June has been a strange month. I have probably described a lot of months like that in my Peace Corps service, but once again it is so true. I imagined June so differently. I thought it would be relaxed and I would begin the smooth glide into the final months of my time in El Salvador. I had vacation time planned, trips with Tricia and her brother and friend planned, and lots of exciting, fun things lined up. JUNE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A PARTYYYY! I was naive and so very wrong like I have been SO MANY times before believing in all of that, which I have had the pleasure of documenting on this blog for your reading pleasure. I should have known that just like the beginning and middle of my two years-- this journey (any journey) is never pure "smooth sailing." There always has to be some sort of surprise. Thus, I give you my June surprises:
The month started off okay...a few hiccups like my best friend getting sick, a training where my counterparts backed out at the last minute, and my bathroom broke (and there is still no replacement)... but then LUCK struck back and...
I had the pleasure of hosting 20k Watts! From their web site (www.http://20kwatts.com/)"20K Watts is an international nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the current and future quality of life of children, and their families, living in extreme poverty through the use of solar and wind energies. 20k Watts seeks to power community development projects that promote children's education, clean water and sanitation, health, economic development, food security, and eliminate household kerosene consumption."
In Upire, we received 25 solar lamps for a portion of the community that does not have electricity. Here are some pictures of the distribution ceremony:
The Youth group that works the market project on Saturdays needs funds to purchase a sound system. I am trying to help them accomplish that large goal before I leave in August. This means we are currently rushing to raise money. Of course to try and make money we had a community wide culto (basically hours of prayers, music, and testimonies to God) where yours truly not only rocked the token religious veil but also made papusas (2 monumental surprises for community members).
Then there are surprise parties. Happy BIRTHDAY to my host mother, best friend, and amazing counterpart Nina Mary!!! Que Dios te Bendiga! Te quiero mucho!
Then there are sad surprises. Like when your best friend gets medically evacuated from Peace Corps. I had to start my goodbyes way earlier than I expected. I was not ready or prepared to watch one of my best friends leave me behind. I know it is not goodbye but simply See You Later, but it IS still so rough More than anything (besides wanting her to get better ASAP and wishing her well back in the states), I am just sad and worried that I have to make it through my final months without her. It is going to be tough...
Then there are happy, CRAZY, weird, overwhelming surprises like when your group has their COS (close of service conference).
The process of leaving deserves a whole other post. So I will stop there. All I will say at this moment is that I am both excited and scared for the future. But that's no surprise...
Until next time folks.