February 27, 2009

¡Bienvenido a mi primer escrito de Honduras! Les estoy escribiendo a Ustedes de mi cuarto en una casa donde vivo con una familia Hondureña. Sólo he estado en Honduras por dos dias pero ya me siento que yo he vivido aquí por mucho tiempo.


To Honduras!

Welcome to my first writing from Honduras! I am writing to you from my room in a house where I live with my Honduran family. I have only been in Honduras for two days but already I feel like I have lived here for a long time.

Room #1

Bed #1

Honduras...so ya, what a place. We arrived in the country on Wednesday afternoon completely jet lagged (from being woken up at 2AM after an hour of sleep and goodbyes for a 7AM flight that morning) and, after a quick welcome at the training site, were thrown into the arms of our host families (literally as they are very affectionate people), all of which I have heard from other Peace Corps Trainees (PCTs) to be completely fabulous. (On that note, I should elaborate that everyone's family situation differs dramatically from one another. For example, some houses have plasma TVs, washer and dryers, and hot water while others have walls that do not connect to roofs, water delivered twice a week, and a family of six that is sharing a room to accommodate a trainee. Meals are modest, simple, and normally include white bread, bananas and coffee...so many and so much, tortillas, and rice.) I actually surprised myself the first night I was with my host family as I seemed to know more Spanish than I originally thought. (I think that I was delirious, but anyway, thanks, Rosetta Stone!) My mother here is fantastic (so welcoming, very independent, and completely accommodating) and lives within walking distance to our training site. She has one daughter and two nieces, all of which live with her and attend high school. Her daughter is currently (as we speak) practicing the flute. They have a parrot (almost an exact replica of Andy but a bit sweeter on the ears) as well as a dog that will attack anyone but the family and thus needs to be caged when I am home. (We have been told that most dogs in the area are vicious because they serve as guards instead of companions. They are taught to behave this way at a very young age.) My mother is very interested and asks questions frequently about my family in the states, what I plan to do in the Peace Corps (PC), and how to best live in Honduras. Normally, there is not much else going on the house except for my mom tending to her girls or the house and the girls doing their homework or watching television, so much of the time is spent conversing and explaining. My daily routine thus far has been waking up in comfortable room at 6AM to shower with a bucket of warm water (so lucky to have warm water!), walking to training with other PCTs (while trying not to get run over by speeding cars or phased by honks and comments), training on everything for eight to nine hours (which displeases the rear), and then returning home to read more about policies (so many) or go on a run with friends (which I did for the first time today yayer!). Sometimes...although I really have only been here two days...it is tough to come home from a long day of training and speak about my day, life, and dreams in Spanish. (Honestly, sometimes my brain just wants to fart.)

Delirious at the buttcrack of dawn: Liz and Me

Wondering what they got themselves into: Bryan and Kevin

Flight mates: Iljeen and Kyle

Ridin the bus

Training has been going well thus far. We are currently working on intensive language instruction and learning more about medical, safety, health, and other PC policies specific to Honduras. We have spent some time learning about local customs (visit your neighbors/family and don't drink the water), the host family experience (you are part of the family and accommodate always), the dangers of Honduras (theft, assault, rape, malaria, dengue, rabies, etc.), and what we can expect that our specific (for me, business) projects will entail. We had a medical interview today to determine which additional vaccines we need and received our health kits which, among other things, contained a mosquito net, bug spray, malaria pills, and supplements for dehydration. We also had a language interview that will be used to separate us into different levels for training purposes. We need to reach a certain language level in order to be sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV). Right now, we are only PCTs, or aspirantes. (Wish me luck!)

Back to school, back to school

To prove to myself, just what I can do

What we bring to the table

Expectations of the students

Expectations of the trainers

All the aspirantes seem to be pretty rad and with all types of backgrounds from straight out of college to years of experience in the field to spouses that have (reluctantly for some it seems) joined their significant other to share in their desire to make a change. They are from around the country and split pretty evenly between males and females. They range in age from early twenties to late fifties. There are forty nine of us in total and four couples.

First day of class, Camera 1

First day of class, Camera 2

Well team, that's all I have for you today! Sorry I can't elaborate more on some gnarly experience. Those have yet to be had, and I am positive that they will be. For now, I leave you with the wonderment on what tonight will bring me in my dreams. We took our first weekly supplement of malaria medicine, and it is supposed to cause some seriously freaky dreams, potentially night terrors. (Are you afraid of the dark? I will be by tomorrow...)

This is what I will be running for in a few hours

Buenas noches.

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