Tuesday, May 30, 2017

and brick killed a guy with a trident.

i couldn't open the door, it was too dark and i had left my headlamp in my backpack. i joked about how we would have to sleep outside instead, and that's when we saw the glow through the window. our room was on fire. 

the door opened and i stumbled inside to asses the situation. a whole corner of the room was in flames, an overhead fan caught fire and fell onto my bed. 

it was terrifying how helpless i felt. there are no fire departments here, just you and a bucket. the other girls ran to the school to grab the fire extinguisher only to find that it was empty. i threw our suitcases out onto the porch in hopes to protect our passports. 

we cut the power off and doused the room in water, shirts tied around our faces to keep the smoke away. 
as quickly as it came, it was over. my pillow and misquito net were the only casualties. i stayed up all night thinking about what would have happened if i was in bed like i usually was around the time the fire started. 

i made myself sick. i couldn't believe that an hour beforehand i was obsessing over a dauchsand labrador mix and watching 'speed control two: cruise control,'  the absolute worst movie, while my room was burning. 

we packed up our things and headed to a friend's house in the city. 

monday morning was hard. i was unsure of where we were going to stay and how i was going to replace the misquito net and pillow. thinking about how i was sad about those things made me think about how i should be grateful because it could have been worse and how there are much worse things happening to others. this cycle of thought continued well into the afternoon. i was ready to call it quits and head home all over again.

i bribed the class today with songs for good behavior. they all got to write a song they wanted me to play on the board and we would listen to it as long as they were quiet. we listened to 'swalla' about 8 times in a row. they were so sweet today, even the boys gave me a hug and told me they loved me before going home. 

i spent the whole day thinking of how to get a misquito net. it had provided so much comfort and i knew i wasn't going to sleep without a new one. i really thought that buying one would be as simple as going to the drugstore but after several calls i learned that only one store in the city carries them. 

i asked one of the leaders to drive me and she said yes but i could tell she didn't want to. i prayed the rest of the day that i would make it to the store before they closed at 8. we left at 3. after a few errands and a series of unfortunate events it was 7:38 and we were parking in front of a supermarket. she told me that she was pretty sure the store would have what i was looking for. i was beside myself. how could this be happening? i prayed that i would somehow find what i needed inside. after 40 minutes of combing the aisles, a girl in the group appeared with a canopy netting. while not exactly what i was hoping for, i was so relieved i began to cry. i will never know why the leader acted like she did, but i do know that God used her to show that He will provide my needs no matter how silly. 

go ahead and click: 
also, the youtube in honduras is a little strange so if you can't pull up the video search for:alex aoino, "one dance"

p.s the title is from my favorite line of  'anchorman' 
'there was a man on fire and brick killed a guy with a trident.' get it, i told you about the room on fire.....
i may be stretching the joke a little thin but it's my blog so whatever. 



Saturday, May 27, 2017

cherry icees.

oi dios mio. today was so good. 
we went into the city of san pedro sula today (about an hour drive from our village of el doradito) and had dinner before going to see pirates of the caribbean. 

contrary to popular belief, honduras does have a metropolitan area and people there are well off. from what i have gathered so far, the government is very rich and the people are very poor. not unlike the states but on a more extreme scale. city living is similar to atlanta because of the mix of the very rich and very poor. the rich live in beautiful mansions behind high concrete walls complete with a watchtower and a guard armed with a machine gun. the poor live against those high walls underneath cardboard. 

my lunch was a pop tart and a handful of raisins (i just can't seem to get on the rice/bean/egg wagon) and was disappointed that dinner was at a coffee shop. ya girl needed a burger. the shop was less of a starbucks and more like a panera however, and i had the most incredible turkey panini and caramel frappacino. 

after dinner we walked through the mall to get to the cineplex for the movie. the malls are so fancy here, there are decorations and fountains. i couldn't help but laugh when 'empire state of mind' came on over the radio, apparently the allure of new york has worked its way into all cultures. 

 i was so full from dinner but knew i need to enjoy everything while i was there so i bought a cherry icee. i have given up soda a while back but an icee at the movie theatre is definitely my weak spot. 

we got caught in a rainstorm on the way back to the village and our little mazda van took a beating. i stayed up wayyyyy after my bed time (i'm usually asleep by ten) to watch the lightening strike the mountains. i got a few videos and once i figure out how to post them i will. 

as i was getting ready for bed i saw a black blur move along the baseboard. i asked a girl for a shoe and as i put my glasses on to kill the spider i saw that it was much much larger than i thought. i screamed immediately and caused everyone to panic. it was not a tarantula but it was definitely the largest spider i have seen yet, almost the size of my palm with its legs spread out. we brainstormed ways to kill it and i thought we could sweep it out. a girl went to grab the broom but another spider of the same size was standing next to it! i was terrified, we were surrounded! we asked a boy from the dorm next door to kill them and begrudgingly he did. praise the Lord. our adrenaline was pumping at that point and no one could go to sleep but i was better off because i got to sleep under the saftey of my misquito net. i will post about all of the tools i use to survive here later on. 




Friday, May 26, 2017


first things first, i didn't plan on being a teacher. things don't typically go very well when i am in charge. 
after failed attempts of leadership for a high school newspaper class, a college literary magazine club, and a sorority, i have realized that authority is not my calling. 

i thought my role here would lean more to the administrative side as the school prepares to close for the summer. i was not expecting to be leading a group of fourth graders through the rest of their classes. 

i was scared of them. they are all so small and they talk in spanish so fast. one would say 'ella' and the others would begin to laugh (yes, because ella means girl in spanish). i was told that the school used physical punishment when things got out of control (wall sits, running laps, push-ups). something about telling one of them to do wall sits seemed uncomfortable to me so i ended up letting them do their own thing. boy was that a horrible idea. 

i remembered how excited they were when another girl in the group took their picture and decided i could try to do the same. this is a story all about how instagram saved my life. the boomerang app absolutely blew their minds and they spent all afternoon asking me to record them doing tricks so they could watch the videos. i can't seem to link videos from my phone, but once i do i'll post them. 

after the madness died down and they returned to their workbooks, a girl named minely asked if i could help with her spelling. she asked what 'snowy' meant and we looked at some pictures from google. she whispered that she wished she could go to the states and see snow. it may have been the leftover homesickness but i began to tear up. not only may most of them never see snow or go to the states, there is an incredibly high chance that some of them never even make it out of their village. 

later that afternoon the class asked if i would go on a hike with them to see the lion in the mountains. they laughed when i told them no way and said that the lion was friendly. so this is a story about how i hiked a mountain with a bunch of ten year olds. 

let me make one thing clear: the honduran mountains are not anything like kennesaw mountain. there are no signs, maps, benches, or paved roads. there is nothing but bushes, palm fronds, and a steep, uphill climb waiting for you here. an hour in and we finally made it to the top. there were too many trees for the photos to do the view justice, but it was worth the climb. by then i had forgotten all about the lion until a child pointed out a graffiti'd rock with a painted lion on it. the kids could not stop laughing, they thought they had tricked me. 

we have now finished up for the week and i am excited about seeing 'pirates of the caribbean' tonight (movies come out a week earlier here).




Thursday, May 25, 2017


my journey to Honduras began at a quik trip. I was waiting in line to pay for my coffee when I felt the need to pay for the things for a woman behind me. I really was going to do it, but somewhere between the thought and approaching the counter I chickened out. I noticed that she was talking to other people in her group and wasn't sure if they were all buying things and I was afraid of it becoming a big deal. I paid for my coffee and headed out the door knowing that i should have gone through with it. that afternoon I noticed a post on Facebook asking for volunteers to teach at a village school in Honduras. I got the same feeling from that morning and when I saw the post again a few days later I knew that it was what I needed to do. 

I signed up for this trip because I am desperate to learn how to live a life with eternity in mind. I have built a world around reality television, money, social media fame, and contouring my makeup all the while knowing it was never going to last. 

I have lived for myself these past 25 years and I am ready to live the rest of my life preparing for eternity which is how I have ended up here, writing this post under the safety of my mosquito net. 

being brave is hard. all of my preparation for the day I arrived in Honduras did not prepare me for the reality of being here. the heat is oppressive. it's a force I never felt before. it's like gravity, holding you down where you are, effecting your movements. trash lines the streets, and ash from the fire in the sugar cane field fills the air. 

I have cried my way through the past two days here. 

I am homesick. I long for air conditioning, a clean shower, and bravo tv. I want to be in the same room as my family. typing this brought the tears back all over again. longing to be back home overpowered my reasons to stay until God used Justin Bieber to remind me that I'm where I'm meant to be. after dinner on my first day, the group and I left to go to a coffeehouse outside of the village. the van bounced around on the uneven dirt roads and the windows were rolled down because the van lacked a/c. justin bieber's song "despacito" came on over the radio and while everyone pretended to groan about how cliche the pop song was and how it will never be as good as the original, it wasn't long before we were all dancing and singing along. if you ever wondered what I was doing the night of May 23rd, I was riding through a valley in Honduras and singing to "despacito" as loud as I could. it was in that moment I felt the peace of doing the right thing. I knew then that I would have to get over being homesick because there was no way I was going to leave. 

i have learned quickly that I am not here to be comfortable. I am here to show love to a classroom full of fourth graders and help them see the power of education. I am here to meet with God and learn to trust in Him for the most basic needs. I am here to store my treasures in Heaven. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...