Expanding my world
Yesterday (and today), I had the distinct honor of bringing 3 of our teachers to a professional development conference for English teachers in La Ceiba, Honduras. These 3 are not yet fluent English speakers, but the desire in them is great and I want to nurture that. The US Embassy provided their hotel, breakfast and conference registration. Part of their travel expenses were covered by a short term mission team.
And as I watch their faces and see them writing in English... I realize that every penny was a good investment.
Professional development is out of reach for our area... no roads in and out with expensive airplane tickets sort of have that effect. It has a stifling impact, this infrastructure problem. Think about it... if tools to nurture your professional growth are out of reach, at some point, you lose interest and settle for mediocrity. I know I do.
It was expensive for us to come to this event. One round-trip plane ticket from La Ceiba is $250. My brain tells me, there has to be an easier, less expensive way. But, how would you bring 390 fellow teachers and 15+ speakers to La Mosquitia? That isn't an option. We could bring one presenter on one topic :) ... and that may be an option for our future. We could watch online videos, also a challenge with our antiquated internet.
Infrastructure... or lack of. The impact is crippling on a people group that would love to live and work a decent job right in the middle of their culture. This is a fair request.
Yesterday, I heard that international call centers want to expand their presence into Honduras, but the lack of quality English speakers keeps them from opening additional call centers. My imagination runs BIG as I remind myself of a prior vision Alex and I had about partnering to bring a call center to La Mosquitia and train IVA students to work there. But.... infrastructure problems leave us wondering how a problem so large finds step one toward a solution.
How can a call center exist without consistent electricity and phone connection?
La Mosquitia loses all the way around, at least for today. But with a vision, comes an intensity and a perseverance...
Our motivation remains to train our students in English to compete for tourism and future call center jobs that may come up, as well as shoot for international scholarships in English-speaking countries. This dream is not deterred by the challenges of La Mosquitia.
The saddest part to me... to shoot for these big things, the students will have to leave La Mosquitia.
My train of thought veers wildly off track. As I wrest it back to the present and the conference, I smile as I picture those 9th grade faces and how far they have come in every area, but especially in their English. This quarter in my English class will be dedicated to critical thinking and answering WHY in English. They will be pushing their limits here, but it is good for them.
Critical thinking and the absence of it, another topic for another day.
This post is really a peek into what happens when my mind has room to explode with possibilities and analyze the realities. I wonder, how often do we even allow ourselves to go there? Do you give yourself time and space to imagine, to dream, to pray and allow God to plant BIG things there? He doesn't just do this for a few... He does it for all of us.
Don't let the voice of the 'critic' drown out the dreams that are yours to dream!