Sunday, February 25, 2007

Quick update

View from the house
Originally uploaded by StormyPetrel.
Today marks one week since I arrived in Santa Lucia, Honduras. The flight into San Pedro Sula was uneventful, and we were met at the airport by Peace Corps staff. We immediately boarded a bus for Santa Lucia, outside of Tegucigalpa. My host mother met me at the bus stop in Santa Lucia, and took me home.

I live with a family of 7 (mother, father, grandmother, two sons and two daughters). They take great care of me, especially my host mom who makes me 3 meals a day (including packing a lunch for me Monday thru Friday). I have a lot of fun with the two sons, aged 7 and 9. Yesterday, Oscar (host dad), Oscarito, Jairo and I hiked to a field and I taught them to play ultimate. We had a blast, and the kids are already talking about going back next weekend.

Training is picking up. The first few days were filled with logistics. I filled out countless forms, received half a dozen shots, and did my spanish language interview. Finally on friday began the official technical and language training classes. I placed into one of the higher spanish classes, and weve been given an additional community project to carry out. The one I chose is a study of local beliefs and customs surrounding illnesses and maladies, both real and perceived. Im really looking forward to working on it.

The weather here has been very variable, from chilly and rainy to sunny, clear and pretty hot. The sun is much stronger here than back in San Francisco. Ive been careful and so far havent gotten sunburnt.

The experience so far has been very positive, but I have to keep reminding myself that training is not the real peace corps experience. Before I know it Ill be out somewhere on my own, without many of the amenities that we have here. Im trying to prepare myself for that eventuality, but Im sure it will be a shock nonetheless.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

This time for real.

I'm in the ATL airport, and their boarding out flight to Honduras right now. A week late, but we're going! Hope everyone is well, and I'll update when I can.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Welcome to Honduras!

Holy Rood Cemetery
Originally uploaded by StormyPetrel.
Strangely, it looks a lot like Holy Rood Cemetery in Georgetown. Thanks to many hours of wind, snow and frozen rain, our flight out of DC was canceled. So, we're still in DC, and we will be for some time. Turns out it's a little difficult to rebook 51 flights to Honduras in a timely manner. So, tomorrow we're going sightseeing, and then maybe salsa dancing later. We're holing up in the hotel now because it is freezing and very windy and altogether not very pleasant outside.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Hey everyone, I'm in DC doing our Staging Event, which is a 2-day orientation before flying to our host country. I don't have much time, but I wanted to post my mailing address:

Raphael Crawford-Marks
Voluntario del Cuerpo de Paz
Apartado Postal #3158
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
America Central

This address is good for letters, but I'm not sure if they accept packages (it's a PO Box). So hold off on sending me that stereo and widescreen TV for a little while.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Rollercoaster

One thing I've heard about from many PCVs is the emotional rollercoaster you ride from the moment you arrive in-country, sometimes before. My friend Margaret, who I met just as I was beginning the application process, has described her feelings as changing daily, if not hourly.

I am definitely on the rollercoaster.

A few nights ago, I awoke in the middle of the night in a near panic. The fact of leaving, saying goodbye, living in a foreign country for 2.25 years, trying to fit in to a community and effect change a the same all felt so enormous. I felt like I was being crushed by it.

Another day, I spent the whole afternoon listening to melancholy music and dwelling on the fact that I was sad about leaving my friends, my family, my wonderful City.

But today, I feel pretty good. Excited even. The day is drawing near, and more than anything I just want to get started. Part of me is still overwhelmed, and part of me is still sad. I'm sure those parts will take over my mental state again (and again, and again) from time to time. But for now, I just want to get over there and get started.