So, we’re carrying on from where we left off after our first day in Pespire. The first full day was about to begin!
Thursday 4th August 2011
The next day, we got to experience an assembly and the Girl Guides were given an official welcome from the school, Monseñor Turicos. There are just under six hundred kids attending this school, which according to the website, they have twenty-three teachers to teach them all – if the teachers turned up that is (as Kris found out one morning when she went in to observe, that a couple of classes had no teacher and they were just left to “read”). They have a kindergarten and then a 1st to 6th grade, similar to the USA. I imagine they attend this school until the age of 12 although please correct me if I’m wrong (I don’t know the yankee system). They then go to a high school or learn a skill. School starts very early in Pespire. They start 7’ish and finish at lunch-time. The rest of the day is spent in a hammock, or when the gringos are in town, they help to paint (sometimes, depending on the heat).
There was obviously much excitement for these kids, seeing gringos come thousands of miles to paint their school walls. There were all sorts of songs, fits of giggles and pointing. I am kind of used to this already at Casa Alianza. I was unsure what the Girl Guides thought of this. Because it was all in Spanish, the Guides understood very little and it was quite hard to translate it all. I think the message came across though…..“Thanks for coming!”
After the welcome ceremony, we got to meet the town mayor, who happened to be the boss of the host mother I was staying with, Marcia Wendy.
We then had a tour around the town, which allowed us to go into some of the houses where the Girl Guides were staying. Some were rustic and quite humble, which I quite liked. Many of the houses were connected on to businesses and shops that they had. We got to see tortillas being made traditionally on what I think was a clay stove. It was like the Black Country Museum, for those who have been.
I must admit, there is a growing trend here I have seen recently in Tegucigalpa and Pespire, that I think is strange and a bit, well. . . . . freaky. I have seen people selling baby chickens with dyed feathers in either pink or yellow. What these chickens look like later in life is beyond me, and if they’re safe to eat is another. Sarah and Shayla’s family, as it happens, had two, of either colour.
We then went to a college in Pespire where they teach school-leavers basic skills or career-wise professions, such as electricians, plumbers or in construction. I talked to one of the teachers for most of the 10 minutes we were there, but some of the Guides who were observing the classes mentioned that the books they were reading were over 20 odd years old and what they were learning was taught in Canada when they were 10 years old. The kids in the class were 15 and upwards. I don’t want to come across as judgmental, but I think it shows how humble the school and town are. They are happy with this, which is admirable more than anything.
After, we went into one more house then we went for lunch. After lunch, the girls played some games at the school while they waited to get their Dollars changed into Lempiras (done by Rudolfo – the bank in Pespire made an absolute packet in commission while we were there!). Not many kids were around but one or two got to see games played Canadian Guide style. We went back to the cutting and slicing and yelling game that Sarya taught a day or so before, and a plucky Honduran Guide tried to teach me a kind of Honduran patter-cake, hand slapping game which I couldn’t get to grips with.
After the games, we went to see the project. The exterior walls were to be painted beige and ocre. The first day, we found a shady area of the wall to put on the under-coat. We managed to get quite a lot done, but because it was the first day for everyone working in this intense heat, we finished a little earlier to play more games in the central square of the town. There was one game that I remember from my own days of Scouting that was called Crocodiles but in the Girl Guides of Canada it was called Ladders, which involves running and skipping over legs. It brought a lot of attention from the town and many people joined in which was nice. One boy in particular started running in any old direction he fancied during the Ladders game. I think he made a name for himself as the village clown!
After these days events, I personally was exhausted. Lack of water if anything. The next day we were in for another treat from the school, as well as the town, which will be updated in my next upload.