Monday, May 20, 2013

Early In-Service Training

I am woefully behind on blog posts. Many apologies to the families who read my blog, including Kristi's family, Brian's family, and of course, my own family. It's been a whirlwind period of time. I'm going to go back now and fill in some of the events of the past months. Let's start with EIST.

In March, everyone in the Environment (MAC) program from our year--that's 14 of us--gathered for more training. The first part of training was in Chosica. Each of us brought a community member to the training, which was on how to design a project and develop a budget for it.

I brought Chasqui and Kristi brought Mily. It was very good training, but it was a lot of information in a few long days. It was great to see our training class, though. It seems like everyone is thriving in their sites. It was interesting to meet other volunteers' work partners, too.

Peace Corps tries to make training as useful as possible. We worked on an actual project and got individual feedback from the trainers. Here we are with Luis, talking about how to frame goals for our ecotourism initiative.

Afterward, everyone got certificates of participation.

After that, our community partners left and MAC Peru 20 received more training and went through the ordeal of presenting our community diagnostics. It was kind of weird to be back in the training center, hearing about safety and medical and how to deal with assessment documents. Being in site is way better than training. It is nice to see how far we've come since training, in just a few months. I was pleased to hear compliments from the director of Spanish language training on how much my language skills have improved.

One of the requirements of PC volunteers is to investigate our community and present a diagnostic report on the situation in the community and its ideas for projects we can work on together. One technique we use is to have people make maps of the community. Back in February, while I was teaching English in summer school, I had my secondary students draw a map of Marco. It included places that are important, well liked, and those that have environmental problems. This was the moment that I first learned that one of the sources of water contamination is people throwing their dead animals in the river. The boys and the girls did their maps separately.

I bet you can guess which was whose.

Yep, you were right:

My diagnostic included lots more information, from interviews, documents from government offices, and lots of personal observations. It was a good presentation, and I was really glad when it was OVER.

We had some field training also. We went up into the mountains a ways to plant more trees in a location a previous volunteer had started.It was a pretty place.

I planted some trees. I hope they grow.
The best part was working together with some of my favorite people.

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