Kathryn's Peace Corps Adventure

The opinions expressed and experiences described in this blog are mine personally. Any musings that you read here are not affiliated or endorsed by Peace Corps or U.S. government. Or Starbucks. And I'm not making any money from any of this, so don't send a lawsuit my way. Got it?

Monday, July 31, 2006

dengue merengue

This past week has been hard for me simply because I was knocked out with dengue fever. It is just like the flu except exotic, I guess. I was sleeping 19 hour days and had high fevers. It was not a fun time. I am glad that it didn't hit me while I was in the states otherwise I would have been really upset. I missed a party in Santa Rosa because of it and missed some school this week too, not that it matters because starting tomorrow there will be a nation wide strike and no one knows when classes will resume. I was able to teach an English class today and after class a group of students came to my house being extra cute saying, "We'll miss you! 12 days is a long time!" Not that long guys. But it was sweet and gives me something to look forward to coming back to while in Chicago.

I don't recommend dengue fever for anyone by the way...in case you were wondering!

Friday, July 28, 2006

it was bound to happen

Sunday afternoon I was at my front door in San Ramón, searching through my backpack to realize that yes, I did leave my keys in Santa Rosa. Idiot! There are no afternoon buses to Santa Rosa so I was kind of screwed. After standing at my front door thinking about what I was going to do (and what was going to happen to my pepper jack cheese)for about 10 minutes, I went down to my landlord's house (home of los locos) to ask if they had an extra copy of the key to the house. They didn't.

Los locos came up to the house with me and we entered through the backyard. Luis climbed through my bathroom window, which is about 8 feet off the ground and measures about 14 inches by 7 inches (he's skinny). He broke my padlock on my back door using rocks. Problem solved? I wish. My house has a second door that was locked from the inside so after I tried to break the door by kicking it (stupid, stupid idea), Luis cut a hole into the door using a kitchen knife so that Ramón could squeeze through the hole and open the door for us on the other side. Brayan didn't provide much help with him saying, "Are you going to start crying now? How about now?", and maybe I would have started crying. But I was alright. Ramón opened the door and I was super happy.

And my pepper jack survived.

Monday, July 10, 2006

love zidane

I went salsa dancing Saturday night in Santa Rosa and it was excellent. I miss Chicago so much. I can't wait to come home for a visit. Let's hope ticket prices will finally go down. Yeah right.

I lost 2 Snickers bars in a bet with Oscar because I picked France to win the world cup. 2 Snickers...dang!

I am also half way to 26 today. Time is moving too fast.

Friday, July 07, 2006

surprises & frustrations


That's the sound of me screaming and running down the street in Gracias as I saw my friend Emily in Honduras again. (She left in January). She came down to spend 3 weeks here with her boyfriend and celebrate the 4th of July here.

The 4th of July was pretty great. A volunteer who lives in Gracias, Jamie, planned a 2 day fiesta. I got a sweet jalon from San Ramon to Gracias (cutting almost 2 hours of travel time) Monday evening. He invited PC Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua...crazy stuff. We got to spend a fun evening at the hot springs right outside of Gracias, where I have never been even though I am pretty close. (Defintely need to return.)

The 4th was spent at a pool, eating hot dogs (no ketchup naturally), watching world cup, and spending time with some volunteers from my group that came a long way to chill in the city of thanks. It was a really chill party and I think that most people had a good time. I definitely felt a pang of homesickness as I thought of roman candles, saturn missles, Chicago cops, yuppie neighbors complaining about noise and my dad yelling at them, BBQ's and M-80s, but this was a good replacement.


I am facing some frustrations in my site right now, the biggest being the intermittent school schedule. I went to the colegio on Monday and classes ended at 9 am with no school on Tuesday. Yesterday several teachers didn't show up and some refused to teach because they haven't been paid yet. Teachers only get paid twice a year and since they were supposed to be paid at the end of June and have yet to receive that check, there are rumors floating around of a strike. Because of that, there are no classes today either. I understand that it is hard to work almost 6 months without a paycheck but it is irritating to see teachers show up and not teach or not show up at all, especially when they make a really good salary for Honduras. The subdirector of the school makes 4 times what I make per month and I have yet to see her teach a single class. I know I shouldn't be so critical considering I don't do much work as a volunteer but....

the most frustrating thing about it is that the kids want to go to school. Some of the seniors want their classes so they are ready for the university. Kids at the grade school want to go to class too. I don't remember liking school that much as a kid but then again, I never experienced a strike during my time in school. Last year, there were 3 separate strikes, one of them lasting over 17 days.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my site and the people in my site but this school schedule has become a big hassle and something that I have been worrying about a lot. When they're not in school all the kids watch TV, play video games, eat junk food and it's just sad and so unhealthy. I hope that they don't strike and this is just a temporary thing.