Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lauren's First Letter From Honduras

For those of you who are new to Positive Pelham, a friend of mine named Lauren has joined the Peace Corps and is going to be blogging about her experience in Honduras over the coming months. To find out more about Lauren, click here to read her introduction from a few weeks ago. She's a special person doing a very good thing. Here is her first post. If you'd like to send her a message, you can use this comment form. Make it a great day!

Disclaimer -- "The following article does not reflect the opinions of the Peace Corps or the US government"

--Lauren's First Letter from Honduras--

Hi Everyone!

Well I have been in Honduras now for almost two weeks. We got snowed in while at pre-staging training in DC and ended up there for a week instead of two days. It was actually really nice to be there for that long because we all got to know each other pretty well during that time and we had time to hangout in Georgetown and DC. There are 51 of us volunteers. I would say 95% are under 30…most being 22-26. We have one 40 year old volunteer and 4 married couples in their 20s. It’s about 60% girls-40% guys. Everyone is really nice and I already have some great friends in my group.

Well we flew into San Pedro Sula a week ago Sunday…that is the first and last time that we will be there since San Pedro Sula is a banned city in Honduras for Peace Corps volunteers (PCV) since it is as dangerous as Colombia. We took a four hour bus ride to a beautiful little town outside the capital, Tegucigalpa.

I am living with the best family! We live in a cute house, with rooms open to an outside patio. I have my own room. I am lucky because they have a washing machine, while the other volunteers have to hand wash their clothes using a “pila” and we have an Electroducha, which is a shower with hot water…which is REALLY nice because this town is in the mountains so it gets really chilly here at night and in the mornings.

Our town is basically a beautiful resort town outside of Teguc so it is probably nothing like where we will be placed after there first 3 months of training…but we are loving it here for now. The locals are used to having Gringas here so it feels very safe. My family has three children…Marcio is 20, Iris is 17, and Jairo is 16....and a bird named Polly. The mom, Sandra is wonderful. She is so sweet and works so hard around the house...her job title is Ama de la Casa..which means Heart of the House =) She cooks me all vegan food which is absolutely amazing!.......By the way Mom and Vida...she got eggplant in Tegus last weekend and made it for me today!!!!! I was so excited!

I get up at 5:00 in the mornings to go running with a few other volunteers. We have classes at our training center from 7:30-4:30 Monday-Friday. We have been placed in Spanish classes based on our language level. I am at Intermedio bajo so I need to go up one more level before I can be sworn in as a PCV in 2 months. I have forgotten pretty much all of my Spanish from my four years off so I am behind most of the volunteers (who studied or lived abroad)…but I’m hoping it will come back pretty quick.

We are put in classes of 3-5 PCV per Spanish teacher so we have a lot of support. We have language classes all morning, then our “moms” walk our lunches to the center everyday….which is so nice. In the afternoons we have other classes about safey & security, honduran culture or specific to our projects. The 51 of us are in 3 different projects…business, water & sanitation, and health. There are 20 of us in the health project. Three of my closest friends are in the health project with me so that’s really nice. We are getting really great training on STIs, AIDS, etc. We had a doctor from USAID come talk to us last week which was really interesting.

After classes and during the weekend we have been exploring, hiking to see the sunrise, sunset, playing futbol (soccer), hiking, going out, studying, hanging out with our families…(Iris, Jairo and I watched the Notebook with Spanish subtitles on my laptop the other night so that was fun!) This weekend I am going with my good friends Kyle, Chris, Regina, and Leah to hike at a National Park. On Sunday my mom is taking Kyle and me to the market and mall in Tegucigalpa. We are all getting cell phones…and it is FREE (no minutes used) to receive calls so I can receive calls from the US easily! Well that’s all for now…I could write all day but I don’t want to bore anyone too much.

Please keep in touch!

En Paz


By the way my new name here is Lorena =)


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Thanks! - J. Anthony.

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