Thursday, March 31, 2011

Can't let March pass me by...

Well, as per usual I’ve been AWOL from my blog for quite some time now.  I apologize, but March was a hectic month, kinda.  I try to get at least one blog out a month, so this is my last ditch effort to not let March pass me by!  The best I can do is summarize what I did this month.

New month/new house: After waiting for many months and having been told that my house would be ready by January I finally moved into my new place on March 5!  It’s great for just me.  It has a good size living room area which is long and narrow.  I’ve designated one side as my work area where I have my computer and the other side is my chill out zone – my hammock and string lights make it quite relaxing.  There is a kitchen, which I’ve got stocked with mini-fridge, two burner stove, blender, rice cooker and espresso maker.  I don’t believe in roughing it in the Peace Corps!  Off the kitchen is a small bedroom, which is just perfect for one person.  Off the kitchen on the other side is where my pila (large water storage tank) is and beyond that my bathroom.  I’ll try to make another “Cribs” type video and get it posted soon so you can see it for yourself.

Vacation!: On March 12 my dad, stepmom, stepmom’s mom and stepmom’s aunt flew to the beautiful Honduran island of Roatan.  I met them there by way of ship from the mainland and we spent an amazing week relaxing and having a blast.  We rented scooters to toot around the island on, zip-lined, met some monkeys, went golfing, snorkeled, went deep sea fishing, did some parasailing and of course ate plenty of amazing food – lobster gnocchi, seared tuna, lobster tail, etc.  Of course the week flew by too fast and it was sad to say good-bye all over again to family and leave the easy island life.

Work/More vacation:  Prior to leaving for vacation I was supposed to have presented two charlas at the local high school and the students were going to have started their own microempresas already.  The week after coming back from vacation I was also going to start a coaching volleyball at the high school.  That was until the teachers and government decided to all throw a temper tantrum because they can’t work out an agreement.  I’ve heard the government is claiming to have overpaid the teachers at some point along the way and is now asking for the money back, up to L. 45,000 in one case I know of.  So, yes of course this is unfair.  However, the teachers union is ridiculously over powerful and they can pretty much strike when they want and for as long as they want.  This is the third whole week without classes and they were various days between February 14 and March 11 when classes first started that the teachers weren’t giving classes.  The sad part is no one can see the bigger picture and see the long term effects this has on the country.  Uneducated masses leads to the problems that abound here, but no one cares to see it that way.

Aside from the school, my other counterparts in the Mayor’s office wanted me to help them write a grant to have a day care center here.  I was all ready to start it and get rolling, since they’ve been asking me since December.  The day I head in to work with the vice-mayor he tells me that the Mayor just got some funds from elsewhere and it may or may not include money for the day care.  So, since they can’t get their act together I really have no way to help them.

Therefore because both of my assigned counterparts are very ineffective right now, I’m taking off on my own projects.  We’re still making great advances in the process of bringing a Chamber of Commerce here to my town.  We went to Tegucigalpa on Tuesday for a meeting with the main office and our next meeting will be here in Guaimaca after which they will leave a group doing a survey of local business.  On Saturday I’m starting a project called “Yo Merezco”.  This is a Peace Corps Honduras project created by the Health project a few years ago.  “Yo Merezco” means “I deserve” and is designed for young girls between 10-15 years of age with the principle goals of the program being abstinence, self-esteem, leadership, smart decision making, learning about healthy relationships and essentially lowering cases of teen pregnancy and STDs.

Puppy: I was given a puppy on Wednesday.  She is a mutt and all black.  The people who gave her to me are not quite sure how old she is, but assume the litter was born around March 1.  When I brought her home and gave her a bath, with the special dog shampoo, I was shocked at the number of fleas she had.  Poor thing, I don’t know how being so little she could even survive with that number of fleas.  I also got about four ticks off of her.  Anyway, I’m taking good care of her with her vaccines, vitamins and trying to train her.  Yes, she has a name, but I’m keeping it under wraps until I pick up my kitten, which was also born recently.  They’re going to form an amazing duo, so I have to present them together.

I think that about covers it for the month of March.  As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for future updates.  I’d like to give a ‘shout-out’ to Quinn who was here in Guaimaca with a group awhile back working with the Catholic church.  I hope you’re able to follow your dreams and go make a difference in the world some day!  It was great meeting you and the entire group. 

Hasta la proxima vez…