Friday, July 29, 2011

Rabinal, part two

 Okay – now time for part two! After a very successful Monday with San Rafael, we spent Tuesday with the Flor de Algodon group in Chuaperol, helping with the distribution and planting of medicinal plants. Though all of the women met us in the house of Mariana (the leader of the group), it turned out that all of the women lived far – like really far – away from each other…meaning visiting each house to help with their gardens was going to be a bigger challenge than we had anticipated. But, like everything else, Mildre and Lety took this challenge in stride. To be more efficient, we split up – I went with Mildre, Darcy went with Lety – and we headed off into the countryside.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rabinal, part one: "somos todos hermanas en este mundo"

We just returned from our long trip up to Rabinal, to visit the last Nest community, San Rafael, and another one of OB’s groups, Chuaperol. The trip itself started at 6 am last Sunday and lasted all day – hopping from camioneta to camioneta, driving along curvy and bumpy mountainous roads, and finally arriving at our destination around 5 pm. We were joined on the trip by two OB facilitators – Lety and Mildre – who thankfully were there to help us navigate the bus system (which, even after all this time, I still don’t fully understand/trust enough to navigate on my own)!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Making progress

Somehow, this is our last week working together in the office! We leave on Sunday for a 12-hour trip to visit a few communities in Rabinal, where we’ll be until Wednesday, and then Darcy heads back to the states on Thursday, immediately after we return. I’ll still be here for another 10 days after that, but we’re hoping to get as much done this week as possible, while we’re still both here. We’ve had to modify our work plan a LOT since we started our Fellowship, and a lot of the work we’ve done will serve as a jumping-off point for much bigger projects to come! Here’s a break-down of what we’ve accomplished this summer…

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whirlwind week!

It’s been a crazy week, full of community visits, traveling, and exploring new places. My apologies for such a long delay between blog posts – there never seems to be enough hours in the day here, and my internet has also been spotty thanks to the low pressure system that’s been sitting over us for the past week or so. Silly me, just because it didn’t torrentially rain for two days last week, I thought that rainy season might be over…but this week’s monsoons have proven that that’s clearly not the case…

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ethical Dilemmas

My fellowship has not been without challenges – with the most difficult challenge being navigating the fine line between exploitation and assistance that constantly overshadows this – and all other – forms of development work. Though I’ve thought about this issue constantly, I still haven’t been able to figure out exactly where I stand, and I’m expecting my thoughts and perceptions to continue to evolve throughout the last few weeks of my time here.