Week 2- Teaching continued...

La Esperanza Travel Blog

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Lining up at school
So came Wednesday....teaching the 4th, 5th and 6th years.
Again, following the lesson plans for the 1sts, 2nds and 3rds, the 3 classes picked up much quicker, and we managed to get through colours, numbers and introductions within an hour slot. I also got a good upper body work out after throwing 50 or 60 children in the air because they loved it...and it always brought a smile to their faces.
They were having elections for head girl/boy today, which is done in a very formal way. All the students line up outside one classroom, and come in one at a time to make their votes...their hands are even stamped to make sure they hadn´t voted twice. There´s a party on friday to announce and celebrate the appointment.

Back home I had a good 2 hour conversation with the family in spanish.
Drawing los arcos
I found out that Fatimah, one of the daughters of our head woman Conchita, actually isn´t married to the 20 years older toothless bloke that randomly comes in, sits on the coach, and leaves. In fact, he is the father of their child, but they are not married. This is surprisingly quite common around Honduras...and I think its mainly to do with the lack of contraceptives used or information available thereof.

The girls are sexually active at a very early age, and at school I talked to a girl who is actually a mother at 13 as she brough her baby in.
Anyway, during the conversation with the family, the aunt asked me whether I´d like to get married to her daughter...I was quite scared, so I said I had a long term girlfriend and left it at that. Anyway, Nery, one of the brothers, said he´d sort out some dates for me and Seb, so we got all of that to look forward to.
The school ceremony


Thursday itself was an interesting day. School went well, it was the 1sts, 2nds and 3rds, and classes went well. You start to get your favourites, and start to see the gap between people in the classes. We got through numbers with most of them today, lots of drilling involved to make sure everyone understands. It´s hard to get the amount of drilling right, because some people just understand it and get it very quickly, whilst others, you need to concentrate on much more.

Anywho, school finished at 11am, but the events of that day did not finish there, oh no! After climbing up heart attack hill I managed to re twist my right ankle, except this time it was worse. I felt as if someone had shot me there, and then jumped on it for good measure. I was riding around in quite a bit of pain, with the children looking on in petrfied faces.
Lining up for lunch
..was quite amusing when looking back on it.

But now, I was faced with a bit of a problem, the school has no electricity, no phone lines, the teachers have no mobiles, and the town where the school is, Pueblo Viejo, is well....a bit rural. Furthermore very very very few trucks or pick ups go past, so usually we walk the hour and half walk to the main road, where if we´re lucky we get a ride into La Esperanza. So I couldn´t really walk...but had no option...Sally was under my right arm for a bit (what an experience that must have been!), but it wasn´t working very well. So I dragged my right foot across the uneven dirt and stones....for around half an hour.
Lining up for assembly
...and then...a pick up truck....which went right past.
But thank god....Save The Children Honduras went past after another 10 minutes, and turned around, to take me to the hospital. We got to the hospital, but they said they´d rather not take us inside...the hospital isn´t very good supposedly...so we instead visited the private medical clinic, which does cost, but its covered on insurance.

Anyway...got there, and they stuck me in a wheelchair, which was quite fun to mess around in. I´m not a big fan of hospitals or medical clinics, or doctors in general, so however many times I said its only a sprain, the doctor wouldn´t let me leave. In fact, I got an x ray taken...and then plopped back onto the wheelchair. So the x ray showed that my ligaments and tendons had over stretched a lot, and had caused a bone to move in my foot.
So I got my leg put in a caste....and bandaged....and bandaged some more...and bandaged some more for good measure. I was told I couldn´t do anything for 2 weeks....but I managed to bargain that down with the doctors to a week, although in truth, it was going to be 2 days, because we were going to the waterfalls on Saturday, and that wasn´t something I was going to lie down and rest through. So $25 later we got sent on our way to the hospital to pick up the crutches....but unfortunately, the place that holds the crutches was closed....in fact, in a week, I haven´t been able to get a pair of crutches because the hospital have none left in stock. I mean for me, its fine, because I can atleast walk or hop around the place....but imagine this situation for people who have broken their legs, or had something wrong with them, so they were unable to walk without the assistance of crutches.
..they can´t do anything...this little incident in itself is a microcosm of the dire situation that this country is in.

I was hopping around most of La Esperanza (which isnt easy- as the streets are either cobbled, or or made of dirt and rocks), but managed to get things done...some of you may be thinking why I wasn´t resting it....well...its boring...and also by working the foot I bit, I made sure the ligaments and tendons didn´t tighten too quickly....anyway, took the taxi home...and there talked to my family about the days incidents...the gasps and awws were uncountable...and after a couple of hours I thought it was time to rest it and headed off to bed.

Friday started with a visit to the hospital, but wouldn´t you have guessed, no crutches, so I got a taxi to school, Seb and Sally had already got through the 4ths, but it was cute because the head teacher and the children clapped me in.
Nery and Javier
Sally had told me to stay at home, but I may have died of boredom there. So I went, with my big rucksack, packed for the big trip to the lakes of Yojoa and the waterfall.
I was a bit drugged up, another tip for travellers, avoid Chloroquine whenever possible, it is the worst anti malarial tablet ever, and just messes with your head, I felt as if I was going to faint in the classes. I didnt really know what was going on in class, I just smiled and answered questions, kinda like back in school...so that was a bit of a daze.
But the children seemed very worried with the whole foot thing...and the other teachers told me off in spanish for coming in and called me a stubborn englishman.

They then announced the new school head, save the children came to make the presentation and the ceremony was amazing.
Conception, Marc y Monica
They are taught from an early age, that everything is democratic and there is no need for violence to make decisions. The swopre oaths to their flag, thanked us, save the children and whoever else helps them.
The speech the the teacher made was very moving, it was in spanish, but I managed to understand most of it. He said that we have given the power to live and be free and noone can deny us that right...we have the ability to make decisions, and need not go to war or use violence to make our decisions heard...we are people, and as long as we give thanks to thoser grateful enough to help, and keep honour in ourselves, we will live to the fullest we again. It was amazing to see and hear, and gave hope to me for this country.

It ended at 12, and then once again up heart attack hill, and a pick up to town, where a bus was waiting to take us to the lakes...
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Lining up at school
Lining up at school
Drawing los arcos
Drawing los arcos
The school ceremony
The school ceremony
Lining up for lunch
Lining up for lunch
Lining up for assembly
Lining up for assembly
Nery and Javier
Nery and Javier
Conception, Marc y Monica
Conception, Marc y Monica
La Esperanza
photo by: brett4321