I.C.Y campaign

The organisation I am volunteering with recently asked UK volunteers around the world to send in picture of their time abroad with a caption of what they have learnt from their volunteer experience. Here is the finished video (I am around minute 2.15 mark); there are some really inspirational quotes and I really wish I could do an ICYE year all over again!! Unfortunately I actually need to work when I go home next month… 😦

Enjoy! And be inspired! 😀 x

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Life isn’t about finding yourself…

3 months from today I will already be in Miami waiting for my second flight of the day to take me to London. 3 months can seem like a long time; I know when I used to go back to school after Christmas, 3 or 4 months until our next break off school seemed like an eternity. My feelings of leaving Honduras in 3 months is really indescribable to me at the moment… I really, really love my life in Honduras and the idea of saying goodbye to my family here and my closest friends is so sad but I also feel like I am really desperate to see my family in England now and my best friends there. Just receiving emails from my Mum, Dad and Lozzy have come to be not enough – I’m so ready to see them all properly. But still, I know the next 3 months will go way too fast. 

The Friday just gone was a bank holiday for Honduras and it also happened to be the day of a World Cup qualifier for Honduras against Costa Rica (we won, woohoo!!!). Nora (the new ICYE co-ordinator and one of my good friends in Honduras) invited me and Julia to her cousin’s house in Valle de Angeles. We had a great time dancing and swimming in the pool – it was a really beautiful house too. Before the game we were chatting about the ICYE experience with Nora, her cousin who went to Germany a few years ago and their friend who was the incoming co-ordinator in Austria until recently. They mentioned that volunteering with ICYE definitely changes you which Julia was surprised to hear but, from my experience, I think that it definitely does change you. For me personally, I know that I have definitely become more laid back. I used to hold grudges for a long time and I found it really difficult to forgive people – but I feel like Honduras has taught me to let that stuff go. Why carry negative feelings around with you?? And I can’t pretend that I find it easy to forgive people now (I just suck at it) but I recognise now that stuff like that is better forgotten and the best you can do is move on. This might sound obvious but the people who know me best will know that that was a real problem for me before – but now I am so laid back, even too laid back sometimes! I think it might be difficult for me to adjust to all the pressures of living in England when I return! 

I’ve also realised that I can be a really enthusiastic, loving person – I’m not trying to sound amazing and actually I think I’ve always been this way, but I’ve realised it more in Honduras. I’ve learned that I’m the type of person that if I see someone sat on their own at a party or something I will go up to them and find something I have in common with them and introduce them to everyone. And when I am fond of someone, I don’t just like them, I love them. I was speaking to Hector in my project about my family and friends in Honduras and he said something like ‘you just love everyone don’t you!’ And the same goes for music – too many people In Honduras have noticed that for nearly every song that comes on (English and Spanish!) I always exclaim ‘I love this song!!’. I just get so excited! But realising that I have this affection for people has made me recognise that I want to work with people – the idea of sitting behind a desk for the rest of my life seriously makes me want to run in the opposite direction as fast as I can (which is not very fast but you get what I mean). So my time in Honduras has been amazing for both changing something about myself I used to resent and for encouraging me to recognise one of the good things I have going for me, which I can now use to help decide what to do next with my life. 

But of course, there are also some things about everyone that will never change. This sounds so stupid but I noticed the other day that I still always go for the left hand tap when I wash my hands. But in Honduras, of course, there is no hot water from either tap so it doesn’t make a difference… in fact sometimes, the left one doesn’t work as it’s meant to be for hot water… so often, I waste time by turning the left tap which doesn’t even work and then I have to use the right one instead. It’s such a small thing but it’s something so ingrained in what I do in England that even after 9 months living here, I am conditioned to expect hot running water from the left tap. It’s stupid but it’s like a little daily reminder that I’m English! 

Also, time keeping. Wow, do Hondurans like to be late. Seriously, not 10 or 20 minutes… more like an hour or two. And unlike in England where if you know you are going to be late you give someone advance notice of your tardiness… Hondurans wait until they are already about half an hour late and then message you to say they will be there in another 30 minutes. It drives me crazy and I don’t think that will ever change. I remember countless days when I used to go pick up Lozzy from her house for a day out somewhere, if I was ever going to be even a couple of minutes late, I would feel awful and rush to get there quick as possible just in case Lozzy was stood outside her door waiting for me. Of course, she never was and I always felt silly for panicking so much about a couple of minutes! And I still feel that way now – I worry when I am 5 minutes late but then whoever I am meeting is at least 30 minutes late anyway! And Hondurans walk soooo slow as well – I have tried so hard to slow down and walk like I have no rush in my life, but I just can’t do it. It is something I need to try and learn before I leave though; Hondurans live their lives like everything can wait – and usually it can, so why do we rush everywhere?! 

So one of my more random blog posts but one of the reasons I decided to volunteer was so that I could ‘find myself’. But I recently saw a quote about the idea that you are creating yourself, but finding yourself – and I LOVE it! Through volunteering, I have already worked out what my passions are, realised what is and isn’t important to me and I’ve been able to change things about myself that I felt needed changing. So I guess this post is just a reminder to me that in that respect, it was a great decision to volunteer abroad and to anyone considering volunteering, or travelling – go for it, it’s so worth it! Hope that all wasn’t too soppy for anyone…

 

The last two weekends…

…have been great! And I have been so distracted in between that I haven’t had a moment to post yet so here is what I’ve been up to…

 

Last weekend

The Day of the Child was yesterday and with my project being very child focused, we of course had lots of celebrations! As we help around 10 markets and communities, we had to spread out where we went each day so the parties actually started on this day when a few of us went to one of the communities outside of Tegus, called Guanabano. This community is really close to the dump that sits outside of Tegus, dealing with all of its rubbish, and many people live in the rubbish as their job is to sort it all. The shacks in the community are tiny and held up with bits of steel, wood, plastic… anything they can find. It’s really sad to see. (I was there again today and we were caught in a huge downpour so one of the women who live there invited us into her home for a drink and it was just two rooms; the kitchen and a bedroom for the mum and her teenage son. Being a teenager and sharing a room with a parent is pretty unimaginable in England…). The kids at Guanabano are full of energy though, if a little too much at times, and the school we went to was full of children running around at 8 in the morning on a Saturday. We all went into a classroom and dressed up in masks and clown outfits… then ran out and danced around with the kids. We then had different things going on, like sack races, lime in spoon race (Honduras’ version of egg in spoon race), face painting… and my new area of expertise, balloon animals! Although I can’t manage to make a dog so it’s more like heart and swords balloons with me 🙂 I’ve never worked with young children in England but I would guess that they are not as crazy as the ones in Honduras… you can’t just say ‘no’ and ‘get in a line’ to them, you literally have to drag them back and shout at them; and they still don’t get the message! They were super cute though and it was a really, really fun day… 

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There is also a family in the community who, for some reason, have really light ginger hair so everyone insisted that I was obviously meant to be the children’s English mum… I’m not sure I’m ready to be a mum to 4 kids but they’re all super cute: 

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I also had one of my most interesting journeys home… on a motorbike! I’ve just realised that I haven’t warned my parents about this yet but I got home safe so nothing to worry about 😀 I was terrified at first but it was actually soooo much fun… especially when I saw the shock on men’s face to not only see a gringa, but a gringa on a motorbike! And we were going too fast for them to shout anything offensive… my new favourite way to travel! 

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On Tuesday I joined the celebrations again in one of the markets in Comayaguela… Honduras’ Independence Day was last week too so one of the new volunteer’s project was closed so she joined us at the party and she loved it! We did a lot of the same with games and balloons but it was a little less active as we were inside with a concrete floor, rather than outside. The rain got in the way again on our way home and we had to wait in the market for half an hour in the hope it would calm down… it eventually did so me and Julia ran to get our bus but it seemed that the rain cloud just followed us. So I ended up walking the 10 minute walk home in a torrential down pour and I literally can’t exaggerate how soaking wet I was by the time I got home! 

The last couple of days of the week I ended up being at home because I went into my project and was sent home… this might sound silly, but my allergies have gone crazy! I could barely open my eyes or breathe through my nose… so, for once, I’m actually making the effort to take pills for it! Hopefully it will calm down soon… and I still have no idea what causes it! At least I was home though to help with the wedding preparations! 

We also had a new addition to the family last week… as a wedding present, the bride’s sister gave my host brother and his wife to be a puppy! He is the cutest little thing and he has taken a liking to chewing things, including my hair… 

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This weekend 

So the wedding of my host brother and his fiancé finally arrived 😀 the wedding wasn’t until 7 in the evening so we were waiting around most of the day, then there was a little stress as we got ready… but as soon as we got to the venue everyone calmed down. The venue was really beautiful – the ceremony was outdoors and there were candles everywhere, so pretty! There were 6 bridesmaids altogether and four of us had grooms men – as we walked down the aisle we had two professional cameras taking photos with huge flashes which was quite surreal. The ceremony was really lovely and it was really sweet to see my host sister’s get so emotional. The reception after was a lot of fun too – lots of dancing and meeting new people! I really wish we could do it all again – hopefully someone else will get married while I’m here! 

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Today it was back to my project and Guanabano in the afternoon – it was a great day, except for more rain again! Everyone insists that I should be ok with it, or even enjoy it, because I’m from England. But I definitely don’t, especially when we are about to leave for home! 

That’s all from me for now! Hugs and kisses from Honduras – miss you all so much at home! x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First week back at my project

For a few weeks I had been worrying that this week was going to be really lonely with not having most of my host family around but actually it has been a great week and I’ve managed to jump straight back into Honduras life 😀 Now that I only have less than 5 months left I am determined to get more involved in my project, improve my Spanish a lot and spend as much time with friends as I can. So here’s a quick sum of up of my first 5 days back… 

Monday

I went back in on Monday and saw everyone from my project for the first time in weeks, I missed them so much and it was amazing to see them all! Everyone seemed so happy to have me back and they all agreed that I’m so tanned now I can count as a Honduran too 😉 I also had some presents to give out to a few people and they all seemed to like them; I gave the director a Yorkshire Tea tea towel which she is going to put up on the wall! And I had a mega bag of Milka chocolate to share out with everyone but, of course, it disappeared within 10 minutes… I’m going to have to bring enough for an army when I visit from England in the future! I spent the morning making a lesson plan for Hector’s Spanish class and then joined him to a community school where he was teaching. Just outside of Tegus there is an area that is basically the dump for the entire city and people live within it as they work there sorting the rubbish. The school we went to was next to the dump and it was really sad for me to see the clothes the children were wearing; they all had holes in their clothes and seemed to be wearing things for ages way above their own. But, of course, they are children so they didn’t let anything like that phase them and after their Spanish lesson it was a lot of fun to watch them play ‘Cat and Rat’; a Honduras favourite. 

That afternoon, after my project, I went straight to meet a friend and we planned to watch a film, but we ended up just talking all evening which was super nice 🙂 

Tuesday 

Tuesday morning I planned a lesson for Hector again, this time Maths, so a little easier as it was just numbers and not too much translation! Turns out though that my adding up isn’t so great any more so I may need to look at that once my Spanish is sorted! Then one of the co-ordinators asked me to create a leaflet on the topic of what it means to be a man in Honduras and that the ‘machismo’ culture can have a negative effect on women. It’s been really good having my own little project to get on with and asking people in the project questions to help put together the leaflet 🙂 I also got back in with the domino tradition that a few of us have, as soon as we’ve finished eating we play dominoes until we go back to work… it’s a lot of fun because the guys that play are super silly about it and it’s hilarious to watch them! 

That day after work I went with a few people from my project to Espresso Americano, Honduras’ version of Starbucks, to have a coffee and help one of them apply for their visa to the US. I thought doing the VISA wouldn’t take too long… it did; obviously the US is quite nervous about letting Hondurans into their country as they literally asked about EVERYTHING. We spent 3 hours filling in the application, which is only the beginning of the process, as they then have to go for an interview, pay money etc. Having gotten my ESTA recently, it was amazing to see the difference in visa applications… I also then got a ride home from the guy who’s application it was, and when I describe his car, I think only ‘deathcab’ justifies it. It’s terrifying. 

Wednesday

I continued with the leaflet most of Wednesday – the only thing is that they wanted it to be handwritten, so when it is finished I will post a picture on here, but try not to laugh at the awful hand writing too much! Hector said that my grammar etc. was good though and everyone has been saying that my Spanish is a lot better too which is really great. And people also keep telling me I have lost weight, when I am sure I have put some on since I left for Mexico (damn portions in North America), but oh well, I’m not going to complain if it looks that way! 

That evening I met up with my lovely Joel for dinner – one of the banks in Honduras is doing a 50% discount in some restaurants at the moment, so obviously we had to make the most of that. So I set off to meet Joel in a colectivo taxi which was all fine, until it suddenly began to pour it down… and I mean it took literally 2 seconds to go from fine, to the kind of rain we don’t even see in England. By the time I got to where we were meeting I had to jump over the rivers that had appeared on all the roads! And then Joel’s car wouldn’t start so we had a detour to a garage – but eventually we got to our cafe. We had some lovely panini’s while getting excited about his going to Ireland in January, woohoo! 

Thursday

Usually we have a big meeting with everyone on Friday mornings but the meeting this week was on Thursday… as we were going on a trip the next day, yay! One of the people who work there, Diana, is moving to Spain in a couple of weeks so it was her last day on the Friday. So in good AYO style, we were taking a day trip to say goodbye to her – I just love my project! So Thursday was just more leaflet making and getting excited for another project day trip 🙂 

Last night I went for dinner with a couple of guys I met recently through ICYE, one is going to England and one to France in the next few months. The guy going to England, David, lives near me so he came to pick me up. We agreed to speak only in Spanish the whole night, which we pretty much managed – but I think I impressed him so much with my language skills that we ended up having a little car crash; my first one in Honduras! Don’t worry parents; it was just a bit of a bump but David’s car was quite bashed up at the front 😦 it was the other guy’s fault, and although he gave his details to David, it’s probably likely that he won’t pay up. Things like that, we don’t realise how lucky we are in England that we know someone will have to pay if it’s their fault! Anyway, we made it to dinner and it was a really fun night and I’m feeling so good about my Spanish now… my brain seems to be a bit of a sponge right now so I’m making the most of it and taking in as much as I can! Even when I’m emailing Brynja from Iceland, we talk in Spanish 🙂 (extraño mucho mi cariño!!) 

Friday 

I got up super early today (5.30, ouch!) to get to the project on time – as usual, they were really strict about getting there by 6.30 and then no one turned up until 7! But oh well, we got on our way to Comayagua, about 2 hours north of Tegus – I managed to make the mistake of sitting in front of Edgardo etc. on the bus so my ears are hurting now. But a bus journey with my project is always hilarious; there are always people shouting across the bus too each other, singing and passing whole meals around. 

We got to the golf club we were going to and had a delicious typical Honduras breakfast, before a presentation to thank Diana for all her work and lots of people made really sweet speeches. We then had a couple of hours to explore the grounds and I went with a few of the girls for a walk around and we ended up watching the guys play football and then all going to have lunch. It was so much hotter than Tegus though!

After lunch, we had some pool time and we were all happily enjoying swimming (actually, most of the people in my project can’t swim so I was leading people across the pool from the shallow end to the steps at the deep end), when a duck flew into the pool. It seemed to think it was in some kind of pond as it kept diving like it was looking for food. Some people got nervous about it, and as I felt like I could handle it as I was one of the best swimmers, I went up to it to try and scare it off. Edgardo then shouted that I should swim under it – for some reason I did even though I hate swimming under water, and the duck freaked out, dived and bit me! I was terrified so I was screaming until I realised that it didn’t hurt at all; by this time everyone was laughing at me, oops! 

Eventually, after all the duck drama, it was time to go home to Tegus! Here are some pictures from today…

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So it had been an amazing first week back in Tegus – this weekend I have a catch up with a lovely friend and we’re going for some yummy nachos and then my host family get back on sunday… yay!!!! I’m sooo excited to see them and have lots of sister time with Azariah and Raeli 😀 so until next time… saludos!! x 

 

Why volunteer abroad?

I’ve had a couple of people ask me recently how I find volunteering in Honduras and whether I’d recommend it… and Laura and I have debated a couple of times whether we would recommend ICYE (Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange programme). Well it’s complicated. I know that I have absolutely loved my experience here so far, and while I can be moody sometimes as Laura so loves to remind me, I am a pretty positive person. In fact, I think my time in Honduras has made me a better person in many ways already. I am more positive, carefree and, actually, more grown up. Shocker right?! I am still silly and childish most of the time, and it still takes me about 10 minutes longer than others to catch onto jokes… but I think I have actually found maturity somewhere in amongst all that. When people have done not so good things to me recently, I won’t name names, I have let it go really quickly and just moved on. I used to find it sooo difficult to forgive people quickly but now I just don’t see the point in harbouring bad feelings about things that don’t matter in the great scheme of things, especially when there were good intentions in there somewhere. Anyway, that wasn’t the point I was making (I guess I haven’t fixed my habit of waffling then) – I was going to make the point that I have been quite positive about my time in Honduras, while other volunteers have had a much more negative experience. So I don’t want to harp on about what am amazing time I’ve had, and potentially encourge someone reading this to volunteer, as obviously my point of view is going to be a lot different to someone like Maja, who left Honduras 4 months in as she felt too in danger here. But I will do my best to give some, relatively, unbiased pros and cons below…

Pros:

1. You will grown as a person. As I already waffled on about above, you will learn more about yourself (maybe, even ‘find yourself’!!) and hopefully improve. I know that Brynja, when she left, was so happy that she became a lot more independent from her time volunteering and discovered that she could look after herself more than she had imagined before.

2. You will help others. Let’s be honest, as much as you may want to, you aren’t going to change the world. Nothing close to that even. But you might just change the lives of a few people, even in the smallest way, and it will be worth it. It means a lot to people in Honduras, who need help, that someone has bothered to come all the way from Europe to try and give something. That they are at least being considered as needing help. We have so many TV adverts, campaigns etc. for Africa in the UK, but Central America gets largely ignored despite its many problems.

3. You will make life long friends – and a much more interesting diversity of friends. I have met the most amazing friends here that despite the distance when I go home, I know I will make a huge effort to keep in touch with. I already know I will definitely be coming back to Honduras, at least to visit, and part of the reason for that is I have made best friends here. It sucks that I won’t be able to see them much at all, but they are a huge part of my experience here and I’ve learnt so much more from having them

4. You will learn soooo much more than you would studying, or probably even working. I did a degree in geography for 3 years and a masters in human rights for one year – both at big financial cost. But I learnt more in one month here than I did during 4 years of studying. Volunteering abroad in a country like Honduras will literally shake you up and change everything you thought about the World – hopefully in a good way. Sometimes it is depressing yes, and frustrating that there is nothing you can do to really change it in a big way, but at least to me it seems really important to learn that however bad you have it on a bad day at work, or when your boyfriend dumps you… you could have it a whole lot worse.

5. You will be the envy of your friends. I can’t emphasise enough how nice it is to be enjoying myself in Honduras and go on facebook and see people back home complaining about the weather, their crappy job, the stupid politics. And you will recieve countless emails from your friends saying how jealous they are and what an amazing thing you are doing. Obviously that isn’t why I chose to come to Honduras, but when I’m having a crappy day, it’s definitely a good reminder of why I am here and why I definitely chose the right thing for me.

 Cons:

1. The cost. Despite what you expect, and what your parents etc. insist, it is damnnnn expensive. So many people expect that you’re volunteering your time, so it should be free right?! It’s not… nowhere near. The cost of just my volunteer fee was around £4,200 – I managed to raise about £1,500 through fundraising for my trip but to raise the rest I worked, sold my Pandora bracelet and my beloved car, Hugo. And then there is spending money – despite Honduras being so much cheaper than the UK, I have still managed to spend way more than I expected. Honduras is still affected by western culture – with it’s expensive malls, luxury bus companies and americanised tourist driven Islands – so it is easy to spend money quickly. So if you are going to volunteer, don’t expect that it will be cheap.

2. Cultural differences. This actually hasn’t affected me too much although the culture is definitely very different – but for me, one of the reasons I volunteered was to live somewhere completely different to the country I found so boring. But if you need home comforts and familiarity, then you could find it quite disorientating. And on those days where you just want to be home and everything be normal, the country you’re in isn’t going to understand that, and will most likely throw something your way to make you want to go home even more. But these days are rare thankfully…

3. It might not be what you were hoping for. My project was everything I wanted and I love it… but the same couldn’t be said for my host family. The situation ended up getting me so down, I had to change host family. Which I’m glad of now, but at the time I was so disappointed not to gel with the family I was orginally assigned to. I know other volunteers have been unhappy with their projects too so you have to be careful about what you are expecting and manage them so you won’t be disappointed if everything isn’t perfect.

4. You will be responsible for you’re family, especially your mum, worrying. All I can say is, try not to tell the whole truth… the scary bits can wait until you’re home, jsut so your mum can rest easy at night. The fact that your friend got mugged at gun point the other day isn’t going to make your parents sleep very well for a while… (Also, on the topic of home, you will miss out on things at home – your’s friends going out, their break up and make ups, maybe even weddings, births and funerals. I don’t think this should stop you going for it, but just be ready to deal with the jealousy, guilt etc…)

5. Ermmm… I can’t think of anything worthy of number 5. Maybe missing English chocolate? So I guess homesickness is a part of it… the food, the culture, the familiar things of home. But really, that would be a silly reason to not go volunteering. And, trust me, it makes you appreciate home a whole lot more which is a good thing.

And, ICYE in particular. There are obviously good and bad things which I won’t go into to much, as obviously this is all just from my own experience and I know others have better and worse opinions than me. Overall though, I would definitely recommend ICYE as an organisation to volunteer with – the staff are really friendly, they are (almost) always available to help and it is a great way to meet more people while volunteering as it is a huge network of volunteers.

So overall, I would say to anyone that volunteering abroad is worthwhile and the experience definitely outweights the expense, homesickness etc. You will never regret that you did – and really what is the alternative? Most likely sitting at a desk doing a job you’re not all that keen on and just waiting for the weekend all week. So my suggestion is… JUST DO IT!

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, so 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’ 😀

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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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 Lurvin and Vilma:Image

 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 just 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 spending 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…