Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good Start

So I'm here. Well, I'm there. Because I have to use Internet in Huaraz in order to stay in communication. Although you might notice my new address in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. I'm currently having some difficulties putting pictures of Jangas on my blog. So they might have to wait.

Here's the latest information:

I adore my family. I have a host mother and a host father. My host father, Julio, drives a combi (small bus like thing) and my mom, Gi, is mostly a house wife, but she sells cuyes (guinea pigs) and tends a garden. I have two younger sisters. One is named July (pronounced Julie) she is 17 and is studying to be an executive assistant, although she really wants to be a police officer. We're talking about running in the mornings, even though we both talk about loving our sleep. My younger sister just tuned 16 and she is finishing up her last year in secondary school. Her name is Yoshina but we just call her Yoshi. She is so sweet. They have all been so kind to me thus far. Especially my mom who tries so hard to cook meals that I will like. I became a vegetarian in Catilluc, so I realize that cooking for me now is no easy process. I try to be accommodating, but I've managed to lose 15 pounds that I so desperately needed to lose. So, I don't really want to go back to eating too much meat and dairy products.

The main difference between my work in Jangas as compared to my work in Catilluc is that already (day two) I have two potential clubs/classes. In Catilluc it was like pulling teeth to get anyone to work with me. On Friday I meet with a teacher in the local colegio to talk about starting or helping with a Journalism club. As you may or may not know, my Bachelor's degree is in Journalism. So I'm really excited to see if I can be of any service in this area. I also met with a very excited woman who teaches the computer classes. I'll be sitting in on her classes on Monday to see if I can bring anything to the table to help out. My main counterpart agencies have already expressed interest in working in theater and dance, environmental causes, as well as helping the teachers in the local school with computers, and other areas.

My counterpart, Milton, has been such a huge help. He is the President of a Young Adult Association. They do many things in the community like recycling, teaching about nutrition, and they will be my main support during my next year in Jangas. I am so excited to work with them. Currently, they're working with a third-year business volunteer who is teaching them about small business design and application. After he finishes his workshop, we'll start dance classes which I am really excited about. I have wanted to learn how to do more the traditional dances while I am here. After the danza (dance) workshops we'll work on a campaign to teach people about the proper way to burn trash. Apparently, there is a big day where everyone burns their garbage but they include things like plastic bags and other toxins which really aren't great for the environment. It's so hard to believe I have a support system of young people who are excited about getting into the community and making a difference.

I wish these pictures would load, but I just might try again later. Until then...

1 comment:

Mardy said...

Sounds like a Grrrreat start! I'm so pleased. And congrats on the weight loss...if only I could follow in your footsteps. Although, vegetarian might be a bit much. :) Maybe in dance class you could teach all of the dance Mom used to teach us when we were younger...Cotton Eyed Joe anyone?

Can't wait to see the pics and hear about more of your adventures.