I have made it through week one of Field Based Training. The pictures above are of my first three weeks in Santa Lucia. My first host family´s home is up the long dirt road to your left from the main highway. The second picture is from across the street of my host family´s home which is visible third in line and then there I am at the Campo Zarabanda Peace Corps Training Facility. I wanted to include these first pictures before I integrate myself into the La Paz community. La Paz is a city of 20 to 30 thousand folk surrounded by a number of small aldeas, rural villages. I live right in the city center, near the internet sites and restaurants and bars. There´s even a disco in town, which I will probably never frequent, although I have been invited. Our Field Based Training is very intense, 8 hours a day with a lot of homework every night. In addition we have hands on field experiences that are designed to inculcate a community development educational experience that we will eventually take with us to our permanent assignments. I have had no contact with news from the USA and I have no idea what is happening back in the states. It is kind of refreshing to not read of the small mindedness of American politics. From this perspective in Central America (It´s America, too) it is most refreshing to live a life unencumbered by the arrogant self importance of the U.S body politic that is filtered down to much of the population. My host mother told me this morning that President Obama has lifted the travel restriction to Cuba. If so, I plan to travel there this year after I finish training. Of course, I will take pics.
That´s me to the right in Yarumela, a small town about 10 kilometers from La Paz where I and two other advanced Spanish aspirantes have Spanish language classes every morning for the next two weeks, then once a week for 5 weeks. We´re picked up at 7 am and returned to La Paz at noon for lunch, then have other classes at the Hotel Villa Livia in the afternoon. Today it will be ´Yo Meresco´an abstinence class for teaching the dangers of STDs and unwanted pregnancy to young girls to prevent HIV/AIDS and encourage education. The picture above of the south end of the horse (actually the west end of the horse looking east) is the road I take to my host family´s home visible at the end of the block (click on the picture). Most of the streets are paved in La Paz. None of the streets are paved in Yarumela. The picture to the left is me in Juticalpa before I got sick. Again, few paved roads there. I´m on lunch break. More this weekend.
A couple of scenes above from my training site and the road to my host family´s home. A bus picks me and four other Peace Corps Trainees up every morning (except Sunday) and drives us to the training site about three miles away. We spend a lot of time in Spanish classes as well as other classes about Honduran culture and our proyectos. Tomorrow (Sunday) I leave for a town called Juticalpa in El Departamento de Olancho, which is about three hours east of Tegus to stay three days with a Peace Corps volunteer assigned to that area. It is designed to be a taste of what the life of a volunteer is like for when we finally finish training in May. Every afternoon at about five o´clock we five PCTs are deposited at the entrance to the dirt road to begin the climb to our host familys´ homes and dinner. More studying after dinner and then I´m in bed by 8 p.m. to begin the day anew at 5 a.m. There is so much more to say but I´m beat. I´m in Santa Lucia this Saturday afternoon using an internet site about as big as a large closet with three computers where the neighborhood kids play computer games. I´m going to have a late lunch and walk to my host family´s home about ten miles away. I leave early in the morning.