My first week at TLC was one of the most difficult and a big shock to my system. However, after only a few weeks, it felt like I had been here for a long time. I quickly adapted to the culture at TLC. Students and staff enjoyed a break between Quarter 3 and Quarter 4. During this break, I visited other parts of Honduras, and I actually looked forward to coming back to TLC, because it felt a bit like home. I love the rhythm of campus. Eating together, working in the fields, caring for the animals, teaching classes and playing sports are part of daily life here. But, by far, my favorite part is working with the students and spending time with them.
The culture of TLC has truly impressed me. For a start, the students and staff are really caring. It is great to see the amount of empathy between the students and how they care for other people. I have participated in many things for the first time since coming to TLC (like leading a dance class) and this would not have been possible in many other circumstances. It is a privilege to be a part of these students’ lives. They extend freedom to each other to learn and grow. In many ways the students have given me the encouragement to move outside my comfort zone. I’ve tried many new things that I would have most likely not done back home. For that reason, I’m so thankful to be a part of life at TLC.
My perspective of home has changed significantly since leaving South Africa. For a start, South Africa is home to at least 13 different cultures by my calculations. We have 11 official languages, and I only speak 2 of them fluently. Coming to Honduras has given me a lot of empathy for people of other cultures and languages. Even though South Africa has many cultures, I was never really immersed in more than 3. You don’t realize how it feels to be an outsider, until you are one. I now have more confidence in learning a new language and have definitely grown as a person.