Meet your neighbour
Darryl Bunt was born, raised, lives and works in Leaside. His family home on Donegall Dr. is the same house that his grandparents lived in for 30 years.
But this 27-year-old will leave behind what he describes as the “comfortable and safe community” of Leaside this spring to travel with a service team to Tegucigalpa, Honduras where he’ll work for a week as a volunteer at an orphanage for abandoned children.
“A typical day,” says Bunt, “includes… doing manual labour, perhaps digging a trench or painting a building.”
He points out that they don’t have big equipment there, like here, and “digging a trench means using shovels”, he says.
A highlight every day is playing games with the kids, like soccer, and just being their friends.
“When we’re with the children,” Bunt says, “we tell them that there is a community outside Honduras that cares about them too, and that’s why we are there.”
Here in Leaside he works at valu-mart on Bayview, the same store where he landed his first part time job at 15.
Is this your first time in Tegucigalpa?
“No. The first time I went with my parents and two brothers in 2012.”
How did your first visit change your perspective on the world?
“I was struck by the lifestyle compared to Canada. The children have nothing compared to what we have here. When we got back, we all felt different. My twin brothers stopped the discussion over having their own bedroom, and I refused to leave uneaten food on my plate.”
What does the experience teach you?
“The children may not own anything but they play together and have fun. They also respect each other and share what they have.”
What inspired you to return this year?
“One little girl came from a family where the father had abandoned the mother and in order to feed her child, the mother was forced into prostitution. When the mother was arrested and sent to prison, the little girl had to live there with the mother as well, where she spent two years before coming to the orphanage. That kind of experience really touches you strongly.”
And what do you like about Leaside?
“It’s a great place to live and it feels safe as you can walk down the street without having to look over your shoulder and worry.”
Anything you’d change?
Not a thing! I really appreciate what we have here.”