In 7 days, I’m headed to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, (dubbed by the media as “the murder capital of the world”), to work with the girls and young women at Our Little Roses. I have a lot of experience with under 11s, but working with the age bracket 15 and up scares me slightly.
I think the root of my fear of working with this age group is that I was a bit of a lost soul at that age myself. It was a dark time in my life, where I had a dim view of a system that I had seen fail me and many others, and I especially disliked people who I considered to be “do-gooders”. I was so desperate for peer recognition that I did every rebellious thing that I could, regardless of whether I enjoyed it or not, like smoking, drinking, and going to music festivals.
I made a point of associating with people older than me, and I had zero positive role models. Not that I wanted any anyway; as far as I was concerned, the world was broken, and I had completely lost faith in any force for good.
Although the girls at the home and I are from worlds apart, I know what it is like to feel alone and abandoned. Maybe these girls will be different from how I was; I had seen it all and I wasn’t interested in anything you had to tell me. I really hope that I don’t find anyone there who is as disillusioned as I was.
Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’ve managed to make some peace with the past, rediscovering who I am and what I really like to do. I’m very aware that I am privileged to be involved in this project, and I want to be of as much use there as possible. I hope I have the confidence to be myself with these girls. Maybe they have more to teach me than I have to teach them.