I am still here! This whole internet thing is becoming tedious and takes a bit of planning, but I am still here. I spent most of last week traveling around fighting off boredom and the urge to spend hours upon hours in my hammock. So instead I spent that time on a bus (though I am not sure which is better). When I got off of the bus, at least, I was somewhere new and was able to meet up with friends. I went to San Salvador twice since my last update to visit Ismael, went south almost to the airport to spend the night at a friends house, and met up for dinner and a girls night with a few friends on Saturday. It’s been good to get out, good to trade some DVDs with my friend, good to eat somewhere other than my kitchen, and oh so good to see Isma. It seems right now that all of us (my friends, Isma, and myself included) are in an antsy state. We are about three months away from going home, so Peace Corps has started sending out wrap up information. Our closing conference is one month away, at which point we have to turn in our flying out dates! It all seems very close, yet still far away. It seems that work things are progressing and hopefully will be wrapping up. At the same time, knowing that I will not be here much longer, I am starting to miss little things like a car, living close to a city, and a house with air conditioning (but that may be because it’s the hottest month of the year down here). Also, Ismael and I are getting a little tired of this whole long distance thing. So, while three months is not much time, we are all about ready to take that next step.
Somewhere in my recent traveling days I found time to redo my Peace Corps Partnership grant budget. We were looking to submit an adjusted budget to receive the already-donated funds. Today, however, I went online to see where the project was at and it is no longer on the website! That really can mean only one thing…we got fully funded!!! I don’t know where more money came from, but thank you to all of you out there who participated. I just talked with my advisor and she said we should expect a check in about three weeks. There will be a more formal thanks to all of you donors, but I hope you can share in my happiness right now and celebrate because WE DID IT!
On another positive note, we received our first update this week on the visa application since the notice of receipt back in November. It was a request for some additional information, but what that means is that they have started processing our request! They wanted proof that Ismael and I have met in person at least once within the past two years. That shouldn’t be a problem because I currently live in El Salvador and see him on an almost-weekly basis, but they want evidence. So I have copies of my Peace Corps assignment, my visa, and entry and exit stamps from the country. Hopefully with this information, they will be able to finishing processing our permission and we will be dealing with the Embassy by the end of next month. So this is where things may start to get exciting (or overwhelming… we have to wait and see). Depending on how overwhelming, we are looking at Ismael possibly moving home once this permission comes through to handle most quickly the next step of the visa process. It’s all awaiting this permission right now, though.
This week I am hanging out, waiting for some checks, watching “new” DVDs, and trying to help Donovan get comfortable with his new cage. We are not exactly sure when he will be making the trip to the states, but the more comfortable he feels in the cage, the better the trip. On Sunday, Ismael and I are hoping to go to one last Salvadoran rodeo. Fiesta season has basically been over since February, but there is one final, pretty large fiesta this weekend, and Isma does not want to miss it (not knowing when we may head back down to here for another one, he says).
So that’s life right now: on the verge of some big things happening (on the work front and in my personal life) and feeling ready for that change. The other big news I am waiting to hear about is whether or not I will be getting a replacement volunteer next month. That will also affect my work because I may be trying to turn over those projects to the new person; if not, I will be rushing to get things done by July! I will not know any more about that until the end of the month, though, so until then I am working on having patience.
Final update: It hailed yesterday afternoon. I went home a little early from work and went to pay the months rent and Donovan and I made it home just before the storm hit. I had little dime-sized ice balls melting on my floor and the temperature dropped from high 80s to about 60 within a few hours! And I thought I was in a tropical climate!