We had a pretty busy morning! We visited the botanical garden called Lancetilla. It felt like a safari being surrounded for miles and miles of unique plants (and PLENTY of mosquitoes) much different from what we see in Wisconsin. We learned about some of the uses of plants, medicinal or for wood, if they’re poisonous, or ornamental. We even got to taste jam from rare fruit! After our 45 minute hike, we got ready to head to the beach! Israel, our favorite driver, took us for an hour long drive with good music playing and plenty of bodies stuffed in the van. We arrived to see the beach nothing but clear skies, hot weather, and not too many people. It was UWO’s & OYE’s time to take over Tela Beach! Some swam, some sun bathed and others played soccer in the sand. Of course we got hungry and thanks to Amanda and Israel, they brought us pizza. It was great to have fun with all the OYE students but for many of them, it would be the last time we saw them. We truly did not want to go back to the hotel for the goodbyes, but it wasn’t all sad.
When we arrived at the hotel, emotions were high. Our new Honduran friends were calling us their sisters and friends, so there might have been a few tears shed. As for the happier part of the evening, each of the students who directly helped us and worked with us throughout the week received a backpack full of school supplies, everyday necessities and of course, UWO gear. The smiles on their faces were worth everything we had worked so hard for.
After some goodbyes, we rushed back in with our messy beach hair and sandy feet to get ready for the next event…. dinner and dancing! I’ll say, our girls clean up pretty well in such a short amount of time. When we arrived to the restaurant, we were super excited to hear that our favorite, baleadas we’re going to be served again. We were definitely hungry after swimming so we dug in to our food and our conversations. After a wonderful meal with many of the people we worked with, we hopped back in the van to go to another hotel for dancing!
At this new place, we were pretty shy at first, but before you knew it, many of the girls were out on the dance floor! We had learned so much Spanish this week, what better way to end the Honduran experience than with music in Spanish. They danced to bachata, merengue, salsa and other types of music. But once again, the fun came to an end as we said goodbye to more of our OYE friends. They, and the others before have grown so close to us, not wanting to go home so soon was a wish on both sides.
We returned back the hotel exhausted and a little sad. We went right into reflection, but this one was different. The girls did an activity that reminded us of how well we worked together as a team and how each one of us was important and crucial to the success of this trip. We can’t thank the people who made this possible enough.
Tune in tomorrow for our last and final blog post concluding our 2017 Honduras trip. (Definitely will be needing tissues)