An update from Jody, the Lincolnshire branch’s travel scholar who has been working and travelling in Honduras and beyond
With the ‘end of adventure’ date of 16 August fast approaching, our foreign correspondent (aka Jodie, our Lincolnshire branch travel scholar who has been working and travelling in Honduras and beyond) updated us on her experiences and the impact they were having on her.
While descriptions of making coffee from local beans, and lemonade from fallen lemons gathered as part of her morning routine bring a vivid, warm, colourful place to mind, full of hot springs, waterfalls, rainforests and islands teeming with wildlife, Jody’s encounters with different people shine through. And still she makes time to arrange her first year university accommodation in Manchester, make progress on her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course and perfect her Spanish. All are part and parcel of Jody’s year out and her descriptive accounts stand testament to why we love offering financial support to those looking to share different views of the world.
With a large part of her trip dedicated to volunteer teaching, Jody has learned a lot about her pupils and herself: ‘Each day I feel myself becoming a more confident teacher. I enjoy teaching a lot, even though my students drive me insane sometimes. They are improving greatly which is so encouraging to see. I am getting the hang of planning my lessons and then matching my plan to the kids’ energy levels, rather than trying to get a bunch of 10 year olds to match mine.’ Jody has also been tutoring a girl who wants to go to medical school in the UK. ‘I am helping her pass the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam, which has been going very well and is very much rewarding for both me and her.’
Jody’s travels included an intrepid Easter boat trip to a Caribbean island called Utila, where she snorkelled, got stung by a jellyfish and visited an iguana breeding centre; hiking in hot and humid jungle among many spiders and stunning butterflies; a visit to La Union where she learned how to prepare coffee starting with washing the beans, and a retreat at Gracias with fellow schoolteachers. Yet to come is a trip to Guatemala.
Learning Spanish has been a challenge Jody has clearly embraced. ‘I have been taking Spanish lessons which are going so well that I plan to go to language school in Antigua, Guatemala, for three weeks in June,’ she says.
Clearly not staying still for a moment, she is already looking beyond her time in Honduras and forward to exciting times ahead: ‘As much as I am enjoying my time here, I am excited about starting my university experience. I am looking forward to seeing what my life will be like in Manchester and all I will learn about psychology and myself.’
And we at the ESU, Jody, are looking forward to hearing all about it!