“I’m following a one year master’s degree at the VU. Before that I spend three years studying in Bremen. When I was accepted for Bremen I was in complete shock. I thought, “This is really happening”. Europe is totally different from America, which is just around the corner from Honduras. To get to Europe I had to take at least three flights and my parents were pretty upset about my leaving. But the chance was too good to miss.
It was the best decision I ever made in my life. I am so happy to be studying in Amsterdam. Everything’s about enjoying life, while in America it’s all about finding the best job. If I look at my Facebook timeline I see engagement after engagement announcement from the others back home. Babies are born and people get married. And I think, “My god, they’re only twenty three. There’s so much more in life that that”. My grandmother is worried about me. She’s always asking when I’m going to get married.
You can’t compare Honduras with Amsterdam. Take the weather. You don’t need to look up to see what the weather will be like in Honduras. It’s always great. I use the weather forecasts here. In Honduras I lived in a gated community, while you’re completely free here. I even feel safe when I cycle home at two in the morning.
I was stunned by all the bicycles here when I first arrived. My parents had come to visit me in Germany and had a stop-over in Amsterdam. We decided to stay here together for a couple of days. One of the first things we did was take a photo of the bike park at Centraal Station. Amazing that something like that exists! What I can’t get used to is the smell of weed in the morning. I wonder to myself, “Why so early? Have you even had breakfast yet?”
In the weekends I go to Hillsong church. It’s at the Escape club. I help in the morning service with Spanish translation, and then go to a service myself. The club is swept at 7 a.m. and the services begin. By 12 there’s a line at the door, but not for a party, for church. This church stands for freedom; come as you are. Amsterdam, that city which stands for freedom, and this church which stands for the same, makes me feel that I am in the middle of a win-win situation. It’s funny that I, with my blonde hair and blue eyes, merge into the masses here. In Honduras the nuns used to fight over who would get to hold me, while on the street people would try to speak to me in broken English.
I don’t know whether I will stay here. What I do know is that I’m not yet done discovering this city.”
30 people in Amsterdam have the Honduran nationality