It is official! We are moving to Utila for 6 months! I have volunteered to teach at this very special school located on Pigeon Cay in Honduras. I will be teaching English to grades 1st-6th in this great little school.
This is such an amazing thing for me. I love kids and am so passionate about the difference an education can make for someone. As you know we fell in love with Utila, Honduras when we were there last month so when I started talking with Chrisna, one of the owners of Utopia Village, it just made sense for me to try to get involved. In the past I think I would have walked away from the vacation and wish I had said something but this time there wasn’t an option. I didn’t think I would be talking to her about me being the volunteer, I actually was thinking of a friend I have, but the conversation went that way and I found myself eagerly offering to come back. I love when I get out of my own way and just trust my instincts, it always works out better. As we left Utila I felt like I was leaving something unfinished and knew I had to come back, that there was something I needed to do there, and more for me to experience. I was so moved by the island and felt I could really make a difference.
Several days before I knew for sure if we were going to go I realized that five or six days before we left for our Utila vacation I flippantly said to a friend that if anything ever happened to Jim I would spend my life volunteering to teach or help children. I didn’t even think consciously about it but knew the minute the words were out of my mouth that it would be the exact right thing for me. So now I get to do that without losing my husband. How cool is that?!!
I blogged about Pigeon Cay a few weeks ago, but there is still more to say. The people on the island are so kind and happy, as I mentioned before. They are mostly fishermen and very family oriented. They don’t have many resources to make a living so many of them are struggling day to day to feed their families. The opportunities open to them as English speakers can make a complete difference for their families lives forever.
I also hope to tutor some older students and adults too! Of course we will be scuba diving, and Jim (my husband) is trying to convince me to look past my vegetarianism and kill lionfish with them. (You can read my blog post about why this is important here.)
The thought of a new adventure is what started us on this journey. We both were looking for a simpler life focused on enjoying our lives while working not working our lives away. This new opportunity for me is even better than that because I am able to get involved in something important to me, work with beautiful people and give back for all of the amazing blessings I have had in my life. I know everyone there has so much to teach me, just as much or more than I can teach them.
I also get to help educate on awareness of our planet and the use of plastics which thrills me to no end since this has been my passion for 10 years! Check out the wonderful initiatives of the Utopia Village staff and the residents of Pigeon Cay on their facebook page.
My shameless request for supplies starts now: So, the school doesn’t have many supplies for the children, or for the teachers so I am building a stash of teaching supplies in English and supplies for the kids so we can work on building the school resources so the kids and teachers can be as successful as possible. (Remember we are talking about an island where the people work hard but often don’t have enough to even buy a full bottle of ketchup.) If you have any kids books, teaching supplies, coloring books, crayons, art supplies, paper supplies, etc which can be packed in a suitcase we would love to take them with us! Leave a comment or email me and we can figure out a way to get them here before we leave.
For any of you out there who have experience with ESL teaching or ELL’s I would love any and all advice and suggestions, so please leave your comments below.