Here is a video I made about 3 months ago that captures many of the moments that occurred in my first months in country. Many things have happened since I made this video, but it captures the excitement of being in a new place, that is now my home. At the same time it makes me realize how many small moments add up to influence this crazy experience I am undergoing – rather captured or not.
Recently, I haven’t been inspired to blog or even journal as life has been becoming ‘normal’. I don’t know when it happened or how it happened – but the strange has become my life…but that still does not make the strange normal. Because, what constitutes normal or strange? This used to be strange because everything was unknown, but now as I am becoming more integrated and understanding life down here…I do not feel like an alien from the Outer Space of America (at least all the time). Everything is honestly going very well, and I am genuinely happy. I suppose half of this happiness has to do with finally feeling like I am volunteering, and the other half with the wonderful people I have come to love down here. So this time I will let the photos speak:
Proyecto Ninos Sanos, Fuertes e Inteligentes (Healthy, Strong and Smart Children Project): The goal of this project is to work with 30 mothers who have children that suffer from malnutrition or anemia. We work with them to improve their overall living situation from feeding practices, cooking practices, hygiene, etc. etc. I go and visit the houses of the mothers with health promoters we are re-training and with health post-personnel.
Pasos Adelante – Promotores Educadores Pares (Steps Forward – Youth Peer Educators Program): This project is focused on empowering youth to build up leadership skills while also training them be youth health promoters in their high-school. They receive 14 sessions in themes ranging from self-esteem, values, prevention of alcohol/drug use, abstinence, sexual protection methods, STIs, VIH/AIDS, etc.etc. After they receive these sessions, they then turn around and give the session to their peers during study hall hours. They are now in the stage of practicing their sessions, and the first group gave their’s last week, and it went really well!
Trash management Secondary Project: This idea came about during Earth Day where we planned out clean-up days of the streets. In our town there is no trash management system which leads the community members to burning it in the street or taking it to the farmland, leading to even more contamination. These clean-up days have expanded into a large secondary project in coordination with the municipality to create a trash management system and a good location to build a landfill.
IS THIS WORK?
Family, Friends and Fiestas – Work hard, play hard.
Well there it is. A couple of glimpses of my past couple months down here. I always love hearing from all of you, and thanks for everyone who has sent down cards and packages. Unbelievably generous and thoughtful, and it truly means alot!