Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Here are some fun shots...with my host family, and with the ladies at the Casa Materna...which is where the women here go when they are far along in their pregnancy. They live there until they give birth because it is a way of insuring that they will have access to good medical care when they are in labor. The infrastructure in the country is too difficult otherwise to get a woman to the hospital once she is already in labor, so instead they come and live in the city and wait for the big day to arrive.

They have a beautiful set up at this Casa Materna, including an oven that never gets used because no one feels capable of baking. So, I went and gave a baking lesson...we made cookies, pan simple (bread) and banana bread. They big concrete looking thing in one of these photos is the oven..its an outdoor barrel oven, made with a big metal barrel, white clay and bricks...heated by firewood. Also, there is a beautiful mural painted by the last Peace Corps Volunteers in the courtyard.

Friday, July 16, 2010

my host family

When I get a chance, I will borrow a camera (I forgot the charger for and take a picture with my family. But for now, just a quick reflection.

I live with a family of 5 -- mom, dad and three kids. Erich is 14, he`s shy with me. Angelica Maria is 12, and I love her..she is learning English and wants to practice with me every night after dinner. She is quite motivated, and she tests me on my Spanish vocab as well, so its mutually convenient. Then there is Erling, who is 7, and an adorable little boy.

The family is quite modest and humble, and I am already falling in love with them. They are all beautiful, with big brown eyes, and beautiful skin...but they are also very nice, and always concerned for my well being. My host mom asked me the first day what I like to eat, and then immediately went to buy it...ALL of This is rare from what I have experienced here so far...usually I am only offered what is normal to eat, but she is very concerned with me eating what I want.

Anyways, more later, but I love them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

vamos a ver...

I leave for La Dalia first thing in the morning, and I am nervous, excited and a little bit worried about my ability to adapt. I do not know too much about what I will be doing..
What I know of my situation in La Dalia is that I will be working with the AMC office in the city, and going out to 5 different communities in the campo to shadow and assist with health projects. I will be living with a fairly poor family, and will be using a latrine and bucket shower. I know I will be giving charlas in the schools about health and hygiene, and I will be working with land banks in different communities to diversify their crops, recycle their water for irrigation and possibly much more. I want to think about what all I can do, but I know I should be much more focused on what I can learn. I am learning rapidly here how much I actually do not know, and how big the world really is.

So, for now, I will be reflecting on what I admire in this culture, and packing my bag that keeps getting tighter everytime I repack it..even though I feel like I am using stuff up.

Something I enjoy about the culture, especially in the campo here is that the people have an unwritten code of conduct regarding the stop and chat. It is normal and expected to greet practically everyone you pass by on the road. Sometimes if you are lucky you will get a goodbye or hello followed by chuckles of satisfaction at knowing an English word. But the greatest thing to me is that they have an out for the stop and chat. If you are not available or really just not interested in stopping for a uneventful conversation with an aquaintance, or really even someone you know well, you just say Adios instead of Buenas. that easy. and in the campo they say Adiooo.. and let the word just linger in the air incomplete as they pass by. What a nice cultural norm to have a way of still being friendly, and acknowledging that we do not always need to stop for someone we know. Perhaps its the small town mentality, where you see them all the time, so its easier to just keep walking.

For now, I am going to focus my attention on the things I enjoy, so that I dont spend much time worried about the things that will probably be uncomfortable.

[dear people who are commenting on my posts frequently in Chinese...though I appreciate you reading my blog, please write in English or Spanish when you comment, or stop writing comments. thank you.]