Daily Archive for Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Shoutouts day five!

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Sam with Honduran scholars!

Sam says:

Hola!

Everything just keeps getting better and better here in Honduras with every opportunity that comes. IT was incredible driving up into the mountains and doing some hiking. It was definitely worth every bit of sunburn that was inescapable today. The best feeling was hearing a Honduran man say, “God bless you” to all of us working at the mural site. Everyone is so excited to have us here in their country and watch what we’ve been doing. We finished the mural and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we did. It’s been the most humbling experience being here and working with OYE and all of the people that are a part of it. The friendships are priceless and the memories are truly endless.

Sending love back home,

Sam

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Katie and the soccer players!

Katie says:

Hi Everyone!

Well the trip is about half over and I don’t want it to end! I can’t wait to share all of my experiences, memories, and stories with everyone when I get back. Today we went up into the mountains and it was like nothing I have ever seen. The view and fresh air was very refreshing. We were able to kick the soccer ball around on top of this mountain with a group of little boy- niños! I can’t wait for what the rest of the week has for us.

-Katie

P.S This shout out goes to all y family and friends keeping up-to-date on my travels- love and miss you all!

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Annie with the girls!

Annie says:

Midweek already. It’s so sad. I’m not ready to come back to Wisconsin yet. There’s still so many lives I want to change and so many things to learn. Today we went up to the mountains. It took 45 minutes from bottom up to a scholar’s house. It was very eye opening. It opened my eyes to se much things I take for granted; for example school. Our OYE scholar walks top to borrow and vice versa just for school. That’s four hours total. As for me, for a ten minute walk to campus I should not complain. I shouldn’t complain for any walk actually. It’s amazing how much hope everyone here has. I learned a lot today.

-Annie

P.S Shout out to WI: I don’t miss you at all yet! I do miss you family, friends, and Charlee :)

 

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Stephanie and the soccer boys!

Stephanie says:

Wow! Best. Day. EVER! But honestly, this really was the greatest day in Honduras so far. The mountains were gorgeous. The little boys we played soccer with were hilarious! The questions they asked us were great! It was really hard to leave. I also exchanged one of my shirts with the scholar Claudia. She is such a sweetheart and it has been great getting to know her. Lastly, who can forget the coconut water to end the day. I am so glad I decided to come here. I am learning so much and having a great time! The next two days are going to fly by!

-Stephanie

P.S: My shout out goes specifically to my Mom and Grandma. Thank you so much for the notes we got surprised with today! Your words of encouragement mean so much to me! I love you both!

 

 

Day five: A Trip to the Mountains

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The gorgeous view

Today we were up a bit earlier than usual so we could travel up the mountains. We were going to visit the scholar, William, and have lunch at his house. When we arrived at the bottom of the hill we jumped in the back of pickup trucks to make the trek up the mountain. The road was dirt, rocky, and slim. It winded its way up the mountain. Although the climb was bumpy, the view was absolutely gorgeous.

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William’s house

On our way up the mountain we passed small houses made of concrete or wood. We also saw lots of farm animals just roaming about. People were walking up the mountain and horses were helping to carry things. It really painted a beautiful picture of rural Honduras. William’s place was similar to many that we passed. They had a horse in the yard, dogs and chickens roaming around, and a nice hammock in the shade of the house.

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William’s dad showing us his coffee plants

William’s dad took us for a hike where we were able to see his coffee plants. He had about one thousand plants, but many of them were attacked by a parasite. He also grows beans and plantains. Next we went back to the house to hangout and enjoy the view until lunchtime. When we got there we found a group of young boys waiting.

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Playing soccer with neighbor boys

The boys were relatives and neighbors of William and his family. At first they were shy but we started kicking around a soccer ball with them and they opened up. They asked tons of questions and were so funny. They were amazed to hear that we owned our own cars, and also wanted to hear about our ride in the airplane. Rachel showed the boys pictures of her family and Katie showed them pictures of snow. They also had us teach them all sorts of English words. We sang, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” for them and one of the boys responded that he thought it was absolutely beautiful. Later he sang a song in Spanish for us. The boys were dirty with holes in their clothes and shoes but they seemed really happy.

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William’s sister making tortillas

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Their oven

Next we had lunch. It was a soup that contained potatoes, hen, vegetables, and plantains. With it we had rice and homemade tortillas. William’s sisters grinded the corn for the tortillas and made the dough to flatten. Then they cooked it in a stove made out of clay and wood. Katie and Emily helped turn the crank to crush up the corn. This puts into perspective all the work it takes to make a meal. To end our time we had William blow out candles on his birthday cake.

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Saying goodbye to William’s family

After this busy day we headed back down the mountain and went back to OYE for a panel on Corporate Social Responsibility. 80% of us were sunburnt from our adventure. Thelma from KM2 Solutions was giving the presentation. KM2 Solutions is a call service that gets business from other countries outsourcing for customer service and sales. The reason the business is in San Pedro Sula is because there are many bilingual schools here and the accent is neutral and understandable for others that call.

KM2 chose OYE for their CSR out of 15 other organizations. They chose to donate their money and resources to OYE because they were impressed that the students gave the pitch and they were able to firsthand see the need of the students. They were also impressed at the skills and self-esteem students in OYE learn. Their new goals are to paint a 2nd mural with the students, participate in the Copa OYE soccer tournament, and join in capacity building workshops. They have been a prime contributor to the success the OYE. The main thing we learned about the presentation is that big corporations can help by reaching out to organizations in need.

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Rachel and Elaine at the store!

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Having Coconut water!

Next we put the final touches on our projects. The campaign group finished the remaining recycling barrels. Then Katie wrote a song about recycling for the kids so we created choreography. Next we went shopping to get face paints for the children. While we were out and about we decided to have some fun and stopped to get coconut water. There was a stand with fresh coconuts. They cut holes in the coconuts and we were able to drink the water by putting a straw in it. It was a great reward for finishing our project.

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Working hard

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All done!

The mural group worked really hard and finished the mural! Tomorrow they will be unveiling it for the students at the school. Many touch ups and second coats were added. Also they added the recycling sign and final details. It looks great and everyone is really excited about it!

Everyone was tired and sunburned from the day but Chelsea had a great surprise for us at dinner. She pulled out an envelope that contained notes from all of our parents! We can’t believe that the week is more than halfway done! The time has flown by!

Guatemala: The Construction Days (4 & 5)

Day 4:
Today was our first (of two) construction days. Our construction master, if you will, was the coffee farmer from yesterday, Timoteo! Whoa that guy does it all. Today we assisted in building a wall that will in-case a land  that will hold all of the coffee farming machinery and dry processing secure. So construction while still making it all about that coffee. Neat!

When we arrived at the work-site, Carter, Daniel, Amber and Mike built a wooden chamber for a depulping machine. This will be a quick way for that process and the wall built is to in-case the noise so not everyone in the neighborhood has to be like “must be coffee depulping time.”

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Meanwhile, Sophie, Taylor, Kari, Cassy and myself built wooden casings to fill the metal rebars with cement. Pretty legit. We then all worked together to pack cement into rebars. Our other Nikki was sick last night so she didn’t join us for the morning but she came back refreshed and ready for action by lunch! Lunch was delivered to us at the work site, homemade, from Timoteo’s family. Noice.

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Once lunch was consumed it was back to work! We spent the rest of the day packing cement, laying brick & mortar and building metal rebars. It was a lot of work but quite the accomplishment!

We arrived back at the house just exhausted. Some of the group went out to find fireworks while the rest showered/relaxed. We then went to Miguel’s for dinner (father of the Armando, the farmer we ate with the second night). Fun fact, families (extended) live together all on the same lot. Commonly when we have dinner at farmers’ houses the farmer will join us for dinner. Well we had the women of the kitchen join us for this dinner! It was super rad to have them join us. Plus one of them had a baby that would not stop staring at Mike durin the dinner so Mike and Kari got to hold the baby. It was adorable.

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After dinner we came back to our house to have a reflection that was based on how were feeling here halfway through our trip. A general agreement of the group was that we were thankful for what we have and interested and excited about all that we’ve learned and have yet to learn.  The day was a long one so Mike surprised us at the end of the reflection with notes from people back home! Oh my gosh, they were a wonderful surprise for us all! We loved them. We all particularly loved Amber’s grandmas list of random facts. Hilarious. Thank you all for your letters!

 

Day 5:
Another day of construction. We were all a bit hesitant to do another hard day out in the sun. We were all still exhausted and lobster red from yesterday’s burns. But we kept the motivation going and the day actually went super fast! Once at the work site, we knew what to expect and what to do so we got right to work. It was a lot quicker than the previous day so that was nice.

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(Cement everywhere!)

As a surprise, Jane hooked us up with pizza and movies for dinner! Woohoo! A night in to eat and bond. Simply delightful.

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Right now, were pullin out some fireworks to light off in the streets! “When in Guatemala!”
Check back later for some words/stories from the crew.
Nikki

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