Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A cold front blew in yesterday, completely out of nowhere. It was sunny and nice until about 3 in the afternoon, then the wind picked up, and a cold fog blew in. It gained and gained momentum until at around midnight the wind was lifting up the edge of my tin roof and slamming it back down over my head. Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep. I listened to one of my favourite bands from home on my headphones….all night. I listened to the album start to finish at least five times. I’d come close to passing out near the end of the CD but by the time my discman went silent the crashing would wake me up again. I did this until five, then got out of bed, brushed my teeth and started walking down my hill. It was dark, the wind was still howling, and the fog was heavy enough to soak my clothes. I caught the bus to Gracias after an hour walk and a visit to the house of my education program’s promoter to pick up my students’ registration papers. We’re starting classes again in Cruz Alta. The coffee season is winding down and people are getting back to the other things in their lives. This is my third school year here in Cruz Alta, I won’t finish it but I’m here for the start. One of my big projects lately has been working with the community to actually reduce their reliance on Peace Corps for their middle school program. I don’t mean to sound boastful but last year the ninth graders wouldn’t have graduated and the seventh and eighth graders wouldn’t have moved on to their subsequent grades. The other teacher just stopped showing up and left the kids on their own. We found a couple of people that were interested in working as teachers and a little money to pay them an incentive. As of now I’ll only be teaching English this year. As I said before, I won’t finish out the year anyway and hopefully another volunteer will replace me. Our projects are most successful when the community is most involved. A perfect project would require no input from any development worker at all. We should just sit back and watch and hope everyone is going in the right direction. I don’t know if any of this makes sense, no sleep and I waited in line at the bank all morning to make the deposits on our first supply of books. I’m staying in Gracias tonight. I picked up about 40 lbs of books and our bus isn’t running all the way to Cruz Alta today. I feel a little lazy but I’ll get over it, the bus will run tomorrow and I don’t have anything planned for tonight anyway. I’ll talk to everyone soon. Joe


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