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?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

don't fret

Doña Amalia: I appreciate that Pugi (your dang dog) waited until 4 am to start barking incessantly Thursday morning. It was like the alarm to my alarm. And I'm sure that I'm the only one who woke up because of it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

dia del maestro

I made sushi for the teachers. It was their first time trying it. I kept it simple, but I could tell that they didn't like it. It's cool. It took me awhile to like it too.
My darling 6th graders look so well behaved here. Too bad they can't always be this way!
The teachers are playing musical chairs. Why am I not there? My sorry self was knocked out right away. Pathetic.
The kids wanted to show off their punta moves to everyone. Then they wanted the gringita to show off her moves (not photographed!).
Monday the 17th was Teacher's Day but it was celebrated on the 18th at the grade school. The 6th graders and I planned a surprise party for the teachers after school. It was a good time. A little bitterswet because I knew that my time is coming to an end.

Friday, September 21, 2007

take note...

Doña Amalia...Please don't worry. Only I noticed that your dog was barking from 2-230 in the morning without much pause. No, it didn't wake me up. Riiiigghhtttt.....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

time after time

My time is winding down. I’m not exactly sure of my departure date yet but with the school year ending at the beginning of November, the majority of my work will end. Remember what it felt like to be a senior in high school? The excitement of high school coming to an end, the thrill of the future, and the fear that you felt because you were leaving something that had become familiar? That’s how I’m feeling right now. I am excited for the next step and the new challenges that will come but I am also sad because I know that I will have to say goodbye to some really great people here. Not only great people but a great life. I know that I have complained at times about the difficulties I’ve faced here, but I am extremely satisfied here. Going to the U.S. really helped me realize how nice my life is here. I am scared to go back to the U.S. and falling right back into the grind but am trying to prepare myself for it a little while I am here. In the meanwhile, here are the things that I am going to miss about Honduras:

-Eating ripe mangoes until I’m sick to my stomach and never regretting it.
-Whole pineapples for 25 cents.
-Saying hello to everyone on the street.
-Not living my life by a schedule.
-Having kids scream my name on the street.
-Not constantly worrying about money.
-Saying (and hearing) “Eat well!” when I see someone eating (or am eating).
-The novelty of finding Cheerios in the supermarket.
-Dedicated teachers that are so talented despite having few resources.
-The novelty of sandwiches.
-My wonderful, funny and intelligent 6th graders.
-Crazy dances, festivals for the sake of celebration, and the necessity of having a Queen for every event.
-Walking out of my house and seeing gorgeous mountains, banana trees, charming colorful houses with Spanish tiles, and butterflies everywhere.
-Letting email and text messaging be a novelty rather than a necessity.
-Talking to complete strangers about anything.
-Being able to let my guard down. I hope I can take that one home with me.

independence day

It’s the 186th anniversary of Honduras’ independence. What does that mean? It means we need to elect a Ms. Independence, naturally! It also means that there are a few parades, cultural nights, and a dance…big events for a small town. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Brayan is just too cute in his flag bearer outfit. Too cute.

Sitting with some of my 6th graders waiting for the cultural events to begin. I'm going to miss them!
The night of the 14th. The grade school & colegio march up the main road at night with homemade torches screaming "Viva Honduras!" (or Viva Cati!, when they passed my house)
Of course, a parade wouldn't be complete without some interference from livestock.

The grade school marched on the morning 14th.
Pomponeras: Cheerleaders
The colegio marched on the 15th. It was supposed to start at 8 am. That means it began at 10.
Who's cuter? The cheerleaders or the poms? It's high school all over again.
The band from the grade school...they were pretty good!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

recap: la usa (ooh-sa)

My trip to the U.S. was pretty fabulous. The main reason is because I realized why I joined Peace Corps back in 2005. I missed Chicago so much while I was gone but there were tons of things that I didn’t miss while I was there. Time management, always rushing, the stress of living with my wonderful parents after living on my own for 2 years, materialism, the necessity to plan everything out, always feeling inadequate because I don’t have the newest (insert here), etc. But gosh, I missed my friends. I also missed: the thrill of going to Wrigley, seeing Chicago through a tourist’s eyes, Lou Malnati’s pizza, Flying Chicken green sauce, 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Blue Moon, chocolate cake, internet for 5 minutes or 25 minutes, iced coffee, new music, magazines, newspapers, calling Emily, Mario’s with Greg, being teased incessantly by J, knowing the LHR was a drive away rather than a plane ride away, mini golf at Novelty Golf (Course 2) and phone tag with Tony Akins.

My first week home was laid back, lunch with friends, dinner with the girls, phone calls to people I haven’t spoken to in awhile. I went to Las Vegas for 3 days to see my high school friend (and cynical soulmate) Jon get married and enjoy Vegas now that I’m over 21. After a scary flight back (I’m sorry, but it is scary when the pilot requests flight attendants to sit down), my second week was spent showing a friend around Chicago. Cubs game (they won!), bar crawl afterward, bike ride along Lake Michigan, jibarito sandwiches, Giordano’s Pizza, Goose Island Brewery…fun times.

I’m back in Honduras now and the U.S., once again, seems like a dream. Was I ever really there? I thought about that as I argued with a cab driver to not rip me off at the airport.