Just Getting Started!
Many apologies for the two months with no word! I've written two or three updates but never had the chance to publish them to the web. And if I published them now they'd be obsolete. So I'll try and hack one out here and now!
(BIG DEEP BREATH) Shhhhhhhhhoooooo. Well, where to begin? Everything is going excellent. I've been in Santa Elena for over a year now, and I believe I finally have got a hold of things. I can speak Spanish with ease (well, somedays are better than others), I have respect with the leaders and people in general in Santa Elena, I have ideas and ways to see them out. I told my Project Manager that I feel like I'm sort of just getting started. Because it really has taken a solid year to really get my feet planted here in Honduland. But here lies the, what I call, "Peace Corps Secret." If you go to the Peace Corps website you'll see people, more or less, "changing the world." But the reality is, Peaec Corps develops its Volunteers. I'll take more from Santa Elena/Honduras (in knowledge and experience) than I'll ever be able to give.
Toni had his birthday at my house about a month ago. It was a big success! I invited our closest friends and his older brother. We hung out and talked about guy things. Then Alba came by with cheesecake from the restaraunt she works with. The cheesecake made a perfect birthday cake and went great with coffee. I was really happy with how things turned out, because until the day of, I had done very little to plan anything. I'll post a picture from the get together birthday here in this journal entry.
Gringo is doing well! He's definitely full grown now. He comes up to just a little above my knee. My landlord has proposed to build a fence around my house to keep Gringo in and I wish he would hurry up with getting it set up, because Gringo has started to get a little "promiscuous." He spends about 50% of the day in and around my house, and the other half of the day he's "out and about." People around town always comment on my "vagabond" son. About a week ago I went for a long run and took a shower afterwards. When I got out of the shower Gringo was, well, "getting lucky" with a nieghboring lady dog. I would really like to get him fixed as well, but it's impossible to transport him in the buses here. And very difficult to find a friend willing to take me and him in their car to the big city of San Pedro Sula (where the vet is located). I'll keep you all updated.
My plans? This Monday I'll be traveling to a village about a day away to give a class on self-esteem with my friend Alba. A friend of hers called her up and asked if she'd be willing to give a class to her 60 highschool seniors. So I called up my "Youth Development" Volunteers and asked them for ideas. They certainly came through, and I've got a list of activities and ice breakers that are perfect for the class. I also picked up some really nice diplomas in the Peace Corps HQ. Diplomas definitely hold serious Honduran cultural significance. Whenever you give a small class or capacitation you better have a nice looking diploma to hand out. These Peace Corps diplomas have the logo and the state seal. Their perfect. I'm excited, it should be a good time. It'll also be nice to have a native Spanish speaker sharing the stage.
I have to jet now. I'm here in Los Pinos where Alba works, and she finally has a free minute to plan the self-esteem class with me. I have to act now or else I'll wait another two hours until she's not busy again. There's LOTS more to write about, I'll try and make another post very soon.