Monday, September 15, 2008

Photos Added to Flickr

I have uploaded photos to my Flickr account from the past month. A link is at the right hand side of the screen.


Continuing Success Stories

I really enjoy sharing our success stories with this blog audience. Of course there have also been challenges and failures, but those aren’t near so uplifting to write about. Our recent successes:

Community work day: Scott organized a Peace Corps/community work day to help clean up the community and do some landscaping work. Together with people from the community, we picked up more than 25 bags of garbage. It filled up the entire back of a truck (the bed was about four times the size of a pick-up truck). As we walked along the road, children from the yards would run out to see what we were doing. Several of them put on gloves and worked with us for a while. It rained before we were finished, but we still got a lot done including cleaning out some drainage areas so roads and yards don’t flood. To follow up the work day, we had a cook-out dinner at our house for all those who were working. We fed about 20 people from the Peace Corps, the community, and our yard. It was wonderful to cook and host.

Literacy Class: My literacy class participants dwindled over the summer so I moved the class to a larger, more central location. The first class was Tuesday, and there were six people there. Disappointed, I talked with several people I knew in the community to bring more people to the class. On Thursday, there were 18 people. Huzzah! We had a very vibrant second class and I hope most, if not all, come back this week. Plus, I now have a classroom that I can permanently keep materials in (no more running a class out of our tiny house and carrying everything we need up the hill each day) and we have secured $100US per month in donations for teaching supplies and to rent the facility.

Let’s hear a “hip hip” for these victories!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Gustov Blew Off My Hair

We weren’t very good about keeping people informed during the storm. Sorry, but it didn’t seem like anything that needed updating from here. The eastern side of the island apparently had more heavy rain that resulted in some serious flooding that took out houses, roads, bridges, etc. On our side of the island not a lot happened. The storm moved so slow that we sat outside having a BBQ in the yard with our landlord and other people in the yard until the sun went down while the storm was raging on the other side of the island. It came quietly in the night, knocked out the power, and then rained for a day. It was mostly like a good thunderstorm that lasted for a couple of days. We were without power for 1.5 days, but that is about all that happened here.
I did get bored during the storm and shaved my hair off with my battery powered beard trimmer (which took all the rechargeable batteries in the house and had to be touched up a couple days later). It had been a year since I had cut my hair. Everyone now jokes that Gustav blew my hair off. In reality, I think I was just frustrated with the lack of control with my life and needed to change something. I cut my hair, changed my ring tone on my phone, and put a new background on my computer. I feel like a new person. That is about all that I have control over right now. Also, my hair was hot and was getting in my face a lot.
This past weekend we went to Ocho Rios and spent Saturday with a group of 21 volunteers playing in a waterfall called Blue Hole. It was a fantastic day jumping and playing in a couple of deep pools under a few waterfalls. We try to avoid large groups of volunteers, but we were in a remote location so the fact that almost 1/5 of all volunteers on the island were there didn’t detract from the fun. Carrie and I then went to another volunteer’s site and helped with some water sampling on Sunday before coming back early Monday morning.
I haven’t posted pictures for a long time. I try to do it once a month (because that is about how often I take pictures) so it must almost be time again. I will try to do it in the next couple of weeks.