Aside from my post on Christmas this week, I somehow went an entire month without posting, although that wasn't the intention. In quick review, it was a busy but fun month:
(1) I resigned to twiddling my thumbs somewhat during December, with a feria patronal and municipal holiday the entire second week, and 3/4ths of my relevant counterparts on vacation all month;
(2) I dedicated most of my mental energy to finishing out the guide class I started in September (we had classes on plant identification, security/first aid, how to give a good tour, and a field trip to a nearby archeological park);
(3) the entire week before Christmas myself and all the other municipal employees put off anything else that might have been important and scrambled to pull together the inauguration of the mayor's enormous pet project, and
(4) my boyfriend came to visit for two awesome weeks over Christmas and New Year's. Truth be told, we didn´t have to survive the holidays... they were great. What merited some difficulty was processing the news we´ve just received...
The news: On Dec. 16th we were informed by Peace Corps that my group will not be replaced. The same decision was made for El Salvador, and Honduras volunteers will actually be evacuated while PC/Washington evaluates operations there. I may write more about this later, but the bottom line is that the decision was, as far as we know, not precipitated by any specific events in Guatemala that might threaten volunteers. From my perspective there's no reason for folks at home to be more concerned than usual about us here in Guate, as it's more a precautionary measure related to the regional security situation.
I kept to myself about it over Christmas, but I started sharing the news with my counterparts last week, and they are actually pretty disappointed. It brings home what a bummer this really is, and I've started to get a little more anxious about doing them justice and leaving some sort of sustainable momentum. One step at a time is all, though.
On the positive side I've decided to take on two personal projects to help channel that energy: one is the Couch 2 5K program, so that I come back to the States in good shape and ready for summer adventures; the other is post on the blog a lot more frequently, perhaps even every other day or so.
We'll see what these last three months bring! (Wow. Last three months. Thinking that out loud makes me feel like an Edvard Munch painting.)