Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
41Trip End Apr 06, 2008
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Just a quick note to let you know I posted a few more pictures on my Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/90483948@N00/ if you are interested. I finally figured out how to post pictures here on TravelPod but honestly I am too lazy to post in two places. As my sisters constantly point out, I use the internet like it is 1999 :)
I am in the capital after my one-year inservice training. We had a great conference where we reviewed our work over the past year and discussed ways to plan the remaining year (technically ten months). We are also working on restructuring the national organization of Brigada Verde (the green brigade) environmental youth group so that should be fun. We are trying to make it more of a scouting initiative (like Girl or Boy Scouts) where they use hands-on activities to learn about the environment, but also focus on concepts like self-esteem and civic participation.
In other news, I am still training for a half-marathon at the end of June (I will post pictures of the race afterwards). I just bought a stovetop oven. It sort of looks like an elaborate Bundt pan but you can put it on top of a gas stove and use it to bake bread, brownies, etc. I have sorely missed baking here in the DR since I do not have a functioning oven, so this should be fun. I am still in a constant war against the rats that have overrun my house. I have poisoned 5 or 6 but they just keep coming back. The fact that I live in a cacao forest doesn't help, for some reason cacao trees attract rats like nothing else and my house seems to provide a nice warm shelter for all of them! I bought a rat trap but somehow they manage to eat all of the bait without ever getting caught. I am working out new strategies on exterminating all of them so we shall see!
I am really looking forward to coming home in late July/early August. I am going to go ahead and put out a shameless appeal for help from the folks back home. I have two requests. First of all, the mothers' group that I work with has started sewing purses made out of rice sacks and we are trying to sell them as an income generation project to finance our ceramic stoves and water filters. I forgot to take a picture of them to post (stay tuned for that) but I can promise that they are super cute. Almost all of the female volunteers here have them, and at a bargain price of just ten US dollars you can help families in the DR have clean drinking water and healthy lungs!!! Stylish, affordable, and humanitarian. Also, I am soliciting donations for books in Spanish, specifically children's books. I am working on starting a small (and I do mean small) community library and any help you can provide would be hugely appreciated. I am going to have to carry everything back with me so I honestly can't take too many books but a small supply to start with and get people interested in the project would be great. Childrens books in Spanish from all levels (toddler up to juvenile literature) would be really helpful, including simple chapter books (we are not talking War and Peace here). Most families here don't own a single book and there is nowhere for them to get them. If I can get the kids interested in reading as a lifelong activity, I believe that it will not only help their academic performance, but open up new worlds and ideas to them. Please please please any help you can give with either of these projects would put a big smile on my face and the faces of a lot of Dominicans too!! If you may be interested in buying a purse, please let me know so I have an idea more or less of how many to bring home with me.
Well, I am going to wrap this up now but stay tuned for pictures of the purses and the half marathon! Take care everyone.