Friday, April 18, 2008

Raving about Reto

Reto has been in Honduras for three weeks now. As you've read from his postings, life here can be an adventure; however, he has taken it all in with a big smile, even when he wasn't feeling well. The best part for me is that every day, he comes home with one funny story and one new idea about how to improve the work he is doing. 

For example, yesterday when I walked in the door for lunch, he greeted me with "you're not going to believe what happened at the Nutrition Center...wait here." He ran back into his room and came out smelling a damp shirt, urging me to smell it too while he told me about picking up a crying baby, who proceeded to throw up and pee on him. His response: "I think I need to change." For a 19 year old boy, I think he has shown incredible maturity when faced with uncomfortable situations.

One of the ideas Reto has come up with on his own is to begin reading with Sandra, a young girl at the Nutrition Center. Sandra is absolutely beautiful, but is also very small for her age. When I first met her, I thought she was about five years old. She is actually nine years old and has not begun to learn how to read. So Reto has offered to start taking a couple of children's books with him in order to read with Sandra in the mornings.

In short, he has a great worth ethic and is a pleasure to live with. The only down side is that he has set the bar extremely high for future volunteers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The First Two Weeks

I've been here for 2 weeks and most of my work is with kids.

In the mornings, I work in a Nutrition Center where I play with the babies, feed them, bathe them, and help them get ready for their naps. When I finish work there, I ride my bicycle to the office of OYE, where I eat with the staff. At 2 o'clock I am at COPPROME, a home for kids who don't have parents or for kids whose parents can't look after them. There I help the kids do their homerwork. Sometimes it takes a while until everyone is doing his/her homework because the kids would rather play soccer or watch TV. What I like the most at COPPROME, is that after doing their homework, the boys always want to play soccer. It is a lot of fun. At about 5 o'clock I leave COPPROME and my working day has finished. At home, I always take a power nap because working with kids makes everyone tired, but tired in a positive way. After my nap, I start to cook with Erin and Melissa, my housemates. Well, honestly, they cook and I just do the dishes. But of course that's important too. Isn't it?

Sometimes we invite some people to eat in our house and sometimes we get invited. That's really cool. So you keep in touch with the others and you can just hang around and have a good time.

Last weekend we had a great trip to Tela. We stayed at a friend's house on his family's farm. Thanks Chele! We went to the beach all day and made dinner on the grill at night.

This weekend we're invited to a party at the house of some friends. I hope I feel better then because at the moment I feel dizzy and sick. Yesterday I went to a doctor with Erin and the doctor told me that I have an infection of my stomach. Yeah it was a strange visit because everything seemed to be normal until I had to make poupou in a cup. I couldn't belive it, but I guess here it's just business as usual. Whatever....

Today is also a strange day because first I went to COPPROME and nobody was there because they have like a special day, and of course nobody told me that, but I guess I was sick for a few days.

Well, in the next few days I will continue working and I try to take some pictures so that you can see what living in Honduras is like. And in two weeks we'll go to la Moskitia, a beautiful place in the east of Honduras. I'm really excited to go there and see the beautiful rainforest....

You'll hear from me next week...

Saludos Reto

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Volunteer's First Weekend with OYE

My name is Reto. I'm 19 years old and I arrived in El Progreso three days ago from Switzerland. I'm staying here for 2 months and I'm work as a volunteer for OYE. In the next 2 months, I will write some posts for this blog. I hope this blog will give you a view of life as an OYE volunteer...

In the two days I've been here, I have had a lot of new and interesting experiences. I saw the beautiful beach, an impressive waterfall, local musicians and a lot more. But one by one...

On Friday night, I arrived at the airport of San Pedro Sula, where Erin, the volunteer coordinator, picked me up. I was quite nervous before I got here. A foreign country, a different culture and no one you know personally, of course you've got doubts. But Erin was so friendly and outgoing, I felt immediately right at home. And in the same way it continued. Everybody gave me a cordial welcome. Thanks a lot to everyone!! So if someone out there is interested in coming to El Progreso, don't worry, you'll be in good hands.

On Saturday, we went to the beach in Tela, a beautiful place on the northern coast of Honduras. We enjoyed the water and the sun. Well, honestly, I really had to cope with the sun and the heat. But with everyday, it goes better. After the afternoon at the beach, we went to a pub in San Pedro Sula called Klein Bohemia where they were playing live music.

On Sunday, we got up early because it is a two hour drive to the waterfall near Lago Yojoa. When we arrived there, I was filled with wonder. The nature was just incredibly beautiful. The waterfall and the diffrent trees and plants, it was amazing. Then we took a guided tour into the waterfall. It was a mix of swimming, diving and climbing. It was a lot of fun. I'm really enjoying the beauty of Honduras!

Of course there's also work to do and so this afteroon, I will go to COPPROME to help the kids do their homework.

How this goes and what I'm doing the next days you can read in my next blog post...

Hasta luego, Reto