While I haven't seen huge changes in Guatemala in the four-and-a-half months that I have been here, I have noticed big changes in myself. I could have told you when I was packing my bags that I wasn't going to save the world by joining the Peace Corps, I just hoped to make a small difference in people. What I couldn't have told you is that it really has nothing to do with me. I am still happy to be here, and I feel productive and I can see that I have an impact in the friendships I am forming here and the information that people seek. I am not discouraged or disappointed. My goals haven't changed, much. How I want to reach my goals has changed, and I realize that I have too. When I got here, I was focused on my list of things to accomplish, on things I could say "I" have done. Being me, I will always be conscious of results, but now it seems to me to be a much bigger accomplishment to have someone ask me for information so they can accomplish something. I guess that is what is at the heart of the Peace Corps.

Many people have expressed their admiration for what I am doing, or mentioned that they are living vicariously through me. I am proud to have such wonderful people who are proud of me, but there is so much that needs to be done that that one person can't possibly even find the beginning alone. One of the most apparent causes of many problems here, and in many countries, is a lack of family planning. Fortunately, there are other organizations doing wonderful work in this field. Alas, or Wings in English, is a group that works in education and funding for family planning in Guatemala. 


Another problem that I come literally face to face with many times a day here is the number of "wild" dogs, and the general treatment of animals. This is a very difficult problem for me since I know that there is no way to address the treatment of farm animals especially, with a community that is struggling to feed their children. When people are unable to provide for their families (family planning comes in here again) the humane treatment of animals and conserving natural resources is a luxury. However, I do believe that education in this area would go a very, very long way, and rescue shelters and adoptions agencies are too far and few between. I am very lucky to live within bussing distance of a no-kill shelter, and one of the only shelters I have found in Guatemala. They also work to educate children about the humane treatment of animals, and have a spay-and-neuter clinic.


I have posted a general notice on my blog that the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. I would hope that the websites I have posted here are not controversial, since they are working tirelessly to promote education and opportunity. However, it is worth saying yet again that these views are mine and mine alone. Working for the Peace Corps has given me a chance to travel and live outside of the United States, and it has given me the opportunity to obtain a unique view of the world that is uniquely my own. Please take the time to visit these websites and see some of the wonderful work that is being done here, and what wonderful work still remains to be done.

God(dess) bless, Go well, Give of yourself

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