May 14, 2007


Well we’ve almost spent a week in our site. It’s feeling a little more like home each day. It’s been hot here lately and we’re looking forward to the rainy season when things cool off a bit and green up. The rainy season is supposed to begin sometime in June.

As some of you know, we actually didn’t get to site until last Wednesday (should’ve been the Friday before) but Luke was sick with dengue and a bacterial infection so we had to stay in Teguc close to the doctors.

We are living with another host family (the last one!). The family consists of the married couple (a retired vet and teacher), two maids (one for cleaning, the other for cooking), a teenage granddaughter, a non-family member who’s studying at the University and renting a room like Luke & I, and two Honduran doctors from Teguc who are during a year of work in Danlí (also renting rooms). There are family members and friends in and out of the house constantly. We pretty much hang out on the patio or in our room. We have a tv that sort of works and a private bathroom so its not so bad but we can’t wait until we finally get our own house….which leads me to another topic but first some pics of our host family´s home.
The patio where we like to sit and read (but constantly get bit up by mosquitos).

living room

When we got to Danlí we heard from the other three volunteers who are here right now about a furnished two-bedroom house that is really nice and that two volunteers rented last year. We went to look at it on Saturday and it’s definitely a really nice house and completely furnished with everything from beds to a blender. The only downside is that it’s not really centrally located, there’s not a lot of yard, and it’s in a complex with two other houses of the family (to get to this house you have to go in the same front entrance of the yard that they use to get to theirs). I think we’re looking for an extremely private home just because we’re so tired of living with families and having absolutely no privacy. Hopefully there will be some other options. We went to look at another house today that a volunteer had looked at when she was trying to find something but unfortunately it was already occupied.

Last week was definitely a “first week on the job” sort of week. I went to the hospital where my counterpart works on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until about noon each day. My morning usually starts out with sitting at my desk for a few hours and reading manuals that PC gave us that I haven’t had time to read yet. On Thursday I went with my counterpart and a group of young people who do HIV/AIDS prevention work to Las Manos, a town on the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. There are a ton of semi truck drivers parked at the border, waiting for up to 2 days sometimes to get clearance to cross the border. Apparently in the evenings, it’s a hot spot for commercial sex workers so we went to hand out condoms and info on HIV/AIDS. On Friday I attended a meeting for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). It was very interesting because Hondurans were the ones giving the charla (presentation) and I’ve heard that most Hondurans don’t know how to give dynamic charlas and don’t do much to keep the audience interested. From what I saw, this seems to be the case. The topic itself was very interesting and informative (adherence to medication) but it was delivered in a lecture-type way.

Thursday night we meet up with a 3 other volunteers, one from Danlí and two from aldeas (small towns) around Danlí. It’s good to talk with other volunteers, especially asking them about their first few months in site and what they did. We hear about volunteers that have so much work they can’t do it all and it’s hard to imagine that right now when we’re at the point of making connections, figuring out the community, meeting people, etc. We both know it’s a long process to get work (thus the point of being here for 2 years) but it’s hard waiting it out. We’ve been napping and reading quite a bit. It’s so hard for me to sit still but I’m doing my best.

On Saturday afternoon we went with two other volunteers (the ones from Danlí) to a swimming pool about 20 minutes from Danlí. It’s in the country and has a restaurant and tilapia farm as well. We hung out and swam for several hours then came back to Danlí and had sopa de jaiba (crab soup) for dinner. Very tasty. They put an entire crab into your soup.

Today (Sunday) we strolled around for awhile, ate the traditional fried chicken Sunday lunch, and watched a movie on tv. Sundays are generally pretty slow days. There aren’t a lot of people on the streets and most stores are closed except for some restaurants and the bigger stores.

Not sure what this week has in store…ahhh…the life of a volunteer!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Hey Annie!
Sounds like you made it through the first week ok, and hopefully the second will be better than the first! They usually are! Hang in there, and I can see what you mean about the house thing, as you and Luke are definetly due for some privacidad!!! I haven't sent your package yet, because I was waiting to include the new Windows thing in it. It is finally here, so by the end of the week it will be in the mail! take care and I am thinking about you two!

lots of love,
erin and romancito!!