Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Life is more pleasant

I managed to survive the last three days, so life is much better now.

Our community project went fairly well. We decided to train counselors on how to run a "green camp." After soliciting about 60 or so folks for their opinions on the village--its strengths and its weaknesses--we noticed several things that we wanted to partly try to address. One was that the villagers were very proud of their natural environment; and rightly so, as the village really is quite nice aside from the persistent trash problem. The other was that there was a distinct lack of jobs in the village. Now, this particular complaint is quite common in Armenia, since unemployment is very high here (as in many other developing countries). While we couldn't address the complaint in the fullness that it really needs, we did decide--after the wonderful suggestion by our Language and Cultural Facilitator--that the idea of training young adults to be camp counselors for an environmental camp would help address this problem at least in a small way, since we suggested that they charge a small fee for this camp.

Anyway, it went off well, though after the initial training and interest section we only had a couple people interested. Better a couple than none. We came back several hours later and had a mock camp session, and then went and cleaned a section of stream. That was quite disgusting, but that section looked so much better after we finished.

The Armenian practicum was okay. Happily, we're not really expected to be full on teaching as soon as we get to site, so this practicum was just to demonstrate our coping strategies and to prove how hard it would be if we don't eventually have the language. Didn't really need that to be demonstrated, but it went off okay anyway. It's done, and that's the important part.

Alas, another person decided to Early Terminate. That brings us down to 45, from an original 50. I hope that we won't have many other people ET, since I really like almost everyone, but I guess we'll see.

Here's to one more week of PST before moving to my new site!


Michele (Razzy) said...

OK, I was glad to read this blog entry because I was worried about you after that last one. Glad things got better and that you survived until Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad things are turning around!