Saturday, January 5, 2008

The New Year

Yes, it's been a long time since I've updated. A big reason why is that the newness of everything is wearing off. The "Wow! I want to tell people about this!" moments are fewer and farther between. Which isn't to say they don't still happen, but there's just not enough of them to motivate me to write that often.

I spent Christmas through New Years Day in San Francisco, visiting friends and family. It was a wonderful trip. I was so glad to see so many of my favorite people in the world. It was hard to come back to Trujillo.

Most of the volunteers from my training group, myself included, have been going through a slump lately. Frustration, difficulties with motivation, loneliness, etc. Apparently this is pretty normal for volunteers at this point in their service, but it sure doesn't make it any easier.

It's becoming harder to overlook the daily frustrations - people not attending meetings, not returning phone calls, not carrying their weight, and so forth. And of course there's the power, water and bread outages.

But there is some hope for an upswing. I've got some promising projects lined up for 2008. My first six months in site were spent just getting to know people and trying to figure out my niche here. Now I have established some priorities and know what I want to work on. My three projects for the new year are:

1) Working with the HIV+ support group leaders to add more structure to the meetings and attract new members. Attendance right now is very low, and many newly diagnosed people living with HIV are not hearing about or attending the meetings.

2) Men's Health training with the naval and army bases outside of Trujillo.

3) HIV prevention workshops with high school kids.

If all goes well, hopefully I'll be busy and content by the time the rains stop in mid-February. If not, then it's going to be a long year.

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