Monday, March 25, 2013

Visitors Part 2

First and foremost I hope you read “Visitors Part 1” because it is a great post, but also because it will provide you with the necessary context to process this next segment. This past week March 18th- 22nd, Upire and I hosted 3 new trainees and a Spanish Teacher from Peace Corps Staff in what is known as Field Based Training (FBT). FBT is a week-long immersion trip (see Visitors Part 1 for information on Immersion Weekend) where trainees are expected to help a current volunteer with executing some of their projects (FYI: This was not part of my training). Current volunteers were asked to apply to host by submitting a schedule for the week and how the trainees would be asked to participate and help. Additionally, we were asked to find host families for each of them for the entire week.

My work plan looked a little like this:

Monday: Arrive to Upire around 5, eat dinner, and sleep at Jamie’s house.
Tuesday: Meet host families, meet students in my art class, begin painting light posts, continue painting in the afternoon, prepare for Wednesday’s food festival, and stay with host families.
Wednesday: Sell American food in the First Annual Food festival, help with games and activities, and help clean up at the end of the day.
Thursday: Cleaning Campaign of the community, paint light posts, celebration with host family of a week well done!
Friday: Trainees leave for Santa Rosa to go to San Salvador

Looking back on my plan we were very successful and I very content with the amount we accomplished in a week. We followed that schedule almost exactly. The only hiccup was on Thursday afternoon we had to cancel painting more posts because there was a huge rainstorm. I think it was a blessing in disguise though. The trainees and I were exhausted and it gave us a little time to celebrate finishing FBT, process the week, and have a small question and answer period, which I hope was helpful for them.  

Here are some pictures of our week: 

Boys leading the way

Yeah, girls can paint too! 
The painters and myself!
We sold Mac and Cheese, PB&J's, Rice Krispie Treats, and Pop Corn!
Peace Corps Staff came to visit! Eating Soup with cow stomach :)

Trainees enjoying food festival

Cleaning the community campaign!

That was FBT in Upire. I am so grateful I was able to host because it gave me an incredible opportunity to move forward with the painting project, add a unique touch to our first food festival, and give my community a chance to show off a little bit for the trainees. It gave my community members (especially the kids who worked with us and the host families) so much pride that we were chosen to host and to do our best to provide the trainees with a rewarding and comfortable experience. I hope that we succeeded in that! Thank you so much to Ariel, Ismaldi, and Jacky for coming out and helping us! It was truly a pleasure to have you all.

However, I also have to admit FBT was downright exhausting. It was like a more intense Immersion Weekend (see previous post for details). You can multiply the challenges, stresses, and frustrations by 3. I am so glad that I did it, but I am also so glad it is over. Selfishly, I am kind of ready to have Upire to myself again.

Of course, until you decide to come!.....

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