Sunday, January 3, 2010

My work?!

Many of you have been wondering about when it is that I work because this blog is filled with all the fun stuff I do. Well that is a very good question that I, myself, am trying to answer every single day here in Mile 25. My specific project description is to work with the women’s group to develop their business practices. Before I arrived, the women’s group received a grant to open an Internet café. They now have little idea on how to run the café so I spend a lot of time helping them improve the way they go about that. The women’s group is also incredibly interested in cake decorating and sewing. They have been to numerous trainings since I have arrived about both topics. Our plan is to turn that in to a business, but that is slow going. I also started an afterschool sports club for the lee pikni (small kids) of the village. Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, there is little capacity to get the kids together to play some ball in the village. So I agreed to take them to the field and make sure they get home. A big challenge is simply finding a soccer ball to play with. So I wrote a Kids to Kids grant to receive sporting equipment to play ball. We shall see if that goes through. I also asked my mom to send me a soccer and volleyball! I also plan to have a more active role in the local school. I hope to spend more time working with slow learning children, helping them to improve their reading and maths. Lastly, I am on the Belize wide HIV AIDS committee that is dedicated to doing AIDS outreach and education across Belize. No, I don’t have a 40 hour work week or a 9-5 job like some volunteers do in Belize City. BUT- that is not why I joined the Peace Corps after all. I am not just a Peace Corps Volunteer from 9-5 as I live in the center of the looking glass 24/7 in my village. Although it is challenging and frustrating too, I also wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am learning so much about how Belizeans live, think, and interact. It is so interesting to follow the process of me integrating into the way my fellow villagers live. I have slowed down a lot, am not as stressed and constrained by time and tasks. Belizeans enjoy a slower pace of life, and so will I now!!! Every day I am realizing more and more how much I have integrated in to my community. That, in and of itself, is my number 1 job right now in the Peace Corps.

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