The terrain here is very beautiful but extremely rough to travel on. From Tegucigalpa, the capital city which we flew into, it took about 2 or 2 and a half hours to get to the Leadership Center, where we live. Bumpy does not even describe it, but it was wonderful to finally arrive and meet the girls who are learning here. Some days, when it rains a lot no one can even travel on the roads that we must use to get here. We must have crossed rivers at least 5 times. Amazingly, we can cross the rivers on dirt bikes (motos) some days when the rivers are low. There are two guys here that have motos we can borrow.
Though we are nowhere near a village or city, after the first week of getting settled in, I am excited to start visiting other families nearby. I need to work on my Spanish a lot to be able to communicate more in depth with the people, but for now it has been fun visiting and chatting as much as possible.
We will be visiting the sole elementary school in the area at least once or twice a week. Although it is quite the trek, (about 1 hour on foot with sis on my back,…Ira and Olivia will try to borrow a moto to get there), it is a good opportunity to help out the community and get to know more families in the area. There are about 28 students ages 6-12ish taught by one teacher, Marcia, in one classroom. If we can go to help teach even one day a week it gives Marcia the chance to break the class in half and work with a smaller group of students in a closer age range for a bit. We also stay after school is over to play soccer and other games with the kids. It seems to be rare here to see adults playing with or instructing their children, so of course the kids are super excited to be getting some extra attention. It is also nice for Olivia to meet other kids here, she has made one friend in particular, her name is Jessica. Sometimes we go to her house on our way home after school is out. Her mother, Lydia (called Profesora or Profe by most) is a well known member of the community and is involved in the selection of student for the Leadership Center. She used to teach at the school, but from what I understand, she was in a moto accident and lost the use of her legs, her husband and also her job. I have really enjoyed talking with her, currently she is dreaming up a classroom to be built at her home so that she can continue teaching. She is one of those people who never stops teaching people in her everyday life. She has already taught me a lot and she lives with 5 of her children and three grandchildren.
I took a walk with Sicily the other day and found that there is a family only 15 minutes down the road with 3 little girls and a boy. I think we will go visit them again when Olivia is with us so she can play with the kids. I am looking forward to getting to know them better, the mom, Andrea, seemed very friendly but I need to keep practicing Spanish so I can talk with her more!
Ira and I took the girls to splash around in the river yesterday afternoon, we will definitely be doing that more often to cool down! After dinner yesterday we experienced our first extreme Honduran rainstorm where the lightning is almost blinding and the campus becomes a lake. It is so loud you have to yell to talk to anyone, so we pretty much just played with the kids, letting them scream and squeal as much as they liked since we couldn’t hear. The girls didn’t mind and overall it was pretty fun J
I feel like our whole world is a playground right now. There is so much for us to explore and I am so excited for the opportunities that God has for us here.