They say that if you can’t beat them, join them. Elaina couldn’t beat me in the blogging war so we’ve decided to pair up for what may be our last blog on this trip. We do have 14 hours of travel tomorrow, so maybe we’ll find some more time to write.

Since Katie is the undisputed winner of the blogging war, I succumb to her all-powerful combat know-how and offer a few words. It’s truly been a pleasure working with every one of the individuals in Team Mainland and Team Island. Even if they dragged me to sewer plants and declared war on me (*clears throat* Katie) it was all in good fun and made for great learning experiences. I’ve learned to just submit to Katie’s awesomeness and how to say septic tank in Spanish. Hey Katie. What have you learned?

Well, first of all, I am not the undisputed winner. I was simply saying that you weren’t the winner, so that makes us tied, right? The most important thing I learned on this trip is that Elaina is LEGIT (for those over 30, “legit” is slang for “a person of quality”). I also learned things about engineering, and my Spanish knowledge grows every day. I was able to learn about wastewater treatment, earthquake damage, Honduran construction techniques, and how to survive an impromptu soccer game with 30 kids.

Eh, bueno. (This is a filler phrase that Spanish-speakers sometimes use as a transition between topics. At times, these topics are random). So we talked a little bit about what we’ve learned overall, but I bet you’re wondering what we learned today specifically (And even if you aren’t you’re going to get your fill of information about today’s lessons). Today we split up into two groups. Professors Selby and Roth went off with Jorge to do some sort of engineering thing and Katie, Curt,  Chris and I went off to do the fun stuff. First, Katie and I did an impromptu information session at the largest private school in Honduras. Then we went shopping. Hey Katie! Why don’t we make a list of things we learned at the private school and while shopping? You up for it?

Yeah, sure. The private school was amazing. The security there was intense. They wouldn’t open the gate for us until they knew we were approved visitors. Elaina and I talked to a bunch of high school kids about coming to Walla Walla. Elaina talked too fast, and I offered irrelevant scholarship information. I was so excited to tell them about all our scholarships, and then I found out later that these kids are loaded and don’t need the help. But it was a good visit. The kids seemed to enjoy it, and the parent who was present was very grateful for the information. We left feeling accomplished, a feeling that quickly faded when we were dropped off at the market. It was overwhelming at first! But Elaina and I prevailed, as we always do (because we’re legit). We bought several very nice things for the gala auction. I’m excited to see you all there! I hope you like what we picked out. Together, Elaina and I make a pretty good bargaining force. She has the language skills and I have the ability to be stubborn about wanting a better price. We did well.
Yes Katie. We triumphed through adversity, then went back to where we felt a little more comfortable: Luis Garcia. The kids were so happy to see us! They surrounded Chris’s SUV as soon as we pulled up and I did us in by getting out and asking, “Do you guys want to learn more English?” They answered with a resounding “Yes!” Then I gestured to Katie and said, “Alright but we have to wait for the teacher.” For the next 15 minutes we talked to 20 kids who bombarded us with questions about how to say simple words in English and how to pronounce their names in English. Then we spent the next half hour playing soccer with them. As you can imagine, we “gringas” (Yes, that applies even to me) were not very good at it but the great thing is that they didn’t really care. It’s just about playing. Afterwards we took dozens of pictures with them, which they insisted that we email to them. Then we said quick goodbyes and jumped into the SUV before they could insist that we take more pictures. As we rode out of Luis Garcia toward the main highway Katie and I agreed that it was so odd to be leaving a place where we felt so loved. *Tear*

It was a lovely afternoon. The kids are so wonderful. I am already planning to go back! I need to learn a little more Spanish, though. I thought I was doing pretty well, even though the kids laughed at me a lot. They laughed the most when I confused the word “caballero” (gentleman) with “caballo,” and ended up calling a boy a horse.

Alright. That’s enough horsin’ around. (Wow. That was pretty cheesy. I think Curt’s rubbing off on me) In summary, Katie and I have had a great Honduran adventure. We laughed, we cried (I admit it. I teared up when a little girl gave me an illustrated thank-you note) and we mucked through sewage (Well, Professor Selby did at least). Now the adventure is over but we’re excited to see all of you again. So look out cuz we’re coming back to the States with our experiences in hand and yes, we’re going to make you listen to all of our stories and look at every one of Dr. Roth’s pictures (somewhere around 1,000 it seems). Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

-The Team