An Honest account of our first week

Welcome to rainy season in Honduras, when the rain is so earsplitting on the tin roof that I can’t even hear Lily Allens ‘Hard out Here’ with my head phones in as I write this; our kitchen currently doubles as a lake and the union jack that doubles as a window is waving across our room. So, things in Canderlaria have been tough, and really ‘tough’ is putting it kindly. We live in a small section of our host families lounge, and the 9 of us that live here all share one toilet, shower and a sink. But we can’t complain, we have both agreed that we have never seen poverty quite like this, multiple times we have asked students in the street if they are coming to school and been returned with a solemn head shake. Many children don’t have running water and wash in the river (which is also the drainage for the public toilets), lots don’t wear school uniform but come to school in unwashed, oversized hand-me-downs and a few have been pointed out as children who can’t come to school as they spend the day begging for food. I know we can make a huge difference here, mainly because the kids are always so keen to learn, even walking round the market on a Sunday we are mobbed by hugs and kisses.
For our first week we only taught in Kinder-where we start at 8 and spend the following 45 minutes bouncing round singing songs and making general fools out of ourselves- because of problems with the primary school and high school. However, this week we begin our timetable which runs from 8 am to 5.30pm and means throughout the week we teach from 3 years old to 20 years old (the prospect of my students being older than me is absolutely terrifying). Candelaria offers little prospects for its youth, and so, many aspire to go to America and make the dangerous journey in their 20’s. We have heard stories of those who don’t make it, but in order for a better chance in America or Honduras English is crucial and so we hope we can really make a change by extending the amount of hours each class receives from us per day (harder than you would expect with the atrocious organisation down here). In my earlier blog I mentioned how shocked we were by the submissiveness of the women, the girls lives consist of school and housework, so we are planning a new empowerment project for our girls in the high school. For the primary school we are setting up a youth club so that they have somewhere to hang out, improve their English and try some typical ‘English’ activities.
We are living in a very small, conservative and in some ways uneducated place and therefore as women there is very little for us to do in our free time, however, last Friday we went with Jessica and Jackie (who is completing her degree in Teguc on chemical engineering, which is very impressive) to a part of the river up the mountain and had a very refreshing swim and jumped off some very large rocks which proved a very pleasant distraction from the homesickness. It was also nice to make friends as currently we are pretty sure they think we are aliens as everywhere we go we are stared at and whispered about. Also, as the refried beans and plantain (none of which we like or eat) have become so tedious, we taught our host family to make lasagne which proved a great hit and we are hoping to teach them some more recipes to extend their repertoire!
Overall, despite the manana attitude; lack of regulations and organisation in the school; and gossip of a tiny community, I think we are going to be able to make a real impact here and build a great relationship with the children of Candelaria who honestly the are the happiest and most excitable I have ever met.

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2 thoughts on “An Honest account of our first week

  1. Wow Chloe, so much for you to take in and adapt to already!! It all sounds amazingly exciting. I can imagine it’s a massive culture shock though and no wonder you’ve felt homesick. Stay strong, your lovely smile and kindness will have you making a difference in no time I’m sure. I’ll keep following your blog and praying for you.
    Claire xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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