SAM_1160image SAM_1145 SAM_1163 (1) SAM_1168Hi! My name is Helena. Today was full of adventure and new experiences. After waking up, eating breakfast and attending an academic seminar, we had the opportunity to listen to a speaker, Tio Antonio, who encouraged us to do anything we put our minds to. He runs a café that teaches people about those who are deaf or mute. I felt that his speech was very inspirational and heartfelt, as well as eye-opening. Afterwards, we were able to learn and actually try to make a part of a hammock. This was really interesting to me because whenever I see hammocks, I never really question how they’re made. The group was also able to learn how to spell out their respective names in sign language. A funny thing was that everyone, for the most part, found the restroom really fascinating. I’ve never seen so much toilet paper in one room. (Picture included for reference). Lunch, for me, was chicken, rice, salad, and a tortilla. The chicken really reminded me of my mother’s cooking. I enjoyed it very much.

After lunch was a trip to a place where people practiced things, such as acrobatics, mime, and other circus-related things. The entire building was made out of plastic bottles, which may seem hard to believe if you’ve never seen it. One of the purposes for the place, besides recycling, was to give kids a chance to learn something they enjoy doing, instead of wandering aimlessly on the streets, which was awesome. Those we saw there were really excited, bubbly, and happy. It was also really cool to be exposed to a way of life that I’ve never would have expected from people in Granada. People were really passionate about what they did. We were even able to do some acrobatics, as well as tricks with the hula hoops and batons. It was so much more difficult than how it looked. I’m really thankful for the patience and kindness that the people there showed us.

The group walked to a place where we teach English to those who wanted to learn. It honestly is a joy to see my (and Kim’s) students so dedicated to learn. Today, we taught them about plural nouns, and I loved how they asked questions and genuinely wanted to learn. I felt really proud of their progress and their enthusiasm.

Overall, today gave me a glimpse into the idea that people don’t really need much to be happy. Back at home, I would spend quite a bit of time on my phone. However, here, without my phone with me, I am able to step out of my comfort zone and do things I wouldn’t have had the courage to do before, such as do an acrobatic act. I’ve talked to so many new people, and so far I’m really glad I was able to have the opportunity to attend this trip.

Helena Huynh