Bloggers for this post are Madison & Alyssa
Today (our cultural day) was something different than we had experienced on the trip so far. Yes, we played with the same kids, we were able to continue to have meaningful moments with them and discover new levels of happiness, but we also were able to have the experience of the kids teaching us. We had a little time upon first arriving to take in everything there was to see at the Lempira Day celebration (held a week or so earlier than the typical date in the church courtyard just for us). Lempira Day is a Honduran national holiday where the people celebrate their tribal heritage and the different departments (their version of states or regions) that make up the country. Many little girls and boys were dressed in (adorable) traditional clothing, like colorful dresses or white dresses with Lempiras sewed to the fabric. Once we were seated and the power was back up, each grade of children presented a certain region (which they called departments) and showed us the traditional food that went with each region. For many kindergarten children, the simple act of saying the one word or phrase that classified their dish was too much for them and they covered their face and began to cry. We felt very sad for them, but it was also pretty cute (and relatable). During the presentations, two male members of our team were asked to come forward and practice dance moves with machetes. Several females from our team were also asked to come forward and do a sort of line dance with a group of Honduran children. We were able to try a few of the traditional foods, and for lunch we were served delicious papusas with cheese inside and coleslaw on the top. Then there was more dancing, one with less spectators watching, where we all stood in a circle and learned a few songs. Next came perhaps the hardest part of the trip, saying good bye to the kids and the leaders of the church. It is crazy how one week (or two for some members of our trip) can create such strong relationships and can make people so sad to leave each other. There will be many people to miss and many more to aspire to meet again. We solemnly packed into the van and headed out to Valle del Angeles, a little village that was full of shops. Everyone was pleased with the little authentic purchases they had to show for their time here. The next stop on our adventure was a cafe in Santa Lucía called Tres Puntos that was super cute and had amazing views. Our team leader Courtney made an amazing choice in taking us to the cafe, it definitely allowed us to view the country from a new height and relax a little after a very fast-paced week. We took a short break at the Mission House and then headed to El Patio for some time to enjoy an amazing meal and bond as a team. The live entertainment was truly unlike anything in the United States, with a man who sang at every table (accompanied by music) and even handed the microphone over to a random Honduran man to sing his part. Later on in the night we continued to bond with the team by sharing with each other what we had learned over the trip and also what we liked about each person. Then it was time to go to bed after a long day.