Published: October 12th 2011October 1st 2011
Wow, two months! That sure went fast. Although sometimes when I think about all that I have done and all of the places that I have been it seems like much, much longer. September was pretty busy with two groups coming to visit so it went by super quick. We only have local dental groups in October so I am afraid that it is going to go really slow. But it looks like I am going to have to take a quick side trip to Belize in October so that will break things up a bit.
A lot of my time has been spent with groups coming in from the US. I have been meeting some really cool people from a variety of backgrounds and I think that over the next year I'll be making a lot of really great contacts. There is really nothing too exciting to report. Just plugging away. I thought I would blog a two months down check in. Sometimes I am riding on the bus from one city to another and it is kind of funny to me that it is so natural for me to be here.
Jorge and I retuned to Concepcion
on Wednesday and Chitixl on Thursday to revisit some of the homes where we had done projects with previous groups. We wanted to check to see how the stoves were working for the families and make sure that the latrines were being completed. We hiked up an down the hills of Concepcion adding a little silicone here and an extra pipe there and asking people how they were liking their stoves. Most of the feedback we got was very positive and I was impressed with how quickly the community was taking to this new style of cooking. In several of the households that we visited the old stoves had since been removed and in others they were now using the old stoves as a preparation and staging area for their cooking. One of the families explained that they were still getting used to the Lola stove but that each day they were getting to know the new stove better. All of the kitchens had a cleaner air and it was wonderful to see the women preparing meals without the haze of smoke hanging in the kitchen. The latrines in Chitixl are almost all finished with their walls being completed by
each of the families.
As far as apartments, that is kind of a funny story. I moved into one of the apartments for about a week and within that first week there was water pooled on the kitchen floor, a freezing shower, and a broken sink faucet. On top of this I decided that I really didn't want to buy all of the thinks to get an apartment going for just one year. So I am renting out a room on the bottom floor of a hostel. The room is fully furnished, includes internet, there is a kitchen upstairs, a living room with a huge flat screen, and there is a veranda overlooking the garden just outside my room. It is close to the office and has been working out really well for me.
Overall these first two months have been a blast. Here is a quick review in numbers: two months, three groups, 27 volunteers, eight communities, four medical clinics, 31 stoves, 45 latrines, one health center inauguration, two cave explorations, one parade, several nights of fireworks, one election day, one independence day, five Mayan temples, nine family meals, two fire dances, and countless miles by foot,
truck, bus and plane.
There are more photos below