I haven’t posted for a while as I burned through some of my annual leave to return to the US, I now have just 18 days left to spend between now and November. I took the time to do some 3Gol (or Third Goal) activities which promotes Peace Corps Third Goal which is to basically bring back and share at home our experiences in our host countries. I was able to attend a Peace Corps recruiting event in Phoenix Arizona, and I meet two candidates for Peace Corps in various stages of applying, as well as at a Peace Corps Fair in Tucson, Arizona.

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I’m not sure how many Peace Corps Volunteers, (PCVs), do 3Gol events during their time in the states, but I’ve gotten some interesting reactions to a currently serving volunteer coming home and going to recruiting events. As I look at it, I’ll be COSing (closing out my service or leaving Guatemala) in about 8 months, so I might not again have the opportunity to meet people and tell them about my experiences as a currently serving volunteer.

Most exciting was meeting again with twoe third and fourth grade classes that I am emailing letters describing my service and answering their questions about Guatemala. One of the fourth grade classes is even working on a project with me involving making coloring books to teach kids about good nutrition. I took about 30 of books in my back-pack on the airplane, and I was surprised by how much a stack of paper can weigh!

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It’s going to be interesting to see how I can use these in my site, and the director of my health center already asked for a copy.

My 3Gol kit from Peace Corps finally came while I was back in Tucson, and I got a ton of stickers, though I wasn’t able to use all of them. It also came with some books about teaching cultural diversity in the classroom and a map of the world showing where PCVs have served and are serving.

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I visited the world-famous UNESCO village of Antigua on the multi-day journey back to my site, and took some pictures as this town is very photogenic.

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I then parked myself at the best place to have breakfast in Antigua, Doña Luisa’s, and ordered the vegetarian omelette which was definitely one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. They put alfalfa sprouts on top, bean sprouts inside, along with other veggies like avocado and tomatoes in addition to cheddar cheese. I’m not used to eating such a stuffed omelette, the use of the alfalfa and bean sprouts definitely added a pleasant crunchy texture, and I love fresh veggies, a generous portion of salsa would have helped to marry the ingredients as the flavors are very fresh and distinctive. I’m probably used to eating sub-par omelettes in which it’s hard to tell what’s inside. I’d give this omelette 4.75 stars out of 5 and I’d definitely order it again, thought I might sneak in my own bottle of Chipotle salsa! Doña Luisa’s also houses a functional bakery so the bun that came with the omelette was fresh baked and tasted oh so good!

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I thought I wouldn’t have a lot of activities lined-up after my vacation, little did I know that I would be attending a health commission meeting, and explaining to a group of people, including my town’s city council, our plans for a garden project and how it ties into ameliorating the high level of chronic malnutrition and our Rueda de Practicas tool we use for house visits.

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I also was asked by the health center’s director to produce some materials to teach a group of pregnant women coming to the health center about the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy, and I added on a page with a weight chart that could be used to see if a woman is gaining enough weight during her pregnancy. I’m thinking this might be an activity that I could do with one of my health posts where the nurses have been interested in weighing women coming to our pregnant women’s group. I think it would be great to involve women in the analysis of their weight gain, and explain to them that this is a way for them to gauge how their unborn child is developing and whether they need to make changes in their diet.

It will be interesting to see if I can pull-off my household garden/nutritional education project and what happens with tracking weight gain during pregnancy among women in our pregnant women’s group.

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