Peñas Blancas and Site

I am very fortunate and have two wonderful sitemates, Sam and Alison.  As soon as I got into site on Saturday afternoon, Sam and Alison met me at the bus and helped me carry my stuff to my new house.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a lovely dinner of chicken, rice, and mango salsa as we chatted with some neighborhood kids that very nearly missed their 9pm curfew.

The next day began the real adventure: hiking to the top of Peñas Blancas, a nearby mountain range with a coffee farm at its base.  This was one of the most intensive hikes I have ever done–I had to use trees to pull myself up steep inclines, and oftentimes, was on my hands and knees crawling up.  I am really surprised I made it out without injury, especially on the way back down where I fell on my butt more than a few times.

Alison and Sam in the truck, en route to the base:

The gang, almost half way up.

View from the top!:

And now, some pictures from my site. This is the view I get when I walk to Sam’s house. He lives down the hill.

This is my house.  My room is that front window:

And here is the center of town.  It’s super bustling complete with a market, tons of Eskimo ice cream carts, street food, and lots of stores.

Here is the front of the Casa Materna, where I work.  This week I made bracelets with the ladies and I’m giving my first charla on Thursday about self-esteem.

And here is the view of the hospital, the other place I work.  It’s brand new–it just opened in December, so they’re still working out some kinks.  When I went in on Monday morning, there were about 100 people waiting to see doctors, and I believe there are only about 9 on staff.  I think I’ll be seeing a lot of build-up and improvements with this hospital over the next couple years and I’m excited to be a part of it.  Tomorrow I’m heading out with some doctors and health educators to help out with a health fair in a rural community.

That’s about it for now.  I’m really optimistic about all that my site has to offer.  More updates later!

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2 Responses to Peñas Blancas and Site

  1. Randi says:

    love it! I want to come visit : )


  2. Ariel says:

    I love all of this, Lauren! I love that you have some friends, who sound like they’re already pretty integrated into the community, and are also sox fans (at least one). I love that there’s a new hospital in your area – it will be such a unique experience to see how the community responds and utilizes the new resources. The casa materna is decorated so beautifully which is inspiring! AND you get to go hike up mountains and stuff! COOOOL!

    You rock, sis!


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