Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When did things stop feeling new?

I know I've kind of been slacking on the whole monthly video thing.  I apologize but to be honest I stopped taking videos last month.  I have videos for all of January but haven't gotten around to editing an putting them together but I will do that at some point in the near future.  I guess I've just gotten a little distracted, lazy, and kind of "not in the mood" to take videos.  Sorry, Mom!  But here's an update anyways on something I realized the other day...

So I was on the bus the other day--Soyuz, which is the bus line that I take pretty much anytime I travel farther than Pisco.  It's the bus that I have to take to get anywhere basically.  If I get on it heading south I'll end up in Ica, and usually when I head north I am en route to Lima.  One day I started trying to add up how many hours of my life I have spent on a Soyuz bus but after awhile it became pretty ridiculous so I stopped.  Anyways, I was on the bus on my way to a regional meeting in Cerro Azul, a coastal town about 2 hours north of my site.  As I was listening to a podcast of This American Life and gazing out the window all I could think of was "ugh I'm sick of seeing the same crap every time I'm on the bus: sand and desert with a few towns sprinkled along this highway."  As this thought developed I had  a flashback to one of the first few times I rode the Soyuz bus.  My face was glued to the window as I was gazing out and trying to soak up anything and everything I was seeing.  I remember feeling so excited to notice the smallest things: a deserted beach with one or two little shack structures where people would sell snacks during the summer, a message painted or carved into the side of a hill, a particular billboard or sign with something misspelled.  It was all so new and so exciting to be experiencing.  And these feelings continued for awhile every time I rode the bus.  But when did those feelings stop?  When did the excitement fade?  At what point did these things not feel new anymore?  I guess in a way it was a good sign: I was integrating, getting used to my new life here and things started to feel normal and typical.  But on the other hand it's a little sad that things seem to have lost their luster.  At this point in my service it's hard to think back to these instances and remember how fresh everything felt.  Maybe at this point in my time here...some 18+ months in I have just become bitter and jaded and have accepted everything as just plain old life.  Nowadays I only get these excited, "new" feelings when I travel to a different part of Peru and experience it for the first time.  While I love and value these new experiences I guess I just miss the "new" feeling being a part of my daily life.

Can you tell that being a Peace Corps Volunteer gives you plenty (read: too much) time on your hands to think and reflect about anything and everything?  Anyways, that's my tidbit for now.  I'll try and update again soon and maybe even get around to organizing those January videos.

Until next time,

Todd

Friday, February 14, 2014

December 2013 in 93 seconds

Happy New Year!  Before we get too excited about 2014, check out my last video of 2013--December in 93 seconds (sorry...I've been trying to upload since Jan but my internet hasn't been the best).  Enjoy!

Todd

video

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November?

Bad news....I went on a video hiatus for the month of November!  Good news....I've already begun for December so check back in January!

Abrazos!

Todd

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August 2013 in 93 seconds

A trend has started among some volunteers in my region here in Peru.  It's a small project in which we take short video clips each day and then put them all together to create a video that gives our family and friends a shapshot of what our lives have been like over the course of a month.  Most people use 2-second clips so that they have a video of "a month in a minute" at the end, but I thought this was too short so I used 3-second clips to make my month in 93 seconds.  I tried to capture a variety of things like daily routine activities, work stuff, fun stuff, and then some random and unexpected things.  So here is my first video from August 2013 to show you what my life has been like for a month serving in Peace Corps Peru, all condensed into 93 seconds.  Enjoy!

Todd

video

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When it rains, it pours.

Alright, I'm back again for a quick update.  The past few weeks have been incredibly busy, and I will briefly explain the title of this post.  I've noticed in my Peace Corps service that the amount of work and projects comes in some pretty intense waves (o olas en EspaƱol).  For a few weeks I will have very little work, with very few opportunities to contribute to projects.  But then all of a sudden a huge SURGE will come and I will have 12 things to do at once!  That's how I've felt the past few weeks.  Last week my APCD (boss of the Env program) came for a site visit...for 3 days!  Usually he only visits with volunteers for a couple of hours, but I suppose he likes my little coastal site so much that he decides to stay here for a few days.  Everything went well and we had some really good talks and meetings with socios.  It looks like I'll be getting a sitemate for at least 6 months--a volunteer finishing up his service in November wants to extend and get some more marine bio experience for grad school so he is probably headed here to work with IMARPE, the marine lab I've been doing some work with in the past few months.
In addition to this site visit, last week I went to Ica to welcome some new volunteers that will be coming to the region once they officially swear-in.  They came for a week to visit their sites and get to know people in their communities.  LIcaH will officially be getting 4 lovely ladies added to their family next week.  It was a great couple of days to show them around the regional capital, explain a little bit more about service and the region, and we also went sandboarding!  It was a lot of fun, but my mind was all over the place with work stuff.
Last Wednesday was also the deadline for a grant application I've been working on.  I am coordinating a project with my Municipality and a social company that build wind turbines in order to build and install a small renewable wind energy system.  Paracas is a super windy site and this type of project is ideal.  Plus it's a great opportunity to teach the local community about renewable energy and how these technologies can help to mitigate climate change.
Oh yeah, and last week I moved!  I switched host families to a new place only 5 minutes down the road.  I've got a lot more independence and am able to cook for myself, plus the room is a lot nicer and it's the same price I was paying before.  It was kind of awkward and difficult to leave my old host family, but I know it will make me happier throughout the duration of my service.
I've got a project coming up that I'm really looking forward to!  Towards the end of the month I will FINALLY be starting my sea lion project that I started planning this past January.  My socio that I had been planning it with took a new job in Lima, so it kind of got lost in the dust but luckily it's been resurrected!  The plan is for me and a socio from SERNANP to spend 5 days each month out on the Islas Ballestas, and we will be observing and monitoring the impacts of tourist activities (tour boats) on the local sea lion populations.  Most all of the details have been worked out and finalized, so it looks like it's going to happen!
Alright, that's all I have time for right now.  This week I am working on edits to my grant application and coordinating more with SERNANP to prepare for our sea lion study.  Being busy makes me happy! 

Until next time,
Todd