September 24, 2009

What is the greatest lesson that I have learned to date? Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Hope…well…I have a lot of it. (I think it’s probably an intrinsic character trait of any PCV.) On a volunteer level, I hope that the ETC kids will be willing and able to participate in some basic business administration training as their program will terminate in December. For that reason, I spent several weeks at the beginning of the month preparing a lesson plan, charla papers (basically a flip chart), and activities
covering various requested topics as well as meeting with those in the Vivero to solicit their participation. I hope that the PRAF women’s groups will be successful in their microenterprises as funding for their program is currently frozen and may be cut indefinitely with a new government. For that reason, I walked two groups—organic paper and coffee—around Gracias and introduced them to business owners I know as well as prepared a marketing survey with the PRAF promoter for a group of women that are going to start to make cleaning products. I hope that the support group for those individuals living with HIV/AIDS will follow up on the business plan that they started to create at the workshop in Santa Rosa as this group is one in most need for income generation. For that reason, I sent several emails/text messages/calls and am prepared to continue to push for a meeting with the individuals that attended the workshop to ensure that the progress on the plan continues.

On a personal level, I hope that my computer will continue to survive and thrive as it encountered MASSIVE issues the past several weeks which required it be to returned to factory settings (thus losing all programs and updates) four times…that’s right. (It is amazing how dependent I am on this little guy. It’s an Acer, by the by, in case I forgot to mention it. I never knew a machine could control my emotions so much…and then I realized how dependent I really am on it for preparing lesson plans, writing blogs, saving pictures, playing music, doing podcast exercises, looking up recipes, watching movies, saving contact information, etc.) For that reason, I spent (and this is a fair guess) about fifty hours más o menos constantly adding and updating, adding and updating, adding and updating files and programs while all the while trying to combat the evil viruses that roam the networks in Gracias. I don’t know if I will ever win that battle and/or be fully protected, but I am sure going to try. (My dad is sending me a computer protection package. Cross your fingers! In the meantime, I am just going to cafes with a thumb drive.) I hope that I am able to go on my scuba diving certification trip that has been planned for months with about fifteen other PCVs as Zelaya returned to Hondu this week thereby inciting demonstrations, causing the closure of all international airports, and prompting day and night curfews in the entire country. For that reason, I…sigh…just pray.
So, as I said, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Be realistic but never afraid to dream. (A butterfly just flew up to my window. That’s pretty neat.)

Random thoughts: My butt hurts from sitting on it so much from trying to revive my computer and watching movies while being restricted to my house during curfew. I will never be able to get rid of the ants in my apartment nor the scabies in my bed and so we thus live in harmony together. How does it make any sense that my apartment floods when it’s ON THE SECOND FLOOR?! (Someone had too much guaro.) I’m so happy to have a futon where I can sit to read or offer as a bed to visitors. Whoever informed me about the temperature in Gracias lied: it is always hot and sticky a.k.a. I never go a day without profusely sweating. The women in the coffee group gave me the best nickname I have ever heard: Shanito. Write that down. It’s money.

I hope that my sitemates liked my Gazpacho and peanut sauce...

…in the event they didn’t, I prepared piña coladas…

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