I (Hunter Beck) am a student in Arise that has partaken in this enlightening and extremely enjoyable mission trip in Honduras. I wanted to share with you our Friday and what a typical day here at the Leadership Center (TLC) looks like. Every student has “chores” that they do. Our team would individually choose what chore they want help with; be it chopping wood, cleaning the chicken coops and retrieving eggs, pulling coffee beans from the farm that is housed on the TLC campus, helping with the gardening where TLC makes most of their own food, or etc. I myself am one of the stronger students from our team, so I chose to chop wood as I believed that I would be effective as this role. I have done this task everyday for the few days we have been here and working. I ate breakfast with all of the team members and students from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
When it is 7:30, the students and workers that help make the meals for all of us ring a bell to notify that breakfast is over and prepare for morning devotional (which is what the picture above is from). Team members are allowed to join the student led devotional. The students take this time to have a short lesson and prayers to start the day off. The students also do roll call and which students are doing which chore for the day. Our team had a short team meeting and then we went off to help the students with their chores. We, the people that were chopping wood, were first tasked to grab more wood from a wood pile from on the other side of campus using a very old manual work truck. However, only one of us on the team knew how to drive manual vehicles, but also was a “finicky” vehicle in itself. The person, Vincent, was trying to get the vehicle started. The vehicle would usually start for a few seconds then shut off. One of the Honduran workers noticed us struggling a lot and helped us get started. We then realized we did not know which selector the gear selector was, because the two selectors were not labeled. We got the worker to come back over but realized that the worker only spoke Spanish. It was funny to watch us try to communicate to the worker using charades and very limited knowledge of Spanish. We finally communicated when Vincent did the motion of selecting gear while stating “Uno, dos, tres….” It was an unique experience trying to communicate to someone whom could absolutely not understand what you are saying. We got the wood back to where we had been chopping wood. Also as a note, the place where we would chop the wood at is beside the chicken coop. While we working, I noticed a chicken on top of the roof of the coop and made note of it to the others. One of the students at the TLC with us mentioned to us that the chicken likes being on the roof and it will not jump down. We did not think much of it and continued working while the students left to go to their first classes of the day. The chicken jumped off the roof right next to us (which was out of the coop). We tried to catch said chicken. We were very bad at catching the chicken. The chicken eventually jumped into a wood pile and would not come out. I reached in and grabbed the chicken and put it back inside the coop. I will say that the first time I have ever held a chicken was an interesting one. Also, a video was taken of us trying to catch us and was promptly shared to everyone at TLC.
Shortly after this, I sat in with a class teaching Leadership to listen to what skills the students would learn and also learn a little something myself. The class was taught about the value of listening to those you are leading to become better yourself. While learning a little myself, the class was interesting as it seemed exactly as something I would have experienced back home in Virginia. It was a learning experience as I learned that class was not taught different even though the culture here is vastly different than I am used to. It may seem obvious to others that there is not a major difference, but to me this is my first experiencing a different culture directly from the “source.”
After this I worked a little bit more until the ESL class was going to join us and we were going to ask each other questions in a kind of coffee house experience. This was a fun experienced because any question that has some ties into culture would vastly be different in terms of answers by me or them. This also a good bonding experience with the students as I found it harder to bond with the students. I myself am very introverted so this helped come out of my usual shell and bond with these girls. The bonding is beneficial to both of us, for some of the students here have not had many positive male influences in their lives. Even though we went past the allotted time, many of us stayed and continued talking. I eventually left and started hanging out with one of Joseph’s (the Director of TLC) kids. We, myself and Micah, were talking about how someone is hiding a secret from me. He perfectly lead me on and straight to his younger sister, Abby, who made me a bookmark because I was her friend. I spent a lot of time playing with Abby and her little sister Emma Thursday. The bookmark obviously made me extremely happy and is automatically a physical object that I can really connect to years after this trip has finished and remember what I have done and accomplished here.
After this we joined most of the students, as many of the students wanted all of us to play soccer with them. Every Friday, the students play soccer at 4:00 p.m. I realized that these girls are really good at soccer and I was not. However, the girls would cheer all of us on. I truly had fun with these girls and I feel like the girls really connected to not just me, but to all of us that have partaken on this mission trip. We keep playing for so long that the dinner bell was rung. However many of the girls kept playing and wanted some of us to keep playing. All in all, this has been the most fun I have had here and connected to most of the girls after this night. We all joined dinner late and all had dinner just talking amongst each other. We were also invited to watch a movie with the other students. Thank you again for your support which allowed me to attend this trip.