Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
41Trip End Apr 06, 2008
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So, you will have to forgive me as I have been a complete slacker about keeping my blog updated. I will try to keep it more up to date in the future, I promise. So, the big news here from the campo is that I found a new house and I will be moving this weekend. It is really cute, a green and blue traditional Carribbean-style wood house with a zinc roof. It has a living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen, a front porch, and . . . wait for it . . . an indoor bathroom! This is a true luxury, not to have to run out to the latrine in the middle of the night or pee in a plastic bucket and dump it in the morning! The water isn't connected to the bathroom yet but as soon as I move in I am going to buy the tubes and get that taken care of. The people who own the house are also going to leave the stove, the refrigerator, a bed, a couch, and a table for me so I hardly have to buy anything for the house. It is towards the outskirts of my campo, which means it will be quiet and peaceful. It is also right up the road from my current host family's house, my project partner's house, and the office, so the location is perfect. I am going to continue eating lunch with my host family but cook my own breakfast and dinner. I'll have to get creative with the limited ingredients available in our local colmado, but anything will seem like gourmet after three months of eating boiled green bananas with eggs or salami for breakfast and dinner every single day. I will be getting all of this for the bargain price of $1000 pesos (about $31) a month. Hard to believe. I forgot to take pictures but I will do that soon and post them the next time I get to the internet so you can see my new home sweet home.
In other news, I presented my community diagnostic at our in-service training conference and it went off without a hitch. So now that that is over with I am getting down to my real work. I had planned my first youth group meeting for Monday but it was pouring rain all day and nobody showed up, so it has been postponed until this coming Monday. I have a good group of really motivated youth that I am excited to work with. We are going to start some organic gardens in the community, and when I get the money to do my ceramic stove and water filter projects they will help me with those too. I am planning two workshop series for the families that want to participate in my projects, one for the stoves and one for the water filters. They will have to attend a series of 5 or 6 workshops on environmental and health topics to qualify for the projects. My vision is to take a combined health and sanitation/environmental approach. For example, in the stove workshops I will address topics such as air pollution, deforestation, food preparation and kitchen sanitation, etc. For the water filters it will be water pollution, waterborne diseases, methods of water treatment, etc. All of this is a bit far off in the future right now, as I still have to write the grants to get the money, but I am trying to plan ahead so when the time comes I am not completely swamped.
I am headed to the capital the weekend of August 18th-20th for Peace Corps committe weekend, when all of the volunteer committees meet to plan their activities. When I am there, I am going to go to the animal shelter to adopt a puppy to bring back to my campo and keep me company in my new house. I can't wait! Again, pictures coming in the near future.
I hope all of you are well and happy. Take care, and stay in touch!