Last week I spent four days at the locale where I will be working for the next couple of years after PST. Imagine a small Las Vegas in a mountain valley and you’ve got a pretty good idea. (Strip included) The IT Development Center of the town is the NGO where I will be working, amongst other projects still to be determined. The director is a pretty great guy, as well as my counterpart who returned with me for a 2-day Counterpart Conference that was organized back at a mountain resort near our training site. My new host family was pretty great, as well. I have to live with them for about four months and then will have my own place just in time for a nice warm winter. I have one other site mate who is a health volunteer that is just down the street with her host family.
It’s a complete 360 from my village training site. Instead of a village of a 1,000, it’s a town of 7,000. Instead of green rolling mountains/hills; dry rocky peaks. I have to say that I’m quite pleased with my Program Manager’s decision to place me here. The futbol stadium is one of the best in the country, and next to it is a sports school with basketball courts and boxing bags. I’m also only a 15 minute bus ride to the next town over which is basically a big college campus where a few volunteers are working at the university. It was actually quite sad to say bye to my host family back at my training village for the four days, we’d become really close in just a month and my language was coming along and so we were understanding each other better. But when I got back, we had a barbeque and they wanted to know EVERYTHING. Especially mom … so what did we do, we made raspberry liqueur that will be ready exactly on my birthday. I don’t think any further explanation into just how cool this lady is needed.
More photos are up on the Flickr photostream of both my permanent site visit and the counterpart conference we attended.