After the bad news last week I walked out of the office (I know, real professional) and went home. I posted a whiny facebook status update (I know, real mature) and sulked around my apartment for a little while. Eventually I dragged myself off my bed to go buy vegetables to make dinner and on the way one of my friends here stopped me to ask if I was okay. He had seen what I had posted (and taken the time to translate it) and asked what was up. I explained to him and his brother all about how the muni is in paying down debts mode right now and everything promised to me by my counterpart and the mayor has basically vaporized.

They listened and (being of the party that actually won the mayorship) assured me that things would get better once the new mayor took over. They even offered to help set up a meeting with the new mayor before January so I wouldn’t lose too much time. And then they poked fun at the outgoing mayor to get me to lighten up a bit and invited me to check out some of the Independence Day activities going on in surrounding towns with them.

I am so thankful to them and to all the people that seem to magically appear on my bad days to turn things around. I’ll be frustrated with work or feeling homesick or on the verge of dismantling a youth group and someone will stop me on the street to chat or my neighbors will invite me over for cake or some small child will run up to give me a hug. The roller coaster never ends, it seems, but the lows never last too long with all of these wonderful people surrounding me.

So, after the boys rescued me and took me dancing and various Independence Day activities and a relaxing weekend at the lake with fellow volunteers, I’m feeling rejuvenated. The rest of this month will be all about regrouping. I’m determined to make the world map and youth camp happen and am determined to wow the new mayor. The current administration wasn’t particularly interested in utilizing my skills (which is also partly my fault for not being particularly aggressive), but I’m not going to let the new team miss out on what I have to offer. Licensiada Carmen in the house. And I mean business.

Presenting the new mayor Joselito Lechuga (yes, his last name means “lettuce”)

One of the music mobiles that drove around playing campaign songs all day, every day.

Painted walls, banners, flags.

Typical lightpole during elections.

This was a helpful handout distributed by the mayor’s party to voters. Ballots in the elections are color coded (blue for department positions, pink for municipal positions, white for president/VP, green for “national list deputies” and yellow for Central American Parliament) and utilize the party logos rather than names. I think this is mainly to ensure that illiterate populations can still participate. Hence all the money spent on painting the party logos/colors everywhere. 

Three youth group members and me on Independence Day. The girl with the sash won Niña Paz or Miss Peace for her school. Each school elects a few princess type things for September 15th.

Showing off the national symbols during the Independence Day parade- yes, he’s in one of my youth groups too!

I just really like that drawing of the outgoing president, Alvaro Colom.

Of course the marching band had to play too! Gotta love those fedoras.

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4 Responses to Regrouping

  1. D D says:

    be. aggressive. be be aggressive.

    (loved the photos)

  2. Andrea Clark says:

    love it

  3. Ta-Na-Na-Na says:

    that’s the best looking marching band. ever.

  4. pelliroja says:

    I want to be a princess type thing!

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