Three weeks ago, I left my family, friends, and everything I knew to go to a new country: Honduras. I knew that through the trip I would be changed, but I didn't realize how much. I had seen pictures of what it was going to look like, but the pictures were nothing compared to actually being there.
I went with a group made up of nineteen people total and helped New Hope Opportunities – a bilingual and trade school to help the people develop trades to get jobs. We met many children while there, but they were different from the children I see here in the US. There, they didn't mind hugging a random stranger, getting pictures taken, and were always smiling – despite the little they had. One of the days, we walked through a "neighborhood" giving groceries to the people and witnessed what they had to live in. As seen in the picture, the people we met lived in homes made of wood and tin, and often we saw cloth hung to try to cover the gaps. As a group we were talking about how our own pets live better than the people we met and how sad it was to see them have to live that way.
One girl we met had obviously broken both her legs since she was in casts and a wheel chair, but hearing her story was heart breaking. When we met her for the first time, the translator told us that someone had ran over her with his motorcycle and just left her there. Later we found out, after the translator talked more in depth about it with her teacher, that the man who ran over her was her step-father and he did because she finally stood up for herself and told him she wasn't going to allow him to abuse her anymore. I’m not sure I would have had been brave enough to do that.
While there, we traveled to an orphanage and to play with the children and give them supplies and toys. When we got there one girl (shown in the picture) attached to me and we hung out the entire time. She was given up because her mother did drugs during the pregnancy and she when born she wasn't wanted. It was great to play games, toss a football, and laugh with her – she has the most contagious laugh, no one couldn't help but laugh when she did.
For me, I had more of a culture shock coming back to the US. While there, no one complained, no one cursed, no one was anything but happy. Upon exiting LAX, a lady was talking to her friends and cursing constantly. We stopped at Carl’s Jr. and a man was muttering under his breath and constantly cursing as well. When I got home, all I heard was complaining from my sister and how she hated me and my parents and I couldn't help but think of how much those orphans wish they had parents and siblings. I definitely did not miss the frequent cursing and complaining.
Going to Honduras has changed me. I am so much more grateful for what I have: a home not made of wood or tin, an actual bed – not to mention my own room, and a mom and dad who I know try there best just to name a few. As much as we loved on the children we met, they loved on us – which is a truly amazing feeling. I look forward to one day going back and can't wait.
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