I know I know I know. I did a really, terrible, truly abismal job at keeping in touch this summer. I admit it, okay! I failed. My excuse is that it has been a fun, crazy, hot and hectic summer. Now that the weather is starting to cool (ever so slightly) I guess my How I Spent My Summer Vacation report is due.
Here’s the top ten big events from May – September 2010.
1. May 8, 2010: Move to the capital!
I got offered the youth sector PCVL job, so I decided to move to the capital. It was a hard decision, but I was really excited about the job. And things in my site looked like they were about ready to start rolling on their own. So I packed everything up, said my goodbyes, loaded it all into Peace Corps’s Land Rover, and moved into a new apartment with my new roommate, the environment sector PCVL.
2. May 10, 2910: Start the new job
I now work out of the office doing volunteer support, site development, and Chicas Brillantes (Brilliant Girls). I’m in the office two or three days a week, and traveling the other two or three days a week. It’s a lot of work, but i’m really liking it. It’s different, and challenging in new ways. And I love, love, love designing the new girls program. Right up my alley.
3. May through August: Lili is afraid of everything
Things that were scary in the capital: grates, stairs, tile floors, strange people, strange dogs, chihuahuas, traffic…
She’s gotten much better, though she is still hesitant around strangers. Oh yeah, and she is terrified of chihuahuas. She almost got hit by a car when she leaped into oncoming traffic to avoid a three legged chihuahua. Who happened to be behind a twelve foot tall wrought iron fence. I take her for walks every morning along the board walk. Whether in the batey or the city, walking the dog never ceases to be the best part of my day.
4. June through Present: Claire, Lili, and I wage war against mice
Current score: Mice–9, Claire and Alison–8.5. Lili–2.5
We would be doing significantly better if I could learn how to set a mouse trap without shooting it across the kitchen. Lili seems to have learned that I take my threats seriously. Back in the batey, I told her she’d have to start killing mice or we’d get a cat. When she failed to heed my warning, we got Bomba. This time around, she has killed two mice and disabled a third that Claire and I threw out the window. We get points for dead mice. They get points for wreaking havoc (ie pooping in the clean coffee cups) or getting the bait without springing the traps.
5. Mid June: Mom and Dad Come Visit
An awesome week of travel in a rental car (Dad took to Dominican driving like an armadillo to water. But he caught on we did just fine). We went up North for some beach and pool time, then down South to visit Batey 8 and do some site development, then back to the capital, where Mom and Dad wandered and bonded with Lili while I got some work done. After some initial shyness on Lili’s part, they are now buds. Which is good, as it look like she’ll be going to live with them for a bit sometime next spring.
6. July 26-31: Camp GLOW 2010
We did it again! 54 girls, 18 communities, one awesome leadership camp for Domincan girls. Spending a week doing camp led to one of those revelations that I have from time to time. You know, where I suddenly realize things about myself that should have been obvious. I realized that I don’t want to go to grad school. I don’t even know what I want to study. I do know that I want to work with girls for the foreseeable future. I love it. And for now, I think I can do that in Peace Corps and post-Peace Corps without my MA/MSW/MPH/PhD/MPP. So that’s what I’m hoping to do.
7. 2nd Week in August: Random Face Infection
Probably my weirdest Peace Corps illness to date. My chin/lip got infected and swelled up. When I closed my mouth, my lips wouldn’t touch. After three days of seriously heavy duty antibiotics (they put me on garden variety at first, and it acted like fertilizer), the doctors tag teamed to squeeze the puss out of the ruptured boil on the inside of my lower lip. One of the most painful, and thankfully short lived, health dramas of my life.
8. August 14-16: Samana with Ligia
Ligia and I finally did it! We’d been planning a trip to Samana for a year and a half, and this August we pulled it off. It was a quick jaunt, but really fun. We stayed with a super nice volunteer who I SHOULD know from Seattle (we know all the same people, and our paths should have crossed at least four different ways), went to the beach, and enjoyed a totally different part of the country.
9. September 19: I turned 25
10. September 27: Vacation!
Tomorrow, si dios quiere/knock on wood, I will be heading out ot Tanzania to see a whole nother side of Peace Corps. I’m visiting a friend from college, and I’m looking forward to catching up, rubbing elbows with elephants, and checking a new continent off my list (three down, four to go). I’ll keep you posted on how that ends up working out.