One year ago I left Honduras in tears. I’d spent four months of my gap year teaching Prepa at Cofradía’s Bilingual School, and, as planned, it was time to head to new adventures in other parts of the world. Leaving CBS was one of the hardest things I’ve done – knowing that the immense energy brought to me everyday by the kids would no longer be a part of my life was heartbreaking. Before CBS, I’d never experienced so much sheer love, enthusiasm, and genuine emotion, and my kids were wholly to thank for that experience.
But it was time for me to leave, and I left in a flood of tears. I knew, though, that I’d be back. I knew that there was no way I wouldn’t see my kids again.
So here I am now. I’ve once again flown from San Pedro Sula home to Minneapolis, and I’ve said all my goodbyes a second time. I did make it back to Honduras – for a month this time – and I’ve had to leave all over again.
What a month it was, back in Cofradía. In planning this trip I had no idea whether or not my kids would remember me when I returned. When I left they were four and five years old, and I figured it was likely that only a few of them might remember me.
It turned out that I was wrong. Almost everyone remembered me, running at me with loud shouts and huge hugs on my first morning back at school. My kids lit up, I lit up. It was so good to be back together. How I had missed the hugs, the giggles, and the excitement.
My kids were bigger and taller, and they spoke more English than when I’d left them. They’d developed more personality. Things had kept right on going since I’d last been in Honduras, eleven months earlier. The school baleadas still tasted the same, the kids still wiped their sweaty faces on me, and every “how are you?” was answered with “I’m fine, thank you.”
I spent the month teaching the new Prepa class, a group of kids I had not known well last year. This class astounded me with their intelligence, from the quietest students who completed classwork so intuitively, to the most rambunctious students who sat down and focused on quickly perfecting their work. We made beautiful colorful fish for letter F and we painted candy canes in preparation for Christmas. We learned how to express which fruits we liked and disliked, and how to say “fork,” “knife,” and “spoon.” We ran around like crazy during PE and read Dr. Seuss books. We celebrated birthdays with piñatas and cake, and Christmas with pizza and Jell-O.
After a month of teaching, getting to know new students, enjoying a laid-back lifestyle, and soaking up as much joy and energy as I could muster, all of a sudden it was time for me to leave CBS once more. Over and over again as I hugged and said my goodbyes, the question came up, “Miss, when will you be back again?”