Saturday, April 01, 2006

hey out there

hey guys. just wanted drop a few lines to give you all an update to what i am up to these days. first i will start with projects...first, my chicken project was canceled due to the scare of bird flu. it is not in country but you never know if or when it might pop up. I would feel bad if i had a lot of people invest their time and resources into a project and then have to cull their chickens. so that is put off. i am not going to say that i wont do it because starting a chicken project is one of my major goals here and i wont give upon it yet. so anyway, i have switched to pigs. we have a ton of pigs already in the village but they have been so inbred that there is a genetic disorder that has left many pigs paralyzed in the hind legs. so i will be helping educate people on better pig breeding and care. i will still be helping a local guy start a business for feed supply that was part of the chicken project. i hope that everything goes well. i am waiting now for the project to be approved.

i am trying to start a shop class at my local school. our village is surrounded by lumber yards and many of the villagers have their own tree plantations. the school came to me and wanted me to buy desks and i really just dont want to dump money into the village (nor does peace corps) and so i thought the class would be a good introduction into a skill that will be useful for later in life. One of my concentrations is that it is equally taught to girls and boys. this will empower girls to realize that they also can do carpentry work. also i feel that skilled trades is a great exercise in logic and math. unless you are the most awesome craftsman, much of the work is problem solving and project planning. so these are things that i would like to see more taught in the village. this is also pending approval right now.

the project i am just starting to write up is trying to start a health group. this will include a few people in the village that will be trained as HIV/AIDS educators. they will be able to answer basic questions and provide information such as where is the closest testing center. by giving the capacity to people in the village to educate, i hope that the project will go on after i leave. but this is just starting and i probably wont turn in the grant till a few months down the road.

so those are the things i am working on. as you can see i deal with pretty diverse stuff. i also just completed a week long seminar where i was trained how to teach HIVAIDS education. it focused a large part on cross-cultural training and was quite interesting.

so village life, well things are good. i am working on trying to find ways to integrate more. my language skills are just awful. but i am still working on it. i hope to be in the village for the whole month of april, but it seems there is always some random bit of paperwork that calls me to town (or is it the ice cream?)

and for those of you that dont know, wendy, a dear friend of mine, died of leukemia last week. it has been a challenge dealing with it so far away, but i am comforted in knowing that i have such amazing friends that have been there to help stephen (her fiance) and her family cope with such a tragic loss. wendy is an amazing woman that i am so happy to have had the privilege to know. she has and will always be an inspiration for me. thank you guys for keeping me informed and for all the emails and phone calls i have received. i miss and love you all.


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2:14 PM  

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