“Bananas Grow in Iceland”

Hey Everyone!

These last few weeks have been as crazy as ever!

As I mentioned in my last blog, after I got back from my trip to the States I realized that I was feeling kind of like…

sad batman

 

And I was definitely acting like…

Annie-screaming-community

 

I got back to Celica and pretty much immediately discovered that my Red Cross youth were not even meeting anymore and my counterpart hadn’t done ANYTHING with the Red Cross the entire time I was gone. So I was pretty much like…

expect nothing

 

Honestly, he had his reasons and when I think about it in a normal, rational, adult way I’m definitely like…

understand

But of course when I had just gotten back to Celica, I was not thinking in a normal, rational or adult way so I definitely felt like this…

funny-gif-steve-carell-freaking-out

 

We had a few conversations and of course when I was not so frustrated, I discussed the reality of the situation with him.

Honestly, he is the only person in Celica that is pushing to start the Red Cross again and he has too much on his plate right now. He owns his own business, he has another part time job and he has a family that he needs to support. If we want to be successful and have a successful youth group, we need more than just 2 people on the case.  Right now, the Red Cross just doesn’t have the community’s support and without that we’re basically just doing this…

Cat running up a slide like it_s a treadmill

 

So for the time being I have decided to focus my energy on various secondary projects and of course help the Red Cross as the situation evolves. In the end I think my counterpart was pretty much like…

thank you relief

 

Fortunately for me, before I left on my trip back home, I had already decided to start setting up the groundwork for my secondary projects. If you remember in a previous blog, my counterpart and I went around to all of the schools and introduced me to the principals…

Because_we're_smart

 

I wanted to do this mainly because I was interested in working in the schools and I knew that once I had already met the principals (with a well-known community member) I would be able to come and set up activities on my own in the future. And for once, the plan actually worked!

best dancer ever

 

Right now I am working in almost every school in Celica, helping with their school clubs and also forming new after school activities for children and youth. The next step to my project plan is to start working with the local government and also getting into the classrooms so we can discuss important life lessons like…

friends

 

So right now I’m the busiest that I’ve been since training, but I feel like that’s normal since I have finally almost completed a year in Celica. I now know what to expect in the upcoming year and hopefully I will be able to plan accordingly. Now that I have momentum, I am trying very hard not to start too many things at once so I don’t do this…

overwhelmed

 

And as I continue to expand my projects, I am also making sure to reevaluate my current activities so that I use my time efficiently. Right now things seem to be going well, but I can also tell that I’m still adjusting back to my Peace Corps life. Because of this I am making sure I use my out of site days so I don’t end up like this…

get-me-outta-here-o

 

In the end, I am hoping that I remain patient and remember that this process might take a little while longer than it might in other places. Kind of like growing bananas in Iceland.

I hope everything is great in your part of the world!

Peace Out!

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All of the Feelings!

Hey Everyone!

I apologize for the lack of communication for the last month or so, I have been very busy adventuring!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to come back to the States and visit for a little while in June!

I had so much fun being able to see family and friends that it all kinda felt like this…

elf revolving door

 

Reverse culture shock was also a very real thing! I spent most of my time trying to remind myself of social/cultural norms and also that I could actually drink the tap water and throw my toilet paper into the toilet. So I was pretty much in a constant state of…

right

I also was reminded quite often of how slow/late I am…

oops

 

I had a ton of fun getting to see everyone and indulge in American food and culture again. I also got to explain to everyone what my life is like down here which pretty much went like…

tumblr_mlx5zn9vtT1s29dslo1_500

 

I also got to go on the annual tubing trip with my friends, visit with a lot of friends from my hometown and go on a road trip to visit my extended family! Plus we had a TON of potlucks…

i love america

 

The whole experience was great but kind of surreal because I was adjusting back into my own culture, just to leave it again for another year. At the end of it all I just kind of felt like…

gaaaah

Of course I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I am so happy that I decided to go home to visit but next time I will be excited to focus on readjusting more permanently!

 

So once I got back to Ecuador I had to readjust back to the life here again!

I got to see some of my fellow volunteers and vent to them about how homesick I was which was difficult because for once this was something that not everyone else was dealing with. Everyone was pretty much like…

there there

 

I could tell they were trying their best to be sympathetic but I couldn’t expect them to know exactly how I felt because everyone’s lives back home are different. Plus I knew I was just in a weird place with adjusting and readjusting and being on the move that I was pretty much like…

figure it out

 

When I finally arrived back to site for the foreseeable future I was pretty much like…

glass-case

 

I was super homesick and sad. I was negative about all of my projects and plans and my site and my counterpart and honestly just everything. It was not a fun place to be and I wasn’t a fun person to be around. Pretty much when anyone talked to me I was like…

welcome to hell

 

But after talking to a few of my friends I realized that this was not going to be a permanent state and that the cloud would lift and I would be able to take on my next year of service. At the time I didn’t want to hear/believe it, but now I’m more like…

peek cute

And I can see things getting better.

I am already back to organizing my projects and have a meeting and two classes arranged for this week. So I guess things are where they’re supposed to be. I’m back to feeling more optimistic but also trying to remain realistic so I don’t get like this again…

GOD

So right now, I still have a little more than a year to go. I’m sure that time will fly by and I’ll be wishing for more at the end of my service.

I am very grateful for all of my friends and family back home and for my Ecuadorian/volunteer friends and family that missed me while I was gone and welcomed me back upon my return. I truly am very lucky to be where I am today, all of your support makes my heart feel like…

homer happy

Well that’s all for now!

I hope everything is great in your part of the world!

Peace Out!