Two Peace Corps projects have consumed most of my time.  The first is continuing to train the Park Rangers in using a laptop computer.  We had to send our laptop into the city for six weeks which was a bit of a setback.  The tutoring is slow due to the newness of them using a keyboard and mouse for the first time however we’re starting to see progress which is mutually satisfying.  I have received a new laptop which I’m hoping is a little more reliable.

On the second project a group of villagers wanted to start a bakery.  Representatives from the Medical Mission will be coming out from the capital to sponsor the initial training and provide a few months of startup supplies.  I offered to develop a bookkeeping process for managing bread sales and supply inventory which was appreciated.  There is great incentive for me here as I miss having access to fresh bread.  We spent a great deal of time making cement blocks and constructing the oven.  If we’re lucky we will begin making bread in another week or so.

I had a wonderful surprise when I arrived in the city and checked my email.  Peace Corps HQ in Washington, DC matched me up with a primary school class on the Pine Hill Indian reservation in South Dakota.  The school teacher and my wife decided to expedite the postal process so the kid’s letters were sent to Oregon, scanned into a computer, and then sent to me via email.  Needless to say I was quite humbled to have a wonderful group of new pen pals wanting to write me with all kinds of questions: catching piranhas, walking in the jungle, charging batteries, language…….the list goes on.  They are fortunate to have a wonderful teacher who has traveled extensively and understands the importance of reaching out to others.  How I was chosen to be the recipient is itself a blessing.  This leads me to my closing comment.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.