Saturday, June 29, 2013

Surprise, Surprise

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."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 moments where I am ridiculously surprised--like when your school decides to put together their own follow up Environmental Education training workshop. My school director told me it was because she wanted to make sure the teachers were using the book we gave them. Thank you Nina Mary for promoting sustainability and allowing me to essentially just show up for the event and do ABSOLUTELY nothing :) Therefore, I give you Goin' Green Part 3 pictures:

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. 

1 comment:

  1. Good morning, how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from El Salvador? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in El Salvador in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez