While November was a hectic month filled with a trip back home to the states, a week-long Peace Corps training in San Jose, and a hurricane/tropical storm, it also marks the completion of the first quarter of my Peace Corps service.
Yup, Tico #31 is officially 25% of the way done. Whoot whoot!
Surprising, where has time gone?
Empowering, I’m still happy to be here 🙂
Fantastico, hey, I know some Spanish now!
Exciting, can we start some projects already?
As a Community Economic Development Volunteer, the completion of the first 6 months of service is also important for another reason:
After completing 6 months in site, volunteers are allowed to apply for grants to help fund small, grassroots projects in their local communities.
These grants are applied for in collaboration with local partners and organizations that aim to help develop the small communities that we live in. Some volunteers work with programs like Courts for Kids, Jumpstart English Camps and GLOW camps that empower young girls but projects can include anything that supports female empowerment, education, the environment, and the economy.
El mundo es nuestra ostra!
But, hey, this is suppose to be a reflection about the last 6 months of my service. Not the next 6 months.
Can you tell I’m excited to get some projects going?!
Let’s take a look at the past 6 months of my Peace Corps service:
So far, I’ve…
1. Helped a women’s group form a strategic plan
2. attended a bijillion fiestas de cumpleaños
3. learned how to make empanadas, tortillas, y tamales.
4. been to Catholic Church for the first time…en mi vida.
5. helped a fellow volunteer with Courts for Kids
6. learned to sign and play on the ukulele at the same time
which is nothing short of a MIRACLE.
7. taught my host nieces all about roasting marshmallows.
it blew minds. it’s a thing we do now…
8. planted my first (successful) jardín.
9. saw a pig die.
10. seen too many epic sunsets to count.
11. participated as a judge in 4 English Festivals.
13. learned how to farm like a boss.
14. eaten LOTS of new frutas y verduras.
15. celebrated the Catholic pilgrimage la romería.
16. visited Jaco, Tamarindo, y Dominical.
17. attended 2 1-week Peace Corps trainings.
18. been gifted a new family, a new house y una hermosa comunidad.
19. found a scorpion in my bed. it still upsets me.
20. picked café. nope, don’t wanna do it again.
21. showed a woman in my community how to profit from
and set her precios de tamales
22. helped a women’s group manage and run their kitchen at a small farmer’s market (una feria) en San Vito.
23. ran a marathon. haven’t ran since.
24. taught clases de Ingles in the local escuela
25. survived my first rainy season.
one down. one to go.
Places to consider living:
26. made it through my first big holiday abroad and spent Thanksgiving with my Tico #31 fam and Peace Corps staff.
The first 6 months of my service have undoubtedly brought a number of challenges and adjustments as I acclimate myself into this new life in Costa Rica, but as I reflect on the first chapter of my service, I finally feel like I am right where I should be. With my roots in the ground, I can’t wait to get started on some longer-term projects in my community, continue learning about the Costa Rican culture and explore new parts of this beautiful country and area of the world! ❤