When life hands you lemons…

…distract yourself with Christmas crafts!

Edited to add: BLOG FAIL! I wrote and attempted to post this on Sunday but something went awry. I’m now back from my site visit but figured I’d still go ahead and share this post even though it’s a little late. I’ll be sure to write about my new site as soon as I have some time – possibly Friday? For now I’m up to my ears in grant applications for my new project and I’m spending the day tomorrow baking for the PC Christmas Party! So, back to my musings from this past Sunday:

There’s no denying that the past few weeks, and really the past couple months, have been rough. I now have a new site assignment and I’m going there to visit today (!!!) but I’m not sure when I’m officially moving there (weird timing with the holidays) or where I’ll live (PC is requiring that I live with a family for a month so hopefully I’ll figure that out this week). I’m not sure what the project will be like or when we’ll be able to start work. I’m not sure when I’m returning to my old site to pack up or how much I’ll be able to stay involved in the water project there. So what I’m saying is, my life is a big mess of uncertainty right now, although it’s definitely a relief that as of Tuesday at least I have a destination instead of being stuck in the capital without an end in sight.

All I know about my new site is the name and general location, that they need clean water and are ready to start work as soon as possible, and a few other details that my friend and fellow PCV who already lives there has told me about the community. That’s right, Peace Corps already has a presence in this site. There are currently two volunteers living there – one Appropriate Technologies volunteer from my group who is working with cacao farmers to improve their drying and fermentation processes and a new Business volunteer who just moved there to help improve sales and business practices with the cacao farmers once the solar dryers and fermentation boxes are in use. So, although three PCVs in the same site is not common, my late-in-the-game site change threw everyone for a loop so the bosses decided to go ahead and let me work there. I’m glad they came around since it was really the only option that PC gave me that has an established water committee and funding in the works, meaning hopefully I won’t wait forever to start working and can still potentially finish up my service sometime next summer (no one-year extension, but that’s a story for another time).

I’ll be sure to share details of my site visit later this week but for now I’m happy to report that while I’m still really sad to leave my site, I’m optimistic and excited for this new project too. And in the meantime, I’ve been in the capital for nearly three weeks and “making lemonade” with these lemons I’ve been given. I’ve been occupying myself by decorating the volunteer lounge for the holidays! Using only materials I already had in my craft suitcase (Hi, my name is Ellen and I hoard art supplies), the decorations from my house from last Christmas (at least the ones that my pup didn’t eat – my $2 fake tree became a Moca chew toy a while back), and a few packs of colored paper (total cost: about $3), I created a winter wonderland here in our little Caribbean haven. Soon I’ll share pictures and links to tutorials for some fun holiday crafts!

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