Well I’m here. I took a 3.5 hour miserable, hot bus ride and arrived in Metapan. I threw up on the bus… it sucked. But I made it and I didn’t get robbed. After the bus ride I waited for about 4 hours at a fast food restaurant until the pick-up truck arrived to bring me to my village an hour away on a dirt road. I sat in the back of the truck with a lady who was about 75-80 years old. She stood and leaned on the cab of the truck for the entire hour. I sat and stood and breathed in the dust as I took in the sights of my new home. My assignment is rural health… and when they say rural… they aren’t joking. I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE! My village has 500 people and one road/path that was paved last year… they are still talking about how great it is to have a paved road. It’s very squiggly and about as wide as a back alley. For the first 2 months I’m living with a host family. They are super nice and have 3 kids. Last night I was out playing with the kids in front of the house… and a little crowd started to form across the road at the neighbors. The kids started giggling and I asked what was going on over there… they giggled some more and finally said… they are here for you. They want to know who the new gringo is. I am starting to feel like I just landed from mars on a space ship. But I guess I can understand where they are coming from. They live in a tiny village in the middle of know where and all of a sudden this 6 foot 2 inch white guy shows up. I would be curious also.
We are not supposed to work for the first 2 months. Just do a community census and if you want very small projects are ok. Right now it’s all about gaining trust and building relationships. Last night my host mom came into my room and she told me she doesn’t know how to read or write. I asked her if she was able to write her name for me. She couldn’t. So I wrote her name and had her copy it… she put her hands over her mouth with a big smile. She is 48-years-old and she just wrote her name for the first time. Tomorrow we are going to learn the alphabet. I found my first small project. Angelina is going to learn to read and write.