I have no excuse for not updating this. I could lie and say that I have been busy but until this week there was absolutely no truth in that statement. The last week, however, was busier and the weeks to come should be more so. THANK GOODNESS. It is funny how quickly and drastically our perceptions can change. What would have been a very relaxed and boring day in the States is an extremely busy day here. The pace of life is so much slower and the minimum thinking required so much greater (operating in a second language makes everything more tiresome). The heat doesn't help either. I know all of you dealing with the bizarre weather that is a northwest spring are day dreaming of hot summer days. It isn't all a picnic. The weather here is hot. VERY hot. As I receive emails of a "beautiful 75 degree day" then reports of snow fall the following week, I sit and sweat. If possibly, I avoid doing anything between about 11am and 4 pm. It is just too hot to wander down the dirt roads of Talanga. Sometimes, it can't be avoided but snow sounds nice sometimes. Actually, we had a cold front the week before last and I froze all day. I hear it dipped to low 70's in another town of similar altitude and has been consistently reading over 100 during that afternoons. Just don't forget how miserable the sun and heat can be as you suffer through the unpredictability of spring. I miss the change in weather.
Things are finally starting to pick up here. I started my TEAM (Teaching English and Methodology) class, teaching elementary school teachers how to teach English. I have two classes, each meeting one day a week for 2 hours. It is amazing how challenging getting people to show up on time is. For the most part it is a cultural difference, but punctuality is a real struggle here. After three weeks, they have gotten slightly better but still haven't figured out that 4:15 is not 4:00. 4:15 is much closer than 4:45, but we are still working on that. You would also think that teachers would do their homework. Wrong. The first week, out of 2 classes and a total of about 20 people, guess how many did their homework... ZERO! You are teachers! All they had to do was bring a note saying they sang the alphabet song in English to someone. I told them they could use other teachers in their class if they would like. They didn't even fake it! The second assignment was much better and the majority did at least part. Eventually, these classes will make me very busy since I will visit and observe each teacher in their classroom twice between now and August. (Don't forget, school is only half day so most of them I have to do before noon. This is a much more time intensive task than it would be in the US.)
I am also still waiting for toothbrush donations to arrive so I can start a dental hygiene program with about 10 1st and 2nd grade classes. In addition, we are trying to organize a team to write a grant proposal for funds for a TOT about HIV/AIDS. Busy busy busy. Although none of these projects on their own is that difficult, when you have to go to the school 3 different days for the same purpose because some one didn't bring something or this teacher didn't show up today, it makes the whole process take a little longer. Sorry if I sound bitter, I don't feel that way, but sometimes the lack of efficiency can be frustrating and annoying.
I don't have many new photos but here are a few of a "modern dance" presentation from the colegio (high school) celebrating the opening of a new Dirección (Principal's office). A Honduran lawn mower (not an exaggeration but typically they use a machete), and yes, new photos (taken this morning) of my sanity, aka Bello. Luckily, he left ear has started to droop so he doesn't look quite so much like a bat. : ) There is an Earthday event in Talanga's parque central tomorrow and a "festival de comida tipica" in Cantarranas on Sunday so I will try my best to get some new pictures to post. Sorry if this was a bit of a rant, what can ya do...
Oh, good things! Last weekend, my friend Rachel visited my site! It was one of the first friends to see my site. She was amazed at how huge it is but it is still a very Honduran town. It was really great to have her there and be able to share my home with someone who understands both Honduran and Peace Corps culture. I actually had two guests this week as I hosted another volunteer who was in the area helping with a medical brigade. Thank goodness for visitors! I have been told by more than one Honduran lately that it is "good to have friends". Yes, I know, but it's hard to make friends with people sometimes. : )