“Madrina” and “Padrino”
Craig and I were asked to attend a graduation ceremony for two youth in our community. Altogether four youth in our community were graduating from World Vision’s youth multiplicador or multiplier program. During the summer these four students along with several other students from neighboring communities went around to each house, did a survey about on what the people in the house know about HIV/AIDS, and then gave the family an informational flyer. The youth also held a class during the summer teaching them about STI’s, pregnancy prevention, and HIV/AIDS. It was nice to see some of our youth honored along with about 20 other youth from neighboring communities. It was also an honor to attend the ceremony as a “God-mother” for one of the youth that participates in just about everything we do and Craig as a “God-father.” After the ceremony we had a delicious lunch of la bandera or rice, beans, and chicken then returned in time for the youth to go to the high school.
Super busy yet not busy at all or A typical day as a PCV
I don’t know if I can ever say there is a “typical” day as a PCV. Maybe if I was a volunteer with an organization and had set hours like a “typical” 9-5 job I might have a “typical” day but, when living in another country and having various projects that depend on community partners it seems as though I never have a “typical” day.
At times it seems as though we are super busy and our heads are spinning from everything that we are doing or had done in a day…while at other times it seems as though we are sitting around with nothing to do. This past week has been especially busy.
Sunday- We started the week on a high note with our youth group meeting. The youth have lots of ideas for this semester. They want to do a short play…they are hoping to do The Little Prince in Spanish of course. We need to finish our worm compost project. We are hoping to have a fogata or campfire for Halloween. We told them they need to wear masks or dress up as someone else in order to attend the fogata and then we’ll give them candy. After Halloween, we have two conferences to attend in different parts of the country two weekends in a row.
Monday-We went to the place where our bank is to get our grant money wooohoo!! And buy parts to repair the aqueduct finally!!! We also got to enjoy some wifi, a bola or direct free ride back to our community with the hardware store truck delivering our materials. We also got to enjoy a delicious chicken sandwich with cheese at the café that has wifi. We normally don’t eat meat in our community because it’s hard to butcher, expensive, and difficult since we don’t have refrigeration.
Tuesday-We went to the closest pueblo to pickup books for the library. World Vision decided they could help by donating books to our community’s library however they would be unable to deliver the books (??!) so we had to go get them. We got to see the World Vision office and pick out the books that we thought would be good for our community…most were books donated from the McGraw Hill Company.
Wednesday- In the morning, the youth from our youth environment club came over to clean a space to build a nursery. In the afternoon we did various tasks-Craig made brownies and I prepared for my girls group on Saturday, but mainly we went to several houses to check on their filters.
Thursday was patronales or the day of our community’s patron saint-Saint Francis of Assisi. It was pretty cool when we arrived and learned that our community’s patron saint was St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis was one of my mom’s favorite Saints and it is the saint at the cemetery where she is buried. Our community celebrated patronales or our saint’s day with a mass and baptized several kids. There was also an agricultural meeting at the same time as the mass so I went to the mass to take pictures and Craig went to the agricultural meeting.
Friday we had a visit from Rossy, the director of the biosand water filters project. She said we did a good job installing the filters and educating people about their use. Currently all the filters that are left are reserved, so pray that rotary gets more filters or that a community decides they don’t need the filters so we can install 40 more.
Saturday we did laundry and I had my girls group
Sunday we had our youth club again. I got sick…I kept having this weird sickness where I would have sulfur burps, throw up everything in my stomach, then have diarrhea and then be fine the next day. So we called the doctors and they said to come into the capital.
I went to the capital and gave the obligatory poop samples and they said they couldn’t find anything but decided to treat me based on my symptoms. The doctors figured that whatever it is probably was not in my poop by the time they collected the samples since we live so far and asked if our rural clinic does poops samples. I returned to our community and asked the local clinic nurse if they test stool samples and like I thought,she said, “No”.
A look at another week-
Friday I taught art in the school…I had the students draw and label parts of trees as here October is reforestation month and I’m an environment volunteer so I want to incorporate the environment into art at least some of the time.
Saturday morning I planned on doing a lot of laundry. Laundry consists of first collecting water, if the water is on, filling up buckets with said water, putting chairs behind the house for a bucket and to sit, organizing laundry based on colors, putting laundry soap into a bucket, y ya you’re ready to start hand washing all the clothes! We wash all of our clothes by hand, only on rare (only twice have we done this) occasions when we have a lot of laundry do we cart our laundry down the hill to our neighbor’s house to use her washing machine. In order to use her machine we have to pay for gasoline to run a generator and as I’m sure many know nowadays gas ain’t cheap especially when living on an island where gas is imported. So, back to Saturday…I planned to wash all our dirty clothes and our sheets but in order to wash all those clothes I need to have space on the laundry line to hang them out to dry. Well, our neighbor who also uses our laundry lines beat me to it and took up about 2/3rds of the laundry lines leaving us with a chin chin or a little bit of space to hang the laundry. Needless to say, I ended up washing only what would fit on the laundry line that was available and will have to wash more later in the week. While I worked on laundry Craig built a new area to put our chickens. I found two eggs in the chicken cage. We used the eggs in squash/pumpkin bread.
Saturday afternoon I had my chicas girls group…it either last an hour to an hour and a half depending on if the girls arrive on time and what the subject is. The girls in my group are eleven to sixteen (the age range was 10-15 when I first started…most have had birthdays) and some topics are a little difficult to get through in one hour. That ended then I returned to the house to help Craig cook dinner, eat, do dishes, then watch animanicas or something random, then go to bed or call family in the states.
Sunday morning we took time to clean the room where we were sleeping while we waited for the safety and security officer to deem it safe for us to sleep in our house at night, cleaned our own house, played solitaire, hung the laundry up that was still drying, made lunch, ate lunch, went and visited our host mom. She was away in Santiago
Sunday afternoon we had our youth club. We are preparing a charla on reforestation for the fifth through eighth graders this Wednesday. Our joven really want to do a play so I downloaded two scripts in Spanish-el Principe feliz and scrooge. They decided on el Principe feliz and are going to start practicing tomorrow night.
Monday was national hand washing day…I told Lourdes, our host mom and the director of the elementary school, about this idea of painting kids hands and putting them on a cartulina or poster paper so they have to wash their hands and she liked the idea so I went to the school to help out with that. I also helped one of the ladies that is studying education with her English homework.