Monday, August 22, 2011

Who's Bored Now?

It's been a little hectic lately. Closing your Peace Corps service isn't something you can just do in a couple of days. My group had our Close of Service (COS) Conference last month. It's a three day event where PC puts us up in a posh villa to talk about our experiences, feelings, and mainly to tell us all the things we have to do before we can leave. There's the medical checkout, three days of getting pricked and prodded, physicals, stool samples (officially a pro at leaving these), and dental checkup (Just finished up last week, no tuberculosis, no cavities, and parasite free). I have a Language Proficiency Interview that will tell just how awful my Spanish still is after two years (it really isn't that bad I guess). Then the plethora of paperwork: COS Report (10-15 pages, single-spaced, English and Spanish), Description of Service (DOS) Report, the bi-annual VRF Report, updating resumes and job applications, reference letters, press releases, closing bank accounts, turning in supplies and equipment, and getting the signature of virtually everyone on the Peace Corps Staff. That all happens on top of despedidas (going away parties) in site, with host families, women's groups, and schools, and with other volunteers, who are all leaving at different times. My site mate and I will likely be replaced, so we also have to prepare a smoothish transition for the new volunteers and plan their site visit. Guatemala also just had their first round of countrywide elections for the year (President, Representatives, Mayors, etc.) which brought everything to a halt for a few days, followed by tomorrow being Independence Day (one of the biggest celebrations of the year). Chiantla, my municipality, just finished their week-plus long festival last week as well.

Throughout it all, I've been coordinating an appropriate technologies project for a local school. I solicited funding from Water Charity, and in collaboration with my Counterpart NGO (Seeds of Help Foundation), Agua para la Salud (who gave us the design and is sending a skilled mason), and the Committee of Parents (basically a PTA), the project is finally coming to fruition. Materials were purchased yesterday and construction is scheduled to begin this coming Tuesday. We will be building a cement above ground water deposit that will hold 5,500 liters of water, which will be used for washing hands, dishes, cleaning floors, and, with the use of a water filter that was donated to all of our schools through my site mate, clean drinking water. Water Charity provides funding to projects instantly, and receives donations later, which it filters to its various ongoing projects across the world. The maximum amount of money they can contribute to a single project is $555. My project budget was actually more than this allotment, but Seeds is helping cover the rest. Please visit my project page - - to make a donation. Even $5 would be a huge help. I can say that I would greatly appreciate it, but in speaking for the community, I couldn't begin to describe their gratitude and appreciation for your help.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I agree. You can learn from constructive criticism but don’t take insults personally
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