I just realized that I forgot to put up my March report to Compañeros. I like to post it because it gives a nice summary of the month. For those of you who don’t know, when I created a work plan for myself to turn into Compañeros as part of my application to volunteer in El Salvador I included that I would write a monthly report to Compañeros about what I did throughout the month. Not only would it be beneficial to Compañeros so they’d know what I was doing but it would also benefit me. A monthly report would be a time I could reflect back on what I’d accomplished throughout the month and what I want to get done in the future. Here it is:
March 1 – 6
The Heartland delegation arrived in Berlín. Visited the La Quesera massacre site and ate lunch at the river. Visited two marginalized schools in Berlín: Bob Graham and Brisas del Sol. Was planning to talk to Marta as a representative of Compañeros about when new school would be built be she didn’t have time to talk to me. Walked to Alejandría to visit the homes of Jesús, Cecilia, and Blanca to talk to their parents. Saw the new water tanks installed in Alejandría that provide running water to the houses. Went to El Tablón Centro and Cerna to have a meeting with the teachers. Saw the hen houses and bee hives that are part of the new co-op in Cerna. Got to eat fresh honey and learned to make tamales. Stayed the night in Cerna (my first time staying the night in a canton!) Met with the Directiva of Cerna. Visited the canton of Santa Cruz to learn about their communities projects and needs. Went to the celebration of the new church in canton El Corozal. Saw baptisms and a performance of the youth group in El Recreo. Ate dinner in Alegría to say goodbye to Heartland group. Patron Saint festivities in Berlín have begun!
March 7 – 13
To Mercedes Umaña to check fertilizer prices and order for El Recreo, Casa de Zinc, and San Isidro. Was given a baby chick as a gift by the owner. I named her Chelita after myself. Went to Alegría to celebrate International Women’s Day. Went to the boy’s school in Berlín to arrange my class schedule. Stood 1 ½ hours at Ash Wednesday mass. Picked up fertilizer in Mercedes Umaña and got to ride atop fertilizer. Delivered fertilizer to El Recreo. Had a meeting in San Francisco as a representative of Westminster regarding issues in the community. Drove to Santiago de Maria to get parasite meds, plates, and cups for medical delegation. Delivered fertilizer to Casa de Zinc and San Isidro. Was really sick when we delivered fertilizer and then laid in bed until Monday. Medical delegation arrived Saturday night.
March 14 – 20
Felt a lot better on Monday. Went out to the festival during the week to see the coronation of the queens and other activities. Went with the medical delegation to Colón, Santa Cruz, and Corozal. Learned about the responsibilities of the pharmacy, eye center, lab area, doctors, and dentists; spent time in each area talking to the workers and helping out. Was a translator for the dentists in Corozal and got to see many teeth filled and pulled. Rode the Ferris wheel again and did not die. Went to the procession on Saturday night in honor of Saint Joseph. Saw the parade of people in trucks from the cantons who had come to Berlín for the festival. Listened to City Hall talk and special music on the last day of the festival.
March 21 – 27
Started my first day of teaching at the boy’s school. I have ten different English classes, grades 1–6 plus a class for the teachers as well. I have somewhere around 300 students. All seems to be going well thus far. I have many of the same students that I taught last year. Went to San Lorenzo to have a meeting with the Directiva about fertilizer delivery and the census. Went to San Miguel to get a receipt for the water tanks purchased for Santa Cruz. Celebrated my 27th birthday. Yay! Played Lotería (like bingo) with all the kids at school and had a special lunch with the teachers before their first English class. Helped put together 120 food packets for the canton of Colón. Delivered food packets to Colón on Saturday. Sang in the choir at church with folks from Alejandría.
March 28– 31
Began my second week of school. I’m feeling much better than I did last week about teaching (less nervous). Jerry arrived in Berlín. Helped create food packets for Alejandría, San Lorenzo, and Santa Cruz. Helped to deliver water tanks and food packets to Santa Cruz. Helped to deliver fertilizer and food packets to Alejandría. Said goodbye to Kathy and Jerry.