So up until now I have been all about the monitoring and evaluating of our project, but not this week! This week I get to talk about my experience working at the school fairs, more specifically at the science station. Our focus is on drug abuse, and this is because drug abuse is a very real problem for the city of Catacamas. It is widespread, and young people often drop out of school prematurely due to drugs. We will go to 12 different schools in our 10 week cycle, and teach students about the risks of drugs and what they can do to succeed in school.
My esteemed Honduran colleague George and I were both nervous for our first school fair. The preparations had gone well; we knew what to say and when, our props were looking fresh, and our sign was...well distinctly average, but it was the effort that counted.
The time had arrived; the first school fair was upon us. I introduced myself in my shaky Spanish, and we were off. What followed was nothing like we had planned. Timings were off, some of my pre-planned speeches on the effects of drugs on the body were not appropriate for the really younger students, and some groups responded better to different things. The first school was tough, but the students still enjoyed it, and we came away from it knowing we would have to be more flexible the next time.
As each fair passes, George and I grow in confidence. We were a well-oiled machine, and the most important thing for me was that it seemed we were getting our message across. I had a great time learning about what the students wanted to be when they grew up, and what they knew about drugs. The games we played were hilarious at times, and their reactions when we showed them pictures of cirrhotic livers and horrible teeth were priceless. As well as fond memories I will also leave Honduras more confident in working with children, more confident in speaking Spanish, and more confident when situations don’t pan out how you expected them to! All in all, the grand experiment was a success.
Written by ICS volunteer Aaron Linstead