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.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

2008 Update

Hi all -

I just thought I should give people an update if they still check this. I never really finished writing about the last few events of my service, such as my going away parties and thank yous, and I'm not going to try now, with so much time gone by.

Since finishing my Peace Corps service in June, 2007, I've visited Dulce Nombre twice. I'm still with Lester, and he stayed with us up in the states for a few months after I moved to Baltimore. Dulce Nombre and the Santa Rosa area had changed in many ways after a year of absence, although most things were still the same. About a month after I left, the new library of Dulce Nombre opened its doors. Here's its new website! I urge you to find ways to support this project and other similar projects - they always need school supplies, money, costumes, and ideas.

http://www.bibliotecadulcenombre.es.tl

The library is beautiful. Every time I have dropped in it has been full of young people reading, engaging in group activities, a meeting to start a debate team, or workshops on various topics. They have accomplished a lot in the year since they opened. Thanks Riecken Foundation, and more importantly, a great dedicated group of townspeople.

Dulce Nombre also has had several of its main roads paved - it looks great! They are also working on paving the 7 km between the town and the highway, which will hopefully make a big difference in bringing more business, resources, and quick access to the hospital to the town, although hopefully not more pollution and trash.

The first time I visited, in May 2008, I surprised everyone except Lester. I had to show up at my closest friends' houses within a couple hours of arrival so that word wouldn't spread before I got there. Lester's mom almost had a heart attack, as did Efrain, and the Profe, although I had to surprise her over the phone. It was very fun to sneak up on everyone like that! I had lost weight since leaving so everyone had to comment on that, and they updated me on everything that has happened. A few friends were no longer there, a few projects were no longer going on, but the women's group was somehow continuing and several other long term projects, such as the teniasis project I had started with the nurse and the Profe were finally bearing fruit.

As for me, I have finished my first year at the Institute for Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Over the past year I have learned so much about so many things that I feel very fortunate and excited for what is to come. One more year to go :) I am torn between working in a nonprofit, going abroad and having more adventures, or moving to DC and starting a safe but interesting career. Only time will tell. Peace Corps set me on my way to studying public policy, and attempting to figure out ways in which to approach, analyze, and solve public problems.

I miss so many things about Peace Corps! I most of all miss my other PCVs, whom I've only managed to see a few of since COS - Sarah, Kattrina, Lauren D., and I may see Mike soon when he comes to DC. I hope to see Justin, Jenn, and my other favorite people soon, and hope that there is a reunion sometime soon. I also miss the freedom, the rich experiences, the laughs, the adventures, the adoration, the humiliation, and everything that makes up a wonderful Peace Corps experience. If you are considering it - DO IT. I hope to do it again someday!

16 Comments:

  • At February 10, 2009 at 7:40 AM, Blogger Sean said…

    Hello,
    My name is Sean and I'm a PCV in the Philippines. I accidentally found your website when looking up my friend's blog, pcvloren.blogspot.com, and I read your last few entries. I am 6 months into service and obviously have some anxieties: I'm still trying to make friends, which I am finding very difficult, what going back to the states will be like, etc. Just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed reading your last few posts; it reassures me that the end will be bitter sweet, implying that the sweetness is still to come!
    If you are at all interested in my blog, seaninthephils.blogspot.com
    take care!

     
  • At December 22, 2010 at 12:50 PM, Blogger ruttra01 said…

    Hey Lauren!

    My name is Rachel Rutter and I'm currently a senior in college in Gettysburg, PA. I stumbled upon your blog about your experience in Honduras and was hoping you could answer some questions for me about the Peace Corps. I am considering the Peace Corps for after graduation because I feel like God might be leading me in that direction, but am not quite sure and am simultaneously very anxious and also very excited about the prospect of going. I've lived abroad before but only for a couple of months, so my biggest hangup about it is leaving my family for such a long time. I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me that might help me in my decision.


    What was a typical day like for you? Did you have regular internet/phone access? What was the biggest challenge? Do you recommend the experience? In hindsight, would you go again if you had the choice? How hard is it to keep in touch? How do vacation days work? (ie, could I save them up and go home for Christmas or something like that?) How has God used this experience in your life?

    Any advice you have would be sooo greatly appreciated. Thank you :)

    Love, Rachel

     
  • At August 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM, Blogger VICTOR LEMUS said…

    I have been reading some of your journal entries, I wish I had read them while you were still in Honduras! Better late than never huh?

     
  • At July 12, 2012 at 7:16 PM, Blogger Lorenzo said…

    It’s never too early to think about the Third Goal. Check out Peace Corps Experience: Write & Publish Your Memoir. Oh! If you want a good laugh about what PC service was like in a Spanish-speaking country back in the 1970’s, read South of the Frontera: A Peace Corps Memoir.

     
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