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!

Costa Rica

I’ve been ignoring this blog. However, my co-leader and I kept a blog for the parents of the kids we brought to Costa Rica for the month we were there doing community service work. You can see it here: http://cscostaricaa2012.goputney.com/

Costa Rica proved to be one of the toughest and most rewarding things I have done. The physical work was difficult, but not as challenging as coordinating things in Spanish and organizing high school students, as well as coordinating with another leader! I learned so much about myself (strengths, weaknesses, things I love and hate, things I want to improve), more so than I had in classes or working a conventional job.

I would suggest Putney Student Travels to everyone, so if you know someone who is interested in traveling (as a leader or as a student) send them in that direction!