Our first days in Gracias have treated us well, we are training with the Vida Abudante volunteers – 4 from Project Trust and then around 20 Americans- however the 6 of us in Lempira don’t see them much as we do lots of separate training and are staying in Fronie’s (Anna and Rosie’s hosts) hotel instead. The hotel is beautiful, with breath taking views of this incredible, quaint town and very different from what we have seen of our project so me and Lauryn are relishing the double beds and warm showers.
Being with the Tomola and Santa Cruz girls has really helped our transition into Honduras, as the difference in Cultures really is inexplicable. I suppose what everyone here has said firstly is that the men are the biggest shock, yes on training we were told about the cat calling but there really is nothing quite like it. After two days we have been whistled at 100s of times, hissed at constantly, honked at by the majority of taxi drivers and lots of our greetings have been returned with a cackle of “hola gringa”. A personal highlight was when a man approached Kirsten and subtly whispered “nice pants mami” *pukes*. But we just laugh it off because, really, you have to, theres no shouting back because that’s not what women do here. A very striking character of the women is how quiet they are too, pretty subdued compared to the women at home but always smiling which puts your nerves at rest and reminds you they’ve got this. All in all its pretty crazy here, they drive like lunatics, they drink banana lemonade (is there honestly anything worse!?!) and for breakfast, lunch and dinner we have refried beans, hard salty cheese and tortillas (I think the novelty of the food could wear off pretty soon). But I honestly cannot explain how amazing it is, everywhere you look there is mountain s and forests for as far as the eye can see; the houses are painted in the brightest colours so that on every street there are butterflys and the hustle and bustle of the people even into the night makes for great people watching. I think we are going to love it here.
We are also very great full to Vida Abudante, Rachel, one of the teachers in Yam is giving us specific training as our schools are public and therefore we have very little resources and our children are very different (don’t be fooled just because they live in very underdeveloped places does not mean they are well behaved and want to learn). They also have made us copies of books with we can use progress with topics as we don’t really have a curriculum to follow, whatever we teach them goes, so that is going to be very useful! Rachel, and her husband Jake who helps run Vida Abudante have also taken us to the hot springs, which Gracias are renound here for. The pools are naturally hot and full of minerals so it was the best way to relax after two very intense days, but also very kind of them.
So now it’s time to get up for more training and but some bite spray on my legs which have been eaten alive.