Monday, August 18, 2014

The first day of school

I was sitting in my living room studying Spanish when I heard a drumline. "What's going on?", I wondered. 

I went outside to see all of my neighbors waving and clapping. It was a parade. 

The drumline was leading and dancers followed. Behind the dancers students in their uniforms began to file in place. 

So that's what they do here in my community. On the first day of school a band starts at the top of the campo and makes way down to the school. As the line passes each students house they join the parade.

What a great start to the school year. 

My neighbors did mention that the group was small. Noting how few students actually go for the first few days of class.

I think I'd want to be at the first day of school every year if this were the practice. Then again, that really is my style. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Because sometimes… monkey

Wouldn't we all like to know what's going on in this picture? 

I will let you know a few things: 

1. I am not wearing a wig. 
2. I am currently being a monkey. 
3. I am currently loosing to an elephant. 
4. I am currently winning at everything else. 

Hashtag, Go Team. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pictures of cute puppies

My front neighbor's dog had puppies and it is taking everything in me to remind myself why is would be an unbelievably bad idea for me to coger  a puppy right now. 

The tiny little nuggets continue to find their way into my garage and I don't have the heart to kick them out. Cuteness abounds. 

Sometimes they look really gross, but I still really love the idea of having a puppy. 

Also, I am kind of falling in love with the mom now that she is super skinny and pathetic. 

Really though. The little boy across the street needs to quit asking me to take one, because then I would have a dog to take care of and I am just not as ready for that as I thought I would be at this point in my life. I want to travel too much. 

Soon… My puppy will be waiting. 

My Scarlet letter

In Peace Corps we are given an almost unlimited supply of condoms. I have more condoms than I know what to do with. When I went off to my site Peace Corps gave me a box of 150 condom and a big fake wooden penis. I was also given a bag of Trojans at a mini-Vac. All of these condoms are still in my house, save for the few that have been used in demonstrations. I keep them in a bag next to my shoes and the big penis.

I also mentioned that I was recently at a conference. At the conference we spent a bit of time teaching about HIV and AIDS. We also had a condom party where we threw condoms about, blew them up, and taught people how to use them correctly.

Well, during the events of the days I wound up with condoms in my pockets. When I came home from the conference I dumped my laundry in the front and washed my clothes. As I cleaned out my pockets I found a stray condom and set it on the ledge.

Let me tell you about the scandal this condom has faced.

First, there was question of who the condom belonged to. There were people living in my house at the time (hey guys!) and they were asking each other in hushed whispers about it. "Whose condom is that?" Okay. Whatever. Eventually I was asked about the condom and I said that it was in fact mine. Whatever, I have condoms. I have 150 of them…  would you like one?

Later, the condom was moved into the house and someone else asked me about it. "Amanda, do you know whose condom that is?" Well yes, yes I do, it's mine.

I also recently found out that the cleaning lady happened across this same one condom on the table. She shook it in the face of another person in the house and was very ashamed of me. The scandal… I have a condom in my house. What else could I be doing. I didn't have condoms all over my house before I came to Peace Corps, but I also didn't feel much different when I brought a bunch into my house here.

I can't even imagine the scandal that would happen if the cleaning lady ever went into my closet.

I think I'm just going to leave that condom wherever it ends up. I actually don't know where it is, because I keep forgetting to hide it away so I can pretend sex doesn't exist and this island doesn't have the highest preteen pregnancy rate.

Thank you Peace Corps, I now wear a Scarlet letter!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

… a work thing.

Just a little picture for me to say one thing.

I am so thankful to all the powers that be, because the guy I work with now has use of a computer so we can work side by side. We are still doing the same stuff, so really not much has changed, but really it is so much better. Peace Corps is all about making sure what you do is sustainable when you leave. Now he and I sit side by side and walk through everything we need to do together. We still have a long way to go, but this is a huge improvement. We can collaborate on so much. I am so excited. 

From what I understand someone donated this computer to the organization I work with and the director has put it to use for the shop. So while it isn't exactly his personal computer, it is exactly what we needed to get this stuff done! 

Excel, we will conquer you. 

…Which reminds me, I need to go fix some things on a spreadsheet before we meet again… 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Time to clean the bathroom...

The house I live in has been invaded this summer. That is a bit of an overstatement, but by my calculations closet to 15 people have slept here this summer. At most I think we had 10 people at one time. All of this was functioning on one bathroom.

At the beginning of the summer I decided I was going to let the cleaning slip. It stands to reason that when the number of people increases the cleaning should increase, but I have my reasons. To start, the volunteers were mostly all short term. They don't and shouldn't be expected to learn the ins and outs of how this house is kept running smoothly. We start with the basics, "Don't put toilet paper in the toilet", and kind of run from there. I didn't expect the volunteers to all learn that it is best to mop the bathroom every time you go in thee because the sink has a hard to find mystery leak. Another important factor to not is that the volunteers all paid trip fees to cover the cleaning of the house. I kept things tidy as best I could and awaited the fateful day when I cold run damage control. My good people, that day was today.

I've actually been a little excited to get down to the nitty gritty and clean up my home. I did a bit of this when I was sick. Most of you probably don't know that when I am coming to the backside of a sickness everything in me wants to clean house. I scrubbed a small corner of the living room near my bookcase that day before I ran out of steam and had to go lie (lay?) back down. Now, with the number of houseguests down to two, I took the opportunity to clean the bathroom.

Now, I didn't take any before shots, because, well, whatever, but I did manage to sneak a few after shots to give you a sense of the last two hours of my life. In short, or long, I was sweating and cleaning and bleaching enough to make my mother or sister very proud.

Above you can see the pile of toiletries left behind like unwanted orphans. 
Don't worry toiletries, Amanda will take advantage of you. 

Below you will see the edge of my shower. Until tonight those very same toiletries lined my showed. As of tonight the ledge is only housing the toiletries of the two ladies still with me. You also have a view of the bath mat I finally decided to splurge for. I'm telling you four hundred pesos is sometimes a lot of pesos. 

I'd go into the ins and outs of the cleaning process, but this is already turning into an Amanda story. Basically I was listening to The Moth podcast and sweating a lot while i wore pink gloves and scrubbed mold and stuff with rags and scrub brushes. 

Yay… the bathroom will be clean for one night!