Monday, July 18, 2011
My kitchen counter
Here I sit trying to press and stir the lingering powdered milk bits into my coffee. I don’t really have a good excuse for the hiatus I took from writing. I am still here, living in the community of Casa Colorada, currently trying to bear the heat of summer. 85 degrees, 95% humidity were the numbers last time I checked. I finally bought a fan. Since the only way to bring items back to my community is on a motorcycle, I had to bring my brand-new standing fan stretched across my lap between myself and my neighbor who drove me to the store. Welp, he was obviously not accustomed to a long object on the back of his motorcycle and my poor fan hit a tree coming home. I was worried, since I’m pretty sure there is no insurance for objects broken while driving home on your motorcycle. Thank goodness it works still.
I graduated my women’s nutrition course and now we are working through a more general health manual learning about chronic disease prevention, infectious disease prevention, reproductive health, and sanitation. In addition we have started a small business, making floor cleaner. The women love it. We make about 80 bottles a week with chemicals I buy from the capital and recycled soda bottles found around the campo. The women sell them fast! Simultaneously we created a directive to confront our lack of a water system. For now 100% of the money we make from the floor cleaner goes to a fund to pay for a water system. I hand delivered a letter to the local mayor to see if he would help with the project yesterday. I will keep you updated.
My youth Escojo Mi Vida group is finally taking off. I realized this when my kids surprised me with a skit on abortion during our last meeting. They know the themes for our meetings ahead of time and, without my knowing, they organized a very well done skit about the weekly topic! I was shocked and relieved to see that they are finally taking the course seriously.
I have not announced it to them yet, but I just received my very first grant. A group called Kids to Kids has given the Escojo group 500 USD to construct a volleyball court and to buy 5 nice outdoor balls and a pump. The money is also to put on a 2-day volleyball camp for the younger kids, to get them using the court and promoting healthy lifestyles. We will also include HIV/AIDS education through a program called “Deportes para la vida,” a program that teaches about HIV/AIDS through sports. All very exciting!
Let me show you my house and other fun pictures that I have not had the chance to share:
My neighbors and a donkey we use to bring water up our hill
My compound, I live here with my Dominican parents Develsa and Papito
Hand-drawn instruction materials for my nutrition class
My kitten little, Maorisio
Teaching about the immune system in my house during a weekly Healthy Homes meeting
A baby goat!