Sorry, I get carried away taking pictures. La Paz is, of course, not all adobe buildings. It is a modern small city with all the amenities. But there are several adobe walls and buildings that have charm. The building on the top right is located two doors down from the internet site I use frequently. People live there; it has a spacious back yard. My daughter Andrea wanted me to say a few words for Shari, an RN friend of hers who lives in Pennsyvania. A few words about being an RN in the Peace Corps. Well, one can´t practice as an RN. We´re taken on as Health Educators. Our forte is our experience in the health care field. It helps if one has case manager experience in public health and with chemical dependent clientele as well as HIV/AIDS. And especially Maternal and Child Health. The training is very intense and geared toward facilitating sustainable development skills in the local populace. One must also attain a certain level of Spanish language technical expertise. Please log on to ask specific questions.
I went horseback riding Sunday with an old gentleman, don Ruben, I met who lives a few doors down from my host family. That´s him riding his donkey as we rode to the ancient ruin site that predates the Maya Empire. You can see the unexcavated hill in the distance over the lagoon (click on the pic) where we rode to the top to take photos. We rode through a cow herd grazing near a water sewage treatment lagoon where no vehicular traffic is allowed. Very little excavation has been done here at these ruins. The photos above are from the tops of one partially excavated hill and one unexcavated hill. The tree I´m standing in front of is a cactus (nopal) tree. There was one larger than this one as we rode up the hill. The hill on the lower left is the hill where we rode up to the top, it´s directly across from the partially excavated ruins. I have never seen nopales this large. I love my horse. His name is Sarco, he has one blue eye and one brown eye. After this week we have two more weeks inLa Paz. I asked to be assigned here, but they will probably ignore my request.
Pictures of my adventures during Semana Santa. The orphanage pics are self-explanatory. I kind of mixed the procession pics in with the orphanage pictures. I have many more pictures and will try and post more in a different site when I have the time after pre-service training to work on my weblog skills. The Easter procession pics are made of colored sawdust and spread across the pavement over a length of several city blocks, kind of like Hopi sand paintings or Tibetan mandalas, then the procession of several hundred people walks over them while stopping at the 14 stations of the cross. The orphanage work was done on Thursday and Saturday and the procession was on Friday.
Our group had a 4 day weekend off for Easter week. Wednesday evening Nico, a PC Volunteer soon to leave for the states, introduced me to a group of 14 orphans and the nun who cares for them and who have to leave their residence, the alcaldia wants to turn the building into a museum. They have been cleaning up an abandoned building for the past 3 weeks, the children, ages 3 to 12, with the nun, Hermana Edith. I agreed to help them and that evening called my companeros to see if they would also help. We all showed up the next morning to help clean up this building that has been abandoned for more than 25 years. We helped again Saturday and will help every Saturday until we have to leave La Paz for Campo Zarabanda on May 10th for our permanent Peace Corps assigments and swearing in as Peace Corps Volunteers. Unfortunately I am unable to post any pics at present. I also have pics of the procession through the city on Good Friday. I´ll try and post those later.
A word about my new home in La Paz. The pic on the bottom is looking toward the three guest rooms, the three wrought iron windows are visible for each room. In the first room lives a high school student of 16, I´m in the middle and a 24 year old female doctor doing her two year social service requirement is in the last one at the end of the corrider. The first picture on the right is the pila where water is stored. We only have running water 2 or 3 days out of the week and only for 2 or 3 hours at a time. The rest of the time we draw water from the pila for bathing and toileting. The second picture from the right is where my room is located right next to the bathroom. The third picture is where the doctor´s room is located (she has her own bathroom) and the yard where the furry guys, Campion and Kafu, roam in their own enclosure. The last picture on the left is where the bathroom is located. Our lesson for today is: how to take a bucket bath. First you fill the second largest bucket (at 5 in the morning) about 5 times to fill the largest bucket. Then you use the littlest paila to pour over your head to wash your hair. Sorry no hot water. After you wash your hair you lather your whole body with a soap filled sponge then continue pouring water over your body with the little bucket until clean. I do this every morning. Today is Monday. This week is Semana Santa, Easter week and a BIG deal in Honduras. We aspirantes will have a 4 day weekend, sigh. More time to finish homework. I will attend the Semana Santa procession Friday with my host mother and take pictures.