Saludos de Bolivia from PCV Desi

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By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - 10:17 pm: Edit Post

Saludos de Boliva from PCV Desi

Saludos de Boliva from PCV Desi

Saludos de Boliva from PCV Desi

Here's a sample from her journal:

The Latest News from Desi Cochabamba City, Bolivia

August 26, 2001 Greetings all! Things have been going well down here. Of course there are always the little ups and downs. An "up" is that I successfully lobbied the mayor and town council of Cliza (see photo above)to support and fund a portion of my environmental education project. They have agreed to provide over 70% of the costs!! I now am eagerly waiting for my small project assistance grant to come through from USAID. If all goes well, my counterparts and I will be receiving funds to buy materials that will be used for activities in 3 ecolological youth clubs in Valle Alto. I can't wait to get started!

We also held the first environmental education teacher-training seminar in July. More than 40 teachers participated in the introductory session and all in all, things went pretty well. As this was the first session in a series of 3 (all of which they need to participate to receive certification), it did have its moments of frustration. But I learned from the mistakes and am now planning the second session, scheduled for September.

We also held another workshop sponsored by the NGO Water for People and with help from other volunteers on Solid Waste Management and Environemntal ed. in the community. The all-day session was directed to various community leaders in Cliza (the subprefectura, Comitee de Vigilancia, campesino groups, city técnicos). It went really well. For several months I have had the support from the town council and mayor's office but not the subprefectura nor the comitee de vigilancia. Now they too are supporting the EE project!! Another good thing to come out of it was that it really awakened their eyes to the environmental problems of their community. In fact, one participant said that in all of his years in civil service, this was the first time he'd seen the leaders openingly discussing the waste management problems in Cliza and possible solutions!! I was truely elated to hear such comments.

But then there are the downs... The "downs" luckily haven't been too numerous. The main thing is that I missed my CBBA "prom". What is this, you ask? Well, every couple of months or so, out of boredom or just plain maddness, we volunteers throw a party (usually to welcome a new group or as a going away party for an older one). These parties almost always have some sort of theme (past ones being "Arabian Nights", "Spring Break", and the very un-PC "bash your ethnicity" get the idea.) This last one was "prom". We all bought hideous 80's style dresses/tuxes from the used clothing market and set out to woop it up. I bought an especially tacky number. It was pink with all sorts of puffs.

But I didn't get to show it off. After a couple days of not being able to keep anything down or in inside of me (I won't go into the details), Peace Corps sent me to the hospital. They decided that I had Typhoid Fever and immediately started me on the appropriate treatment. I was extremely dehydrated and so was put on an IV to get some fluids. After some more lab analyses, it was discovered that I had amoebic dysentary coupled with a nasty bacterial infection. Uncomfortable, but treatable. A couple of weeks later, I'm feeling almost back to normal. But alas, I missed my prom...

After my recovery, I've decided its time for a vacation. So the first week of October, I've got a trip planned to Peru to hike the Inca trail from Cuzco to Macchu Picchu! The trail reaches altitudes of 4,800 meters, so I better start training now!!

Coming to America...

I'm also planning a quick trip to the States around Thanksgiving time. I'll be mostly checking out potential grad schools but would love to see as many of you all as possible. So if any of you plan to be in the Chicagoland/Indiana territory...drop me a line!

That's the latest from Cochabamba, where the cholitas are strong, the kids are "genial", and everyday is a paro civico!

Stay tuned! -Desi

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Story Source: Personal Web Site

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bolivia; PCVs in the Field - Bolivia



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