Journal Day 11, May 23, 2013
Little did we know when we woke up this morning that today would be a day filled with all sorts of adventures! The day began with breakfast at 7, which consisted of cornflakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, the random grilled cheese thing, and juice. Then, we all loaded into 2 vans to begin our drive to the 2 rural schools we were visiting for the day!
We drove for a long while on some less than adequate roads way out in the country when all of a sudden we came upon a small river of sorts, covered with rocks and filled with cattle drinking! The vans came to a standstill to try to figure out what to do. Should we go around? Should we go through? We didn’t know! But finally the driver decided we could make it if we drove through, and drive through we did! Aidan, Jenny, and Lindsey actually walked across the rocks, but the rest of us enjoyed our adventure through the water. After we got passed the water, we were stopped by a cow just chilling in the middle of the road. It wouldn’t move when we honked, so the other driver had to get out and shoo it away!
Finally, we arrived at the second rural school, which I’m not sure what the name was. However, just like the first rural school we visited, it was very small. There were only around 19 students there, and they too were all in one classroom. Our project for this school was to make little flower pots with flowers out of paper and plastic cups and popsicle sticks. Lindsey explained the project in Spanish, and then we got to help the students decorate and assemble their pots. The kids were so excited to make their pots and then to play, Pato, Pato, Ganzo with us, or Duck, Duck, Goose. One of the little girls kept asking me if we would play with her, but I had no idea what she was saying because I didn’t know what it was! I had to have Eloisa translate for me! But all the kids joined in, and it was fun to run around and play with them! It was sad when we had to leave, but we got back in the vans and continued driving. We stopped in a tiny little town so Eloisa could by us some plátano chips, or plantain. They were salty and delicious and our van ate almost an entire bag!
On the way to the last school, our van decided it would be fun to spice up the ride a little bit, so we made up a little dance to pass the time. It was really simple and fun! We performed it to “Temperature” by Sean Paul for Eloisa, and she loved it. She and JoAnn said we needed to do it for the class we were about to see, so we did as soon as we got there, and it was really funny!
The 3rd rural school we visited, Escuela Rural Mixta Dionisio Herrera, was about the same situation as the other 2 schools. It was small, this time with around 24 or so students, and all in one small classroom. But the students were so darn cute! Our project here was to make paper bag puppets, and I explained it to the class in Spanish! I had practiced it in my head (and mumbling under my breath) a couple times before so I felt pretty confident when I was in front of the class! I even made them laugh a little when I used the paper bag puppet to talk to the class, so that was fun. We went around and helped the students glue yarn and googly eyes and feathers to their bags and it was so cute! We played Pato, Pato, Ganzo with these students as well, and then we had a little dance party to “Gangnam Style!” Before long, we had to leave that school too. All the students gave us hugs goodbye, and just like for the other schools, I was happy we could help those students have a little fun and give them lots of new supplies and food.
Our next stop was the mayor of the town’s Pupusa restaurant, Doña Teresa. Her pupusas (basically a corn tortilla-like bread with cheese and sausage or beans inside) were sooooo delicious! I ate 3 of them and downed a Coke! Afterwards, Doña spoke to us (with Eloisa translating) about her background and how she helped to settle the town. She is an amazing woman! She helped start a program where everyone in town would learn how to read and write, and then she brought electricity, running water, and plumbing to the town, and now she’s working to have more tourists come through to support some of the artisans of the town. It’s really cool because the town only consists of about 42 families! Not only that, but I then found out she was one of my student’s (Noé) grandmother! It was really cool.
We drove back to campus after that and had the choice to go to ABSS for about an hour or stay at the Kellogg Center to chill. A couple of us, myself included, went to school since it’s the second to last day to see our students. They weren’t expecting me since we had thought we would be gone all day, but their faces lit up as I walked into the classroom and they saw me. It was so precious, and I have no idea how I’m going to leave them tomorrow!
Everyone met us at ABSS at the end of the day so that we could all go to Jovenes en Camino, a boys’ orphanage nearby. ABSS has a teacher who helps run the partnership they have with the orphanage where ABSS students visit the orphanage weekly to play with the boys. Also, as I’ve said before, 4 of my students, Luis Fernando, Daniel, Cristian, and Norman all live there! When we arrived, we were so surprised at how nice the place looked! It was huge! There were a ton of different buildings, and they all looked very nice. We ended up playing soccer with the boys, which was fun despite the fact that I never played soccer in my life. Some of them were really good! The boys there are obsessed with soccer. Nearly all of them were wearing soccer jerseys of some sort, and they each had a pair of cleats to wear too. Norman and Daniel also showed us their room, which they share with Luis and one other boy. All they had was a bed and a desk to themselves in their room, and I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live like that. I know that some of the students actually still have parents that just aren’t able to take care of them, as is the case with Norman, whose birthday is tomorrow and his mom is coming to visit him. Also, Cristian and Luis acted embarrassed to talk to me, which was kind of funny, but Norman, and surprisingly Daniel, who is usually really shy and quiet, were really excited about it! It was precious. I found out that they actually do internships there, so guess what I’m thinking about…? J
We had dinner at 6, which was fried chicken, veggies, fries, and bread. I’m getting sort of tired of the dinners here, so I don’t eat much. But after that, we had class on the book, Don’t Be Afraid, Gringo. Jubin was able to come today, so he lead the discussion. We gave opinions on the book first, and then we had to role play a little in a debate about American business presence in Honduras and the corresponding effects on the campesinos. Lia and I were business owners who wanted to expand our relationships with existing Honduran business owners. It was kind of funny to listen to the debate because it was so difficult to comprehend sometimes, and we all laughed at each other’s ability to play their part. Unfortunately, class was supposed to end at 8 and didn’t end until around 8:30.
We had so much work to do, but Gustavo wanted to hang out with us, so Laura, Katie, and I went on a walk with him and Jeffry again. We talked a little bit, but then the guys realized that it was almost 10, which is their curfew! We walked quickly back to their residence hall, but some of their inspectors saw them before we made it back and said they would get demerits for being late. We felt really bad, but then we found out that the boys talked to the inspector and the inspector said that since we’re American, it was okay that the guys showed us around. We still felt bad though. They left us, and as we were walking back to the Kellogg Center, we were stopped by the guards, who (we think) told us that the tunnel to the Center was locked and we’d have to walk along the main road to get back. We had to back-track then, but we got stopped at another locked gate. We were so confused because we had been out at 10 before and nothing was locked. But there were 3 guards there too, and they were wondering if we were students (we think). We had a hard time understanding them, but I think they thought we were lost and that we couldn’t find our way to the Kellogg Center, so the guard just led us there and had another guard unlock the tunnel gate for us. It was really weird, but everything is okay!
One other tidbit that I find funny: one day when Norman was leaving from school, he said to me, “Adios, chica linda,” which means “pretty girl.” However, I thought he was saying “Chicalina,” so I asked Diego from 4th grade what that meant. He said, “Are you sure it wasn’t chica linda?” So now he constantly calls me “Chicalina” which is kind of cute if you ask me.
It’s been a long day, and I can’t believe tomorrow is our last day at ABSS! I might cry!