These are postings from students at The Leadership Center (TLC) that are intended to give them writing and reporting opportunities and to give supporters insight and updates of current happenings on campus. Check back for weekly updates.
Students Share Opinions of Honduran Women
Sioux, one of our volunteers, prepared this video of students telling about Honduran women. It includes both English and Spanish language and allows you to see and hear them speak their mind.
New Student Interview
Vanessa is the newest student on campus. At the time of this brief video she had been with us for three months. From her interview, you can see how much she has learned so quickly. She arrived almost a month after classes began but quickly caught up with her class mates. None of our students know any English before arriving at TLC.
Translation Job Opportunity
Recently, five of our most advanced students interviewed to fill the position of a translator for a missionary group from the US who planned on working with Honduran children in Zambrano. Initially planning on hiring only one of our students, the organizers were soimpressed with the student’s professionalism and level of preparedness that they decided to hire three of the applicants for a four-day translation job. Alex, one of the students who got the job, shares her experience with putting her TLC education to work:
Working with children in Zambrano was a really beautiful experience because I meet many different people. There were people from everywhere- Americans from different states as well as Hondurans. They are a big group of nice people helping our Honduran children. They are a group of missionaries who demonstrate their faith by teaching about the Bible, taking care of others, and giving love to others, especially to children. I enjoyed helping them by translating, teaching and playing with the children a lot for four days. It was such an exciting and beautiful experience that I want to go again someday and volunteer to help Miss Valeria with the children.
Miss Valeria is the owner of the place for children where we worked, called “Casa de Luz”. She is doing a great job with these little ones, giving them love and taking care of them. I am sure God is blessing her and her family everyday. I am so thankful for Miss Valeria and that she has given me this opportunity to meet these beautiful people and children. I am also very thankful for my teachers at the Leadership Center for helping me so much. I could have not experienced this if they had not supported me.
All of you guys are really great. Thank you for everything that you are doing for my present and my future. I am really grateful for all of you.
God bless and thanks to all of you.
Alexandria Says Thank You
This week Alexandria wanted to say thank you to her sponsors, David & Terri Downer. So, she asked Glen to make a quick video on the spur of the moment as he was leaving campus to return to the States.
Here it is. Alexandria
First Big Game
Last Sunday we played our first soccer game. None of us have ever played soccer before so we were really excited to have our first game. We have been learning soccer, or as we call it football, for the past couple of months. Juan Carlos, the husband of Seyda our Directora, is our coach. He is also our Phys Ed teacher.
Unlike the other team, we had no uniforms but fortunately about two weeks before our game, a team from Trinity UMC in McLean, Va. came to be with us and gave all of us matching tee shirts. Those tee shirts were our uniforms.
It was the first game for any of us and although we lost, we will always remember that day. Many spectators that day will also remember it was their first time to see girls from our area play soccer. It was really amazing to see how some of the girls who never did anything athletic, like “Little Martha”, quickly became enthusiastic and very competitive. We never thought we’d ever see her jump so high or become so competitive to get the ball but she did.
In this slide show you can see all of us in action.
Meet Another New Student
Hi! My name is Gabriela but my friends call me Gaby. I am from Lempira. Lempira is one of the poorest states in Honduras.
It’s a privilege for me to be here at The Leadership Center. I give many thanks to God for giving me this opportunity to continue studying and make my dreams come true. I am one of the new students here, and I want to use this time to mention my inspiration, my mother. Despite the distance between us I am always thinking of her and following her advice as I continue forward. I am very grateful for having this opportunity and I want to take advantage of it by being one of the best students.
I want to thank Prof. Bennon for having patience with us in the classes. He is a great teacher and is the favorite teacher of group three because he has taught us since the beginning of our time here. We appreciate all he has taught us, and the other teachers also give good classes. To be here at the Leadership Center is a blessing for all of us students.
We are very thankful to all the people here who help The Leadership Center function and grow, and also thankful for all the volunteer teachers who come here from other places to teach us and give us a good education. I would also like to say that the campus of The Leadership Center is very beautiful as pine trees and fresh unpolluted air surround us.
Also, we work every morning carrying rocks for the construction of new buildings or filling bags with earth for new coffee plants. These days we have been cleaning the coffee farm of branches and leaves as it is on a forested mountain. There are many coffee trees on the farm, and it is a beautiful place.
After an hour of work we have class and all of my fellow students participate in learning together. In the afternoons we sometimes go to the river to swim and bathe because it is really close and there are some good swimming spots. Some of the girls exercise, and so do I as I love to go for runs.
All of the girls here get along well. Of course, sometimes there are arguments but we always ask forgiveness soon and make up our differences.
Every Sunday we get together to talk about the Word of God. Discussing the words and works of God is very important to me because He is always guiding and instructing us.
We are here at The Leadership Center to become good leaders. I love learning English; it is one of my dreams to speak several languages. Another dream I have is to open my own business and help many people by giving them a source of work.
I also want to say that I like the cooking we do here. One of the volunteers taught us how to make pizza and bread as well. It seems like we are always learning new things. Also, we watch movies and it’s really fun as all the girls get together to watch. Last week we celebrated Mother’s Day by performing some plays and singing. The director, Ira, was in the play as King Solomon and it was real fun for all of us to see that. Also, we did a talent show and this was a really special night for all the girls.
The Leadership Center is a place of learning. Not only learning but also becoming educated on how to be a good leader and make our own decisions. This is what I wanted to say. God Bless to all the people who have helped us.
Gaby is one of the students needing a sponsor. She was recommended by Hector Cacon of Water Missions International. Sponsoring Info
News From A New Student
I am Betis and I am one of the new girls and I think this is one of the best opportunities I have had in my life, and I want to make the best of it.
I thank God, my parents, The Leadership Center, and all the sponsors that make this dream possible for every one of the girls. In the short time I have been here I have learned new things, and I’ve also made new friends and companions.
I have learned a lot in English class, and with hard work and by applying ourselves we are learning more each day. Our teachers are the best in the world and we all get along really well. We love all our teachers but our favorite is Bennon. He is a patient person who understands us. He is also the person with whom we have shared the most time and classes.
I enjoy every activity that we have worked on together. I will never forget all the fun things we have done like the talent show we did a few days ago. Everyone had a lot of fun as we displayed our talent as actors and dancers, and comedians too. Sometimes we become full of grief because we miss our friends and family, but thanks to God, and to each other, and to everything we have learned we soon leave our fears and worries behind.
Sunday May 13th was a very special day for all of us as it was Mother’s Day. Even though we were not with our mothers it was still great because we celebrated for the two mothers on our campus, Sarah and Candida, who represented our mothers for us. We celebrated the day with plays and special songs for them, as well as cake and many other fun things.
I loved the performance of the story of King Solomon who speaks of the love of a mother with great wisdom. Also, our director surprised us as he played the King, and his performance was the best.
The birthdays here are really great as we try to make the birthday girls happy and feel at home by preparing something special like a cake, dinner, or party.
We always try to carry ourselves in the best way possible because we know that peace and love and happiness and respect for each other are the most important things in the world.
I love all the activities we do in the center like bonfires, watching movies, game night, study hour, working on the farm, cooking, participating in every one of the classes, and many more.
The atmosphere at the Leadership Center is very pleasant as we are surrounded by nature. The beautiful waterfall is my favorite place, and I really enjoy going to the river to swim. The air is so fresh and pure, and I love to see and reflect on the beauty of the forest when I go for a run. I also love the food, especially all the vegetables we eat, as it’s very good for our health.
Working on the farm is interesting as I am constantly learning new things about planting crops and maintenance of the farm.
Last week we built a volleyball net with all the girls, and some of the teachers-Malcolm, Seyda, and Juan Carlos. For sure we are really happy now as we play volleyball a lot and enjoy ourselves every time we do it. It’s great to have all these life experiences in this place. I love being here.
Betis is one of our excellent students in need of a sponsor. She is from near Lago de Yajoa and was recommended by Arturo Antelo founder of The Dove School in Santa Barbara. Sponsoring Info
Typical Activities On Campus
My name is Myra and I am writing about some activities of the university. For an hour each morning, except Sunday, we do some kind of physical work on campus. For example, sometimes we work on a garden with our teacher, Sarah. I am very excited because this is the first time for me to work and see the growth of each vegetable. We are learning how to prepare the soil to plant the vegetables. We are planting some beets, squash, cabbage, peas and cucumbers.
Some students are working on the farm. They are filling small plastic bags in which to plant coffee while the permanent farm workers are preparing the land to plant the new coffee. The coffee seeds are starting to grow in the nursery and soon they will be ready to plant in bags.
On Thursdays we have optional Bible study from 7:00 to 8:00pm. On Sundays we have church from 10-11:30am. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we have one hour of study hall from 7:00-8:00pm.
There are three groups of students. The first group and we began a little over a year ago. The second group began last October. The third group began the week after Easter this year. The first and second groups of students go regularly to teach at the school in Los Valles. They have a schedule and groups of three students. They go on Monday and Thursday from 10:45 to 2:00pm. This is one of the ways we are using the things we are learning.
On April 22nd we said goodbye to Martina and Ben. They are volunteers from England. They have been with us for a few months. They are good teachers and very nice people. The students prepared a special dinner for them the evening before they left.
Mayra is from Colón and was recommended by Hector Chacon of Water Missions International.
A Trip To Zambrano
Hi my name is Karen. I want to share about when I went to Zambrano one Friday with my director and four other students to a school. The school’s name is Casa de Luz where a few children study. We taught about dental hygiene, read books to them and also played with them.
It was very fun because it made us happy and teaching helped us learn too. The kids were happy with us also because they thought we were from the United States because we were speaking English with their teachers and director. We arrived at 8am and taught the first group. At 2:30 we taught and played with the second group of children.
I want to thank all the volunteers that help out our university, TLC. Because of you we are studying, changing, and developing our knowledge. Thank you for helping us. Blessings will always be with you.
Karen is from La Mosquitia. Missionaries Alex and Laura Waits recommended her to TLC.
A Day At The Fair by Olga
This is about a really fun Saturday that was filled with adventures. We walked to Las Botijas, laughing, talking, and playing the whole way. Then, we had a lot of fun watching a game of football (soccer); the girls were very emotional as they cheered, “Lets go team!” Every great day must have good food, and this one was no exception as we ate delicious tamales. I cannot leave without mentioning that we met the Vesterberg family, especially because I got to meet their son Andrew who gave me a ride on the dirt bike that was very exciting.
Olga is from Colon. She is an excellent student who began at TLC last October. Hecto Chacon of Water Missions International recommended her for acceptance to TLC.
Reflections & Memories About Her First Three Months On Campus by Yanetzi.
I wish to relate how life has been at The Leadership Center (TLC) for the last three months. I have to say that it hasn’t been so easy, for each stage in life comes with its difficulties. However, we also have the opportunity to see these difficulties as adventures from which we can learn something new each day, and from every thing that happens, no matter how small it may be.
The first days here we had to learn to adapt to this new place with new people, as well as to a way of life that is a bit different than where we come from. But when you meet the people here, you see the compassion in their hears. I’m not only talking about the directors of the institution, but also about each and every one of the volunteers and each of the girls that are here at the center.
When we arrived here, we were received with kindness. We were shown the facilities and our respective dormitories. Later, we talked about the class schedule and each of the rules—of which there are few—was explained to us. These rules help us to better ourselves in each aspect of our character as leaders.
To give you a better idea of life here, these are some of the experiences we have had:
Our first teachers were super fun because they looked for fun ways and techniques to teach us. During that time we did many fun things such as:
Building bonfires: In the evening we would light a fire and eat smores and sometimes have soda or milk. We told jokes and listened to music and some of the girls would dance. We also celebrated some birthdays with small parties with piñatas and fun games.
We also have watched many movies. We like to go to the river because it is very close by and some of the students are even learning to swim! Every Wednesday is Baleada Day. We are always excited for Wednesdays because everyone loves Baleadas.
In addition, within the past three months we had our first group presentation. We worked as a team to create a successful political campaign. Each candidate and her team had to describe their slogan, platform, and publicity. And then our respective groups arranged to explain the work we had done. The teachers evaluated our performance in each one of the categories. Despite it being our first presentation they told us that we had done a good job.
For Thanksgiving we made cards for each one of the volunteers in art class in which we wrote how each one of them are such good people, teachers, and friends. We exchanged the cards at dinner, which was, of course, very delicious.
Another thing was that with the help of some of the volunteers we were able to act in a play. Two of the volunteers wrote it, and each character in the play had traits that corresponded to our own personalities. When they gave us the first page we didn’t know what they were trying to do. We thought the play was only to help us with our pronunciation, but as we continued to read the following pages over the next couple of days we began to understand what the volunteers were trying to do. Like I said, it was a play that we presented to many people, including people from the community. We performed the play in both Spanish and English and we were quite nervous. We did learn a lot about pronouncing and performing in front of people, but most of all we learned how to have fun while learning.
Now I will tell you about the community events we have organized. I have a lot of ideas about how to help the local communities by offering information about important themes that can improve their quality of life.
The most recent event was a movie, but first we had to plan each part of the event. We looked for a schedule that would be accessible for the community members and us girls. We personally delivered the invitations to each one of the members of the villages. We had to find the most adequate place to show the movies, and since it was a movie it had to be somewhere dark. We covered the windows of one of the classrooms so the movie would look good in there, we placed chairs in the room, we installed the projector to make a big movie screen, we prepared a snack, and we also made a place for the children where they could watch a kids movie. We decided to show the adults Mrs. Doubtfire, and for the children, we showed Shrek.
When the day arrived, we already had made everything ready but the weather was not favoring us. It was cloudy and a little rainy and windy, and we were worried that we would not be able to have the event. But around 11 o’clock, right before midday, the weather changed totally. The sky turned clear and the sun was bright so that when the time for the event arrived we were all ready when the people began to arrive. We started with some words of welcome in which we told them to make themselves comfortable to enjoy the movie. Then we handed out snacks to help with the enjoyment of the movie like in a theater. When the movie finished, we had a time of reflection about the message of the movie and how it could apply to our lives. We said that sometimes we don’t value what we have until we lose it, and then it is hard to get it back. Sometimes, we cannot ever recover what we have lost and it is important to be thankful for what we do have.
To finish I want to say that during the time we have spent here we have learned many things, we have cried, we have laughed, we have played, and much more. But the most important thing is that we have grown as people and we are successfully establishing within ourselves the character of a leader.
Yanetzi is from Colon. She is an excellent student who began at TLC last October and was elected Class President. To be accepted into TLC, each student needs to be recommended by someone in Honduras who knows them to be well suited for the rigors of study at TLC. Hecto Chacon of Water Missions International recommended Yanetzi.