For an update on today…
Today was our last day in Honduras, and it was a great ending to a trip such as this. Today we went to the botanical gardens and to the beach with some of the OYE scholars. We got some awesome nature pics, and some of us should have put more sunblock on this week.. We ended the day with a dinner amongst friends.
It’s going to be an adjustment to not wake up to car horns, truck exhausts, and reggaeton. But as I reflect on the ASB Honduras trip, I know it’s time to return home. We must now share what impact we had on Honduras, what impact we had on our group, and the impact made and what will be made at home.
The impact we made on Honduras really starts with the El Progreso community and youth. Yes, we painted an amazing (and large) mural on the outside of a local school, but it’s so much more than appearance. This school is expressing compassion for all youth and their need for a quality education. It’s giving the students something to look forward to as they walk in their schools front gate. It shows the students that their voice matters, and gives them the ability to use their voice to create change in their community and their country.
The mural and the work we did with OYE allowed our ASB group to bond as well. We were shown a reality different from our own, and discussed the need for education of youth and how that need impacts a society. The presentations taught each of us something powerful that we will take back home with us, and we were asked to reflect on issues or questions we never really thought about prior to this trip. The smell of paint thinner will forever take us back to that school in Honduras, and the next time we pick up a paintbrush, we will be taken back to our experience here.
Our letters from home and the comments left on the blog has shown me the impact we have back in the US. This is just the beginning of how our experience will be shared back home. Their are many parallels that can be drawn of the issues facing Hondurans, to the issues that Americans are experiencing today. I am excited to share our experience with the Oshkosh community and UWO through our re orientation project.
This was an amazing trip, and I could not have predicted the lasting friendships that were made with the Honduran OYE scholars, or with my fellow ASB participants. We learned some pretty heavy life lessons, and even some Spanish. Overall, I learned the power of people. It starts with one voice- one story to create a movement.
Hasta luego, Honduras.
Today we had a great free day at the Jardin Botanico Lancetilla and the beautiful beaches of Tela.
It was another great day, but I want to focus on this week instead. As I was gearing up to go on this trip, I was a little nervous. I have been abroad before and I think that it is normal to feel that. Less than 24 hours after we landed in Honduras, that feeling went away and was replaced by the excitement I had been feeling since I was accepted to be a part of this team.
I don’t want to repeat what has been better-said by my other teammates, except to say that this week has been amazing. Our work and our interactions have been spectacular. This team came together to paint a mural, with the help and leadership of the OYE staff and scholars. I can’t say for sure about others on the trip, but my major requires NO art component. Yet we still got it done. And it looked great. I’m so proud of it and the contribution we made for it. I’m just as proud of our work this week, as I am to be graduating in a short seven weeks from the wonderful university that gave me the opportunity to be a part of this.
Did we solve every single problem that is facing Honduras? Of course not. But through our interactions, our work, and, most importantly, our experiences, we leave Honduras tomorrow morning knowing that it’s better than when we first arrived. Through our tireless effort and our willingness to spend our break doing something worthwhile, we get to carry and share our experience with others, that we may inspire others to do the same.
From our interactions with the fantastic kids and teachers at the school, who were so eager to meet and talk with us, to our meaningful relationships with the great OYE scholars and staff, to the awesome food and music, and the heat, OH THE HEAT…these are the memories we keep. To add to that, today we got to share our host country’s drama of World Cup qualifying with their fierce Mexican rivals. What are the chances of us being here when something so awesome is talking place? To see the Hondurans cheer when they tied the game up and played to the draw was sublime. We may not have been able to be at the game, but we got to be apart of it all, even if it was just for a day. Even if the lingering thought of our departure started to become ever present.
But we’re not done, Honduras. We never can be. We’ve all been changed by your wonderful country and the people we met along the way. This has been a life-changing experience.
In my wildest dreams I can see Honduras playing the US in a knock-out round of next summer’s World Cup and while I wait to see that, I can continue seeking out new service opportunities and take the small steps forward that make this world better.
Best wishes to everyone who followed our blog this week. We hope that you have been able to appreciate everything we did. We look forward to seeing all of you upon our return.
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.
FELIZ CUMPLEANOS MARISA DUSENBERRY!
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?!
WE ALSO GOT SMOOTHIES AGAIN!!!!!
The mural is finished! After four days of painting, tracing, and more painting with the OYE scholars, the mural is complete. We finished as the second school session started, so before we left they shared their gratitude and said their thank yous in song. Some of us even teared up a little.. It was bittersweet leaving the school, but I am so excited that we leave with such a positive impact on the walls of this Honduran school.