’t – but I had a slide at the end thanking all the women in the project for looking after me while I’m so far from my own mum, so that was nice 🙂 And last, but definitely not least, 4 of the guys preformed to a Honduran song about men fighting over one women – it was of course Kelvin dressed up as the women. He asked to wear my brand new, beautiful shoes as well!! Apparently, as well as being the tallest of all my project, I am also the only girl with huge feet so of course it had to be my shoes. It was hilarious though and everyone was in stitches. It It is things like this that make me really love my project – they really take the time to celebrate days such as these and make people feel special. Everyone is really close and they all look out for each other.
 
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After my project, I went with Hector to meet a fellow Brit called Nick. He is currently doing interviews with people from Honduras for his blog to represent the country more and get different views of life here. I suggested Hector because he is always coming out with these really insightful thoughts and he likes to discuss the situation here – he compared Tegus to Gotham City last week. I can see where he is coming from! Tonight Loui is staying at my house and meeting my host family – all was going well until we got takeaway and Loui found an ant in her food. Que rico! Hopefully a good film will help us to recover the traumatic discovery… Myself and Laura are heading off to Utila tomorrow so my next post will be after our adventures in there and La Ceiba… I will update in a couple of weeks 🙂 Hasta Luego!!!