"Tell us, if there were one thing we could do for your village, what would it be?"
"With all respect, Sahib, you have little to teach us in strength and toughness. And we don't envy your restless spirits. Perhaps we are happier than you? But we would like our children to go to school. Of all the things you have, learning is the one we most desire for our children." -Schoolhouse in the Clouds
It's good to get inspired to do something you're already doing.
Sometimes on a day-to-day basis it doesn't seem so special or heroic-sometimes it doesn't even feel like it matters. This past week I've been contemplating the actual need for me to stay in this village, if the work we're doing is efficient enough to even stick around for. It just seems like education is so overlooked in El Porvenir, the parents don't seem to care if their kids go to school or not, learning English seems silly when no one speaks it here, and the kids are frustratingly academically behind. But I believe that education is so important that I can't leave yet. Learning is never a waste of time or money-investing in an education is a smart thing to do. Or better yet, invest in the education of others. That's what teachers do. I don't think a single teacher exists out there who doesn't believe in the power of education. I suppose that's what I really enjoy teaching, whenever I feel discouraged I stumble across a quote like the one above and feel a swell of emotion. We learned COLORS this week BTW-they all knew 'yellow' really well, not sure why!
This week our trial program with the local firemen started and it's been great. I really enjoyed getting to know these 15-20-something-year-old team of workers and volunteers. Yes, they aren't children-but lots of them are young men that are yearning to learn English. I think it's wonderful what the firemen do-there are only four actual firefighters, but the rest are volunteers from the local high school. These boys get taken in and trained, they get mentored, have a safe and positive place to hang out, and stay out of trouble because they all want to finish school and go to fireman school. For me, it's a huge relief to have such a captive audience and I feel like I'm really getting to know the community as well. They never want to class to end! When we finish a unit, they beg to go on to the next one-they always go, "No mas?! Mas por favor!" Next week I'll put up a photo of us. I have one now but I'm all slouching funny and looks weird. Haha!
Oh and the past weekend, five of us volunteers hopped onto a ferry for Utila. It was the most fun I might have ever had-partying on dock bars and the beach with a constant flow of new friends-wise. I just got home earlier and I still can't put into words all that wentdown. Uh. Our not-to-be-envied 'restless spirits' get the better of us sometimes..a veces...