Friday, October 23, 2009

What am I up to???

CARE Classroom at Grow Well


So it's been awhile since I have blogged about anything. I think that the last blogs I wrote about was the emperor and kickball. Ha ha. Okay, well some of you have been asking so what have you been up to, stranger? After summer took it's full course, it started to get busy!!! No more sleeping in on days I didn't have to do work, no more going to the beach a couple days a week, and certainly no more days of doing nothing!

So what have I been doing, then? Well, four days a week I am at the CARE programme working with 14-18 year old at-risk students (mostly males). I work with the remedial and intermediate groups in mathematics and language. We do everything from addition to spelling combinations. I also work with all of the students in arts and crafts (doing various different activity skills), sports (we have done football and cricket so far this term), and computer skills.

Me and some of the trainees at the CARE centre

Aside from the CARE programme, I also continued the After School Club that I started last school year during the second term. In the ASC we do everything from literacy and numeracy skills to making coal pots that will be used for survival cooking skills. It is a very time consuming club in terms of logistics and discipline, but the youth that come are developing themselves every session.

This past Monday marked the continuation of the Girls Circle (peer support and empowerment group for young girls 13-18) with Grow Well. I am working with an amazing woman from the community to get it going again. I am excited, as this term we are working on peer bonding and have a variety of activities lined up for the girls to participate in. I am currently still in the planning process for a summer workshop for next year in the area of HIV/Healthy Lifestyles and sporting as well for the girls to continue their development.

I have been trying to cut down all of the little projects that I was doing to focus more on the main projects at hand. It was starting to get a little overwhelming and getting more work done in specific areas promises more progress in those areas for the last year I am here.

I also have been working as the committee "chair" with other PCVs to arrange for a Peace Corps Expo in March of next year. It is a little time consuming, but it will be well worth it when we get the finished project in place. I have been linked to some of the other islands to help them get one started up as well. After seeing how great the Japanese Volunteers did with their "Japan Day", I was hoping that we could do just the same!

Aside from work, I have been playing volleyball every Tuesday and Thursday near my new apartment and have been thinking about joining a dart team down the road at the local bar. I have gone on a couple of memorable hikes with the hiking group I've been with for over the last year as well. Steel pan has started up again and I managed to get a few of my students to start playing as well! Now that I am living much further away from work and my community, I have had to make my new living community part of my work as well. I play football with the local youth on occasion and am thinking of ways to involve myself more into the community there.

It is that time of the year when all of the holidays are coming! Now that it is the holiday season that means the rest of the year is going to go by so incredibly fast! I have less than a year left here! 11 months and something odd days left in St. Lucia!

I found out my mom is coming for a week in December and I cannot be more excited! I can't wait to share my life here with her and show her the culture and life here.

It's been a rough couple of months in terms of funding. I have been living on cents at the end of the month for the last couple of them. Visiting the states and moving to a new apartment has really taken all of the money that I had managed to save from being frivolous. At least I am enjoying the life here while I can.

Oh, and it's been about two months since I put in my locks! They are really starting to take form. I'll have to blog about the social perception aspect of a white girl in St. Lucia having dreadlocks. Quite interesting, really. Here's a few pics showing the transformation from the start to now.

Me so far in the locking process, they are looking much tighter overall....

Other than that, just working on a pathway for future success and enjoyment!