Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lauren's Second 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 all of her letters. She's a special person doing a very good thing. Here is her second 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 Second Letter from Honduras--

Hello everyone!

Sorry it has been awhile since I have written. They keep us pretty busy during training. We just finished four weeks of training in the town outside of Teguc. They have taught us about HIV/AIDS, STIs, nutrition/malnutrition, latrines, breast feeding, and diarrhea/respiratory diseases in children. A lot was a repeat from nursing school, but it’s always good to have refresher classes. Especially considering causes and treatments differ so much in other countries.

We also had our second language interview last week. I moved up past the level needed in order to be sworn in as a PCV! So at least that pressure is off, but I still have a long way to go. Language is definitely the most frustrating part about being here. The language classes we have are really good but it’s been really hard for me to stay focused in a classroom setting from 7:30-4:30 everyday - actually more like impossible. I feel like I have ADD =). But, only seven more weeks of training.

Part of me can’t wait until training is over, but then I know I am really going to miss my friends when we get moved to our individual sites. Two weekends ago we all went on volunteer visits to spend 3 days with current PCVs. I went to a town in the East to visit a Youth Development Volunteer, who has been in Honduras since June. She was really sweet and we had a lot in common, so we had a great time together. I went with her to give charlas (basically interactive lectures) to students at a primary school. She teaches business classes, English classes, art classes, and has a health club. It was a really great opportunity to hear what it is like to be a PCV and what to expect! Another interesting thing that happened was Friday I started to break out in an allergic rash and when I woke up on Saturday it was all over my arms and legs, even after taking Benydrl the night before.

So the doctors had me go to the hospital in Tegucigalpa where they gave me an IV with Solumedrol (steroid), which helped the rash a little, but I still have it on my arms and left hand. So we’re not really sure what it is from. If it does not go away in the next few days the PC Dr. is going to send me to a dermatologist in Teguc.

Well, Sunday we had to say goodbye to our amazing families because we left for field-based training. This is when the 51 of us split up into our three projects (health, business, and water and sanitation) and go to different cities where we get more field-specific, hands-on training. The 20 of us on the health team are in a bigger city now, sort of in the valley of some mountains. I was really nervous about my new family; because my family was so great before, this new one had a lot to live up to!

But my family here is wonderful too! Our city is pretty nice. Four internet cafes, hiking, hot springs for swimming, even a gym. And my family has a really nice house. My parents have four grown children, who all have children. They live in a compound with 3 houses so I am constantly surrounded by my little friends! Ruth and Victor are 6, Roberto is 7, Daniel and David are 8, Sara is 11, and Fernanda is 12. Ruth is my best friend here! She helped me unpack and we play doctor, take pictures, and dance to Shakira!

I have a big room with a TV with 70 channels (including HBO & Showtime!) and my own bathroom, which feels so bizarre considering I was expecting no TV for 2 years. My family has a washing machine too! The only thing is they don’t have an electroducha (warm shower) so you have to boil water and then pour it into a bucket and take a bucket shower, but I actually really like it. My family has cows, horses, and a coffee fica (farm) in the mountains. This is funny, my sister Melissa’s (29) boyfriend’s family owns an EGGPLANT farm!! How bizarre is that considering my obsession =) It is typically all exported to the US but they are going to get some for me! My mom has been amazing too about the vegan stuff. So far I have been really lucky. Well tomorrow we start language classes and we are having a charla about "In Charge of My life", which will teach us how to run Youth support/leadership groups in our communities so that should be interesting. Sorry I don’t have much more interesting to say considering we spend all day in classes but hopefully after training my emails will get better =)

Miss you all and I hope everyone is doing well!

Con Amor



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