A time to give thanks...

to the most amazing brother in the world who made this weekend absolutely unforgettable. I love you, Chris, and am so thankful that I got to spend time with you in El Salvador! Thanks for making this entire journey possible. Hermanos por vida.

Details of the fabulous trip to come! Miss you all. Be well.


August 1, 2009

My dream is dead…I should just face it…I can never be a wife in Honduras…It’s too risky…I would end up accidentally killing my husband!

Haha, so now that I’ve gotten the melodramatic intro out of the way, I will explain to you what I mean. Remember how my last blog started with me talking about sitting down to have a nice meal in my apartment? WELL, turns out Shanny ain’t the best cook (or may not have lost her Irish luck for the moment…I personally think this is the more the truth than the former) because she woke up at 2am on Monday morning sweating with: chills, a 102 degree fever, a pounding headache, unnecessary to mention bowl movements, and pain in every bone of her body. At first I thought, “OH SNAP, swine flu finally caught up to me!” Then I thought, “I am a fighter, bring on the badness!” Then I thought, “Silly girl, you couldn’t even battle those bed bugs.” Finally I realized, “It hurts to think. Shut up, and go back to bed.”

At this point I am going to insert a nicer tale of my weekend activities to lighten the mood a bit. Friday night, Anna and I went out to Santa Rosa to hang in the good company of some other PCVs. We chilled out and caught up on life, feasted on some American fare at a place called Zots (pretty much like a Hondu T.G.I. Friday’s), and then ended the night at a restaurant/bar where the DJ was in full effect upstairs. I have not danced like I did that night since the states! (Mind you, the PCVs were the only ones dancing while los demás sat and stared like creepy, old men do in the states…or pretty much anywhere in the world). Saturday we made banana pancakes (I think we could be Jack Johnson’s poster children) and homemade piña drinks, rolled around town for a bit in the afternoon, and then hit a concert that night. (That’s right!) We went to a legit club (with a cover and all! I am seriously amazed at how developed Honduras is in some places with such a high level of poverty in others) and saw a Hondu rock band. They were SO GOOD! I was seriously impressed and again enjoyed myself dancing the night away. Sunday, after Skyping with the fam from Bryan’s computer (ah thank ya sah), my girl Katherine (another PCV in Santa Rosa) made us some lunch while we watched Zoolander and shared a bit about our present sentiments of our life in Hondu. I shared some of my fears and struggles with her, and she was nothing but supportive and helped me to level my emotions a bit (thanks, lady!!). I made my way back home Sunday afternoon and tucked myself with a smile on my face unknowing of the danger that lurked in the dark that night…

Prank calls from Honduras are NOT allowed!

Sweatin it from shakin it

As you can see, smoking is permitted

This brings us back to where we left off: Monday funday! (I put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence because I took this whole experience in stride. It’s now just sort of comical because it is adding to my crazy experiences as a PCV.) I went to the doctor to explain my symptoms, get some tests done, and start on one of the most fun treatments I have had yet in my life…SHOTS IN THE ASS. (Hahaha. Sorry if that is vulgar for some. I just think it’s hilarious.) Over the week, the doctor and I became good friends (as you can imagine) as each morning I went to visit him to get my series of 5 shots over a 5 day period. (Thanks for rotating the shots, doc!) What would warrant such a treatment? Well! I feel lucky enough to say that I got a bacterial infection with a name because seriously, if I just said I had a bacterial infection it would not be as cool. I HAVE E.COLI. That’s right! (Haha, I probably didn’t even spell it correctly. Where is Google when I need it!?) I don’t really even know how or when I got it, but I got it! Luckily, it didn’t do too much damage to me after that first harsh night. With the shots and medications over the week, I was able to improve nicely and quickly. The only thing that has taken a bit longer to recover is my strength. I have not been able to run but have started doing short yoga sessions in the morning. I hope to be back in business by this coming Monday.

While I was suffering from the illness on Monday and Tuesday, the Escuela was continuing to suffer from the political crisis. I made it back into work on Wednesday to find out that because of the lack of payment from the municipalities in the Mancomunidad and frozen funds from La Cooperación Española, cuts were inescapable. Seven of the eleven employees—including the Director of the Escuela (who has really been my role model and saving grace these past few months) and the Director of the Vivero (my counterpart)—are being laid off. Pretty crappy, I know. The Directors will be there until the end of this month to try to wrap their work up. After that, two instructors, an administrator, and a social promoter will remain. What does this mean for me? Outstanding question. No idea. My counterpart mentioned that I still may be able to give training sessions to the Vivero kids, but I’m just worried that with the loss of leadership within the office that the kids will become discouraged or disinterested and decide to take their participation elsewhere. I talked to my PC Program Director about the whole sitch on Friday, and he told me that he was going to call the woman in charge of the Escuelas nationwide to figure out where the program is headed. (Unfortunately, I also heard that the Escuela in Ojojona is closing for good. That brings the count down to three that are still in existence.)

Thursday brought some promise to my future as I went out to two aldeas to visit two women’s groups—one who makes juguitos (basically Otter Pops) and the other who cultivates guayaba (which is like a mix of an apple and grapefruit) with the PRAF promoter (who is a really nice guy and seems to really want my help). The groups are struggling with some infighting but seem very motivated to make their businesses successful and were thus open to my participation in soliciting ideas to assist in the commercialization of their products. I did my best offering some suggestions and look forward o helping them and the other groups out in the days to come. (There are 15 groups in total.)

Friday started a bit sad having to say goodbye to some of m coworkers in the office but ended happier hanging out with some visiting PCVs and chatting by the bonfire.

The rest of this weekend should be relaxing. I plan to make (fine, try to make) my Nana’s ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING brownies today and Skype with the fam tomorrow.

What lies ahead? Good things! Monday I am pretty sure that I will change apartments. (Sorry that this probably makes no sense because it lacked a prelude. There is another available apartment in the complex that is upstairs, gets wicked sunlight, and lacks the ever so annoying blasting music of my upstairs neighbors that my landlord offered to me on Friday.) The rest of the week, I will be attending the workshop that I mentioned in my previous entry in Santa Rosa. I will get some good info and get to see some other Business PCVs that I haven’t seen since training. The following week, I will attend VOS training and see my brother! (WHOOHOO! My brother and I decided to change up the scenario and hit El Salvador instead of having him risk a trip into one of the capital cities of Hondu.) I will finish out the month regrouping with all the other Business PCVs and catching up on their past three months in site. Awesome August!

So ya, life has given me some lemons here. Some of them were rotten and made me sick. Some of them are not yet ripe, and I am therefore unsure how they taste. Some were sweet, and so I thus made lemonade. Let’s keep on rockin that lemon tree to see what type of lemon will fall next…(Clever, right?...No?...Maybe tomorrow.)

Here’s to you Hondu!