Week 1 as a real-life PCV

29 05 2010

I have been in my new site now for about 1 week.  (1 week down, about 103 to go!) Ha, but overall, I think it is going quite well.  Most mornings, I have been getting up to go running, which serves two purposes.  One, it helps me see more people in the community and ‘be seen’ (as weird as that sounds, its important).   It is also pretty key since I signed up to run a half marathon in the capital at the end of the month- yikes!   I come back and have breakfast with my dona, which is usually quite solid though I am still trying to convince her that I actually do like my coffee without any sugar whatsoever. Amargit0!  She serves it to me that way for a couple days, then slowly starts adding more and more sugar thinking I don’t notice, until I find some way to subtly call her out and the game starts over…  It is somewhat exhausting having to settle in with the 3rd family in 3 months, but this family is great and my dona is a total character and very awesome.  We have lots of cross cultural discussions about things like food, religion (I pretend to be a God-fearing Christian here), and whether all Americans sleep with ‘novios’ (awkward…), and last night we played hand games (think Ms. Mary Mack).

When I need a break from the lady chatter and gossip, I chill on the porch with my host dad.  He is an ex-guide for Pico Duarte and is very chill.  We watched a lightning storm and drank ginger tea on the porch the other night and it was one of my favorite hours in this country.  Then I went to sleep and he started snoring super loud and he was no longer my favorite.

Other than family bonding, I have been going to the school every afternoon to get to know the teachers and appear to be doing something useful.  I am hoping to do teacher training in the computer lab this summer.  I will also be doing a diagnostic (basically, community interviews), and hopefully getting involved in some of the projects already up and running with other volunteers.  There is a really good men’s vball team here that I played with one afternoon, and I am working on getting some girls organized to get a team going for them.

I spend a good portion of some days feeling really awkward trying to keep up with big gossip sessions/remember people’s names and I do have moments (okay, sometimes many continuous moments) where I question how the hell i am going to live in this random place for 2 years.  However, overall, I have to say it is all going smoothly, and I am feeling very okay just going with it and taking it a day at a time.

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