Ok, if I said the last month flew by, then October dissapeared scary fast. In a country without Halloween, the passage of time will have to suffice in scaring me out of my wits. And oh does it suffice.
In any case, I'm doing well. I'm not great and I'm not miserable. I'm trucking along riding the ups and downs so many returned and veteran volunteers have promised me would come along the way. Who says the learning process should be comfortable or easy? That reminds me, did you see my comfy new chair?
The dog that lives on my front porch was in heat this past week and her suitors (2-6 at any given time) made a good night's sleep impossible for all of us in this part of the barrio with endless growling and fighting. I'm understanding, though not appreciating, why nobody cares or claims responsibility for the female dogs here. Nobody is responsible for the inevitable puppies. Or I'm responsible, and I have a problem on my hands...
I'm heading to the capital next weekend to celebrate a graduation of teachers who have completed their compulsory computer education courses. I had been working with a few of them outside of the course itself and even confirmed that one was ready to graduate. While the teachers are now capable of using the computer as an educational tool, the real work is in getting them to apply it as just such a tool. More courses to come!
Do you think Verizon in the States are jerks? They just cut support for the Proyecto AVE, a group of 90 or so trailers in country, each complete with 10 computers, a gas generator, and a high speed Internet connection. They had initiated the project partnered with the Secretary of Education here, supposedly as a condition of their government contract which, among other things, waived all taxes the company would owe from here to kingdom come. And so why the heck would they cut support now? They're selling the company and cutting loose all the "extraneous" holdings to look lean and mean for buyers. Well, that might have been an exaggeration on my part, but they are selling the company, and quietly, so I will assume what I will. Now we have 90 computer centers in danger of shuttering completely, one of which I have been using to give classes the past 4 months. This is what development is all about I guess: helping create community solutions to community problems. I would hate to see such great resources lay fallow. More on this in the next few months.
I wish the Dominicans could put Catholicism on hold for just one day. They could really use Halloween! It would be secular. I swear!
I have mice and termites.
To wrap up, things are going well. Lots of classes and small talk. My books-read list grows weekly in a proportional, linear relation with the darkness of my tan. The hurricane season ends soon (don't jinx it!). Skim Ice rules. I'll be in San Antonio and Chicago at the end of December, early January. Where are you guys at?? Talk to you all soon, David