Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lauren's 4th 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, you can read all of her posts by clicking here. She's a special person doing a very good thing. Here is her fourth 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 Fourth Letter from Honduras--

Hey all!

I know it has been awhile now since I have written...things have been really busy. BUT I am now officially a Peace Corps Volunteer! We went back to our first training site last week for 4 days to get a little more training, get our residency cards etc and then on Thursday was our swearing in ceremony at the US embassy. After the ceremony we all went to the Ambassador's house to swim, play tennis, and celebrate! Well now here come the good part...where I am going to live for 2 years and what I will be doing.....

So my site placement is in the west! It is actually a site that I have wanted from the beginning. It is a moderately sized city with about 15,000 people. It is located in a valley at the foot of Mount Celaque (the highest point in Honduras....some of the best hiking here!) Also there are supposed to be really beautiful Agua Thermales here...which are natural pools flowing from the mountains so I am excited to go there! The temperature here is pretty gets pretty hot here during the day but the mornings and nights are cool. It is known as a colonial town (colonial churches etc) so it gets a good amount of backpackers and tourists. There are two biliguel schools here so I met some people my age from Spain and the States living here teaching at the school so that is really cool! There is also a married couple from my PC group that is living here with me. Kate is working in the business project and Brody is working in water and sanitation.

I have four counterparts here (people from the community who I am going to work with)....

-World Vision, an NGO working in both HIV prevention and women & child health.
-An adolescent health clinic, which is really rare city has one of the only 2 in Honduras so thats really cool. Teen pregnancy and STDs are a BIG problem here. It is common here for a girl to get pregnant ages (14-16) and you here on the news fairly often of a 10 or 11 year old getting pregnant in the aldeas.
-A nursing school, which is very cool because I have heard here that patients here feel like some of the nurses are not very compassionate and caring in the hospital and that confidentiality can be a problem (which really effects people wanting to come get HIV testing) so I hope to incorporate these things when I teach them about HIV/AIDS and mother/child health.
-CAE, is goverment hospital that is focused only on providing care for people living with HIV or AIDS. I think I am going to run support groups here but we'll see.

So there is a ton of work to be done here and I am going to be kept very busy but I am really excited about what I can potentially do here! I am now a member of La Red, which is a group of the leaders in the city promoting AIDS awareness and prevention and promoting human rights for people living with I have already met the people in the city who are going into the schools, nursing schools, jails, and hospitals fighting against HIV/AIDS so that is really cool.

I am living with a family here for the next 2 months and then I get to find my own apartment or house to live in so that will be nice. I am excited to be here and start working but I am stressed about my ability to teach in Spanish and am also going to really miss my friends. I am giving myself the first 2 months to really learn Spanish and get confident with it and to get to know the community and my counterparts....




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Thanks! - J. Anthony.

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