We are back at home. I must say, I will never forget this experience. I have learned a lot from taking this journey and think anyone that has the opportunity should think about doing the same. It was definitely not an easy thing to do: I left my children for almost 2 weeks, showered in cold water for a week, walked for miles to explore and learn while on this trip, and much more. However, I am glad I had the chance to go and I'm very thankful for having had this opportunity.
While in Honduras, we worked with children in schools from kindergarten through high school and even met with some in college. Many of the children and families we met are living in extreme poverty. You would never know it, though, by talking to them. These children have more drive, determination, and work ethic than many children in the United States. There was one child about 8 years old that was out working to provide for his family the first day we went to his school. He was so happy when we met with him the next day, though, and even sang a few songs for us. He is very talented. They've said he probably will not be able to go to school next year because they can't afford it. This saddens me to know that a child is not able to get an education regardless of his parent's income. After working with the mountain schools in the mornings, we worked with the teenage boys at Flor Azul each afternoon. I couldn't believe how many of them wanted to have classes in English rather than go outside and enjoy themselves after a long school day. Even after an hour of class, they didn't want to leave. I hope my own children grow up with that same ambition. More children need to think like these boys. The teenage girls were the same way. They enjoy school and some of the oldest have been going to beauty school. They asked to do our hair and nails while we were there and did a great job. They underestimate just how skilled they really are I think. At the university I met a guy working on his second bachelors degree just to be able to make it and begin a project in natural resources to help his country with the issues they are facing.
I hope all of these people are able to fulfill their dreams and move on to bigger and better things. I learned a lot from many of the children and adults that I worked with on this trip and hope to put into play the many lessons they've taught me. I only wish they knew how much they all did for me. I look up to them for inspiration in my own life. Never give up on things you want!!
The students and faculty who traveled together to Honduras for a service-learning course wrote about our adventures on this blog, both during and after our travels.