Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My last week

Zdraveytey, Everyone!

Sorry about the super long delay in updating my blog. As it turns out, the last week has been one of the busiest I’ve had in a long time. Essentially this was finals week and our projects were due, not to mention our final exams.

Let’s start with the exam because it’s shorter to explain. During each volunteer’s training period they undertake two Language Proficiency Interviews (LPI). The first time they take around the halfway point, it’s really more of a warm up for the real thing with lower expectations and easier questions like what you eat for breakfast and perhaps your daily schedule. The second time they bring in the real thing. They’ll ask you questions based on what you used to do in your hometown, they’ll ask what you will do at your permanent site and the bar they set is significantly higher making much more difficult to prepare for the questions. My interviewer said that she was going to be asking questions such that the memorized answers that I made for the standard questions would be useless. If you failed the LPI, you were given one more chance six months from that date. I think I did pretty well even though it feels like I did minimal studying. Which is probably true. And by probably I mean very. And by very I could mean totally…

Now each training group (there’s one in several different towns in my region) is to arrange and perform a final community project. Some groups painted bus stops. Some groups painted walls. Our group built a freaking soccer field. To be fair, most of the work was done by the community but that was the point of the project. We were to get the community members involved in every step of the process. The idea we had was to get the children, for whom the field was meant for, to help as much as possible resulting in them having a stronger emotional connection and thus a less likely chance of marring the field… or stealing the goal nets. The field, however, was a huge problem. It was covered in weeds that the most dangerous lawn mower I have ever seen could not handle. That’s why the three of us took to the field with the rusty tools that the mayor’s office provided. It was a great time. We were chopping weeds, turning over the dirt so the chalk had somewhere to go that wouldn’t blow away and picking up broken pieces of glass. I forgot to mention. This field is where the locals go to burn their trash. There was a lot of garbage in the corners of the field. Also, this was done in the middle of the day. In other words, we were tired as hell. The end result, however, was actually pretty impressive. The soccer field looks like something out of Thunderdome or a terrible fantasy setting with small tree stumps growing out of a single region of the field, burn marks all over the place where the piles of grass and garbage were incinerated, and it was on a hill. We placed a soccer field on the side of a slope. It turned out really well. That Saturday we held a bunch of games for the kids where they played each other. Then we went to the local store and got them all ice cream. It was a good time.

So that’s how I spent my last week. Today, however, I don’t have anything to do so I’m just sitting in my room writing a blog post that will be posted whenever I find a wifi hub. This Friday is my swearing in and by Saturday afternoon I'll be at my own apartment at my permanent site. I'm gonna sleep real well.

This is the Peace Corps and we can play soccer anywhere we want, dammit.



  1. What all does one swear about with the swearing in?

  2. Ok, so which way does the soccer field slope? :-)
    I hope you got pictures of yourself working in the sun. LOL

  3. yo zack... i'm gonna link to your blog. cool? i'm sure it is :)

  4. i'm surprised you haven't started to call it football yet! my kids were all like, soccer, wft?

  5. I love this post. The idea of a futball field on a slope is fantastic, and I love your "this is the peace corps" signature this time around. I too am curious: does the slope mean the ball always rolls down off the center of the field, or does it mean that one team has to shoot up-hill for a goal?

  6. OKay... The field is totally sloped toward one goal. It is completely lopsided (in both alignment and advantage) to the team at the top of the hill. It turns out a ball goes further when kicked down a hill rather than up a hill.

    Also... it's always been football to me. Soccer is so you silly Americans wouldn't be confused.

  7. "...a ball goes further when kicked down a hill rather than up a hill." Really?! LOL

    ...and back to Al's comment, what DO you swear about? "I promise to do no evil," sort of thing?
    'Enquiring minds want to know.'

    By the way I just noticed the links in the upper r.h. corner!

  8. YOU?! not studying for an exam?! NEVER! blows my mind.
    mr. "i've got an exam in like 5 minutes, but school meeting ran over... i think i'll go play some games!"

    anyway, futbol field sounds cool. i hope they trade off who gets the top goal each half or something.