Before I am sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Healthy Schools Project (my program) I must pass a three-month training to enhance my skills in Spanish language, cultural understanding, teaching, group facilitation and comprehensive understanding of the Healthy Schools Project and all that it encompasses.
During the first couple of weeks the trainees enjoyed a honeymoon phase. Trainees fell in love with the land and its people and got to know each other and have fun. By the third week the honeymoon phase was over as trainees collectively pushed against the boundaries of our curfew and travel restrictions. Well, that and the fact that people were falling like flies with diarrhea and such. I never heard so many people share the intimate details of their tail ends before.
Today, our training leader, Carolyn, said, “Yes, I know that Peace Corps training is hard and you’ve been drinking from the fire hose.” I laughed and felt comforted that at least she realized how hard they were pushing us with a strict schedule and tons of information to learn in a short amount of time. To comfort us, she brought us chocolates today and gave us some free time to relax, socialize or study. It felt wonderful.
As trainees, we’ve settled into our communities and begun to visit other sites as well. The photos below are from a small community known for it’s many handmade leather goods, especially boots.
The boots are beautifully made and the prices are great if you have U.S. dollars but on our Peace Corps stipends, you’d need to save for a while.
I don’t think I’ll buy any boots…yet, anyway. But I wanted to show them here because their quality and aesthetic is striking. What really gets my attention here though are the vibrant colors of flowers! I have met so many new varieties of flowers here. If you know the name of this plant, please let me know.
May your lives be filled with color and vibrant life energy! Adios for now.