March 21, 2009

What up! Sorry for the delay in the updates. We have been preparing to jump ship tomorrow to our new Field-Based Training (FBT) sites. For business, we will be in Ojojona, a colonial, clean, and relatively clear of trouble town about 30 minutes south of Teguc. I digress....let's first talk about the volunteer visit (a.k.a. reality check).

Last Sunday, another business PCT and myself trekked it out (including 3 buses and 2 taxis) to Orocuina. It is a pretty simple town located about 15 kilometers outside of Choluteca. It is extremely toasty, as it is located in the south, and seriously off the beaten path. The road to get there is not paved and one of the bumpiest rides I have taken yet. When we arrived on Sunday in Choluteca, we had the pleasure of sampling local fare both there and once we made it into Orocuina (that's right, we hit a Wendy's and a Chinese restaurant). Monday was a bit more culturally fitting as we got to see what our PCV actually does. We hiked (kid you not walked forever) to two outlying communities, or aldeas, to talk to some locals about ongoing projects. The first aldea that we visited was currently working with the PCV and Engineers Without Borders to complete a water system project that would bring water up from the local river to the 33 homes located throughout the mountainside. This community has been trying to get a water system in place for the last 24 years (please take a moment to appreciate the reality of this), so the completion of this project is both a huge success for the PCV and an enormous increase in the quality of life for these families. We spent our visit to the second aldea observing our PCV meet with a group of women that were in the process of figuring out how to best market and sell their homemade hammocks. The hammocks that these women sell are friggin awesome; they are colorful, comfortable, and make for a great cama. (Let me know if you are interested in purchasing a hammock. They are sold just about everywhere hereand are affordable. I plan to buy one at some point in my service and would be happy to snag you one.) The rest of the visit was pretty low key spent in transit or in the apartment of the PCV. On Tuesday, we met up with several other PCTs and PCVs to relax in the sun (with sunscreen of course, Mom) and (somewhat) celebrate St. Patty’s Day together. Wednesday we made it back to Zarabanda to debrief, and, sadly, no crazy stories remain.

What an average apartment of a PCV may resemble

The rest of the week was chill and mainly spent packing, doing laundry, and finishing up with the general training. (I have def learned to appreciate the time and effort that is the pila. You should all go hug your washer and dryer now to let them know how much you love them.) The majority of today was spent on the internet trying to update and check all my ish as well as Skype it up with fam and a soon-to-be masters student. (Thanks, guys!!)

Other than the details, all is well. I continue to remain happy and healthy. My dreams continue to be completely vivid and out of control. (Ya, sorry I forgot to mention that earlier. After the first night of the malaria meds, there has not been one uneventful night in the dark.) We are all anxious for FBT to begin and to move in with our new host families. I will be living with a family that has a five and nine-year old boy as well as an eleven-year girl. The wife is pregnant and due in June, and the father is an Evangelical pastor. (I will let you insert your own comments here. I need say no more.) All my best to you and yours.

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