So, despite the continuing frustration of being unable to get my computer to connect to the internet (although I now think is a problem with the internet and not my computer), the last several days have been very rewarding. On Friday we had our first big rain of the season, complete with hail. It decided to start while I was visiting the new Despensa Familiar (a WalMart owned grocery store chain). Before you hit me or congratulate me on my visit (depending on your individual view on WalMart) I would like to be very clear that I will not be going back. I only went to see if I could find peanut butter or instant hot chocolate which are the two things I miss most that cannot be found in the local market alongside pineapples and carrots. They had neither. WalMart is back to being completely useless and a giant eyesore. However, I did get to try out the awesome lime green lace-up rain boots that I bought at the market in Antigua. They make all the rain completely worth it.

Friday night I had a candle-light meeting with our tourism committee (CAT which is made up of representatives of many different tourism and artisan organizations that we have here). Not many people showed up, but we were productive none-the-less, and I feel like I have some really concrete steps I can take to keep moving forward. I was also told, by the president of the committee, to take a weekend vacation outside of my site to have a breather, which makes me feel like my work and need for downtime is recognized. It won't happen for several weeks, and it will be filled with errands and work, but I do have a weekend away on the books.

Saturday I honestly have no idea what I did, but on Sunday morning I got up early to go out and observe a school that we have here that is held only on Sundays. The woman with whom I share an office (who has been a godsend in navigating the municipality) is a volunteer math teacher there. It is really amazing; different members of the community volunteer their time on Sundays from 8-12 to teach subjects like natural sciences, math, typing, and Spanish in an old building on the edge of town. She invited me knowing that I was working on environmental education. Before Sunday morning I really had no idea what they did there and I was just planning on observing to see what type of education the community was already offering. Instead, I ended up teaching an hour-long natural science class to 25 14-year-olds. Not to pat myself on the back, but I think it was really empowering for everyone involved. We did an interactive activity that illustrated the interconnectedness of everything in our environment. They are not at all used to interactive activities since nearly all the classes here are lectures, so they were taken aback at first and very shy. However, by the end of the class several of the students were asking me about global warming and what the environment is like in the United States. We also talked about the power that they have in their homes and with their friends. I can only hope that some wheels may start turning about the little changes that they can make that can have a BIG impact here.

Sunday afternoon Chase came to visit me, and since we didn't have a whole lot of time we just wandered around the city and chatted. However, we did find a restaurant that has really good burgers and even better French fries (they were almost like fries in the states). Also, he brought me another blanket which will be much needed now that the rainy season has started and it is a little chillier at night. I have certainly slept better the last couple of nights.

Yesterday I went to work for just a few hours in the morning, and spent the rest of the day sleeping. Thank goodness I haven't gotten seriously sick yet (no giardia), but there have been a few days here and there where I have no energy and just feel generally shaky and blah. So far I have just let myself sleep when I feel like that, and maybe that is the reason I haven't gotten anything worse. Haha! I have such good little white blood cells.

Today was back to action. I got into the office really early and got some writing done on my manual for the teachers on non-formal and environmental education. Then, for the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon, I went to a meeting of all of the groups of the municipality. We had presentations on electrical and water development projects, reforestation projects, HIV and AIDS education projects, presentations from the municipal firefighters and many, many others. The alcalde (mayor) also presented me to the whole group. However, sitting with me through the whole meeting (in my lap) was a little baby bird that just about literally fell into my lap while I was waiting for the meeting to start.

Baby, as of yet, does not have a name. I looked and looked for a nest, but all of them were far too high up in the ceiling to reach, and leaving him/her was out of the question with all of the big feet and wild dogs running around. I think it is some sort of sparrow or chickadee, but I am not quite sure. I have sent pictures out to several people to help me identify the species so we can find out what baby's favorite foods are. So far I have been using a syringe to feed a watery corn mixture, and it has eaten a few fruit flies that I so skillfully managed to catch. At the moment, baby is curled up with its head under its wing in a towel between two old pop bottles filled with hot water inside a box next to my bed. Poor little thing has had a really big day and is downright exhausted. I didn't really plan on having a pet here, but I guess one has found me. Anyone have suggestions for names?

Well, it is about time for me to put my head under my wing as well. Tomorrow is lots more work and more meetings. One of the other volunteers has a workshop here in my site tomorrow and Thursday so I will have company here tomorrow night. It is pretty exciting having another volunteer here to get to know and it will be nice to have someone to visit with since the woman who owns the house I am living in is in Norway for three weeks. Her brother and the house keeper are here sporadically, but we don't visit quite so much. Okay, my battery is almost gone and the power just went out so it is time to sign off for now. Vaya bien! 
First of all, I have to send out a big "Hooray!" to Dad for the fact that I am sitting in my comfy bed (thanks to Doña Juanita), eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich (for which I owe a big thanks to Chase), and typing on my new computer (this is where Dad comes in). My computer (an HP mini which I have named Black Bean), I have to say, is just the cutest darn thing with an AC adapter I have ever seen, and it works like a dream. I am well aware as I sit here that, while I still have troubles from time to time, any sacrifices I am making pale in comparison to those made by individuals like Eric's brother and his wife, Jon, and Craig (among many others) when they served in the Peace Corps in the days before e-mail and Skype. Even people serving in Guatemala several years before me didn't have the now mandatory cell phone. I am truly blessed to be in such a wonderful site (it gets more and more amazing here every day) at a time when technology still allows me to stay in touch with all of the people who are so important to me back in the United States (and even a few more thanks to the viral-like presence of Facebook ;)).

So Dad is the genius behind the computer, but even he couldn't overcome the Guatemalan Postal System. How, you ask, did my computer get here? Well, it just so happens that my Training Director at the Peace Corps is from Minnesota, and his parents and some friends of theirs came down to visit for Easter. The friends (since my Training Director's parents are living in FL) were kind enough to carry my computer down here for me (they have even been described as guarding it with their lives). It was even brought out to me in my site, the added bonus being that I had my first ever tour group. We had a great morning (although we were a little short on time). Our first stop was my house where we had a quick snack of some of the tastiest pineapple I have ever had. They are able to assure anyone who still has doubts that I am living in an above-par location. Next, we went out to Jimmy and Ingrid's house to see how they process and dye the cotton yarn that they sell and use for weaving. Of course, after that we had to go to Jimmy and Ingrid's store to see the final products (several of which have a new home in Minnesota). The store is amazing and took plenty of time so we made just a quick stop at the house Maria Elena, the granddaughter of the famous painter Andres Churuchich. Sadly, we didn't have time to listen to all of the history, but we did find a few more treasures that will be making their way back to Minnesota. Last, but certainly not least, we had an amazing lunch waiting for us at another house. The Doña there also makes textiles and beautiful napkins, one of which was given to each of the women as a gift. I have to say; my eyes leaked a little to see the wonderful and heartwarming interaction between the amazing people from my home state and the amazing people that make up my new home.

Also in this edition; before I left I made a mix that I gave to a few close friends and family members. However, I didn't have the time (or rights) to give it to nearly as many people as I would have liked. It is a series of songs that have inspired me and/or kept me going through the whole process of applying to the Peace Corps (which is much tougher than it sounds) as well as songs that have little bits and pieces of how I see the world. I can't type nearly fast enough or take even close to as many pictures as I would need to share this experience with everyone, but some of these songs bring me one step closer. I am also adding songs that were not in the original mix (in italics).

Blog Bonus: Morgan's Peace Corps Mix
Now that I Know (Acoustic) – Shannon McNally
Every Single Soul – Michael Franti & Spearhead
Little Victories – Matt Nathanson
Don't Wait Too Long – Madeleine Peyroux
Oxygen – Willy Mason
Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple
Shroud – Ani Difranco
Life Uncommon – Jewel 
Rise – Flobots 
Hard Hand to Hold – Willy Mason
Better Way – Ben Harper
Let It Be – The Beatles
Where is the Love – Black Eyed Peas
Backbone – Wookiefoot
With My Own Two Hands – Jack Johnson
Joy to the World – Three Dog Night