So about a week into CBT. That is crazy. It means we are about 4 weeks from being back in Santo Domingo. Let me just say I think the consensus is we are all loving being out of the city. We are now in the campo. So far we have had to go interview members of the community for a community diagnostic. I was not liking this because we have to really put ourselves out there. I told Ashley and Dana that I hate talking to strangers the first time. Ashley said based on yesterday I am already improving.
Another part of it is that we need to do a presentation of our community diagnostic tomorrow. Let me simply say that I did not think about how being in the Peace Corps would require my coloring skills. I can be precise with powerpoints, but on a charla paper (just a big sheet of paper that we use for visuals in charlas) without a yardstick, limited pencils (we did not all prepare as well as Ashley) I feel over my head. I like things to look very precise and that does not always happen. Luckily for the calendar of seasons, I rigged a compass with my seamripper, scrap yarn and one of Ashley’s precious pencils (there are only 3). I am proud of our work and tomorrow we present in Spanish the findings of our community diagnostic in Spanish. We had to write out a lesson plan and did so in Spanish. When our Spanish “facilitator” saw it in Spanish, she conveyed surprise. Apparently we could have done that in English. However since all of our findings will be delivered in Spanish, I don’t see that we really did that much extra work.
So how does CBT work. We head out depending on our program to community sites to learn our technical skills and of course practice Spanish. The training site in Santo Domingo is nice and tranquil. Tranquil is coming to mind more, because I use the Spanish frequently. However the walk to and from and getting around was not. A few times a week we all meet (you know the huge group of 6 plus 2 facilitators and our technical trainer), for technical charlas or fieldtrips to visit micro businesses (our first is coming up on Friday!). Spanish is every weekday for either the morning or afternoon portion. If we do not have technical training that day, it does not mean we are sitting around playing dominos and drinking coffee (or in my case juice). This week we were working our butts off to get everything done for the community diagnostic.
On Wednesday both Spanish classes joined together and we walked to the monument for the Mirabel sisters. I don’t know if you have read in the Time of Butterflies, but I am rereading it out of interest. I took some photos (I am doing my best to document this experience) and got one of our whole class. So you want some names, from left to right Matt, Jeff, Dana, me, Anna, Ashley.
So yesterday I shared a picture from the site our technical training classes are at. We study at the mansion. It was one of Trujillo’s summer homes, originally built by an American. I find that surreal.
Want to know what I am listening to as I write this and read old email chains (I got distracted), what you don’t want to know. Too bad. Prince Royce’s Stand by Me. I hope this interlude helped any of my friends who read it remember what conversations with me felt like
Only a little more to read in this disjointed entry, a charla is the word we use for the non formal education presentations we give. From the word charlar – to chat. Less intimidating than a presentation, although the Spanish makes it more intimidating to us.