Thursday, June 22, 2006


Okay... a little more research and I found out that there IS treatment for kids 15-18 it is just that they still have to go to San José to get it. The not so great news being that the social worker at the Puntarenas hospital didn't know this. That says a lot too. And... handing out condoms on the street corner would go over about as well as someone handing out "Plan B" on a street corner in the Bible Belt. Condoms aren't even available in the pulperias and even if they were, it is doubtful that anyone would buy them because of the chisme (gossip) factor. Then there is the whole issue of knowing how to use them correctly.... on and on it goes.

I have been bombarded all of a sudden with a billion things to do. I am planning a camp for the kids in the barrio for the second week of July. They have a school vacation for a couple of weeks. I also just signed on with the social worker and psychologist at the school to start some groups with the 5th and 6th graders in which I will be discussing certain delicate topics including sexuality. (Yes, fifth graders are having sex. They do it in the states too, so if you have a fifth or sixth grader you better get on talking to them about it.) I am also hoping to run a coordinated program with their parents so that they will a)not freak out about what I will be talking about in the groups and b)be more educated about the things their kids are facing. I am kind of excited about it and I hope that it will work. The part with the kids is pretty much a go. I am hoping to get the parents involved although I may be pulling my hair out in a few weeks.

A new group of volunteers will arrive in country next week. Not only are we not the new kids anymore, but the next group will be Youth volunteers and I will be hosting them for a tour of the barrio and then later will have a trainee hang with me for a couple of days. I am pretty excited about it.

My English class is coming along. I don't know if they are really learning any more English, but it is fun and I am meeting more people in the barrio. It is really exhausting to be working in both languages. I get to a point sometimes where nobody understands me in English or Spanish. Fun times.

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