Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One Year Done

May 4th was the one year anniversary of the start of my Peace Corps service in Trujillo. It's hard to believe that so much time has gone by already. And I have no idea how I'm going to fit all the work I want to do in to just one more year!

Service has been the emotional roller-coaster I was told to expect. It has also been the life-changing experience that I hoped for. Overall, one year into it, I can say that I wouldn't rather be doing anything else. I love my work even when it angers, frustrates, and depresses me. But usually it doesn't.

Shortly before I swore in last year I went to La Gran Carnaval del Jamo in Olanchito. I went back again this year for round two of eating iguana, parades of high-stepping horses, marching bands and floats, and a night full of music.

This time, I ate iguana stewed in cocounut made by a woman who has been the host mom for many Olanchito PCVs. It was delicious. Didn't eat any iguana eggs, though. I also had sopa de mondongo for the first time. Sopa de mondongo is a very common soup in Honduras, made with pig cow intestines. It was pretty tasty, but the texture of the intestines didn't have me clamoring for seconds.

On the work front, things are only getting busier and busier. I'm in the middle of entering and analyzing data from surveys of 100 people with HIV in Trujillo. I'll write a post about the results when I finish. After the survey is finished, the support group will plan the next few months of activities based on what the survey tells us are the most pressing needs. On top of that, we will be starting a testimonio project, gathering personal stories of people with HIV and compiling them in to a book that we will then distribute as part of a stigma and self-stigma reduction campaign.

On the national front, the Support Groups team is doing a significant revision of the activities manual for support groups (this is a manual full of activities, discussions and exercises that a facilitator can do with their groups). We are also creating a curriculum for training new support group leaders and soon will begin planning the national workshop which will take place this July.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love being busy with challenging work. I'm really enjoying all this.



Leo said...

mondongo is not pigs intestine, it's cow's intestine, really delicious, btw.

Raphael said...

Hi Leo, I've updated the blog to correct the error. Thanks for reading!