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Guatemala 2018

Day 6: The Last Supper

Well… our fantastic week has come to an end. Tonight we said goodbye to our awesome new friends, and tomorrow we say goodbye to beautiful Honduras. For every single one of us, this trip has ment something different, but for us all it has been life changing. No words or pictures can describe our experience, neither can the stories we tell when we come back. Some think we may have just painted a mural and hung out with cute kids all break, but the way we were able to impact such amazing people and give them a stepping stone to better their lives. And in return, they impacted ours.

Here is a favorite picture and quote from your 2015 ASB Honduras team

“Work was done. Relationships were formed. Lives were changed. The world will never be the same.” -Missy

  

“Oh the places you’ll go, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting so… get on your way! -Dr. Seuss” -Steph

“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” -Sam

  

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” -Allie

  

“The people we met this week have changed my life for good and I couldn’t ask for anything thing else!” -Jayna

“I still only know like 10 words in Spanish, and have sunburn on every inch of my body… but there is no way to describe what an awesome impact this trip has had on my life.” -Ashlee

  

“Nooo, Gracie, noo! Si, Gracie, si!”- Gracie

“This week I learned a lot, but the most important is that I can be completely, perfectly and incandescently happy by attitude alone. GIVE ME MY SPANISH MAGIC 8 BALL.” -Teegan

   

“Never think that what you have to offer is insignificant. There will always be someone out there that needs what you have to give.” -Bailee

Thank you so much for following us on our journey! Watch for updates, as we continue our work to support OYE Honduras!

-Ashlee Arendt 

Day 5: Service and Salsaing

Last day of service work today! We spent all day working at a local school. Missy, Bailee, Sam, Allie, Teegan and the OYE scholars finished up the awesome mural. While Ashlee, Grace, Steph and Jayna presented a sustainablity presentation with help from Oscar and Marisella, complete with a reduce, reuse, recycle song. Don’t miss the awesome pictures of the day! Finishing these projects was just a stepping stone in the right direction for the OYE Scholars and the community of El Pregresso, Honduras. 

Our night consisted of a traditional Honduran meal (just kidding it was Chicken Fingers) and dancing with our new friends! Tonight was a realization of just how happy we all are individually and as a group for coming here and making a difference. 

Many tears were shed as we realize today was our last time working with OYE. What a blessing it has been to meet and work with such inspiring individuals. But we are thankful for our last day we get to spend at the beach with them all tomorrow. If one things for sure, we will miss you all dearly!

   

             

Day 4: Hiking and Hugs

Even though we say this every day. Today was the best day ever. Hiked a mountain, had lunch with an awesome OYE family, worked on our projects, and enjoyed dance lessons from Oscar 🙂

We are sending virtual hugs back to our family and friends, thanks for all the support you show us! Here are some “shout outs” 

“Howdy family! Please enjoy me as much as you can while I am home because it won’t be for long. This trip has sparked a rapid passion withim me to grow and experience the world to the fullest. Give Gracey a cheeseburger and let her sleep on the couch. XOXO -Teegan.”

“Hello family! I’m still alive! I love it here and I found my place in the world. With that in mind, won’t be coming home 🙂 I love you guys! I’m sorry if I keep talking to you in Spanish when I return. Also, I will be bearing gracious gifts from Honduras!! Until we meet again! -Gracie (see you Sunday)”

“Shout out to my parents because of the perfect combination of genetics, I am unbelieveably proud to be your daughter. I would not have faith in myself or my dreams without you. Wherever I go, you are with me. Love you. To my two best friends that became my sisters, thank you for encouraging and pushing me to take this trip. I am so lucky to have my partners in crime also be my biggest fans. Love you Emma and Mira. -Steph”

“Hola familia! Having such an amazing experience! Beyond excited to share everything with you all! I would definitely not be where I am today without the unconditional love and support from you guys. Miss and love you all so much! -Allie”

“Hi Mom and Brucie! First of all, I love you both so much. Thank you for investing so much time and effort into making me push my self to the absolute max by always believing in me. I can’t wait to come back home and tell you about this amazing experience I am getting here. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the two of you. Love you both so much and I hope you know how much you both mean to me! Love you lots -Samantha”

“Mom and Dad, thank you for your never-ending support, especially when it comes to adventures like this. Drew, I’ve met amazing people but you are still my best friend and I can’t wait to see you. Grandma and Grandpa, you are both well aware that without you most things I’ve done would not have been possible (because you had my mom. No just kidding, because you want me to get the most out of every opportunity I have in life). I am so grateful. -Bailee”

“Hey mom and dad!!! Thank you for the letter!! It made me smile as usual. I’m so grateful to have you as parents to support me on this trip and through life. I am having the most amazing weeks of my life and I can’t wait to tell you all about it on Sunday! I love you to the moon and back. Love your baby girl. -Jayna

“Madre and Padre, thanks for letting me go, cause for real was expecting you to call me the day before and forbide me to go. So now you just have to deal with the fact that I’m never coming back. Ops. Maybe you guys can finally get a dog. LOVE YOU! -Ashlee”

“Hi Mom!  Hi Dad!  I’m alive.  Your still not allowed to Google anything until I get home!  Mom- I’ve tried all the food and left every meal full!  To all the other moms and dads and the Reeve team:  Thank you for your courage and trust to let your student get this once in a lifetime experience!  I can validate that they are all alive, happy, healthy, safe, and well-fed.  They are also amazing young women!  Thank you! -Missy”

   

           

Day 3: Privilege and Positivity

Another eye opening day here in El Progresso! 

Today started off with a panel of three educational leaders of the city, a NGO, a director of a public high school, and a director of a vocational high school. They shared with details about how schools work in Honduras. Additionally, how the government does not want people to be educated, because they believe that educated people are harder to control. The goverment has also taken money that was suppose to be used for education, and used it for other things such as unnecessary military equipment. Students our age struggle with attending a university, when 4 out of 10 high school graduates have the opportunity to attend college, only 2 out of that 10 graduate college, and 1 of that 10 will find a job. In the US we do not realize how privileged we are to have access to higher education and to have resources to help you find a job after graduation. The most inspiring part of the panel was to see how positive these individuals were and how much the people of Honduras want a change. It was motavating to want to help with such an awesome cause and give hope to educators of Honduras.

The rest of our day consisted of working on our projects, having coffee at a local coffee shop, playing soccer with the OYE scholars, and enjoying homemade tamales! Here is one word from everyone about their experience so far: “Eye-opening, believe, connection, laughter, motivated, inspired, descarado, sassy and masiso.”          

Us with our awesome leader of OYE, Amanda

  

Sam and Allie with their new friend Paula!

  

And now we dance!

  

Finishing up the posters for our sustainablity project!

 

Soccer game with the OYE kids!

                                          

Day 2: Projects and Painting

Another great day here in the sun! We started off our day getting a tour of the beautiful city of El Progresso. Our awesome guide Amanda showed us the government building, a local high school, a supermarket, murals around the city and a photo gallery of the history of El Prgresso. 

Our team broke up in to two teams. Missy, Bailie, Sam, Allie, and Teegan worked with OYE scholars and other local kids at a school planning and started painting this years mural. Ashlee, Jayna, Gracie and Steph all worked with an OYE scholer named Oscar on planning this years educational campain on sustainablity.

Today we have learned so much about this culture and are meeting so many awesome people along the way 🙂

 

The group outside of the mayors office on our tour.

  

Sam and one of the local boys who told her she was pretty! (even in English)

  

Allie learning some Spanish from an OYE scholar.

  

The girls working hard on getting the wall ready for the mural.

  

Jayna doing some prep work for the sustainability project.

  

Steph and Gracie hanging out at the OYE office with Oscar.

  

“Mi mejor amigo, Israel” “My best friend Isreal- Gracie PS Mom I have peanut butter bon bons for Erin

 

Day One: Pictures and Planting

Today was our first full day in Honduras, and our first day working with OYE. We started off the day by getting a tour of the OYE office and attending a picture-taking workshop with the scholars. After lunch we visited a local school and participated in “Hands on El Progresso.” Together with the team we planted 85 trees around the school. We are learning so much about the culture, a lot of Spanish and so much more…

Here is what everyone learned on our first day that we will bring back with us:

“Be positive.” -Missy

“You need to break and change the stigmas attached to your race.” -Gracie

“Positivity and hard work will always lead to happiness and success.” -Jayna

“Teamwork and a dream know no language barrier.” -Steph

“Happiness and positivity truly depend on your attitude.” -Teagan

“Relationships are found in places you would never expect.” -Sam

“I don’t need to plan and control everything.” -Bailee

“We take so much for granted.” -Allie

“Seeing the world through someone elses eyes is one of the best ways to appreciate what you have.”-Ashlee

Here was our day at “Hands on El Progresso”

   

         

We made it!

It’s official… we are in El Progresso Honduras, safe and sound! After our busy day of traveling, we got to meet some of the OYE scholars we will be working with and the awesome staff. We had our first Honduran meal and got our tenitive itinerary for our trip. Looks like this week is going to be an adventure and we are beyond excited! 

Here are some pictures from our first day!

   

       

9 Days until we depart for Honduras!

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It is time to start packing! Sunscreen, clothes, bug spray, and more sunscreen….The good news is the high in Honduras is currently 90 degrees!

 

To prepare for our upcoming trip, our group worked with the UWO Xpedition’s team for some team building exercising. We learned more about each others leadership skills, how to work as a team, and what it will take for us to have a successful trip. We even got to do some rock climbing!

 

Would you like to meet our awesome group? We may come from different backgrounds and study very different things, but we each bring skills and experience that will help our trip be a success. We asked them a few questions to find out a little bit more about them and about some thoughts about our trip.

 

Have you ever done anything like this before?

“I did two ASB trips as an undergrad in Oklahoma. I also advised 20+ student delegations to conferences.” -Missy, Advisor, PhD in Ed Leadership (2012)

 

Why did you choose to go on this ASB Trip?

“I want to develop leaders for a living–this was a good start!” -Bailie, Trip Leader, Senior, Psychology

 

Are you excited for the Honduras weather?

“Yes! I’m excited for the hot weather. I can’t wait to feel the warmth of the sun!” -Allie, Sophomore, Finance

 

What are you most nervous about?

“I am most nervous about forgetting I can’t drink the water!” -Teagan, Sophomore, Business Management

 

Have you ever been out of the country before?

“Yes, I went on a “people to people” trip to France and England, and Mexico with my family.” -Jayna, Junior, Dual Special Ed and Early Childhood

 

What do you hope to bring back from the trip?

“I hope to bring back a new appreciation of a diverse culture and use this experience to better myself as a pre-service teacher.” -Stephanie, Junior, Secondary Education Broadfield Natural Science

 

What do you think the best part of the trip will be?

“I think the best part will be that we are going to be able to be a group and change the young children’s lives. Little, or big. I am excited to empower them through our words and actions of bring our culture with us.” -Sam, Sophomore, Human Resources

 

What inspired you to go to Honduras?

“I want to not only empower the youth in Honduras, but also prepare myself for the peace core. Also being able to practice my Spanish will also help break the communication barrier with the youth! -Grace, Sophomore, Social Work

 

What are you most excited for on the trip?

“Meeting and working with the kids. Being around kids has always been something I enjoy and I am beyond blessed to get to hopefully make a positive impact on their lives.” -Ashlee, Sophomore, Dual Early Childhood and Special Education

 

Stay tuned for more of our adventures starting next Friday.

 

Honduras 2015

21 DAYS UNTIL WE DEPART FOR HONDURAS!

In just a few short weeks we will be on a plane, traveling to El Progreso, Honduras for one of the most exciting Spring Break trips we could ask for! Our group of UWO students, along with our awesome trip leader Missy Burgess, will be spending March 21-28th with an organization called OYE.

OYE’s Mission:

“OYE is a youth-led organization that develops the leadership and capacity of at-risk Honduran youth. OYE’s integrated development approach combines academic scholarships, youth capacity building, and community engagement to inspire and equip young people with the awareness and skills they need to take control of their own lives. The final goal is the empowerment of socially conscious youth who will emerge as leaders and agents of positive change in the Honduran community.”

To learn more about OYE visit their website

We will be working with the organization and the youth that they serve, learning about more about the education systems in the country, and of course enjoying the warm weather!

My name is Ashlee Arendt, and I will be blogging this years ASB Honduras trip. Please stay tuned and follow us as we take this journey to help empower the Youth of Honduras!

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