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|Sunday, August 13th, 2006|
|Gmail down in Piura
Damn, gmail down again. Someone please link my mom to this page? Right.
Anyway, in Piura at the moment, north of Peru. Finished a week of what´s called ¨field based training¨which means we actually fgo to current sites. Tomorrow I go to mine, meet the woman I will be replacing, the town leaders, who I will or might be living with, and the like. I am really excited. I´ll be sure to say more about it (perhaps I should put my mass emails up here on my blog, or perhaps you should send me an email and subscribe as it were. I´m sure we can work something out.)
Anyway, being out the in the field has taught me certain things. Like how incredibly important patience will be in the coming two years. Between long hikes, long bus rides, and long waits for people to actually show up, it is going to take a while to get anything done. That and the local politics, gossip, and lack of leadership add another layer. A good book and probably getting myself an mp3 player will probably be involved. And lots of reminiding myslef that it´s all about teh process.
Another thing is just how cool it is that the governemtn is paying me to hang out in Peru and help people get a leg up. Your (well, our) tax dollars at work, so hopefully I can make good use fo them. Divide up the entire cost of Peace Corps by volunteers, and we cost everyone about 88,000 over our time abroad. Of that, we see about 10,000 in cash. Still, fun to think that the ice cream we just bought is on Uncle Sam´s dollar.
Anyway, we did a few interesting things on the trip, if you actually want to know what I did. I´m much better about talking about moods, feelings, and little events. Sorry if what I´m actually doing gets lost in teh shuffle, it just isn´t that ionteresting to me, since I already did it. Back to doings. Helped chop down and haul eight meter sections of bamboo to lask together to wood to make a roof over a 11,000-year-old petroglypy. Bamboo´s a real pain, as are the giant spiders down here. I got to get over those, but ugh *shudder* Also helped mix feed at a pig farm, watched soccer practice with a sprained ankle (annoying more than anything else), hiked _all_ over Peru, and enjoyed the local celebratory/welcome drink, consiting of whipped egg whites, yokes, sugar, and canyaso, wich is cane sugar moonshine. Good stuff, but very thick.
Spent a lot of time getting to know the three other business volunteers I´ll be sharing a capital city with for the next two years. Learned to play and played a lot of Spades, lots of fun. Basically made me so very excited to be a part of peace corps. Nothing like getting out into the field and seeing the actual work people do to insipre. I´m not going to change the world, but I´ll leave a footprint on a small part.
Perhpas the most interesting part was watching Kevin, one of our trainers, go back to his site from a year ago and walk through the town of a few thousand. Everyone, and I mean everyone knew him, had strories about him, wanted to talk to him, wanted him to come back more. The man is a minor God, a folk hero if there ever was one. Although people may have their up and down opinions about thier service, almost everyone when they sit down and talk about it, reflect on it, or revisit it have been very positive about what they have accomplished. And keeping in mind it´s the journey that matters...forgettaboutit.
Anyway, I am very upbeat about teh whole thing. Ups and down will happen, especially hard are the first few months on site, but I´m excited to get there.
Drop lines, send email to me, Jon, Marc where are you, etc. etc.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.
|Sunday, July 2nd, 2006|
Gmail is down, and that is not OK. I´ll write here instead. If you want more, email me at a llama en lima (all one word) at g'mail. Sorry, not that much time to do email and livejournal now. Needless to say, I´m in Peru.
Life continues to be good, but it´s a lot to take in all told.
Last night about 20 of us went out to a club until 2,3 in the morning. Drinking beers, dancing, talking to odd random guys giving me their numbers and getting hit on by women. Such a surreal thing to be a gringo here in Peru, as much as I may try to forget it, there are constant reminders that I look like a lunch ticket to just about everyone.
That and there´s a lot to do for Peace Corps, not least of which is starting tomorrow I only have language class 3 hours a week, the other(random) 9 hours I have to find a project to do. No more information than that. Joy. I´m going to start interviewing business owners I guess to get a lead, this weekend was useless for that. Good family time though, as always. Them I love.
Friday night was family time, as was Sunday afternoon. I love that when family gets together, they drink (some= and dance (a lot). Explaining why we don´t in the states just does not compute at all. I had to leave early since we have things starting at 8am Saturdays. Uff. That said, it WAS how to garden, somethign I am going to love.
Everything here is good, I only worry about throwing myself into the community, as I will have to do tomorrow morning w/o any direction, support or help. We will see, I am sure once I get beyond the fear it will be fine and I will learn a lot from my mistakes. As my mom loves to say, asi es la vida. Such is life.
I also am setting up a snapfish account. It should be my email address or something, I´ll get that figured out someday. Something for everyone, so if some photos don´t make sense, don´t worry. A couple are special deliveries that don´t work w/o gmail.
At any rate, I didn´t think my biggest worry here would be homework, but it is. good thing it is homework that I would rather worry about now than when I get on site. I guess this really is the challenge that I was looking for, but again as perdicted, the means are not always as enjoyable as the ends. I guess you could say I´m having growing pains. In the heuvos if you will. I know -I- will...
Anyway, I will advise when-if snapfish works (any better services?).
Drop me a line if you like, I do love to get emails, even if I can´t always respond.
Lots of love,
|Sunday, May 14th, 2006|
|Details on Peru
OK. I'm happier again. that last (real) post was after quite a shitty week of having no one return my calls to Peace Corps, doctor, insurance, or USPS. Bastards.
So I gave my two weeks notice, I end my soul-sucking job next Friday. Woo! Hard to convince people at the office that it's not about teh money (tho more would be nice for lots of reasons). I just don't want to do something that at the end of the day I haven't really made the world a better place. And something that doesn't require thought. A monkey could do my job right now. Nothing worse than the combo of time pressure combined with not caring.
So Peru! Yes.
27 months. I leave June 23rd. 10 weeks training in Lima. Then assigned to a northern province/town for two years. doing small business development, meaning helping small businesses expand or get more money for their products. Details to come. I get a monthly stipend, all expenses covering and a total of 48 vacation days. Not shabby. I get back Sept of '08. Start the countdown now. Bonus points if you meet me at the plane with whatever food I've missed the most at that point. I'm going to guess it's Thai, but maybe just becuase Leigh and I eat lots of curry these days. Mmmm, spicy. I also get 18 months free healthcare, a few thousand bucks and a no-compete year for getting (re)hired to the federal govt upon my return. Not shabby.
Peru, aparently, is more conservative than here. slacks and botton downs. Kinda like the office. But guys are supposed to be macho: drink, smoke, hit on women in obvious ways. Gonna have to work on that. At least no beards. Already transitioned fish into my diet, have snuck a few bites of chicken to ready myself. Not sure if I'll be OK is someone serves me guinna pig. That's like eating a bunny. I may be a pragmatist, but I do have a soft spot for cute things.
So anyway, I am super excited. Maybe I'll have internet, I'll llikely have electricity and water at least. So that's cool. And I know it will be hard and lonely, so I'll post my mailing address soon. But I'll keep my gmail account, so don't be a stranger. I know I've been bad about being online in all forms, and I'd like to apologize for that. I can blame the job making me not want to see a screen after 5:30, Leigh for being there so I feel like being social with her, or just a general being bad at staying in touch. But really, it's the third, plus taking ya'll for granted. Friends are hard to make and hard to keep. So I hope that if I have not spoken with you as much as you/I would like in teh last year, we can re-connect. Because people. People are the reason.
Anyway, that's what's up for me for the next couple years. I'm excited. Scared. Already worried. But mostly excited. Becuase if not now, when?
|Friday, May 12th, 2006|
|Friday, May 5th, 2006|
Someone once said life is what happens when you're waiting for something to happen. Boy howdy that's right. Sorry I've been lousy keeping in touch, I just can't deal with a computer for more than the eight hours a day my job requires, and so you all, lovely readers, suffer.
So I've been doing a job I don't enjoy for a wage that is a little ridiculous for far too long. Meanwhile I've been waiting on doctors for the privilege of a few hours of their time, often to have them screw up. and then to have other people screw up, like the Post office to not deliver some mail, like a package of info from the Peace Corps and Georgetown hospital for SIX WEEKS EACH. And then they have the nerve to say that there's really nothing they can do, wondering why I even called. Not to mention the Peace Corps losing two different medical forms, and then wondering why I was just a little antsy.
I am so sick and tired of having to go the extra mile just to get the time of day from people who, by all rights, should be serving me. And I'm sick and tired of settling for crap. I'm never again telling an employer the truth, I'll take the damn money and run. You pay me $12/hr, you get what you pay for. there is just no way I'm ever again going to work this long at a job that makes me this angry, unhappy, impatient, and selfish as this one does. worst of all, I don't feel like I'm leaving the world a better place. I don't like who this job makes me. Beats unemployment, I'll give that. And I'm treated as a full member of the team and appreciated by all but one person there.
On the plus side, I did finally get word that I am Medically cleared by the PC. About time. Now I only need to hear from Dennis about where/when I'm going. If they say 2007 I'm just going to scream. Because in case this post isn't proof enough, it's time.
So I'm going to be in Latin America sometime soon. I hope. The next chapter in life can finally get started. There are a lot of things I love about DC very very much. Leigh. Public trans. Hockey. The folks. Friends. Green. Living in the USA and all the ridiculous luxuries that entails. Leigh. Still though. I'm so excited I could scream.
|Friday, March 24th, 2006|
FWD from mom:
On March 6th in Annapolis at a hearing on the proposed Constitutional
to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law at AU, was
requested to testify.
He did so......
At the end of his testimony, a right-wing senator said: "Mr Raskin, my
Bible says marriage is only between a man & a woman. What do you have
Raskin: *"Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your
on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your
hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."
The room erupted into applause....
And I wasn't having a good day up until now.
|Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006|
|Monday, February 20th, 2006|
|Wednesday, January 11th, 2006|
|When the Peace Corps comes around
Ah bullshit. So last Thursday a packet arrives from the Peace Corps. Waht was it? The FBI and basic interview materails that were supposed to get to me by the fisrt week of December. The postmark? NOVEMBER 23rd. Either the USPS failed, or the PC has in-house postage meter and dropped the ball hard. I'm betting on the PC.
Anyway, on the plus side my final rec finally came through (Thanks Frank) and I'm offered a position leaving May/June to do business development work in Latin America. That would rock. But. No other details (country, language, specific tasks, date, etc.) Persuant to me getting my medical forms in on time (maybe they'll arrive in two weeks? Maybe two months?), the FBI not finding skeletons, and the entire project not bing cancelled.
That's what really kills me about PC, no details. Ever. It's always so vague. When someone says "Jump!" I don't say: "how high?" I usually ask: "why? Wherefore?" Nto here, take it or leave it and you have no editorial control. Oh, and if I don't get this one, I'm gonna have to wait till at _least_ January of 2007.
So that's exiting
Also exciting: maybe (boss v. HR) being offered a real job by my temp job (law firm, I could really use the stability, and salary/benefits), a new bike (super nice, but needs shorter handlebar stem) and Jon coming Thursday.
It would also be exciting to get 8 hours of sleep some night. But I think the chances of that happening before this weekend are slim at best.
Gotta start running again too. Tho that means waking up earlier I wager. Nuts.
Taht's all the randomness I cna crank out/misspell
|Friday, December 30th, 2005|
|Wednesday, December 28th, 2005|
|Oh my God I need to be allowed to be an introvert!
I love my family. I love having a job, even if sometimes I'm not in love with my job itself. But that said, I am an introvert. I need my me time to recharge damnit! I work 9-5:30, meaning I leave the house at about 8:30 and get home a bit passed 6:00.
A week ago Sunday Maggie and Hamish landed. Since then I have not had more than an hour or two of free time in DC. Monday night was family time, as was Tuesday (something specific, maybe eating out or something). Wednesday we went out to Dad and DB's for dinner and aparently to receive our X-mas gifts. We then went and met up w/ RRUCers at Pete Salinger's house. Taht was nice, if a littel akward. Thursday night was X-mas w/ just Mom and Sam. Friday nigt was Mom's birthday dinner. Saturday we drove down to North Carolina to visit Mom's siter, the cousins, and Grandparents. We spend Sat night (Mom's b-day part 2) Christmas, and the day after there, then stayed until 1pm on Tuesday for a brunch w/ old friends from elementry school there and drove home. Tonight was Christmas part 2 w/ Dad and DB and DB's daughter and husband (and cute dog). Tomorrow night is Hanukkah w/ Sam's old housemate, the one I often clean for.
I'll write more about work, life, peace corps, and all that wonderful stuff some day. Now I just want to sleep and not deal with any more forced social situations ever again ever. Thank GOD this weekend is coming. I really want to call everyone I know and see everyone who is only in town for a limited time, but a) I never have a good block fo free time after work before 11pm (shoddy excuse I know) and b) I just want to crawl into a hole and forget everyone else. But I was super sad to get a call from Paris saying that he's leaving tomorrow morning to go back to Montreal. I missed the one week he was in DC. Aparently some hot girl awaits. I just can't compete with that. Not without the hair.
Anyway, I'll be fine after this weekend. Nothing some football can't fix. Just Argh.
|Thursday, December 15th, 2005|
|Thursday, December 8th, 2005|
|Houston we have success
8:45am - Show up at the temp agency
10:45am - Go home
2:45pm - Call to see if there's any work
3:30pm - Find out I get to work at Food and Friends
Booyah Grandma. Now if I can just figure out why this took me so damn long to figure out...
|Monday, December 5th, 2005|
This is the kind of snow that I love: big flakes falling slowly down, sticking to all the grass, leaves and trees, but not roads and sidewalks. Just a dusting of an inch or so to make everything pretty, but nothing slippery.
/edit Unless of course you're in school...
|Thursday, December 1st, 2005|
|Wednesday, November 30th, 2005|
1. Morcheeba gives a darn good concert. If you ever have the chance to see them, I'd rec you do.
2. Looking for cheep stuff? Everything but furniture at my old church's annual 400-person garage sale
. this Saturday I know I plan on getting lots of cheap stuff.
|Monday, November 28th, 2005|
|Why are kids out of control?
Here's one idea (from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/27/weekinreview/27warner.html?incamp=article_popular
Most parents, Dr. Kindlon said, would like their children to be polite, considerate and well behaved. But they're too tired, worn down by work and personally needy to take up the task of teaching them proper behavior at home.
"We use kids like Prozac," he said. "People don't necessarily feel great about their spouse or their job but the kids are the bright spot in their day. They don't want to muck up that one moment by getting yelled at. They don't want to hurt. They don't want to feel bad. They want to get satisfaction from their kids. They're so precious to us - maybe more than to any generation previously. What gets thrown out the window is limits. It's a lot easier to pick their towel up off the floor than to get them away from the PlayStation to do it."