I've found my routine, my rhythm for my day-to-day life here. And in doing so, I have truly discovered that it really is the little things in life that matter the most. Extremely cheesy/corny expression, but it is so true.
Strip away the glamour, the materialistic things, the unnecessary items that we grow so accustom to having in the United States, and happiness is still there. It's hidden among the day-to-day customs that most people look right through.
I think, as Americans, or wherever you come from, that we sometimes underestimate the influence and the power of little, simple things in life.
My life here in Honduras is anything but perfect, yet I feel happier here than I have in a long time.
The routine that I have established here is so simple, that most would become easily bored with it. However, I look forward to these little things that make up my day:
- Stopping at a little pulperia (front porch of a local's house) to get the coldest, most flavorful orange juice I have ever tasted in my life. It comes in a bag, with a straw, and costs about 40 cents. It's a necessity walking back home after class on a hot day.
- Seeing the mountains in the distance as I walk to and from each of our classroom locations. On days when it's cloudy, the mountains are barely visible. But when there are few clouds in the sky, the mountains are so clear, and so beautiful. The pictures do not do them justice. I often find myself staring at them, wondering how I get to call them part of my home.
- Being awoken every morning to the sound of bus horns, roosters and chickens, and children's voices. Some of you might remember that in my first post, I hated the bus horns and the chickens. But now, I am so use to them, and they have become something that I expect each and every morning. They are my natural alarm clock, and without them I wouldn't be able to wake up as early as I do every morning and begin my day.
- Family dinners. Easily one of my most cherished times in Honduras. Living here, with volunteers from all over the world, is exactly like having a big, extended family. We are all here for the same reason, even though we are all so different. Hanging out together at beach house and having dinners together is such a special time and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many loving people. (And the food is always amazing.)
- Playing volleyball every Sunday evening with the volunteers and some of the locals who are around my age. Yes, that's right, I play volleyball. As most of you reading this probably know, I am not athletic at all, and I typically resent playing any sport. But here, playing beach volleyball with no shoes, is something that I quite enjoy. Even though I am no where near good at it, I still look forward to Sunday evenings on the beach, smacking a ball around.
- Riding in a "tuk tuk", a little motorized scooter that takes us anywhere in El Porvenir for only 10 Lempira; about 40 cents. Being squished in one of these, with music blasting and the wind blowing on your face is nothing but happiness.
- And of course, I have to mention the kids. The kids are truly happiness in little human form. Apart from the amazing class time I spend with them, I often see them in the streets as I walk to beach house from my house, or to the beach or pulperias. They run up to me, with giant smiles and attack me with hugs and "holas". A group of girls who frequent Centro Class, which is my main class, follow me from my house to the other volunteer house and beg me to play Spanish songs on my phone for the duration of the walk. This is such a special time for me, when they go out of their way to walk with me.
Life in Honduras is nothing like I have ever experienced in my 23 years. It's filled with endless mosquito bites, waking up with little snakes on your shoulder (yes, this was horrifying), and dripping in sweat 22 hours of the day. It's consistently being itchy, hot, and all around uncomfortable feeling. But it's so much more than this. Those few bullet points are just a small, small portion of the little things that make up my life here in Honduras. They may be little things, but they have such a large impact on my happiness, and truly make me feel at home.
No matter where you are in the world while reading this, take a moment to step back in your life and take time to appreciate these little, day-to-day things. Strip away the materialistic, trivial things in your life just for one day and take time to admire the everyday things that make up your routine. And I promise you in doing so, that you will discover a happiness like you have never felt.