Update for last week (the part that I´ve left out) is coming soon! Wait for it, it´ll be great.
Last night and today were SUPER busy. Yesterday was the wrap up for the first group of students and a celebration for some of the families that have completed a whole year of hard work at Villa Soleada. After having a five year old boy almost cut off his finger with a machete (more on that later) the long term volunteers ran around trying to get everything together for the final dinner and celebration with the families. It was a pretty nice affair- each family was recognized with a nice certificate of appreciation and got to have a dinner of tamales and grapes- which is the traditional meal for the celebration of a new year. The kids were especially funny- they normally don't get a lot to eat and especially don't get served their food by a bunch of gringas (only female volunteers were left at that point) and they obviously really enjoyed the experience. There was also a dancing contest which was pretty cute. The kids were pretty reluctant participants, but once the dancing got going they were more into it.
After the families left the hotel, the volunteers headed out to the local club/discotheque for their final night. I went along as staff/security because it's always a little bit crazy. It turned out that the club was closed because, according to the random guy outside, "all the alcohol was consumed for New Year's and the bar was wiped out." With that, we ended up upstairs- in a karaoke/bar area. As we walked in, a woman was singing terrible karaoke to approximately five other patrons and we were all really concerned for the state of the night. However, once a sketchy older Honduran man decided to pull me onto the dance floor, the volunteers made the night completely awesome. Other girls came to rescue me and everyone ended up having a great time.
This morning all of the week long volunteers left early for shopping and the planes. All day Clare and I ran errands, first to the Antorcha (a huge, American-style supermarket) for ten loaves of bread and eight jars of jelly, then to a copy center (doesn't look much like Kinko's) and then to another Antorcha for large cardboard boxes for donations. They didn't have them, and therefore we embarked on a three hour search for approximately fifty cardboard boxes, which culminated in us calling Josue (one of our drivers/guards/lifesavers) and having him find some person that he knows that had boxes randomly stored in his house. We found the man in the Centro and had to drive to his house in Las Brisas, about a half hour away. However, the man seemed to have an unlimited supply of boxes, so we ended up succeeding in our goal. The punishment for planning a trip of over 70 people one day in advance due to the rapidly changing nature of this country is going to be harsh this week, solely because it takes an entire day to run simple errands.
The new group has arrived, they seem to be nice. It's a huge group, and Clare put it best in describing their trip as, "it's going to be a conveyor belt." We're going to pack them on buses, ship them to work, see things, etc. It's an exposure trip and happens to include high-schoolers from the Campus Christian Community group so it's going to be quite contained. Additionally, the sheer numbers of people on this trip make it extremely difficult to personalize. It will be interesting to see reactions from members.
The first week is done. All told, I have already become a mess; I'm not yet sure how anyone can live down here. I have about fifty mosquito bites per leg (they´ve started biting on top of bites and several have formed a lovely conglomerate), ant bites from the worksite, a redneck sun burn, and a nagging sore throat that could belong to a nasty cold from one of the kids or allergies to "the smell of Honduras," also known as burning trash. Hopefully I'll figure out how to survive without too much bug spray soon.
Only two weeks left and much to do! Tomorrow should have some more free time that I can use to do a massive post.