Lauren's Peace Corps Experience in Honduras

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed and experiences described in this travelogue are mine personally. Nothing written here should be interpreted as official or unofficial Peace Corps literature or as sanctioned by the Peace Corps or the U.S. government. I have chosen to write about my experience online in order to update family and friends; I am earning no money whatsoever from this endeavor. Please do not copy or forward any of these contents without my permission.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

It's a beautiful life

Hi all,

Hope all is well with my wonderful family and friends! Since I sent out that email about the library for Dulce Nombre I have received pledges for $700.00 so far. Thanks for your support! The community will really utilize your donation. I feel very lucky to have family and friends that are so supportive of me and a community that they have never seen.

Life is great down here. Sometimes I don't know how I will go back to the big scary United States - everyone here knows me, I feel very loved and accepted and utilized, I also have visitors and people inviting me in for lunch or dinner or coffee with sweet bread, and hanging out with other volunteers is such a treat. Of course I miss some of the more important people in my life back in the states, but I gotta say, I am enjoying this more than I expected.

Speaking of important people back in the states, my brother Ian and sister Wendi sent me some amazing packages this week and I just wanted to thank them publicly ;) No seriously, the photo album made my day Woo, and Ian I have been listening to your CDs, eating my favorite Milano cookies, and started that book that you sent me. I can't wait to see you in December.

Work is going well here, although it is laidback. The money for the huge latrine project finally came so now I am starting to make plans to buy the materials and organize the 100 families again to gear up for the project. I just have to wait for the somewhat too-relaxed mayors to get a move on...sometimes it's like watching molasses (a mom-ism) working with political figures down here. I know the people need those latrines so I get impatient to get on with it. Also in the works is a new youth group. I have been going to meetings for the last week with a group of about 30 youth - I didn't initiate the group, but was approached to offer support and will probably help with some activities and am hoping to do HIV/AIDS prevention work with them in the future. For now, they are receiving capacitations every weekend for the next 4 weeks in theater, puppets, stilts, and other artistic pursuits...also they are learning about gender roles, violence, self-esteem, and other issues. People from Teguc have been running the workshops and I have been participating and trying to keep the youth in control. I've really enjoyed getting to know them though, and feel like I found another link to the community. They will do community projects in the future, and exhibit their theater and puppet shows and stilt walking (a Mayan tradition) in the upcoming Dulce Nombre feria in September.

We had a party in Santa Rosa this past weekend, mainly because we hadn't had one in a while and because the new group of trainees were passing through as they finished their Field-Based Training nearby and were returning to Siguatepeque for their last few weeks before swearing-in. Remember that? I was going through the same thing 5 months ago...how quickly the time passes! They find out their sites this week. Finally, we are not the newbies anymore! I still feel like I just got here though...but yes, progress has been made, both in language (the Spanish is going well) and in cultural adjustment and comfort with the work and pace of life. But it was great to see the other volunteers and we had a little too much fun as usual, and went out dancing together...I went to sleep as the sun came up, and only slept for about an hour and a half that night/morning...and I still went to church that night, even though I was half falling asleep. I found a great church in Santa Rosa and have started going there on Sunday nights when I can get a ride, which I usually can. It is like the church I was going to at home, West End Assembly of God, with lots of community feeling, clapping and singing, great messages and church retreats, humor....the only thing it is that it is in Spanish...a slight hiccup I am trying to overcome.

Well that is just about it for the week I think. Miss you guys and keep in touch please...take care! ¬°Que Dios les bendiga!

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