I found myself incredibly homesick, but to my surprise, not homesick for Australia.

So, I get the pleasure of telling you all about the last 4 months of my life….here goes!

If you had of asked me in July when I finished my semester of uni what I thought I’d be doing for the rest of the year, never once would I have said teaching 2nd grade in Honduras! One of my best friends had been in Cofradia for a few years, and every time we’d skype she’d tell me about all the incredible things they’d been doing, or just about the craziness that is Honduras. I’m not usually one to make rash decisions, but something about going to Honduras just seemed to fit in my head after one of our skypes, and after hardly any thought on the matter, I messaged Dana and said I’m coming! Before I knew it I had deferred my uni for a year and started saving like crazy!

I’ll just put this out there, geography was never my strongest points, but when I made the decision to come to Honduras, I actually had no idea where it was. I knew nothing about the country except for the fact that my friend was there, and there was a class that needed a teacher. I decided to keep it that way, because I was excited for the adventure and surprise that lay ahead. Never could I have imagined the beauty and the kindness this country had to offer, and the amazing people that were about to enter my life.

My first few days were a bit rough! After 36 hours in transit (didn’t need a map at that point to realise it was a bloody long way away), I arrived in San Pedro Sula without any bags, and experienced my first dose of Honduran humidity. I also experienced my first day without running water, along with no power. I went to school the next day to meet my class, after 3 days of no showers, no clean clothes and looking like an absolute mess. But thankfully to these 7 year olds that stuff didn’t really matter, as long as you give them lots of hugs and smiles then you’re in their good books.

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But unfortunately, learning English isn’t all about hugs and smiles. And I definitely learnt this the hard way (as we all do) in the first few weeks where I was so incredibly overwhelmed with 30 kids, whose first language was not that of my own, and who all needed my attention….all at the same time! But again, as we all do, I managed to find my feet with the help of my incredible work mates, who are now my best mates, which without I would’ve been an inconsolable mess by the end of my first week.

My kids……well, where to even begin! Each day I get to see these amazing little humans learn confidence in themselves, that they can learn anything they allow themselves to, and that are capable of so much. These kids amaze me every single day, and I don’t think I could ever explain to someone how much love I have for them. The fact that even thinking about this right now as I write my blog has brought me to tears (the ugly kind), I know that leaving them in June is going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But I know they’re going to become incredible people, and being able to have had them, and all the kids at CBS in my life is something I’m so grateful for.

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For the Christmas holidays, most of the volunteers went home, but unfortunately Australia is a bit of a trek, so I decided to travel though a bit of Central America. After 4 weeks of traveling, I found myself incredibly homesick, but to my surprise, not homesick for Australia. I was homesick for Honduras, for the morning greeting by Don Chepe (our school guard), for the baleada lady who calls me “mi amor”, for Quique at the Pupusaria who is just a downright legend, and for all the amazing people who have become such a huge part of my life. That’s not to say that I don’t miss my life back in Australia, I always long to see my family, to hug them and know they’re ok, but I know that my life here is where I need to be for the time being, and they fact they are all so supportive is something I am so thankful for every day.

To sum it up, it’s been the most amazing rash decision I’ve ever made. My life has completely changed, and I have no idea how I’m going to be able to say goodbye to this incredible country and the amazing people in it come June! But for now, I’m going to enjoy my life here, continue to speak my terrible aussie bogan attempt at Spanish, eat as may baleadas as my heart desires, and make even more life long memories!

Miss Sophia

 

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I want them to be as happy as they can possibly be, because that’s what they have given me.

Choosing to write a blog post about my experience at CBS is a daunting task, which is ironic for a ninth grade teacher who dishes out writing assignments to her class basically every week. However, I’ll give it a go and try my absolute best to convey just how precious CBS is to me.

At 19 years old I found myself in a position that I, strangely, never thought would come: I was finally finished college (or as we call it here in Montreal, cegep). I’m a relatively bright kid and I very much enjoy learning but for some strange reason the idea of eventually graduating seemed like an elusive detail of my life that someone else had scripted for me; I just stuck to one page at a time, never really giving much thought to the following chapters. Perhaps a funny or maybe even precarious way to live, but it’s just the way I go.

After having worked a while, my best friend and I decided to backpack through Honduras. Along the way, I met two very friendly people at a hostel. I had no idea that in a few months Andy and Dana would become my roommates, teammates and friends. Dana told me about a school she was volunteering at in Cofradia and everything she said about her involvement there resonated with me so deeply. Like myself, she was done with school for the meantime and was looking for something more (that means something totally different for everyone I suppose, but in a lot of ways I think it kind of means the same). Dana wrote me a letter with her coordinates and a few weeks later, I was back in Montreal.

Sometimes life gets a little stagnant. Personally, I was getting tired of the same monotonous routine and I felt like there was more that I could be doing with my time and my potential (everyone has it!!!) I remembered an opportunity I had been presented with a few months earlier in Honduras, and with this, I ran.

It never seemed that my departure from Montreal would be real until the night before I left. I felt anxious that I had made a big mistake. I was very sad to be leaving all the monotonous, mundane things that, up until very recently, I so eagerly wanted to get away from… go figure. My friends and family urged me to be brave, reassured me of my decision and the next day I was in a truck with Dana, on the way to my new home.

Many things about Cofradia make my heart beam. Simple things like lychees, fresh orange juice, the familiar music in a moto and the dreamy languor on the bus ride home from school with a coconut topoigo. The people of Cofradia make me happiest- like the kids on rollerblades who laugh and wave every time we pass each other in the streets, the lady at the pulperia with the sly smile who seems to know exactly what we’re up to, the incredible staff at CBS, and of course the wonderful students and their families.

The thing I admire most about Cofradia is the love I have received and the love I have witnessed. For every home I entered, I left with a full belly of food. For every day I taught at CBS, I was rewarded with the tightest hugs. For every class I substituted for, I was handed numerous love letters and adorable cards. For every morning I walked through the porton at school, I was greeted with smiles and hot coffee. For every failed assignment or misunderstood instruction, I was shown a determination to do better from so many students that still leaves me in awe.

In my opinion, the students at CBS are awesome and they deserve all the best the world has to offer. I have come to love them so much and

The fact of the matter is that by learning English and improving their linguistic skills they will have more opportunities that will open more doors for them. So, if you can, come teach at CBS because I sincerely cannot think of a good enough reason not to. Hopefully, I will meet you soon!