Life goes on...
Wow, it's been a while since I've written a post, huh? Well here I am finally. Things are going well here as February draws to an end. March is sure to be very busy. The first week of March a large group of students from the University of Maine is coming for the presentation of a small book my counterpart (The Profe) wrote about Dulce Nombre and they published. They are also going to help support the library and hopefully some other projects, such as the improved stove project (by the way, I will let you know when the solicitation for the project goes through...I've been procrastinating somewhat, and I know many of you have already offered to support us down here). They will stay with host families and I will squeeze 4 in my house with me, which should be fun. Then the second week I have 5 of my favorite gringos coming to visit - Rachel, Sarah, Heather, Tim, and Brian. We will spend a day or so in my town, head to Santa Rosa for a Pub Crawl my volunteer friends and I are putting on, and make our way over to the coast and Roatan to spend 4 nights over there diving and relaxing and patronizing many beach bars I am sure. It should be awesome :)
Since my mom has gone things have been pretty laidback (what else is new?). Sometimes I wonder how I will able to cope with the real world when I go back - the Peace Corps live is soooo laidback and easygoing. I think just about every day the thought crosses through my head that it's just too wonderful to be here while so many people are slaving away back in the states, and I feel a bit guilty because originally I came here to work work work and sacrifice and instead I feel like I am on a permanent vacation in another country with about 10 hours of work scattered across the average week. Whenever I say this to someone they list off all the projects I am involved in, and in that way it sounds impressive, but I know how much time I spend hanging out in my house and visiting other people in my town to chat and drink coffee and traveling to Santa Rosa and reading a million books. Anyway, that's my life down here, and I intend to cherish the year or so I have left of it.
The work I have been planning with my counterpart lately is soliciting the new stove project (I'd like to do 100), doing a class for parents that will be broadcast on our local cable station about how to raise healthy kids (her being the voice of experience and me being the "child development expert" hahahaha- thank goodness my dad brought me several thick child development books about ages and stages and strategies for parents), and planning the whole University of Maine week. In March I get to help out with training of the new group of health volunteers freshly arrived to Honduras and teach them how to make stoves, which should be fun. I'll have to go back to Siguatepeque for that. I'm also hoping to start up with the Plan youth group again and teach them how to give AIDS prevention charlas to younger kids and do some community projects, but so far it's been really hard to get them to show up to the meetings again, since we don't have a real leader, save for me, or a consistent meeting place, so we'll see how that goes.
I've been spending a bit more time in Santa Rosa lately...some months I just want to get away and stay in our PC house, and other months I don't even leave Dulce Nombre, it just depends. But I figure I pay the rent in the Santa Rosa house, and I should use it, right? Another recent trend is that I am starting to run again, though still a bit inconsistently, between 1 and 4 times a week. I walk a lot here, much more than in the states, but I don't think I am as in half a good a shape as I was in the states, going to the gym and running frequently. The life here is more active in general though, washing clothes outside by hand on the concrete washboard and basin we call a "pila", sweeping dust every day, walking down the street to buy food for a meal, walking up a huge hill in Santa Rosa to avoid spending money on a taxi, stuff like that.
Well everyone, I send my love to you all - I miss you so much and I can't wait to go home in May! I haven't bought the plane ticket yet but I am planning to be in DC and Richmond between May 17 and June 1 or 2. It should be great - I have a lot of things I want to eat :) Haha, 5 pounds here we come. So clear your calendars and see me :)