Yesterday a friend I used to do Model UN with said she is applying to the Peace Corp and asked if I had a blog. I gave her my link, and then looked at my blog myself. I realized a. I haven’t written in a long time, and b. I sound really sad! So I’m here to rectify my blog, and tell you about my life. I used to write blogs a few time a month, and now I’m down to a monthly update so here it is:
My Grandpa- Praise the Lord he is doing much better. Thank you for all your prayers, support and friendship.
Technology- As you know my computer broke, but now so did my hard drive. I lost a story I had been working on and all my pictures, tv shows and movies. Sadly I had already written out a long blog to describe this month, so now I have an hour of computer time and I’m going to give this update as quick as possible. When I re-read posts I often see mistakes, I apologize in advance for these mistakes, I’m always in a hurry to post and don’t have time to edit. Thanks for reading anyways.
Health- I’m not sick, although I have been sick this month I am well now. Instead of going to school and pushing through it I decided to stay home in bed. I missed two days of school, and I felt guilty the entire time, but I’m better now so it was worth it. I’m still hearing a weird crackling in my ear that is really irritating, but I saw a specialist and he said nothing was wrong.
Exercise- Sadly it’s been raining almost every morning, but if it doesn’t rain I ride my bike. As my bike traces the road mixed of asphalts, gravel and grasses I gaze upon acres of rice patti fields and farm land, it’s a surreal experience. Listening to my ipod and the sound of my bike climbing up hills and speeding down valleys I try to take in all that I see. It’s so beautiful and pure, serene really, that I always tell myself to bring a camera so you can see where I live, but it seems impossible to capture. Riding my bike and being a part of the community is one of the experiences from Peace Corp that I had hoped for, riding my bike and being exposed to this completely different way of life is exactly what I wanted. I am so grateful to Peace Corp that they provided the stipend for the bike, its definitely something I plan to use as much as possible over the next 2 years
Language- I am awful. So I stopped trying. However I have been reading a few very depressing books lately about war and persecution that caused me to move towards a new realization. This is the easiest time in my life from here on out, or at least it very well could be, one day all my opportunities could be take away, but right now I have the opportunity to learn another language, so I’m going to learn it. Although language is a huge challenge for me, I’m sure that my life will incur additional and more difficult challenges and therefore I have decided this week that I will become a speaker by the time I leave. Although I didn’t make the pledge aloud, my attitude must have changed because so many people this week have been helping me with words and sentences. I learned 5 words this week and can put them in a sentence. That might not sound like a lot, but for as frustrated as I am with trying to learn I’m happy and inspired with these small improvements.
Packages- This month I received two packages, one from Rosaura that included dumdums. The ants sadly are so small they can crawl through zip block baggies and under wrappers, so I decided to share the dumdums she sent before the ants got to them. The teachers LOVED them, I watched them eat it and they couldn’t decide why they loved them but they did. It was a great experience to share some American candy. My family also sent me a HUGE box, that had gifts inside for both Jaron and myself (have to have a quick shout out—Jaron and I have been together 6 months now<3). I was so overwhelmed with everything they sent. I’m not proud to say that I ate an entire bag of goldfish in one day, I just missed American food. They also sent me clothes. The clothes here are hand washed and they wear out quickly, I’m so grateful to have new things to wear. My sister sent perfume, so I put on some DKNY Green Apple perfume closed my eyes and I just enjoy how good I smell and all the memories that come with it. I just wanted to write in my blog how grateful I am to all of you for giving me Christmas in March.
Community- I’m happy to say that I think I have a good idea about my community. I went to the Mayors office and talked with secretaries about projects that I want to do. We came up with so many ideas, I will be very busy. I definitely feel like I can do great things for this area. Here is a small idea of what I will be working towards
-Library for the High School- this will take a lot of my time, we are in need of books, and sets of books—so many things can come out of a good library
-Computer trainings for Municipality Staff and Health Clinic
-Aiding checks and giving vaccines for babies in the town -Creating a sport program for young kids
-Working at the pre-school
-Work out and exercise activities for the community
-There are some more, but I didn’t bring my notebook with me
On a big scale:
-I will be working with other PCVs on a camp called GLOW- a girls empowerment camp hopefully by September -
A teacher training for Iloilo
Sadly school is ending. These wonderful students that I have come to love and know will be leaving, and it feel so weird to say goodbye. One of the events of course that marks the end of the year is prom. I had so much fun with the students, dancing, and celebrating with them this very special time of year. Prom is completely different then that of America. For example, Prom started at 2:30 in the afternoon, with a Mass. Then the students line up by sections and have a parade through the school in their dresses. Their family and friends like the halls of the school and the students walk with their partner. You do not have a date to the dance in the sense of Americans where a boy asks a girl. A 4th year students (seniors) are assigned to 3rd year students(juniors). Then they have a ceremony, a passing of the torch of knowledge and the key of leadership from the 4th year to the 3rd year.
At my high school we had something called a senior alphabet in the year book, and awards at the end of the year given by the other classmates. For example, for the senior alphabet I was letter B for bodacious bigwig and for the class “awards” (i forget what they are called) I was most likely to become president. Here, they have similar ideas or “awards” except I like what they do much better. They have a passing down ceremony. So the person who is most likely to be president from the 4th year would pass it down to the most likely to be president in the 3rd year. Rhea Joy, a student at the high school and a helper in my house had to pass down best eyes! And truly, she has beautiful eyes. It was really fun to see how the same idea is translated differently.
Overall prom was just as fun as it could be, mostly because my friend Claire called me during the dinner and told me there was a Promo to go to Singapore! So for thanksgiving I will be going to Singapore and Malaysia for under 100 US dollars. Also because I barrowed my host moms shoes, and I wore high heels for the first time in 6 months.
So I have been here for over 7 months now, and I can hardly believe it, mostly because I feel like I have already been here for years and also because time is starting to fly.
MANILA- The highlight of my month was surely Warden Training in Manila because of TACO BELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha! You might not be as impressed as I was, but it was definitely a win. Many PCV’s travelled to a far away mall just to eat Taco Bell. I stayed at the mall for many hours so I could eat it twice.
The training was for emergencies, and was just a one day training. At night I was reunited with my long lost peace corp bff Emily and she got us in to this extremely posh club and danced the night away. I borrowed clothes from my host mom, and had so much fun with the PCV’s and Jaron. Definitely a highlight, it was a mini American vacation.
Speaking of American vacations– I have bad news. I won’t be going to Hawaii anymore to see my family. Instead I have to wait 9 more months for CHRISTMAS!! SO mark your calendars friends!!! And prepare to take me to Taco Bell! haha!
Summer is coming and I have a very busy schedule. I hope to have better communication and write more about my life.
I really just wanted to thank those of you who prayed for my Grandpa, which was a REALLY hard time for me because I am very close to him.
Sorry for the fluidity of this blog. Its not as heart felt as I typically like to write, but I just wanted to give a quick update
Thanks for reading, Lysette