Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ya me voy

This is Alissa, reporting one last time from the OYE office as I finish my time as a volunteer here in Honduras. My two months in Honduras have flown by and in a few hours I'll be flying away.

Yesterday was the day of my despedidas (going away parties). The first was with my knitting group in Los Laureles. They talked with Erin about how the knitting project will continue once I leave (Yes, they are going to continue my project!) and then we commenced the celebration with cake. There were about 30 people there -- pretty much everyone who had come at one time or another to the knitting classes. Many of the kids gave me hand made cards that were incredibly sweet and which I will treasure. They asked me not to forget them, and I assured them that it would be impossible to forget them and the time we spent together. Finally, we presented the manta that we made my attaching squares knitted by the group. It is not hanging on the wall in the room where we worked as a group memory. It has been such a special experience for me there teaching something I love and developing relationships with the students in the process. And I am so thrilled that the project will be continuing under the supervision of Erin at OYE and Amparo, the teacher at the center in Los Laureles.

My next despedida was with my friends for dinner at Las Tejas, the same restaurant where we celebrated my arrival eight weeks ago. It was a really nice, relaxed evening in which I could enjoy the company of the group of friends I have made here who I will very much miss when I return home. We discussed how much improved my Spanish is after my two months here and how I hope to return but don't know when. While I don't know what opportunities will present themselves in the future for me to return to Honduras, but I know what whatever happens this will remain a special place for me.

It would seem appropriate now for me to write elegantly about the lessons I have learned and the experiences that have impacted me while I'm here. However, it shall have to wait. Whether that is a good or bad thing I'll leave you to decide. :) I must head out to the airport in a few minutes, and besides that, I think I'm still pondering and processing the overall experience and how it is impacting my life. What I can say decisively is that it has been an incredible experience here in Honduras and one I am so glad to have had.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Natalie and Lisa´s thoughts on the office project

So far, we have painted many things white. These things include huge boards, small boards, medium size boards, small desks and large desks. In addition to painting them white we have also given them an attractive charcoal grey trim. Ohhh but we almost forgot one of our fav passtimes...SANDING the edges of some of the large rather oddly shaped boards. As well as painting an assortment of boards, we also got to show off our creative skills when helping to complete the office mural of a scenic landscape. We painted a mountain....which will be covered by shelving units...which we also painted. So basically we have helped create a small wall in the office... yayyy us.

Now you may be asking yourself why??? Well the office of OYE is undergoing some small changes that in the long run will help create an environment condusive to youth empowerment and education. The goal of the office project is to create a space that is comfortable and friendly, where kids in the scholarship program can have access to computers and have a place to do their homework. The new office will also be home to some of OYE´s projects such as the youth newspaper who´s first official meeting will be in the office 23 july, 2008 (tomorrow). The office will be a place where the newspaper can meet and publish their work. Hopefully the new and improved office will be a more pleasant and inspirational environment where children, volunteers and employees will benefit from its improved appearance.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Playa, brisa y ....

Por Sandra Erika Gómez O.

El pasado sábado 28 de Junio, en medio de una visita maravillosa a El Progreso, de un grupo de personas de Dumbarton United Methodist Church, tuvimos un día de playa, brisa y mar, que marcó la fin
alización de la primera fase del programa de capacitación para el liderazgo de los jóvenes de OYE. Con un grupo nutrido de 60 personas y en un bus que en ocasiones parecía que volaba, nos fuimos para Tela, a un rincón conocido como Miramar. En este sitio pasamos todo el día y pudimos todos disfrutar de este escenario de blanca arena, mar cristalino y largas caminatas, juegos y risa en el que nuestros becados y becadas se divirtieron de lo lindo, y en el que nuestros visitantes pudieron hablar y conocer más de cerca la realidad de los jóvenes progreseños. En el registro del día, unas cuantas fotografías que nos ayudarán a recordar esta excursión como un día en la vida de OYE inigualable.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Knitting in Los Laureles

Greetings! It's Alissa again, and I'm here to share more about the work I'm doing here at OYE. Besides working in the Nutrition Center, I am also teaching knitting to children and youth in Los Laureles at the Centro de Investigacion Escolar -- an study center in the old COPPROME building.

The classes started three weeks ago and have progressed amazingly! Last Friday, I let some of the students take their knitting home with them rather than me taking it and bringing it back the next time. Thus, when I arrived for my class on Wednesday morning I had no idea what I would find... To my great surprise, the first three students to walk in (two girls and a boy) all had made significant progress on their projects. They had knit at home until they ran out of yarn! I am soooo impressed by how well they, and all the others, are progressing. In only two or three weeks of classes, many of them have completely mastered the basics of knitting. In addition, new students continue arriving to each class wanting to learn. So far, there have been a total of 30 students who have come to learn. The largest group I have had at any one class is twelve, which is kind of hectic but definitely still fun.


Besides the great knitting progress that is going on in Los Laureles (the name of the neighborhood where I hold my classes), I am also enjoying getting to know the students. Today was a smaller group, only 7 students, so after getting the new girls started there was plenty of time to chat with everyone and get to know them better (and in the process practice my Spanish more). We talked about families, and one girl reported that she has 32 aunts and uncles and 100 cousins! We talked about favorite holidays, and I learned that most families make tamales for Christmas. We talked about school and what subjects everyone prefers. All in all, it was a wonderful morning of knitting and deepening connections with the students.