Honduras is Something to Write Home About

 

img_1678

            Before I begin, I need to explain three things. The first is that due to busyness, slow internet on both ends, and being in different time zones, I don’t get to communicate with my parents as often as I would like. The second is that I spent an embarrassingly long amount of time trying to decide what to write for this blog post, simply because I have so much to say and want to say all the right things. The third it that after over an hour of attempting to write the perfect blog, I was given the advice to simply begin writing and say whatever comes to mind and to be honest. I have chosen to accept this advice and run with it. I know that the best, and perhaps only, way for me to do this is to forget that absolute strangers will read this, so this one is for my Mom and Dad.

Dear Mom and Dad,
            I have a lot to tell you! My second time in Honduras has been even better than the first. I have eighteen grade six students and fourteen grade seven students. We are nearly four months into the school year and they still find ways to surprise and amaze me almost everyday. danaThey are all both clever and curious which I have decided is the perfect combination. Some mornings when my alarm rings at 5:40am and I am still tired from the day before I feel like I would give anything to be able to roll over and go back to sleep. But as soon as I get to school and see my students I remember how lucky I am to have something worth waking up so early for. I am so proud of all my kids and I make sure they know it.
          

            A couple of weeks ago I walked into my class shortly after the bell rang following recess. All of my students were already sitting in their chairs (something we have been working on recently) and recited in unison “Good morning, Miss Dana.” I smiled and said “You guys are…” and before I could finish my sentence a student named Axel said, “amaaaaazing,” the exact way I would have said it. When I asked how he knew I was going to say that he replied, “you always say that.” I realized he was absolutely correct so I am currently thinking up a few other things to say to them. Any ideas? I’m thinking perhaps “Grade six, you are superb!”

            All of that being said, teaching the ages twelve to fourteen sure does keep me on my toes. I’ve taken to calling them the puberty grades because, well, the reason seems obvious. I’m nearly certain I was given these grades as a way for the universe to get revenge on your behalf for the way I acted when I myself was fighting my way through the puberty grades. It’s safe to say I deal with my fair share of sass and attitude from my students. Regardless, I consider myself lucky to be teaching a group of students whom I get to watch develop more as individuals with every passing day even if that means tolerating the unpredictable moods, unexplainable grumpiness, and an overwhelming smell of body spray which never seems to go away.for-twitter             Not only are my students and the entire school itself amazing but also there are many things I love about Honduras. I love the people here, they are so friendly and generous. Even when they have so little they give so much and spending time with the families of students has become my favourite thing to do outside of school. I love the mountains that surround the area where I live. I have started taking time each day to look up at the mountains and take a couple deep breaths while reflecting on how grateful I am to be here. I love the opportunity to learn Spanish, I love the food, I love the music, and I love riding in moto taxis.

             To summarize, I hope you don’t miss me too much because I won’t be coming home anytime soon. At least not to my Canada home.

 Love and miss you,

Danadana-2

 

 

Miss Dana, 6th and 7th grade teacher

 

 

Gratitude Is My Attitude

 quote-for-pan

I have lived in Cofradia for 115 days. Out of these days there has been a total of 0 days that I haven’t awoken in the morning and felt gratitude. To be able to be in the exact place you were meant to be, doing exactly what you want to do is an amazing feeling. Every day I am overcome with thankfulness and gratitude. From the incredible kids at our school who make my job exciting, challenging and most of all rewarding, to the beautiful home we have here, to the new people we have met that we now call our friends and the opportunity to truly assimilate into a new culture. My thankful for list is endless and continues to grow each day. When you have an attitude of gratitude your outlook on life exudes positivity and this in turn causes a peace and happiness that is difficult to be shaken when difficult circumstances come your way.

Whpamen I was deciding what to write about in this blog, my mind kept coming back to the people. The people are why we are here. There is something so uplifting about seeing people happy when their circumstances are often quite the opposite.  Living here has showed me that happiness is a choice. It doesn’t depend on what the weather is, how much money is in your bank account, what your furniture looks like or how many friends you have. There are people here that live in concrete houses without windows or doors, without kitchens, without clean water, and sometimes even not knowing where their next meal will come from. Even with these challenges, I see them with smiles on their faces, inviting guests over and cooking for them, sharing what little they have. Regardless of their life situation, they are choosing happiness.

The kids that I have the privilege of teaching bring such a light into our lives.pam They are filled with wonder when you teach them a new song or a show them an experiment to learn about hard and soft foods. They squeal with excitement when they get to do a fun craft or when they earn their 5 stickers from good behavior and get to pick from the prize bin. They have the most beautiful smiles that can literally melt your heart. Between their hugs, their giggles, the pictures they make for me, and their love of using newly learned words I have never enjoyed my days more.

Entering into the holiday season, I want to keep sharing love and spreading happiness. I can’t wait to experience the traditions of a Honduras Navidad.  Being here with my children and being able to give away donations sent from family and friends will help us live out the true meaning of Christmas spirit. Giving is far more gratifying than receiving could ever be. Embrace your family, make new memories, continue your holiday traditions and Feliz Navidad!

pam-3Miss Pam, 1st Grade Teacher

 

 

Te Quiero, Cofradia

When I told my parents I was going to Honduras to teach they laughed and asked, “are you sure that’s a good idea?” My grandma remarked, “I hope that is in Ontario.” Honduras is certainly not in Ontario, and coming here has been one of the best ideas of my life. I saw the listing for Cofradia’s Bilingual School and was immediately drawn to the school, I applied for the position the same day I saw it.

dsc01630There is something so compelling about CBS, that sets it apart from any other teaching setting I have encountered. The students and teachers are the most wonderful group of people I have witnessed, and the love and admiration they have for each other is what makes the school so successful. The school is so incredible that sometimes you forget that you have not had running water for four days, sometimes.

My two month stay is almost at a close, I leave later in the week, and although I look forward to hot water, and Canadian poutine, I do not look forward to having to leave behind the people I had grown so close to. I have never met a more welcoming, appreciative and loving group of students than the one’s at CBS. Cofradia is the most impressive place I have visited, and I think forever it will hold a deep place in my heart.

Cofradia’s beauty lies in the people dsc01407who live here. Teaching these students is so rewarding, and their eagerness drives you to constantly improve everything from your teaching methods to your outlook on life. Kneeling down to give a kid a hug and then being mauled by twelve first-graders, gives someone a feeling that cannot be replicated. Or sitting with a child in your lap colouring together, when he turns to you and says, “te quiero, Miss. I love you.”

I want to thank the students and teachers of Cofradia’s Bilingual School for showing so much appreciation and dedication, you have changed my life and I will miss you all.

Te quiero.

Miss Scarlett, Resource Teacher.