I’m alive & well, just busy!!!

5 Dec

Sorry guys I havn’t posted in forever, wordpress was giving me fits for a while, and then I got swamped with work etc… anyhow, here’s the latest and greatest to catch you up to my last few months…….

• Sorting, stacking & stamping; organizing 4,000 primary school leisure reading books for Bonga schools and stamping some of them and organizing them by their reading level that came from the Books for Africa program I fundraised so a special thanks to all who were able to donate to this project!Because let me tell you, the kids are super, crazy, insanely excited at the books!!!
• Renovating a classroom to be an English Language Improvement Center/Model Classroom
• Traveling to town of Ambo as my PC leader asked me to come & speak to new PCV’s about all the cool stuff I’m doing in clubs, (which I rocked, people WANTED copies of my ppt file!)
• Eating the fanciest/best dinner of my PC life at the Sheraton hotel in Addis Ababa for Thanksgiving (lets’s just say that we arrived at 6 pm and left at 10:30 pm)
• Giving some trainings on weekends with my friend Katie for Jimma, (nearby big town 3+ hours away by unpaved, awful road) for female university 1st year students who are from rural areas on life skills, goals, HIV prevention etc…
• Working with Art Club students
• Working with English Club students
• Starting a new All Teacher’s Informal Conversational English and tea drinking Club
• Writing a proposal to the Bonga Teacher’s college begging for desks for my new English Classroom and 2 computers
• Writing Bill’s of Receipts for the donated books for each school to stamp and sign then I need to scan each and email them in and mail originals
• Teaching Riley tricks!!! He’s sooooo cute
• Throwing a rocking Halloween party where I made a lemon meringue pie that La Madeline would be proud of
• Learning how to filter grain alcohol, (arake) using raw chunks of charcoal, then making “arakarita’s” for Halloween guests
• Repairing my clothing with needle and thread
• Taking my sweet deaf/mute orphan student to the health center after her semi following me home and miming she’s really sick, turns out she may have had pneumonia, I waiting with her while they checked her out and paid for her meds
• I took the 2 European researchers on a tour of the prison and/kindergarten school (next door to each other) to see the biogas project as they are working in Bonga on alternative energy sources
• I am still facilitating the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer I found on FB that wants to donate 2K USD to one of my schools to help fund a technology project, so they wrote a proposal, list of how they’d spend the $$ then a letter of support from PTA etc… and signatures, I scanned and emailed to him, he finally approved it. I then had to go with a teacher to open a new joint bank account so he can money gram the $ to us, just go the money yesterday!!!!!
• The Europeans left last week, all but 1 so we had a send off party for them at a restaurantthe other night
• I’m helping organize Chuck, my other Bonga PCV, a surprise 30th birthday party in Jimma on Friday
• I’m attended a training last weekend for the PCV’s in our region & we took a big group shot
• I’m booking my Tanzania Safari for February during school break for 5 days with like 9 other PCV’s during the great migration, so we’ll see lots of animals.
• I got my laptop battery charger cord repaired for less than a dollar!!!! (1 hour before my presentation in Ambo to new PCV’s as my battery was dead!)
• I got a new batch of pen pal letters from Terri (my teacher cousin) and am excited to pass them out
• I found a good website, (Utorrent) to download free tv, movies& new music on the rare occasion I get free, fast wifi in Jimma or Addis Ababa towns
• There is a PCV working on publishing a book of local poetry & artworks & wants to include some of my paintings in his book, then sell them to support his school
• My compound family got a fridge!
• I was in Addis Ababa/Ambo/Jimma this past week and so didn’t go to a PTA meeting at my fav school in Bonga, but heard after they all RAVED about me!
• I bought a new beautiful blue dress in Bonga and belt for last weekend, tired of jeans all the time, miracle it fit as all Ethiopian women are TINY and nothing ever fits me here
I just mailed out all my Christmas cards yesterday to everyone, so they should be right on time!
I finished designing a Christmas party invite for Lisa last week, it looks super cute
Cleaned my entire house from top to bottom today, man it needed it
About a month ago I had worms in my stomach, NOT a fun week, but I made it and survived.
Tomorrow I have Art Club, All Teacher’s English informal Club, a sign to paint, and the local Bonga College of Teacher’s Education is touring all Kindergartens so I may tag along for part of it to help conduct a needs assessment to see how the college can give support with resources and trainings, (I’ve already given 1 Kindergarten teacher training and given books) but now it’s a govt. initiative, so they are really cracking down as most KG teacher’s have NO training and almost NO resources, so I’m glad someone other than me noticed and cares now.

Ok, well, I have a few more things I need to do, so whoever said people join the Peace Corps to avoid “real work” havn’t met ME!!!

Happy Holiday Season!!! Someone drink a pumpkin spiced latte for me!!!

Love, Laura

2 Responses to “I’m alive & well, just busy!!!”

  1. Vivien Bello December 6, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    Laura i am so proud of you.  Have a wonderful xmas and happy newyear.  Love.  Vivien

  2. Lee December 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    You are! But then again, it’s December! Have a lovely Christmas season, and much happiness in the New Year! Cathe Spencer – CRHP 2

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