Monday, June 27, 2005

Sorry I have been gone....

First things first though... I need to tell you to please not share this site with anyone unless you ask me first. People have been kicked out of the Peace Corps for things that have been written in blogs that were shared with the wrong people. We just had a big long talk about it the other day and they kinda freaked me out about having a blog so I just wanted to bring that up.
Secondly, nobody is updating me on news or gossip thats going on the the states!!! I have CNN in English which i got to watch for the first time today but that won´t tell me if Nick and Jessica are really prego or not!!! PLEASE somebody email me that info!!!
Third... SEND ME MAIL!!!! (This address is only good until August)
PCV: Tara Acton
Apartado Postal 1947
Correo Nacional
Centro de Gobierno
San Salvador, El Salvador

Ok now that thats over I will begin my update!
So we had Immersion Days this weekend. I left on Friday and Returned today (Monday). Myself and Jen (another volunteer) were sent on a 6 hour bus ride to the Hondorus boarder to live in a cantone. (Pueblo is the main part of town i.e. where the mayors office is and the post office kinda like the center of town and has electricity and running water, cantones are on the outskirts and most likely don´t have running water or electiricity...they are the poor areas) So we were sent to see how the poor live. I when to a cantone in Joteca. I stayed with a family who has 10 kids. Two on in Maryland and the other 8 live at home. Home for them is a one room house with a latrine out back. They had no electricity but they did have one pipe of running water which went into the pila (a big cement tub which they keep the water for bathing, washing clothes and dishes and drinking.) So from what i could tell they had children from ages 26 to 4 years old. (OMG the 4 year old was the cutest most adorable girl i have ever seen!!) I spent most of the days watching the young ones play marbles and I also talked to the 19 year old boy.
I got really sad when i talked to him becuase the house was full of his diplomas and awards so he was really smart but once you get out of high school here there is nothing to do. There absolutely no jobs here. His only option is to go work in the fields with his dad. It is really such a waste. He said he is just waiting for his sisters to be able to help him get into the states. That really is the only option they have. I heard about a job fair they held in the capital one time that 12,000 people showed up for but there were only 3000 jobs available. Talking with this kid (who wanted to work with computers but there is only one computer in the whole town which is at the Mayors office) made me realize how important it is that the Peace Corps is starting up the Youth Development program here. There are 8 people in my group pioneering the effort and another 15 are coming with a group in September I believe?? They will be teaching computer skills, english, life skills, resume building , etc to help the youth here get a job so they do not have to work in agriculture, join a gang, or flee to the US. So sad.
But anyway this family had no electricity and it was really awkward trying to change infront of 10 other people but they were sweethearts. They fed me bananas at every meal. They fried them or boiled them for me and they just ate theirs out of the peel. It is amazing how happy they were living like they do. I thought it was a lot like camping. Some people even had to bathe with their families in the same river they went to the bathroom in. I stayed away from bathing for a day. I would rather smell than bathe in feces. But thats just me!
I think I would go insane if i had to live the next two years like that it was just too quite for me. I would rather go take a weekend to ¨get away¨ to that kind of quite spot rather than live there. So luckily I will be living in the pueblo as a Municipal Development volunteer.
What else... All of us are soooooo excited for this weekend. They put all of the volunteers who are in country up in hostels in San Salvador and we just have a weekend of Drunkeness!! Though I still can´t drink so it should be even more interesting to recap the stories to everyone the next day. John Andrew Michelle and I decided that sunday morning we are goign to go see Mr and Mrs Smith before we come back to our town. SSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO excited for that!

Unfortunately I have to miss the Quinceniera this weekend but right now my host sister wants me to help her make centerpieces so i gotta go! It tolde her i would be back in a minute twenty minutes ago. So thats all i have to say right now. I am sure I will get a chance to write sometime this week but I bet next sunday´s blog entry will be sooooo interesting!!

I really miss you all. I haven´t been very good at individually emailing people some night I will just spend hours here and do that but for now... que la vaya bien.


Anonymous Nicole said...

Okay, so is it selfish of me to be semi-teary because that update wasn't long enough and I didn't get an individual email? ha. Happy to hear that you are feeling healthy again (well I'm assuming, because I haven't heard anything about constant running to the bathroom in a week or so.) So, you know all the times I've told you about Cuba and how yes, they are unhappy and they will do about anything to get out of there and they have no opportunities, etc- but that they seem so happy? Well now you know what I mean. It's terrible about the 19 year old boy that you were staying with (and all of his brothers and sisters who will come after him) but at the same time, it's heartwarming to see that they don't go around being miserable every day, but make the best of what they DO have. I'm glad that you got to experience that.
Anyway- I love you and miss you and you are LYING- I totally updated you on news when I wrote to you last week! Sorry if it wasn't all MTV gossip! I picked you up 3 magazines this weekend and will mail them by tomorrow at the latest. You should have them by January :) Lata babe.

7:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, your post makes me realize how much we have here in America. Honestly, we all *know* it, but to hear first hand how others live in countries around the world, it really hammers it home. I mean 1 computer in the town?! Mike and I each have our own laptop with a spare in the closet! I can't imagine seeing that with my own eyes. And that 19 year old sounds amazing. To be that talented with no outlet to bring his talents to.

I am with Nicole, it sounds like you're feeling better and if you are, I am glad! How exciting for your host sister for her big party - I saw one on TV once (how American does that sound?!?!) and its such a big deal for them! Have fun making the centerpieces - something I'd like to do!

Take care and have LOTS of fun this weekend!

Jenn & Mike (& Sampson!!)

7:22 PM

Anonymous julie said...

Hi Tara,
We miss having lunch with you here at Mather! It's soooo quite this time of year! I'm glad to hear that you're doing better in the health department. I figuered I'd write you and let you know how we all are doing. I'm leaving next week for Tucson and on the 11,12,and 13th I will be in Rocky Point in Mexico. Is there anything I can send you to help you out with the flies and mosquitos? I can get you a mosquito hat with a net attached or send you some mosquito repellent if they allow it...It sounds like you a having a great learning experience while you are there and isn't it amazing that in spite of what these people don't have they are much happier than we are here. I wish you well, have fun and if there's anything I can help you with let me know!

Julie from Mather

PS. Debbie says HeeeeeeYYYYYY!!!!

1:08 PM


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