I have seriously neglected my blogging duties lately and for that I apologize. Life has just been flying by at a crazy pace, and I don't even know where to start from to catch you up. Here's a list of some of the major points:
- Two grant proposals were submitted this past week, one for a World Bank competition on climate change, and the other through National Geographic and Ashoka's Changemakers for Geotourism. You can check out the second one online at: http://geotourism.changemakers.com/es/node/24572
It's in Spanish, but for those of you who are able, look it over and make comments; it'll help us out!
- I've been participating in regional meetings for community tourism and sustainable tourism, getting to know strategic partners and the current alliances we have.
- We're trying to improve the signage in the front of the park, so I got a hold of a router and we've been making wooden signs to guide the way.
- I've also been collaborating quite a bit with Chloee, the French volunteer here doing a practicum in tourism, trying to improve kitchen processes and quality.
- I worked with a group of students that came last week to learn about reforestation and then plant trees; we added over 120 pine and cyprus trees to our forest!
- I've also been busy with fun stuff like running diagnostics, cost analysis, and starting a marketing plan...
- Lots of visitors have come my way to spend the night at my house, both fellow PCVs and friends :) Thanks to Erin, Molly, Natalie, Chloee and Rachel for brightening my days! I hope Rachel will forgive me for the craziness we went through trying to get home from Panajachel... I've never scolded anyone in my life like I did that taxi driver who tried to leave us off in the middle of nowhere at night.
- There have been parties galore: in a week and a half I went to 5 birthday parties (my middle brother Chico, one of the cousins, the grandma Mama Lupe, the son of my coworker Marta, and Dona Filomena, my co-worker Selvyn's mom) and we ended up having a big mother's day party too. It's so much fun to get together with the extended family, make tons of food, laugh, share stories and even throw on music to dance :)
- I've been doing lots of baking and cooking, highlights include chocolate cakes decorated with strawberries, chocolate chip cookies, the most delicious granola and prize winning lasagna. It's amazing the things you can do with a toaster oven.
- It's rainy season. That means I spend a lot of time in the rain or trying to avoid it.
So that's just a smattering of life. Each day brings new experiences and of course, many surprises. I wouldn't have it any other way...