Thursday, February 11, 2010

Volunteer with OYE

As I am volunteering at the nutrition center three times a week, I am building a better relationship with the kids and the more I understand that I am here for them and this is exactly what I enjoy doing. I feel like I came here to help the kids and to be a positive role model for the OYE students. I feel like the nutrition center is social work because these kids come from a family who might be poor, who doesn´t know how to take care of their kids properly, and so on. The staff members in the nutrition center are dedicated to teach these parents how to take care of their children and to help these children grow stronger. This is why I came to Honduras, to make a difference in others. In addition, this is why I love the social work profession because it is different everyday and there is so much to do with a social work degree. There is something inside me that that motivates me to do this kind of work and it´s a great feeling to have because I feel more confident and I feel like each day I am satisfied that I am giving back to the community. Furthermore, I also feel like I am doing social work in OYE. Soon enough I will partner with Jeincy to do some group work with the OYE students focusing on Honduran Reality. It will be an interesting and exciting experience for the reason that I have never help lead a group. It will also be very challenging for me because my spanish is still limited, but I am getting better communicating in spanish.

A couple things that have been rewarding this past week was the fact that I am not a stranger at the nutrition center anymore. The kids recognize me and are eager to play with me. On Friday, when I took a taxi home, this woman started talking to me in spanish and it was so random too. I couldn´t understand everything she had said to me, but I was able to connect the words and understand some of what she said. She finally realized and said in spanish ¨you´re not from here are you¨ and I said no. It was funny because she then said that she thought I was just another honduran. We then started talking in spanish and had a good small conversation it was awesome and gave me more confidence. As I approached the apartment, I said hi to my neighbor in which I always do because she likes to sit out during the evening about the time I finish work. She noticed I was walking by myself and so she asked me where my other friend was at and I told her she was still in the office. We also had a conversation and she also asked me where I work at, what I do, and where in the States I am from. It was good to talk with my neighbor. Our pulperia also knows us. One day I went to the Pulperia and bought some saldo (minutes for my phone) and she talked with me for a bit and before I left the store she gave me lollipops! she was so sweet. There was also one day when she talked to me and Jeincy for about 15 minutes just getting to know us. It was great.

Something scary and funny that happened recently was when jeincy and I decided to take the bus home in which we have never done yet. So last week, we decided to take a risk and be brave. We took the bus home, just to realize that the route the bus took was starting to become less familiar and we ended up on the OTHER side of our community. It was funny because we entered that bus with this confidence and knowing we´ll be home soon. So when it wasn´t familiar anymore we left our bus and took a taxi home. It was kind of scary because the community was a little sketchy, but it was still daylight.

This past Saturday all 75 OYE students came together and had a meeting at a local high school. This is when OYE staff passed out checks to students for the whole month of their school. This process of giving out checks to students will take place next month as well. After we passed out checks and had some snacks, we played an ice breaker showed in the pictures. Overall it was a fun experience.

Yesterday we visited Leo´s community. We visited a school and two homes. The school definitely needs some improvement. The desks these children have are unstable to write on or sit on. There are only 3 teachers teaching over 200 students. 6th and 5th grade share a classroom as well as 4th and 3rd grade. kindergarten, first grade, and second grade have their own classrooms because they believe they requrie the most attention. Since it poured with rain yesterday, it made it harder to get around the community. We had to jump over big streams of water, or ¨rivers¨what I like to call them to walk on solid ground. It was just really muddy.. and when it gets like this the buses don´t go through the community because of the streets, it´s hard to drive on when it rains. I learned that it is common that people can´t read or write here. I also learned that some parents take their children out of school so they can help support their family which in the long run delays their education. For example, we saw some 11 year olds who were only in 3rd grade.

So, this week Jeincy and I have been working really hard to prepare for our group work: Honduran Reality. It is coming out very well thus far. I am nervous about how it will turn out, but excited to try something new!

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