Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Finally, an Update from NPH!

HI!!!! I’ve missed you, blog! (And all you readers, por supuesto.) I’m currently sitting on my couch listening to some Taylor and cuddled up with my new hot water bottle (more to come on that in another post), and I figured now was the perfect time to catch up on some blogging. I think I’ll make this a series of posts – instead of one giant one, so enjoy. :)

Well, I’m here! I left San Pedro the Sunday after New Year’s, and I survived the 3-hour chicken bus ride back to Parramos. Travel via chicken bus in Guatemala definitely deserves its own important blog, so remind me to talk about them sometime in the next few weeks. Our Orientation kicked off Sunday night with a dinner, and it has been nonstop (a more serious use of that word than you can ever imagine) since then.

The Volunteers: my “generation” of volunteers is 11 awesome people big. Two guys, 9 girls. Four Americans, 2 Austrians, 4 Germans, and 1 from Spain. Three caretakers, an occupational therapist, a psychologist, a counselor, 2 English teachers, a project coordinator, sponsorship coordinator, and home correspondent. Me, Sam FH (yesssssssss together at last), Cheryl, Tressa, Daniela, Maria, Jonas, Abdul, Janna, Mona Lisa, and Letizia. Our conversations sound a little something like this: “¿Sabes donde está my instant oatmeal? Danke.” We are joining a group of about 8 volunteers who started their year in July or earlier and are staying on, and everyone is incredible.

My "generation" -- the new volunteers.

The whole group.

A happy family already.

Our Orientation week was the longest week of my life, and we were all drained and cranky by the end. We learned a TON about the people/places/philosophy at NPH though, and what Orientation would be complete without icebreakers? (Yes, all you OA’s, we actually played Train Wreck in Spanish. Sam and I almost died when they announced the game.)

Now we are in the transition week for our actual jobs, and I have more or less completely taken over as Home Correspondent. There is still some shuffling going on in the office, but I finally have my desk and computer and – get this – nonstop internet access. Life is good.

I have also been assigned to my “seccione,” which is the group of kids I am assigned to eat dinner with and hang out with at least a few times a week. My seccione is girls between the ages of about 11-14. Tonight was my first official night hanging out in the section, and in those 2 hours:

1. They were in awe of the footies (Hannah, those really good HUE ones we have!) I was wearing with my shoes. They told me I must be really fashionable (hah), and then proceeded to show me a “moda” catalog they had that featured footies. They wanted to know how many I had, what colors, and how much they cost.

2. They discovered I could do the splits and other random but sometimes semi-impressive stretches and dance moves. About 20 of them gathered in a half circle around me while I paraded around stretching and dancing and looking like an idiot.

3. And, we finished the night with a conversation about the cast members of High School Musical and whether I knew them personally.

I was exhausted when I came home. They already think I am absolutely nuts, so it’s definitely going to be an entertaining year.

Alright, enough for this post. Last thing: the 11 “nuevos” (new volunteers) are currently all crammed into one of the visitor’s houses, and it will be a few weeks before the old volunteers move out and we can move into their rooms. When that time comes, all volunteers live here on the NPH site in pretty adorable little cottages, with 8 people to a house. I’ll give a better update once we’re moved in.

Glad I’m back and able to update!

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