It's Been a While!

Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
Trip End Apr 06, 2008

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Monday, May 7, 2007

Hello All!
  First of all, let me apologize for some serious slacking in the blog department.  I know that my fans are many and devoted, and I am sure you have all been waiting with bated breath for my next posting.  Ha ha.  Ok seriously, I am a slacker, so let me get down to business.
  I am sitting in the internet cafe with a bad cold.  My ears are stuffed up and I feel like I am trying to listen while wearing earmuffs or something.  But I can't really complain, I have suffered relatively few health problems since being here (knock on wood).  At least it isn't malaria or something like that.  I just had my midterm medical exams and got a clean bill of health.  Yeah!  Apparently the high-sugar diet here hasn't started to rot my teeth yet and I am still parasite-free.
  In work news, I got my grant money to start my stove project and will soon be ordering all of the ceramic parts, cement, sand, etc.  I am waiting for my water filters to be delivered but they should come soon.  I now understand why Peace Corps is a two year committment.  Grassroots development can be an agonizingly slow process.  Meanwhile, I am still giving English classes and trying to cajole the youth in my community not to throw their trash in the street.  The other day we were doing a trash pickup as part of an Earth Day initiative and after filling several plastic bags with trash, one of the muchachos asked me if he should throw it in the river!!  I recently received a donation of more art supplies and I will be putting them to use this summer in a summer camp.  I am planning one for the end of July.  One week of older kids (12-16), and one week of younger kids (7-11).  I am going to use the first week as a sort of training and then pick the best of the kids to help me with the younger ones.  It will probably be crazy and I may be pulling my hair out by the end of it, but the kids seem really excited about the idea and they have so few opportunities for experiential learning and leadership that I think it will be a great experience for them.
  In other news, I just got back from Bola Race 2007.  You may or may not remember my post from last September detailing a hitchiking race across the country, but we had another one this last weekend, although a slightly shorter course.  I am happy to report that I improved my standing from 5th place to 2nd place.  Alas, victory eludes me.  I had some good laughs and got to catch up with friends though, so of course it was a wonderful time.  I am looking forward to my trip home at the end of May.  I am going to be back and forth a few times between now and Christmas.  In addition to Katherine and Sarah's weddings, which I have already mentioned, congratulations to Susie and to my sister Clare, who are also going to be gettin' hitched in the fall :)  I am very happy and excited for all.  Life is cruising along.  Hard to believe I only have 11 months left!  I love it here but I am already starting to plan the next phase of life, grad school, etc and from what I hear, the second year flies by.  Pretty soon I will be back home looking back at my days of freedom in the Caribbean sunshine :)
  I don't have the cord to connect my camera to the computer so I can't post pictures right now, but check back in a two weeks and they should be up.  I am headed to the capital at the end of next week and will take advantage of the internet at the PC office to put some new pictures on my Flickr site.  Ok well my hour of internet is up so I must run.  Hope everyone is well.  Take care!

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