It feels like we’ve spent this last week wrapping things up in our project, from the English exam in the escuela to spending the rest of today seeing all our friends before we leave for two and a half months of travelling tomorrow. That’s what this blog post is for too, to wrap up the last few weeks in our project. As they’ve been happening there hasn’t felt like too much to report, apart from our three month anniversary in Honduras which I marked with a special bog post, but now that I’m sitting down to write this it seems that things have built up!
First of all, I decided that the best thing to do the weekend after being bedridden with flu was to go and play football with some energetic fifth graders… Must have worked though because I am currently back to full health! We have also spent the last few weekends making more tomato soup (our best batch yet), attending a first grader’s birthday party (featuring a piñata obviously) and taking many trips to the river.
Going to the river is one of our favourite things to do here because it’s just so damn hot! We have a couple of friends that we usually go with but recently we’ve started to go with Daniela and Jamie, the girls we live with, because they don’t know how to swim and as two qualified swimming teachers we feel it is our responsibility, even our duty to at least teach them enough that they can be safe in the water. It’s a surprisingly common theme here that, despite the fact there’s a river running right through the town that lots of kids play in, many don’t know how to swim, which terrifies me slightly. There was also a child from Kinder who went down to the river by himself last year and drowned. We feel it’s very important to teach our girls as much as we can while we’re here, especially as we can’t do anything large scale.
In the past month and a bit we’ve also had two weekend trips, one to Santa Rosa and one to Gracias, both to celebrate birthdays. First up was Santa Rosa for Jesse and Lucy, who are not just partners but also have birthdays within two days of each other. This was the first time we’d stayed overnight in Santa Rosa and we took full advantage of being able to stay out past our usual 10pm limit!
Gracias was the weekend just past and we manage to gather more people than usual, 15 in total, this time for Siobhan’s birthday. It was nice to have a different mix of people than usually come to our weekend trips and it meant we also got to meet Eve and Alice, two volunteers who have joined us from the Dominican Republic because their project wasn’t working.
There have also been a few interesting events in Candelaria. On the 1st November we celebrated Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with our family by going to Jaime’s home town of Erandique to visit and clean the graves of family members. The Day of the Dead has a reputation for the colourful, vibrant and altogether very lively celebrations that happen in Mexico and while it is more subdued in Honduras, it felt like a more personal connection with the dead.
Unfortunately that has not been our only contact with the dead recently. Walking into school one day, we were met by some of my fifth grade class who told us they were going to a classmate’s house because his mother had died the night before. After our classes had finished we accompanied a few other teachers to his house where a wake was taking place. It was a very difficult experience for a few reasons. Obviously it is incredibly sad, but at the same time it was heartening to see the way the community rallied around the family and gave them so much support.
Seeing the house was also hard for us. We don’t get to see too much of the extreme poverty that exists in much of Honduras because we are lucky enough to live with a family that doesn’t have to worry about having enough food or whether they can wash themselves today. From what we saw the house consisted of one room with a kitchen area attached at the side. The whole situation got to me because neither of these things are something that anyone deserves, especially not this kid who is so sweet.
Deep breath, and moving on to lighter things, guess who we had the honour of meeting last week? Only the First Lady of Honduras! Haha just kidding! Wait no I’m not…
And then that’s us almost done. As I said before this week was composed of exams, marking exams and packing most of my clothes back into my rucksack. Tomorrow morning we’re on a 6am bus to start our adventures! First up, Nicaragua!
Some gorgeous pictures of us and our kids snapped by Amy on her big camera –