July 22, 2009

Well, here I am, sitting at my kitchen table (plastic), in my chair (also plastic), listening to my music (Ani DiFranco), eating a dinner cooked by…you got it…me (burnt grilled cheese with a chopped tomato and green beans). I gotta say that I’m pretty proud of myself for making it to this point without any major stumbles. It’s been quite trek these past three weeks. Seriously, it has been such a friggin month…in every sense of that word (I think it’s originally from Austin Powers if my memory serves me)…and we still have another week left…damn.

Unfortunately, the internal stability and mental well-being of Hondu and its citizens continue to be in flux. This has and continues to cause me much anxiety and frustration. There have definitely been moments where I thought about returning home because I was depressed at the fact that I couldn’t get rid of scabies because I couldn’t move out, stressed out and disappointed at work because the Escuela was forced to send their students home due to lack of funding and thus not focused on progression with the Vivero kids, and scared at the thought of being trapped in a civil war. Then there have been other moments where I think that I will be completely pissed off if I am forced to leave (like now) because I finally am settled into my own apartment, have started interviewing the kids in the Vivero which will then lead to training sessions on business administration, met with a promoter for PRAF (a group that trains and support women’s microenterprises) to start assisting some of the groups with commercialization, and am looking forward to a workshop focused on income generation for persons living with HIV/AIDS, a visit from my brother (HOPEFULLY!), and a training to become a VOS (Volunteer Offering Support) member for the Honduras Peace Corps community. (After the training, I will be available to offer peer support confidentially in any aspect to any volunteer in the country. As a member, I am the only other person that can visit someone in the hospital besides their spouse. That’s pretty dope!) So ya, as you can tell, I’m a bit uneasy at the moment, especially since these next two days are supposed to dictate the future of this country and my service here. (Ha, I think I said that in my last blog about three weeks ago. Can you believe this much time has passed without stability?)

Other activities that I have engaged in (this sounds like a business report) besides the aforementioned and since our last encounter include a trip to Santa Rosa with my host mother where I purchased the big items for the apartment to transport in her truck (including a double bed because it was actually cheaper than a single!), a trip to Teguc to see the dermo for several issues (including scabies, which I still apparently have, big surprise), and an absolutely fabulous visit from seven other PCVs to celebrate Independence Day (both for the US and for our training group) this past weekend. (Unfortunately, the feria was canceled this weekend, so I couldn’t show the crew the “best of” Gracias.) We played cards and chatted it up on Friday, made pancakes and mimosas Saturday morning, had a bonfire and roasted hot dogs Saturday night, and slept in (a rarity!) on Sunday. It was glorious!!

First round of visitors: Harrison, Moses, Rachel, Bert, and Kalin

Arguing over “Asshole” rules: Me and Anna

And I love her: Kalin and Me

Atop Fort Saint Christopher: Moses and Rachel

Enjoying the view: Kathryn

The infamous Honduran belly rub: Ryan, Kyle, Moses, and Harrison

Some lovely ladies of the west: Hannah, Rachel, Kathryn, and Me

Bonfire booyah (“bulla”): Courtney, Vanessa, Rachel, and Hannah

Where does that leave me? Well, on the downside, I’m close to broke after buying almost everything for the apartment, still itching away my skin on various parts of my body, exhausted after the weekend, and worried that I will not get to see my brother in August. (I really pray that I get to see you, Chris!) On the upside, I’m so happy to be in my apartment and without pressure to live on someone else’s clock, stoked that I have the ability to travel out of my site to visit my friends in other sites, comfortable with cooking my own Honduran food, and so thankful that I have such a supportive and loving family that is helping to make this journey possible. Although my situation is probably easier to live with than in other PCV sites around the world, it’s not necessarily easy for me. I miss my family terribly and sometimes worry about my safety as a foreigner here but am trying to continue on with the thought that this is what I chosen for myself, right now, to make myself a better person for others in the future. I hope (and pray) that it’s doing just that.

Kitchen #1, camera 1

Kitchen #1, camera 2

Living room #1, camera 1

Living room #1, camera 2

Room #4, camera 1

Room #4, camera 2

Bed #4

Bathroom #2, camera 1

Bathroom #2, camera 2

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