I’m Alive!

Just letting you know that I am alive in Honduras and that the country is really stunning. Also, our local consultant reminds me of my dad and it’s very weird… Got to go climb in some caves today but have to get up early tomorrow, so more later!

1 Week Tour of Nicaragua, Work Style

So I have left Nicaragua and moved on to Honduras. Nicaragua was a great experience though (see photos!) We got to talk and see some local farms that are more advanced than most I’ve seen in VT. They have drip irrigation and set rotation schedules and special plastic for air circulation/keeping out bugs and can produce 2000 chilies per plant…!!! It was intense.

Also got to see a handful of people from when I studied abroad, which was really really nice. It’s funny how this blog has looped around itself. Saturday was a free day so spent the day in Granada! I got to go on the tour of the Isletas for the first time and it’s pretty great! There is an island with four monkeys and you can buy an island for half a mill. So you know, when I win the lottery, that’ll be my go to spot.

TDY Stop #2: Nicaragua!

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So. I have returned to where this blog began in a somewhat different way (mostly, I get paid to take notes rather than paying to do so).

Although being here for a week is a different circumstance than for 5 months, it was like deja vu driving into Managua. I remembered most of the city, am staying right next to one of the malls, and have completely readapted to the use of vos instead of tu. I’ve even gotten to see a few friends, although briefly. Hopefully I will see some more tonight/this weekend, but we shall see. A week is too short to go out with people and work all day.

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On a completely different topic: A Plea to Save a Movie Theatre

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The movie theatre in my hometown needs to update to digital projectors to keep running as a business. My hometown is very small, and there is not much to do, so it is a VITAL part of our community. During high school and even middle school, this was the only thing to do in the area for teenagers that was consistent widely approved of activity. Just think — there are only 2 screens! But if this place closes we will have to travel 30+ miles to go see a movie.. Please consider helping by contributing to their Kickstarter by clicking on the image below: 

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Free day in ES

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So Saturday we had a free day (all of our interviews were completed on Friday). This meant that we could explore the countryside a little bit!

ImageWhile waiting for my two colleagues, I went with our local consultant and our driver to get gas in our rented silver 4×4. Pulling into the gas station, they were having computer difficulties and couldn’t get the gas to work (typical!) We had to drive around the roundabouts and go in the opposite direction to finally get to a spot without complications.

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We then picked up the two and headed to a park that is home to three (!) volcanoes and a lake. We got to walk around one of the dormant craters and learn about the hotel that was abandoned on top (mostly due to the volcano across the way not exploding anymore). You can also see Guatemala from the top of the volcano…it’s funny, El Salvador just seems so small in comparison to these other countries.

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After we went from the volcano and to the lake you can see from the top. Essentially we were on an island in a lake that is in the crater of a volcano… Pretty cool!

Got into Nicaragua today. It’s complete deja vu.. I haven’t been here since I studied abroad (and the start of this blog!) so seeing MetroCentro and places we all used to eat is a bit strange. ‘Til later then… enjoy the photos!

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3 Week TDY in Latin America

Hello! It has been awhile since my last post (and by that I mean it’s been 5 months…whoops.)

Just as an update, after being a trip leader for Putney Student Travels, I returned home and immediately started the job search. I was lucky enough to return just in time to apply for a Project Assistant position at an International Development firm in the area. After an interview and a written test, I was awarded the job and started within two weeks of returning from Costa Rica!

My time there has been interesting; I have learned a lot about the insides of USAID and the process that comes with being a company that bids on their proposals. USAID is a large, complex beast and I can go into this process in another post if anyone is interested.

However the best part of the job by far is the travel. I am lucky enough to have had the chance to go to Chad (in Africa) as well as Guatemala for projects. Although I am just a supporting role, it is nice to have the opportunity to learn on the ground.

This leads to my current 3 week stint hopping around Latin America (oh, for future reference, a TDY stands for Temporary Duty Assignment…work jargon). We are working on a project for USAID involving finding best practices between partners in previous agriculture projects. My trip to Guatemala in early December was the beginning of this, and now I am in El Salvador and will continue on Sunday to Nicaragua and then to Honduras.

The days are filled with meetings and lots of Spanish. I am very rusty and often blank out, but I have to take a lot of notes for work, so I’m working on minimizing this.

I will upload pictures later when I find the cord to connect my phone to the computadora! Until then!