Melanie’s Notes from Honduras

62880_567481785211_42006801_32722794_6897599_n Hi, Everyone!

Please read below.

Current volunteer Melanie F. from the U.S. recently shared some thoughts on her experiences so far.  For those who have already been to Honduras, I know that you will read these and smile a knowing smile.  For those on the way, Melanie’s words are a great preview!

Thanks, Melanie!!!!

Notes from Honduras:

Some notes I’ve been keeping about Honduras that you might like to know!!

62241_131934956853739_100001117075999_165139_7198203_n The country is beautiful.  Green and luscious trees surround the towns with various types of fruit such as coconut, avocados, lychee, plantains, and bananas.  El Porvenir (where I’m staying) is surrounded by Pico Bonito, which is such a gorgeous sight to see every day.  The Caribbean Sea is out my front door, along with beautiful lakes and rivers. I wish I could capture the beauty through a picture, but they never turn out quite as amazing as seeing it first hand.63875_10150288520505788_582575787_15213019_5676618_n

We live in the pineapple fields where we watch workers every day labor away. The land is owned by the company DOLE. Many of the families that live here and around this area rely on this work as their only source of income. I wish I knew the inside scoop on how much these workers are being paid  and for how many hours they work, since most living conditions are close to devastating. I don’t wish to deter anyone from buying Dole products…just think of the workers who pick the pineapple next time you buy one and send them a grateful vibe.

Many animals roam free here. Dogs, cats, horses, cows, chickens, crabs, roosters. It sometimes breaks my heart to see some of  the stranded dogs on the streets but in the same instant, I am amazed to see a wild horse and dog walk down the same street freely together.

Washing machines are a privilege and dryers are non-existent.  Many rivers are used for women and children to wash their dirty clothes and every home has a line outside for drying.

I’m starting to notice no real social status separation within the towns. A well built “nicer” home will be right next to a home that’s barely standing.

Kids run barefoot everywhere! There are no sidewalks—they just run and play barefoot on rocky roads even in the pouring rain. Futbol (US soccer) is extremely popular among the youth. There a few fields in our area and the kids are always playing barefoot!

Even with all the disadvantages I see with the homes and families out here compared to our life in the US, most families seem very content and happy. Kids don’t have a sense of playing with video games or iPods, they’re happy playing around with other kids in the streets. It’s actually so great to see kids that genuinely appreciate what is given to them. Families sit together every night outside their homes and everyone knows everyone. They entertain themselves by socializing in person and enjoying each other’s company. So impacting to see coming from a world of social networking.

I’ve taken nothing but cold showers everyday since I’ve been here, yet even if I had a choice for a warm shower, I wouldn’t want one for the desperate need of cooling off.  I’ve been so warm I only keep a sheet to sleep with and a fan at night is an absolute necessity.

The power goes off almost everyday!! It seems to phase no one who lives here since it’s such a common occurrence. We’re becoming quite accustomed as well.

Eggs are not in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. They sit out in room temperature all day. I’m still not convinced they’re okay to eat.

Around 5 AM every morning, roosters crow until around 5 PM at night. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such hatred towards an animal before.

Most people speak very little to no English yet you best believe when Ke$ha or Lady Gaga comes on the radio, they know every word.

Our kitchen is infested with ants. Everything has to be sealed yet nothing can keep them completely out! Who knows how many times I’ve had a little extra protein in my dinner. 59533_470403877386_615757386_7198785_6555135_n

Although I knew how privileged I was before coming out here, nothing is quite like being immersed in such a different way of living and witnessing first hand how other parts of the world live to actually make you appreciate things you never have before. Take today to be grateful for all the material things you own: clothes, beds, and electronics, and for the privilege of accessible drinkable water, electricity, a safe place to live, and endless amounts of food. Visit with an old friend and/or family member in person instead of messaging them online. Lend a helping hand to someone who isn’t quite as privileged as you and you could make all the difference in the world to them and within yourself.