Everyone appreciated the night of sleep and we all had more of a spring in our step when we met for breakfast. We ate cereal and yogurt under the veranda by the pool and discussed our first impressions of Honduras. Then we set out on our walk to OYE.
It took us just a few minutes walking to get there. We made our way through the streets and were quite surprised by the sights and smells. We walked past stands selling fresh fruits, clothes, and meat. The smell was overpowering. We had to be extra careful when crossing the streets because drivers are a bit more aggressive here.
Once arriving at OYE we got an introduction about the programs they host. They host a radio program and have a little radio room in the back with microphones and switchboards. They have a student run magazine. They host sports tournaments. They also have an art program where the students learn different types of art methods. One of the most popular art program is painting beautiful murals. Many students they have at OYE are scholarship students. These students help create and run the programs.
Next we participated in some icebreakers to get to know some of the students. We started by doing a mind puzzle where there was a coin between matches that were placed in the shape of a cup. You had to move two matches to get the coin out of the cup but have the matches still be in a cup shape. Next we played a game where we split into two teams and each person had a number. Then we spread out around the room. The goal of the game was to get your team in line in numerical order and scoot on your bottoms to the door. Lastly, to learn names we played Bingo by filling in the spaces on the board with people’s names. After all these games we had lunch, which was some really great arroz con pollo.
Next our group split into two to help plan some projects. One group worked on creating stencils for a mural that we would be painting. The other group helped to work on an educational campaign for elementary school students. The campaign focuses on recycling and the environment. It was hard to plan the campaign with the students because of the language barrier. We ended up drawing pictures of ideas and trying to piece things together using motions and broken language.
After lunch we headed out to work on a river cleanup and reforestation project. We went to a school nearby and found that many students and community members were there with tools and shovels to help out. One of the community members gave a speech about the importance of reforestation and then we began to work. It was fun to see little kids hauling huge, full bags of trash and getting rid of it.
After we picked up the trash we had a dance break. Boy, can the OYE scholar students dance! This was a really fun moment for all of us. A big group of children crowded around our dance circle and everyone was having a great time. We need to learn how to move our hips though! Some of us even got to do some bachata dancing with the students.
Next we grabbed some trees and found a spot to plant them. The soil was very dry and rocky so it was hard to dig holes. Mike did a lot of hole digging. He was able to help little children dig. Emily had a really precious moment when she was able to see a bunch of Honduran children wearing the work gloves she had brought over. It was nice to be able to work side by side with the community.
To end the night we went over to one scholar’s home and had dinner. The food was really good. We had tortillas that had cheese between them with a salsa on top. We also had really good watermelon. For dessert we had a special kind of fruit that looks like a great big grape and is soaked in a honey syrup. It was cool to see what a typical Honduran home was like. It was smaller than an American home. There was no carpeting and it lacked knickknacks. It was really cool to be able to go there.
All can agree that today was a great day! We look forward to another great day tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow Mike will get his lost suitcase back!