Wow. No seriously, wow. Saturday was my 2-year anniversary in Guatemala. I read on another Peace Corps blog that we volunteers actively keep track of our time in country and count down the days left. Because I have yet to set a final ending date, I cannot accurately say how many days I have left, nor am I sure I want to. But I do think 2 years is a significant anniversary for any occasion. These have not been an easy 2 years. However, I would not trade them for anything.
Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, this past month has seen huge advances in work productivity and community integration on my part, to be continued until I leave Cunén. “Zumba” classes with my sitemates are a massive success: at least 30-35 women have been showing up every week ready to dance and sweat their butts off. I have since been asked to help choreograph dances for youth groups, been invited to participate in community events with a youth association I hadn’t known existed, and met many new people. I’ve attended more children’s birthday parties. I went to Mormon church and (mistakenly, in hindsight) invited the missionaries over to dinner. I fulfilled a personal goal of mine to visit the tropical and electricity-free Zona Reyna of Uspantán, 5 hours away from the town center on a windy dirt road through the mountains in a cramped microbus. As painful as the journey was, it was definitely one of my favorite weekends here, celebrating my friend Laurie’s birthday. Work-wise, the school kids and I harvested radishes and made healthy salads; I conducted a market visit to Antigua with Allan, my Save the Children coordinator, and scored some business for my artisan groups; and most excitingly, received approval for my onion warehouse proposal! While waiting to receive the money, I’ve begun workshops with the association on proper post-harvest handling of their product. Construction is set to start in September :)
|at my host brother Fernandito's 5th birthday|
|the final 13 (of my group's original 32) at COS conference|
|the celebratory happy hour...|
Now I’m back in site, planning out the limited time I have left here. I’m anticipating a lot of self-reflection, to which I’m sure you will all be treated to as it comes. GRE-studying is well underway, to varied degrees of success, and grad programs are picked out. Crazily enough, I even have a job interview lined up for when I get home, with the tech company Dropbox in San Francisco. I’m really excited about it and waiting to see how it goes before sending in the Masters applications. Expect a phone call soon, friends and family in the bay area!