Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Luckily... I am currently working on an education workshop for PANI workers. I will be saying more about this later and asking for your help with it so... be sure to watch for that.
Today, I will finish up in San Jose by giving another charla to 15ers about Love and Logic parenting/discipline techniques. Love and Logic is a parenting curriculum that I used to use when I worked in the treatment centers in the states. They generously donated the curriculum to me to use here.
Anyhoo.... that's what I'm up to lately. Later today I will be headed back to my barrio and tomorrow I'm headed to the OIJ (Tico FBI) to report my mugging. Let the good times roll!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Here's the thing... this is part of MY Peace Corps experience. All of it. The beautiful stuff as well as the devestating. Read the disclaimer. When all of this is said and done, if I end up in frigic climate working out of a cubical somewhere gazing at a tropical screensaver, I may be tempted to romantacize also. Romance isn't real. This experience is. I'm trying to be as true as I can be.
I know it is tough to swallow but working for the biggest bureaucracy on the planet is not a little slice of heaven everyday. But I believe in what I am doing. I believe in the Peace Corps. I believe in the Peace Corps acknowledging that it is imperfect and, at times, can be the poster-child for futility and personality defects. Assume whatever you need to to be able to sleep at night, but at the end of the day the reality is that a great volunteer was sent home.
I would hope that anyone reading this who is thinking about joining the Peace Corps will do so. It has been, the most significant experience of my life. In fact, I am hoping to be able to extend my service to a third year (in El Salvador). I also hope that if you do, that you are able to appreciate it for what it is and what it will be... real.
Friday, January 12, 2007
People need to call in. It's a safety thing. And yes, there are plenty of people that are screwing around, vacationing more than they are working, and there needs to be consequences. Those people are better (luckier) at not getting caught.
Mike was an excellent volunteer. His heart was in his work. He was doing great things. He, in many ways, embodied what a Peace Corps Volunteer should be. With zero tolerance, none of that matters. I am about to start a series of workshops teaching parents how to administer appropriate consequences to their children so that the message is not lost in the punishment. Maybe I should start with the office. The message we are getting is that as long as we are physically in our sites, it really doesn't matter if we are doing anything else or not. If our work performance is irrelevant in keeping our jobs... what does that say?
Mike will be fine. He is meant to be elsewhere. He'll move on from this and do great things...somewhere else. It's our loss. It's the loss of his community. Of course, if there were no injustice in the world, we would be out of a job.
Anyhoo, good luck Mike! You will be missed. Your absence will devastate Costa Rica's datability potential. :)
Friday, January 05, 2007
Kids from El Espino waiting for the toys to be handed out. I tried to be incognito with the camera so I could snap some candids... I failed miserably. :)
The Salvadoran New Year's tradition is to eat Chompipe (Turkey) for New Year's Eve and then all day the next day. We bought the turkey's live. This is me sizing it up before he hits the oven. To say the least, there are not a lot of turkey's that see the new year in El Salvador.
Fireworks are also a big New Year's tradition. Needless to say the burn unit at the local hospital keeps pretty busy. Sparklers and colors are fun but I would like to beat the guy that invented the loud ones. My ears are still ringing.
Made it back to Puntarenas about 10 pm Wednesday night. Spent most of yesterday reclaiming my house from the spiders and other critters. Was not very excited to find a mouse carcass under my stove. Other than that, all is well. Things are cleaned up and back to normal.
Maria stayed the night with me last night with her brother and sister. I made my first attempt at Indian cooking and made Curry Garbonzo beans and Palaak Paneer. The Paneer turned out a little funky but still tasted good. The garbonzos were a hit, I must admit. Anyhoo, all is well. Trying to get back in the swing, but not having a lot of luck motivating myself as I am headed to San Jose next week to work on the Cadena.