I’ve been in site for six and a half months and I finally feel like I am accomplishing something!
Before she left, Aneth introduced me to Avaleni, one of the librarians in Rio Blanco, the town next to Cabricán in the department of San Marcos, in the hope that I would be able to collaborate with her. I have to admit I did not have much hope in the matter, as I had been introduced to several people who feigned interest but never followed up. I was pleasantly surprised when Avaleni contacted me without me having to contact her first.
We discussed a few of the programs that Peace Corps offers and she offered to organize a group for me to teach. I was shocked to discover when I called her this Tuesday night to confirm that we were meeting the next day that she had already found two classes for me! Not having anything planned, I quickly pulled out the program we had to teach in training called Fundamentos Empresariales (Basic Business) and thanked my lucky stars I hadn’t tossed it in the trash bin or given it away.
The next morning I climbed on the Camioneta dreary-eyed at 6:30 am and headed over to Rio Blanco. I was met at the bus stop by a cheerful Avaleni who rushed me over to her home and made me breakfast (beans, eggs and of course tamalitos). By nine that morning, I was in front of my first class of 26 sixth graders. This was followed by a class of 30 fifth graders. Frazzled by the speed in which I had been thrown into teaching a class, I was surprised at how well everything went and how well the children participated.
Since the bus does not return to Cabricán until 5:15 pm, Avaleni and I discussed the possibility of teaching a course to the older children in seventh and eighth grade on Wednesday afternoons as well. I had the added benefit of talking to Andrea, the new Art Corps volunteer who replaced Aneth, and she said she would help me with painting a world map mural if I find a school willing to participate.
On top of all of this, I am beginning to volunteer in Cabricán’s library. Today I helped out in a special session they had organized for Valentines Day, and I am going to start working with their youth group next week.
In a nutshell, things are starting to look up in Cabricán. I might not waste my two years here after all!