It’s official! In less than one month I will be winging my way to Honduras! I got back from a week of training on Coll on Friday and am now sorting through a massive pile of things that need to be done before I fly.
Training was even better than I was expecting! I got the bus up from Glasgow and met Siobhan, one of the other volunteers going to Honduras. When we arrived in Oban we headed to the hostel and met a whole bunch of other volunteers going to Honduras, Ghana and Zambia, the three country groups on training that week. Any conversation with someone started with ‘Where are you going?’, so much so that you could have been talking to someone for ages without actually knowing their name!
About halfway through the evening, I finally met my partner, the moment I’d been waiting for! And you’ll never guess her name… AMY! What are the chances?! Anyway, we hit it off straight away and I have a feeling we’re going to get along just fine while we’re in Honduras.
After an early ferry on Monday morning, it was straight into an intense training schedule. Over the week we covered some general areas to do with our year overseas, like insurance and health, bereavement, culture shock, travel and safety and security as well as having country specific sessions.
Pretty much all of the projects in each of the countries are teaching or at least involve some teaching so we were taught how to plan lessons as well as the very important skill of behavior management. Within the projects, some are in primary schools, some in secondary schools and then a few are TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). I’m going to be teaching mostly in a primary school but specifically doing TESOL. During the week we split into the different teaching types to get some specific training which was really useful. I actually feel slightly qualified to do this now rather than like I’m heading into it with my eyes closed!
During the week we also had to plan and present a ten and a twenty minute lesson encompassing what we’d learnt over the week. I did my ten minute lesson on first aid and my twenty minute lesson on French, to try and best imitate what it would be like when I’m teaching overseas. Obviously it’s a bit different teaching to five well-behaved 18 year-olds instead of thirty mischievous 8 year-olds!
While it was a very busy week we had the evenings off (when we weren’t planning lessons!) and so I finally made it down to one of Coll’s gorgeous beaches! We spent an evening playing rounders and another just walking along and then almost getting lost on the way back!
On the last night, as is PT tradition, we had a ceilidh – cue all the English volunteers flailing about in their best attempt at the Gay Gordons (no offense guys!). It was a brilliant night and a great way to end our time on Coll and start the countdown to our departure, which is… drum roll please…
2nd August!!! I know, so soon!!! Up until now, all I’ve been is excited but now it’s starting to feel a little scary because it seems real. Now that I’ve met my partner and all the amazing people that are going to be in the same country as me it’s so much easier to imagine what next year is going to be like. In the meantime there are lots of last minute things to be done like getting all my vaccinations and booking a flight down to London but I think the next month is really going to fly by!