New Home, New Life

Greetings All!

I have landed upon the final few days of training, and after tomorrow´s technical exam, I will be only one step away from being sworn in as a volunteer. These past fews days I was at a national business plan competition featuring business plans made by young entrepreneurs around the country, several from Haiti as well. I.loved.it. I look forward to meeting the young people in my community and forming a group of young entrepreneurs of my own!

So, I know where I´m going to live and the type of project I´m going to have. Drumroll please! ………….

El Verde Bonao.

Anticlimatic, I know. This means nothing to you, so google it! Basically, Bonao is like a pit stop along a highway. It´s a beautiful city nestled in the foothills of the Cibao region below the mountains. My community, El Verde, is about 15 minutes off the main highway from Bonao. My community is famous for their tobacco fields; a rich cigar maker recently reinvested into his community and built a school that connects kids from three different communities. The school is bi-lingual, very rare for the campo. So, part of my project is to work with the teachers in the school to teach them how to teach the high school kids about forming a business plan. The second part of my project is working with an artesan group that apparently carves and paints gords. I don´t even know how to spell gords, but you know.. those pumpkin things. So, I´ll be teaching them how to operate a business, and hopefully increase their business along the highway to locals and tourists passing through. The third part of my project is to work with a women´s group that also make products for income generation. We call these ¨small income generation projects.¨ I´m not sure what they make right now. My guess is either shampoo, floor cleaner, menthol vapor rub, or possibly some sort of crafty item. Again, teaching them how to run a business from a very micro-enterprise stance.

I will find out more details on my site and projects on Monday, then Tuesday through Sunday I´ll be visiting my site with my project partner. A project partner is basically a Dominican counterpart- someone who the Peace Corps solicits to work with you and your project, and to help integrate you into the community. Basically, someone who wants to help their community too.

My Spanish has improved a lot so far, and I´m really proud of myself for all the things I´ve accomplished. One of my desires for joining the Peace Corps is that I would gain a lot more confidence in myself. Peace Corps definitely gives you the opportunity to accomplish things you didn´t think you could do.  Yay!

So, write me. Send me schtuff.

I´m buying a guitar Saturday, SO EXCITED!

All for now… next time I promise to share some fun stories. Peace!

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3 Comments on “New Home, New Life”

  1. Yojanis Says:

    Excellent, Espero que tengas muchos exitos en tu comunidad.

  2. Cousin Debbie Says:

    Enjoyed the update. Good for you. Thinking of you. X0X0

  3. Cousin Patti Says:

    Hi Sarah!
    Between reading your latest blog and talking to your mom, it sounds like you’re really beginning to gain confidence and imagine your potential. Very exciting! I did google El Verde Bonao as suggested and found the GORGEOUS photos at this link:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lachapelle/with/3034833375/

    Click the browser to the right, and you’ll see all the photos with descriptions. I hope you’ll take/post a lot of fotos buenos! I was actually able to understand some of what I read! It’s funny how that good ol’ high school Spanish starts to kick in!

    A few weeks ago, Debbie & Jess came down and we babysat the Mylin kids over the weekend. They are so great…and that little Renner is such a cutie patootie! Nate and Heather went to Scotland for about 10 days (Am I jealous? Could James Brown get down?!) I’m having dinner there on 10/27 so I hope to get all the details of their trip – they said they had a vacacion fabuloso! (Wish I new how to translate that into gaelic!! :o)

    Take care, sweetie pie. Love you!


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