|My new home, Palacios!|
I will admit that everything was not all sunshine and rainbows on Site Assignment Day and I was dealt the the first real obstacles of my PC experience. After looking more carefully at my information packet, I read that I will be sharing a room with a girl in my host family. It was especially hard to hear this after talking with peers who will be living in their own houses. The one thing I tried to make very clear in my site interviews was that I needed my privacy. I understand the new policy that we are required to live with a host family for our own safety but it is also Peace Corps policy that every volunteer should have their own room. Apparently, my family was supposed to build a partition to split her bedroom from mine but it never happened. Needless to say, I'm not so happy that I will have to share a room with someone for the first two months. I don't want to come to my site with negative presumptions about my living situation but it's hard enough moving in with strangers in a new community where I don't know anyone, am not fluent in the language, and am the only "gringa" for hours, and to top it all off, NO space of my own. I'm not a whiner or a quitter so I will deal. We will see how these first months go and hopefully the situation is better than it sounds or I can move in with another family or build a room of my own. Furthermore, I am replacing a volunteer who just ETed (early terminated) three weeks ago. I hope she tactfully explained to the community her reasons for leaving so that I'm not stuck with that, too.
On a more positive note, I spoke with my "community guide" on Friday and she seemed super nice. I will be meeting with her this Saturday for an orientation in San Salvador and riding back with her to Palacios. It looks like I will be doing a lot of rural health and youth projects in my community. I won't know the specifics about my projects until I get there and spend some time getting to know the people in my community and assessing their needs and desires. I also spoke with the volunteer who is an hour away. He had some positive things to say about my host family and the surrounding area and we're scheduled to meet up in Ilobasco sometime next week. Aside from the no privacy thing, I'm pretty excited about moving to my community. I can't wait to meet everybody and see what Palacios is like!
Jeez, I almost forgot to tell you about the awesome time we had at the Embassy! Last Wednesday, my training group was invited to a tea with the Ambassador and the DCM, who is actually a friend of a friend of my Mom (small world!) We had an informal Q & A session and then had REAL coffee and hors d'oeuvres, a refreshing break from instant coffee and tortillas, and chatted some more. I learned some interesting and slightly scary stats about El Salvador, which are probably best unmentioned until I make it through service. The ambassador's house is pretty sweet and she's got it all to herself. Lucky lady! But I guess she deserves it; being ambassador is a pretty tough job.
Wish me luck in my new site, sounds like I'll need it! I'll let you all know my address as soon as I figure it out so you can send letters & care packages :)
|Me, Jamie & Cory with our Caminanta group & homemade tie-dyed tees!|