Monday, July 18, 2005


I have a home, at least for the next three months. I am staying with a family in Ipis de Guadalupe. It is about 25 minutes by bus from San Jose. So far so good, I have found an internet cafe a couple blocks from my house so I should be able to keep in touch. I think I may be able to upload pictures soon too. It may take some kissing up with the guys that work in the cafe, but I think my Spanish is up to it.

I met my family on Sunday. Lots of smiling and nodding, but I think it is going to work out well. My family consists of my mom, Doña Olga, her granddaughter, Stephanie (7) and her neice, Estelle (20). I also met her sister and friends and lots of kids when I first got here. I realized immediately that I have severely, and somewhat shamefully, overpacked. My room is pretty small, between my suitcases and the bed there is really very little room for walking. I've actually only unpacked about half of my clothes. I think I did some emotional packing. Oh well. I won't get rid of anything until I get my site just to be sure, but I think I will still be donating quite a bit to the local second hand stores, which are appropriately called "Ropa Americana" or "American clothes" cuz they generally come from the states.

My language class is going well. We are working on giving and receiving directions and finding our way around. This is very appropriate because although, in some cases, the streets do have names, no one knows what they are. So, if you wanted to know where the post office is, you would be told "walk three blocks South from the church, then seven blocks east, next to the pharmacy and across from the supermarket." I'm not kidding... the address for the Peace Corps office is; Sabana norte, from the Banco Inerfin, 200 meters west, 100 meters south, Corner house, diagnoally from the Spanish Ambassador´s residence, in front of the park. It's a relative of efficiency.

Our group has been divided. There are two different programs; Children, Youth and Families (CYF) and Micro-Enterprise Development, so we are divided by program. We have been further divided by language ability. The youth program has three groups and the micro group four. I am in the intermediate group with four other people. Each group is placed in a community, mine is Ipis. There aren't any groups in San Jose but we are all within a bus ride because we all meet together on Fridays. Overall, I have been impressed and satisfied with the training I'm getting. I guess after 40+ years you would expect Peace Corps to have learned a few things. I like the people in my group also although I have quite a few friends in the micro group that I would like to see more. It's good prep though as in October we will be dispersed solo like leaves in the wind. We still have no idea, nor any clues about where we will go or what we will do. During training we are also being evaluated as to which positions will be best filled by whom.

Last night I watched "El Guerra de los Mundos" or "War of the Worlds." I am assuming it was a pirated copy as it is still in theatres. The TV was a little rough so anything that took place at night was real tough to see. So for the most part, I heard it more than watched it.

I believe that is about all of the excitement... Tomorrow, I take the bus into San Jose so that should prove to be exciting. We are going to go to the PC office and then check out the Medical University where we will attend training on Fridays.

For now... much smiling and nodding. Pura Vida.... Oh! I almost forgot.... I learned how to say "Dude" in Spanish... the transition is nearly complete.


Anonymous said...

So wonderful to read about your adventure, and so glad you are close to a computer so that you can let us live vicariously through you. Your speaking about your over abundance of clothes, etc. is so telling about how we consider what is doing without. Compared to what so many in the world have, even those in the US who think they are poor are really very rich. Simply being born in the US makes us rich. I guess that the very long hours that turn into years of hard work is what keeps the US the best place in the world to live. Will be checking for more of your writings...Love, Godmother

Anonymous said...

Hi Sweet Thing, I bet all of your senses are over loaded. You must feel so alive. Congratulation on your most life changing journey. Love Ya so much, DJP & KMR

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kelly! Glad to know you made it safely and that you're settling in. It must be exciting to wake up every day with wonder and awe as to what you'll experience next. Your writing is incredible, thanks for sharing yourself so intimately with us! Love, Cheryl & Rich

Anonymous said...

I love the bit about the directions you get there. It reminds me of asking where things are here in Chile. Un poco mas a la mano derecho. Nothing here is called by its name, either. I once asked where the nuns had their workshop for sand drawings that I'd seen for sale one day in the plaza. I was told 555 Atacama. I asked around and quickly found out that none of the buildings have numbers on them. Come to find out, it was a narrow alleyway behind the bank, down a flight of stairs to the basement with sewer pipes running overhead. Living in the lap of luxury!
When you get a break, let me know and you can come to Chile to visit.

Anonymous said...

Oops! Kelley, I apologize for the misspelling of your name! Blonde moment...Cheryl

ladyslonic said...

My sister and my friend my heart overflows with a sweet pain knowing that you are far away. Wow...