First Day at OYE! (7/3/12)
The workweek for OYE is Tuesday through Saturday, so today was my first day of work. I was super excited to start. OYE is an NGO that strives to help Honduran youth excel academically. To do so, they provide academic scholarships (monthly checks) to low-income, high-achieving students (between 12 and 26). In return, those students work on a project with the organization, ranging from publishing a magazine to producing radio shows. If interested, definitely check out their website here. It’s a great organization with a great deal of potential to make a positive change in Honduras.
That morning, Oscar went with me to work, to make sure that I got there safely and teach me a bit more about how the transportation system works. Since we got to el Centro early, he showed me around the city some more. Sadly, though, my camera broke. I can still take pictures, but I can’t zoom too far. Perhaps I took one too many pictures and wore my camera out….
Anyway, by 9 a.m., we headed to the office and waited for Marisol (the OYE director) to come open the door. Michael (my boss) was out of town for the week, but he’d e-mailed me my projects ahead of time. First one: translate a pamphlet for an upcoming health seminar that would be taking place on Saturday for the OYE scholars (students who receive the academic scholarships and do projects). I’d only translated one document from English to Spanish before, but thankfully I had WordReference by my side; she’s an angel. Since the topic of the seminar is about health, there were so many words I didn’t know. It’s all a learning process, though.
My next two projects entailed doing an analysis of the online presence of OYE and going over a list of potential funders. The former was really interesting, as I was able to look at OYE’s Facebook, Twitter, and website, and then give my opinion about it. However, the second project was much more tedious, but arguably more important. There are so many potential funders, and so many minute details must be noted about their application processes, deadlines, etc. Certainly, this isn’t a one-day project; I’m sure it’ll keep me occupied for the coming weeks. Chris (another intern from Princeton) was in today too. It was nice to get a chance to talk to another Gringo for a while.
After work, I got lost. To top it off, I couldn’t pronounce the name of the street I live on properly. To be sure, there were plenty of taxis that I could’ve taken, but according to Oscar, they’re much more expensive than the colectivos. And from watching Law and Order: SVU and CSI, I’ve grown not to trust most taxis anyway….I’m paranoid, I know. In due time, after roaming the city for half an hour, I found the location for the colectivos and headed home. Oscar told me that he was extremely worried, but ultimately, we all laughed about it. It turns out the colectivos are right in front of the OYE office. Epic fail, Shawon.
Later that night, Oscar took me to one of his friend’s house. Everyone is really sweet and respectful toward their guests; I love it. The mother of the home offered us chips and juice, and we had a great conversation. We mainly talked about the difficulty in learning a foreign language, and according to them, if you struggle with a language, such as Spanish, you say, “Machuco Español.” Technically, machucar means “to crush,” but in this context it means “to struggle.” We made a ton of jokes during our conversation too. And I was certainly glad to end the day with laughter.
Random word of the day: Picar – to bite (but only for bug bites). Oscar makes fun of the fact I use Off! every single day. It’s quite necessary, in my opinion, if you want to survive here!