Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Wow, I cannot believe that my last entry was waaaay back in December! That is a testament to: how removed I am from the (internet) world, and how busy I've been. Time is literally, and luckily, flying by. I say luckily not because I am unhappy here. You guys know this is something I have always wanted to do in my life and I cannot see myself doing anything differently right now. With that said, it still doesn't make the experience easy. I remember when we first arrived in country, the country director described Peace Corps as the hardest things you'll ever love. I remember thinking to myself, what's going to be so hard about it? I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing, see a different part of the world, learn a new culture, etc. But now, I can attest to that sentiment. It is tremendously much harder to live alone in a new culture, with limited communication skills, in completely different circumstances than I had initially anticipated. It's like being five years old all over again. I had to re-learn basic tasks like how to get around, how to collect water, do laundry, cook, express myself, what's culturally acceptable and what's not. All of this was very daunting and yielded this feeling of dependency and inadequacy. And I have to overcome all of this while simultaneously steer a successful project...so needless to say these first few months have been stressful. Great, but definitely challenging. Fortunately I have always (always!) had amazing people in my lifeand Peace Corps is certainly not excluded. I am always so excited to receive a call, text, email from you guys. Also, I came in country with a spectacular group of people and we are always getting together to visit and get away for a little bit.
Work and personal life (which are one in the same here!) have been busy since getting back from my fabulous trip home! I am now in my own house, a charming little place with barnyard doors (one of my favorite features)...see pictures! I also have nine (yes, nine!) fruit trees in my backyard: cherry, lime, mango, avocado, grapefruit, orange, guayaba, guanabana and nispera. I have probably eaten two guanabana a day since the harvest started...see picutres! Sooo good. Ask Rachel, she can verify this. I also have a dog now, Besos! She is out of her mind crazy and love to chase the chickens and roosters that roam around here.
As for work, things are constantly changing. The one constant is that I am still dedicating all of my time to my primary project, the artisan group. A lot of Peace Corps projects tend to fizzle out, but luckily my artisans are still holding strong. The distant future goal is to build a gift shop/tourist stop right along the highway in my community. However, it is easier to work with pre-existing establishments than to try to build from the ground, super grassroots up. So we are currently weighing several options and seeing which takes flight. When I was home, I know a couple of you were asking what I did on a day-to-day basis. And as you can see this is hard to answer! Things here are not planned and organized like they are in the States. Schedules are made that day, mostly at the last minute, and if you try to plan something in advance, forget about it because no one will remember.
As for the community, we are in mid-term election season, meaning our mayor has actually been doing some positive work around here. See pictures of our newly paved roads!!! Politics aren't as dirty as they are in the States, but there is absolutely no accountability here (there isn't even a word for accountability in Spanish...ironic??).
As for play time, we (two women from my artisan group, my local friends, Besos and I) went to the beach for Easter...see pictures! For Earth Day, we along with 500 other participants volunteered to clean up trash along the highway. It was our first event where we were invited as an association; a big recognition for us. A couple of weeks ago my volunteer friends and I went to a neighboring city to go see a Dominican bull fight, which turned out to be more like a county fair/rodeo/shit show. By the time the last bull came out, when all of the Dominicans were extremely intoxicated, about 50 to 60 people jumped in the ring and started chasing and taunting the bull, pulling its tail, etc. Eventually they all jumped on top of the bull and did like a dog (or bull?) pile. If you've been in this country long enough, you'd know that this behavior is neither shocking not crazy.
Posted by megan moore at 9:26 AM