Friday, November 15, 2013

On Living In The Most Dangerous Country In The World.

Let me just preface this entire thing by saying that I am speaking solely on my own experiences. I am well aware of the danger that comes with living in Honduras and that Sigua isn't the most dangerous community to live in while in here. There are dangerous places here, I get it. But we don't go there. Because, well, they're dangerous.

As it seems to happen pretty often, I came across an article that became a springboard for my own thoughts. An individual found themselves living in Copán, a city in northern Honduras that is famous for the Mayan ruins and speaks upon his own experiences living in Honduras. Personally, I felt that the author was trying a little to hard to sell Copán, but it's not my blog and the author didn't ask my opinion. I also completely understand being so in love with a town, and a country,  that others are quick to turn up their noses at, so I can see where the author is coming from.

When I first told people that I was moving to Honduras, I was met with a variety of reactions. Things ranging from "Wow! You'll be so fluent in Spanish" to "I've always wanted to visit  Africa!" But the most common reaction was some variation of "But it's so dangerous!"

Yes. It is. And so is being an elementary student because a gunman could come to your school and start shooting at you, your classmates, and your teachers. So is running in a marathon because someone could have planted bombs at the finish line. So is attending a movie because someone could open fire there, too. And so is returning to my own high school because three students could take their last breaths there after being shot at close range.

Despite the fact that these horrendous acts of violence occurred in our own towns in the United States, I'm willing to bet that there are still people in each of those towns who are singing the praises of where they've set down roots. Chardon is a more unified, more proud community after what happened. Those in the Sandy Hook community came together to support each other when violence hit too close to home. The entire nation boasted #BostonStrong in the wake of the marathon bombing.

Yes, violence is prevalent in Honduras. Armed guards man the door of every bank, grocery store, and hotel. Barbed wire lines the walls and fences of every establishment. Hondurans subscribe to the theory that "Good fences make good neighbors." When you Google Honduras, you will inevitably come across the statistics of violence, drug and gang activity, etc. I'm not saying that these things don't exist in Honduras because they absolutely do.

What I am saying is that there is a side of Honduras that doesn't get as much air time. The beautiful sunsets that I watch from my front porch every evening. The hilarity of laying in bed and hearing a cow chewing on grass right outside my window. Realizing the crush I have on this country every single time I drive past the lake. The breathtaking glimpses you can catch of Comayagua when driving from Sigua. Jaw dropping views of the mountains every where you look. Beaches that just don't compare to those anywhere else in the world. These things exist. These are the things that most of us in Honduras are encountering every day, not the statistics that can be found online.

So for those of you who want to hear the worst about Honduras, here you have it. "Every day I wake up, shivering with fear, hoping I’ll make it to see the light of another day here in Honduras. I live behind doors enforced with triple bolt locks and I barely dare to go out on the street. I trust no one, I never go out at night, instead I lock myself up, turning up the volume of my TV to drown out the sound of gunshots. If that’s what you want to hear, there you have it. But the truth is quite different."

But the truth is quite different...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Parcial One and Done

The beginning of November also marked the end of Parcial One, as well as the 50th day of school. We wrapped up our exhilarating units on living things and pronouns with the hope of more exciting units ahead. Spent some time cleaning up the classroom under the guise of getting all the bad germs out because Miss Caitlin is persuasive and tricky like that.

In Grade One Science the kids had to identify a living thing and then create it out of construction paper and then we pasted it onto our "Tree of Life". Holla at all the scientists in Grade One.

Grade One Language included creating their own word walls. Wahoo. As a culminating activity, each student was assigned a letter and then had to come dressed representing that letter and present a short memorized sentence. Super precious. Check out them cuties.


In Grade Two Language we became gardeners and created our own Pronoun Gardens. I also can't figure out how to rotate the picture, so you have to deal with that. They had to write a pronoun in the yellow center and then write an example on each petal. Some of us have green thumbs and some of us do not.

 Parcial One-- that's a wrap.

La Vida Está Llena... oportunidades.  Tomálas.

We embraced one of those many opportunities today when we packed up the pick-up truck and headed towards San Pedro. As in, six in the front, five in the back. Honduran style. Those opportunites? Oh, we're tomando-ing them.

In a belated celebration of Teacher's Day we went to Zizima and spent the day lazying around the river and bobbing around the wave pool in anticipation of the waves. We also found a snazzy skull bracelet (of the authentic black rubber variety) as well as 5 lemps. Time bobbing well spent.

But next time we're checking the filters because we watched the salvavida, AKA the life guard, find 5 DOLLARS. Lesson learned.

After Zizima we went to the mall because we figured we'd all be happy at the food court. Which we were. Ke Pack from KFC? You have no idea how long I had been waiting for you. Followed by going to see 2 Guns in a theater that didn't smell like a musty shoe. San Pedro can be such an upgrade from Sigua sometimes.

The next morning we woke up at the un-Godly hour of 6:30am and laced up our tennies in preparation for the COLOR RUN! Five whole kilometers of Kool-Aid flavored powder, sweaty bodies, Spanish music, and a little bit of laughter here and there.

Oh, I ran some of it. Did I mention that?

Despite that fact that I basically despise running, it was quite an awesome endeavor. I'd do it again, should the opportunity arise.

Super catracha.
Packed up the truck to make the two hour drive back to Sigua. Which wouldn't have been complete without a torrential downpour or the purchase of lychee while stopped at a stoplight. Still taking all those opportunities. And embracing all things Honduran, one day at a time.

Oh yes, and we celebrated Halloween. Created those costumes two hours before the party. Don't ever tell me that we aren't crafty.

And speaking of tomando the opportunites that fill your life-- I bought two turtles while in San Pedro. Named them Penny and Leonard. Don't regret a second, or a lemp, of it.

My life is full. My life is blessed.