Daily Archive for Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Lessons from Honduras

Yaya! The mural is finally completed! Everyone has worked hard and has got the sunburn to prove it. As the trip is coming to a close I think back to when I first arrived and had no idea what to expect. I did not know whether Hondurans would accept all of us being American. But what I have come to realize is they are very open to diversity and accepting differences. They have invited us into their home and made us traditional Honduras meals. They taught us how to dance and helped us learn a few Spanish phrases. Children from the school have taught us games and try to communicate with us, even though it may be difficult sometimes. With all this being said, I would like to adapt to this way of thinking and accept everyone no matter what their differences are.

Most of the group have seemed to have adapted to the “Honduran time”. This meaning we are relaxed and take one day at a time. It’s nice to think this way not only because its completely opposite of the way Americans thing, but because sometime we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of school and work and we forget to stop and appreciate all that life has given us.

This trip has been more than helping out a school with a mural. It has been life changing and opened our eyes to how someone’s time and effort can improve not only the lives of others but also to make a difference in our lives. I plan on taking what I learned here and applying it to my life back in Wisconsin.

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Muchisimas Gracias y Buenas Suerte pt. 1

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS MARISA DUSENBERRY!

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Hello everyone back home! This is Angie. As Ashley said before, today was our last day working on the mural. It looks fantastic and I couldn’t be more proud of our ASB/OYE team! Saying our goodbyes at the school was definitely an emotional experience for all of us. It was so weird how close I was able to get to some of the kids regardless of the language barrier. I taught them a couple new games by the way (duck duck goose and down by the banks)! They caught on pretty quickly despite my terrible Spanish, and they even managed to teach me a couple new games!

The adults I have met through the school have had just as much an impact on me as the kids. The schools English teacher is definitely someone I will never forget. He inspires the children to be their best and they show him great respect, yet you see the love he has for each of his students. Luckily, I got the chance to say goodbye before we left. He thanked me and stressed how important the work here my group and I were doing. I ended by shaking his hand and he told me “I know I’ll see you again. You’ll be back.” The funny thing is, I think he might be right. Needless to say, I’m sad to see this trip come to an end. It’s changed and inspired me in more ways then I expected.
Tonight we are headed to one of my FRIENDS houses, Oscar. I’m excepting a lot of fun, dancing, music, dancing, food, and uhhh…dancing. Until next time friends…buenos noches!

Side note: Today I met a man named Francesco! He owns a store here in town and he used to live in Kenosha, WI!! What are the chances?!

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WE ALSO GOT SMOOTHIES AGAIN!!!!!

All Day Cooking Fest

Today we spent the entire day at Father McKenna Center and there was a lot going on. Right when we woke up around 7am some of us went to the kitchen and started getting breakfast, coffee and tea ready to be served. A lot of men stopped by to have a meal and escape the cold. Right after we cleaned up it was time to start the prep work for lunch. We made spaghetti, tomato sauce with sausage, salad and served some fruit as well. At noon about 40 men came to get a meal. However, before eating they spent an hour in a meeting getting to know some of our group members. They shared their stories and really opened up. When lunch was over we got a break. Around 3pm some of us helped prepare personal meals that we packed into boxes for about 50 people that get their meals delivered. After that was done we got to relax and talk to Tom who is the man in charge here at the shelter. He was kind enough to share many stories about the people he has met and how he got to have the job at the Father McKenna Center. Once that was done it was time for more kitchen work and some of us helped set up and serve dinner. We also ate dinner with the men that came in and had some wonderful conversations. Then we had our nightly reflection and talked about the men we met and talked to today. Many of them made an impact on us and changed our perspective about certain things. We all feel so grateful that we have gotten the chance to be here, serve, and make life changing connections with people we have come to know. Everyone is sad that tomorrow will be our last day volunteering before we head home on Saturday. This is why we plan to make tomorrow count and work extra hard.

Until next time,
Sara

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Me checking in on the tomato sauce and sausage.

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Ashley and Ashley doing some dishes.

Constructing the school!

Hello!

Rachel here! We had our most intense day yet today! We worked at the school construction site today from 9a-4p.

Breakfast this morning was especially delicious! We had a crepe like pancakes, and a fruit medley. The fruit was a combination of bananas, papaya, oranges, and watermelon. It was so yummy! I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh papaya, so it was a real treat!

The school began construction in 2010. Because the co-op, AGAIG, is funding the project, they aren’t able to afford everything all at once. They also are making sure to buy very high quality materials, which are more expensive.

When we arrived at the site after a little hike we saw what was already completed. A few walls were up and the retaining wall was partially built. We started out by being divided into small groups. There was a group digging trenches, building the cinderblock wall, building steel support, and other jobs.

It was pretty warm, and the work was pretty strenuous. The people digging trenches definitely got the most dirty from the dust. We worked through the morning only stopping for a few water breaks and sun screen reapplication.

Lunch was a great break from working and we were served bananas with peanut butter and honey on tortillas and lemonade. It was one of the lightest meals we have had,but it was a great change from chicken and rice.

We worked hard through the early afternoon, welcoming the encroaching clouds and thunder. It started to rain finally right around 3pm when we had just begun our concrete passing chain. By the end, it was pouring and we were absolutely covered in dirt and cement. It was a great feeling accomplishing so much. We got several more feet tall and wide on then wall, and several areas of the trenches dug out.

From there it was a rainy and dirt covered walk home. And then a rush to shower everyone before we had to get to dinner with another farmer. I don’t think I’ve ever been so dirty in my life! I definitely scrubbed a few layers of dirt off! The only bad part of the day was when I discovered that I really sunburned my left ear!

We all showered in time for dinner at Gabriel’s. We were served a fried chicken, a new thing for us, and rice. We also had the hibiscus juice again, very yummy! At the end of the meal we had coffee, a great pick up after a long day of work.

When we left, Matt and Mike headed off to a Guatemalan barber shop for a shave. Many of the girls, including me, went on a quest to find a cheesecake place one of our tour guides had told us about. We were successful! I shared a piece of banana and chocolate cake with Sarah. Haley and Nicole also had that same type cake. Caitlyn had cheesecake and both Hannah and Jamie had a chocolate cake. It was ridiculously delicious and it our sweet spots perfectly. It was also nice to explore the city a little more, and we were really familiar with the area we went to.

We are finishing the night off by playing games. In fact, I was just killed off in Mafia.

Tomorrow will be an early rise, as we need to be off at 7:30a for our 2.5 hour bus ride to Lake Atitlan. This is our last real day in Guatemala, and our first and last, free day. There is a nature reserve, the lake, ziplining and shopping. I am very excited and I have no idea what to choose to do!!!

This trip has been so amazing and it’s going to be so hard going back to Oshkosh.

“Where you at?”

Did you know that when someone asks where you are at in New Orleans, it means how are you? That’s what we learned from our tour guide Mike yesterday in the swamp :)

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Above are pictures from our trip to the Battlefield of New Orleans! And below is a picture in front of our second house we worked on this week! We are wearing our awesome Alternative Spring Break trip tshirts. Check it out y’all!

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March 2013
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