Posted by: janetwright2guatemala | 10/26/2010

Last week of training

23 octubre 2010- sabado-

Headed back to my usual home today…time to wrap up training and get sworn in! All in all, a productive site visit…I shook hands with many, including the mayor. Got a beginning idea of what information, computer systems, etc. exist in the municipal office as resources. Maria, the director of the women’s office, is very amable (friendly); it will be a true pleasure to work with her. She was noticeably excited when I showed her the 5 session workshop (developed by Peace Corps) to teach marketing skills and knowledge; so very useful for the women in this town who produce colorful textiles. My role will be trainer so that Maria becomes experienced to facilitate the workshops on her own.

Kiki and Claire painting world map

My official counterpart, Roberto, was busy with meetings this week so there was little chance for interaction. He had an idea for me to spend one week each in 3 different communities in order to do outreach to the far-flung aldeas (towns). Could be interesting, but I stood firm with staying a few weeks in my host town before shipping off for awhile. In true Guatemalan interaction, he never told me directly that I would not be attending a planned meeting yesterday after all…I had to find this out from others in the office. This is a culture of courtesy and non-confrontation; very rarely will a Guatemalan actually say “no”, especially to a gringo. Next week I’ll need to politely discuss my desire for him to inform me of changes to my schedule…I’m sure that this it will be an ongoing training.

Lastly, I got to meet the 2 Peace Corps volunteers who live in my town (my site mates)…Kiki works with the local health center on promoting health, and Claire works on promoting healthy habits within local schools. I lent a hand to their map painting project on the library walls, a great educational tool for kids to find their location in the world, country, and region.

Viva America Central!

Socializing occasionally with them will provide a welcome respite from the challenges of cultural adaptation. Last night we prepared an American meal of pasta salad, cucumber-tomato salad, and fruit salad. Delicious! I will be lending my culinary talents to our host family celebration for Sunday…I’ve been recruited to bake a carrot cake for the occasion, but I’m suspecting that 2 cakes may be needed for the 20+ hungry people…can a person ever have too much cake?



  1. Congratulations on completing the training and on your new host site! It all sounds positive.

    BTW, I got the job! On Nov. 8, I leave CPD and begin as the Deputy Regional Administrator for Region X.

    Best wishes,

  2. Donna,
    Congratulations! They have made an excellent choice by assigning you to this position. Does this mean you will work in the same building or move across the street to the other federal building? So we are both federal employees. We just heard today from the assistant to the ambassador about job opportunities in the Foreign Service. Well, I think a little late in life for me…but the Peace Corps Response program of short-term assignments in the future does interest me.

    Keep me updated on how you like your new job. I’m sure there will be a little settling in time needed.

  3. Pretty map.

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