29 October 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Your quote is an excerpt from the PCV Caribbean Cookbook, provided to every new trainee:

     1 Medium eggplant
     4 tbsp. Butter
     Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
     102 tsp. sweet or hot curry powder

Whoa! I like curry and all that, but when I get around to trying this recipe, I'm going to go on the assumption that it should actually read, "1-2 tsp..."

I am quite discontented that, for most likely another week, I have to resort to going to Ballahoo for internet service.  So if you're wondering where I am when making these posts and why they are coming at odd hours of the day, there you are.  But any excuse to visit my favorite restaurant in town is a good excuse!  For that matter, anyone that has plans for visiting me in paradise can expect to get their first meal on island from here; it's classy, sharp, "chillax," and (most important for an aspiring PCV) reasonably priced.

I tried out my first secondary (tertiary?) project yesterday.  A fellow volunteer is heading it up for her Service Learning Project, and it's a rather involved project empowering students to create, market, and distribute their own varieties of cereal.  Where do I come in?  I am helping her create a commercial that will (hopefully) be aired on the local television stations to both popularize the Healthy Breakfast Cereal Entrepreneurial Project and to provide a valuable PSA for viewers regarding healthier eating habits.  This involved getting motion capture from 19 3rd graders singing and dancing a song written specifically for the commercial, and then having them individually demonstrate certain healthy lifestyle habits.  All in all, the final product is about 90 seconds long, and so far is scheduled to air on television beginning on Sunday.

In other news, the October highlights video is complete!  It's way longer this time – nearly 15 minutes.  You'd be surprised just how different the apartment is with the new decorations and arrangements I've made in the two weeks I've been here, but I'll have to post the updated pictures later.  In the meantime, enjoy!

27 October 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Gorgeous

I forgot to mention in my last post that when in St. Paul's parish on Saturday, I myself finally got to go Dung By Betty for a late dinner.  And it lived up to the hype – it's hard to beat the warmth and filling sensation from the heap of carbohydrates in a satisfying platter of chicken and chips.  (That's, of course, fried chicken legs and french fries with cane sugar ketchup.)  So that might have to happen again, whenever I'm on that end of the island on a weekend.

Tuesday was its own story, a deluge of frustrations, glories, disappointments, and surprises.  It all started with a vain attempt to install a wireless cable modem in my apartment, a two hour exercise in futility.  Somewhere between the technician arriving at 9:30 and him leaving at 11:30, it became clear that mere access to the two coaxial jacks in my apartment was not enough, and the entire wiring had to be investigated.  However, this involved searching the adjacent apartment, since my cable is apparently at the end of the line, and nobody residing there has access to the adjacent apartment.  Moreover, my property manager could not be lifted by phone, and it is presently unclear whether or not he even has the necessary keys.  The sad offshoot of all this is that I probably won't have internet access at home for another week at the least.

I explained to my school that I would be arriving later that day, and so they were expecting me around noon when I arrived.  However, my contacts both had arrangements over lunch break, and so I found myself again admiring the simplicity and elegance of Plan A but resorting instead to Plan B.  In this case, I walked into town, where I had a few errands to run and could pick up lunch for cheap at the bayfront. When I got there, I found both shops that had exactly what I was looking for... closed.  I did manage to secure some lunch, however, in the form of Ms. Moore's exquisite salt fish fritters and passion fruit juice.  Yet another example of a day-brightening meal, but one that my arteries can only handle once per month or so.  (Compare it to eating a BK® Whopper for lunch.  Would you do it two days in a row? No.)

I somehow worked myself back to school, where my counterparts were ready to sit and dialogue with me on the various projects I am spearheading.  Right now, those are the Math Games and Activities collection that you have heard of here before, and the improvement and expansion of the school library.  I have made a gesture of good faith in both projects already, showing my willingness to move ahead with the project and my comfort level with the implementation with respect to both.  Now, I am mostly waiting on my school counterparts to make a similar display of commitment, in the first case actually trying out a handful of the math activities that I have developed and recording notes for their improvement, and in the second case nominating a handful of students that would be willing to help take on the project of improving the school library.  Who knows, at this stage, what timing will be involved in either effort, or whether or not either project will get off the ground?  Patience is the key.

So ultimately what needed to happen at school did, and I found myself trucking back into town to try those shops again and to catch a bus back home.  Lo and behold! Both shops are open for service, and had exactly what I was looking for: double-sided wall stickers for hanging things on concrete walls, and about 30 yards of fishing line to hang a curtain of CDs in front of my washing machine and appliances.  (I don't know that I can be more specific than that now, but pics soon will clarify.)  So with the bus back home, I discovered that my electricity was out.  And just when things were starting to look up!  I still had several hours of daylight; in theory that's enough time to still cook dinner for myself and a friend, but after hanging the Federation flag and the world map on my wall, and grocery shopping for that night, I was left with about an hour-and-a-half of daylight – not quite enough time to prepare vegetables, marinate mushrooms, boil water and cook rice, sauté the vegetables, and fry mahi-mahi patties.  So we lit a few candles and waited for my neighbor to get back home.  My neighbor surveyed the situation, walked out to the fuse box, and replaced my apartment's fuse with another one, and Ding! everything worked just fine.

I was able to wright yet another miracle in the kitchen, this time with an objective judge not myself.  Despite the difficulty in trying to recreate the success of a seeming fluke the second go around, and the fact that I was partially cooking in the dark, I think the pan-fried mahi-mahi on rice with veggies and marinated mushrooms turned out very pleasing.

Did I mention I cooked for myself last night?  So, all in all, everything worked out as planned except for the internet installation.  That's the happy ending!

25 October 2010

Of Hashers and Hollers

If you know me well, you know I don't deal healthily with being singled-out in a public setting; I personalize everything.  And as with so many other things here, being singled-out in public is feast or famine.  For example, walking the route to the Peace Corps Office two times over two different days: the first day I receive two calls of "Hey, white boy!" followed by some consternation at my unwillingness to acknowledge them; the second day I receive two "You are Peace Corps?" which is welcome, and two more "Chris! Good morning!" from passersby in cars (one of which passed before I recognized who it was).  So one can never tell, and being forced to deal with that uncertainty every time one walks into town can be wearying.  But I'm making efforts to expand my circles of acquaintance, from job shadowing at NSTP's non-profit analog Project Strong, to just making friends with the security guard who works at the entrance to my community.

Moreover, I went to my official virgin Hash on Saturday.  It was a 3.5 – 4 mile run around the railroad tracks at Kittitian Hill in St. Paul's.  Some frivolities took place, including an initiation ceremony.  It was nothing too demeaning, and quite mundane by some standards.  But everyone had a good time, and we had a strong turnout of PCVs, locals, Ross students, and British expatriates.  Pics soon.

The weekend felt long and was productive.  The key to a fun and productive weekend? A solid sleep schedule.  Staying up late one night, either Friday or Saturday, is fine, so long as there's time the following afternoon for whatever assignments/homework/chores needs to get done and an hour-long power nap.  In my case, I had Saturday morning and Sunday evening for a secondary iMovie project that needed to get done before Monday, and I was able to hang with friends after the Hash on Saturday, do chores on Sunday (including further decorate the apartment), and help a friend move into his apartment in Sandy Point on Sunday after church.  Decorating is indeed coming along, though a bit slower than I would like.  I need to pick up some adhesives and hanging materials next, but "Glen's BIG Deal" in town is always closed when I go by.

22 October 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Here's your quote, the salutation to a note left by the PCVs who left to me their wonderful apartment:

"Enjoy the ride!  
P.S. The weird looking thing in the freezer is Conch."

*horrified sharp intake of breath*

But in all sincerity, thanks again to you guys for all of your thoughtfulness and generosity in making my transition into the apartment smooth and (mostly) painless.  I've done some rearranging of furniture, added some decorations including a new Federation flag, and enjoyed the hammock on the porch enough for two years already.  I cooked stir-fry for myself last weekend too, which was an important step for me: it meant I'd finally got back to living on my own and being more independent.  I'm still working on some additional decorations, and I think the curtains in the bedroom need to go.  But other than that, some rudimentary repairs that may or may not happen soon, and getting cable internet installed, things are starting to come together acceptably.

After the movie on Monday went so well, I have not one... not two... three requests already for help with specific other slideshow presentations.  I guess that's what I get; maybe I should add "movie making" to my list of interests on my profile?  It's a good thing I enjoy it so much... More work and school updates next week.

20 October 2010

A Week in Sugar City

I apologize for my truancy; between moving into my apartment on Friday and Saturday, preparing an 8 minute movie for the Swearing-In Ceremony on Monday, and not having internet at home just yet, this is the first time I have been able to get online since Friday.  I have some good stories, though, and pictures! So you are obliged to forgive me.

Tropical Storm Otto on the Bay Road
Let's begin on Friday.  I moved into my "new" apartment that morning, took inventory stock of everything inside, literally and metaphorically, and rued the advent of a home-cooked meal that would not be mine to enjoy until Sunday night.  I took some pictures and video of the apartment as it was that first day, so that will go up with some other highlights at the end of this month.  Later, I spent the evening working on the movie, and at one point tried to plug an APC surge-protector strip into a 220-Volt adapter plugged into the wall.  The result was a loud BANG and all of the wall lights went out simultaneously.  *shock and dismay* It was clear that I had tripped the breaker on that circuit, but I hadn't even plugged anything into the APC strip yet!  Anybody have any idea why that would happen?  Nobody here had a similar experience, to my knowledge.  Ultimately it was fine, as Mavis helped me find the breaker box in my apartment, and we flipped the circuit back on with no problems.

The Bay Road following Otto
The next morning, Saturday, I was up early and bussed into town to purchase a house fan and EC$140 worth of cleaning supplies.  I gave my place a good scouring, including spending 3 hours on the bathroom alone, but not before getting home and realizing that despite having keys that turn the knob to my bedroom door lock, none of my keys actually unlock my bedroom door.  *extreme dismay* After about two hours of phoning friends and considering options I was eventually able to re-enter my bedroom, and I learned my lesson at that point.  Ultimately, I was able to get my laundry done on schedule as well, with time left in the afternoon for two walks down to the grocery store. 

Front of my apartment at Mattingley Heights
Now with a minimally stocked fridge and pantry, a clean apartment and some clean dishes, I was ready for anything.  Except, apparently, waking up the next morning to find I had accidentally left out my dish of food from the night before instead of putting it away and cleaning out the dish which I had intended to do.  What greeted me was a dish full of ants and a steady oncoming stream to and from the wall.  *mild dismay* It was nothing that a little Windex and Raid wouldn't fix.  (The Windex is perfect for stopping the ants in place immediately and sweeping them up with a paper towel, rather than spraying your dishes and counter with Raid.)

A view of the front step
My host father is gracious enough to give me a lift to church on Sunday mornings, despite my living on my own now, so I attended with him again that Sunday at St. George's Anglican.  I really enjoy it there, I'm getting around to recognizing people and they are getting around to recognizing me, though slower than I would have expected.  With a service identical to an Episcopal service in the States (except being twice as long), it is exactly what I grew accustomed to the last two or three years before moving back to Hiawassee.  The two hour service took only two visits before I didn't even notice anymore, and I'm quickly becoming accustomed to the parish-specific customs and songs.  For example, instead of reciting the Lord's Prayer after taking the offering, the congregation holds hands and sings the Lord's Prayer.  But of course, the music is not written down anywhere, so one must learn by ear the tunes intended to be chanted in both the bulletin and the Book of Common Prayer.  Just a few more visits, and I'll have it, no doubt.

A common Friday night sight from my veranda
Monday was the Swearing-In Ceremony.  As anticipated, it was akin to a college commencement, with formal protocol and remarks from a variety of VIPs, American, Kittitian, Peace Corps, and otherwise.  The Deputy Prime Minister was in attendance, and spoke on behalf of the Prime Minister and the sitting government.  The Deputy Governor-General was also there as Acting Governor-General, presumably because the appointed Governor-General is currently off-island.  Peace Corps's own Eastern Caribbean Country Director was there and made her encouraging comments.

At the Swearing-In Ceremony
I had not had the opportunity to hear the Deputy Prime Minister speak before, even though he is the government's appointed representative from my district, but it turns out he has a bent for the deadpan.  At one point, he apologized that his schedule did not permit him to stay longer, as his assistant scheduled for him a cabinet session that afternoon, but forgot to ask "whether or not he wanted to go to cabinet."  He cited his preference for the present company, and, in apologizing for the absence of the Prime Minister, pointed out that, curiously, he "would rather be in cabinet," to much laughter.

Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Sam Condor
The movie I compiled was a hit, I think.  I got lots of positive feedback from PCVs and host country nationals alike.  Yay, iMovie.  I can say with confidence that the audience laughed in all the right places, and I think the music selection went down well.  Especially popular was the wipe-to-profiles segment at 2:25.  Some people asked how I did that, but a true magician never reveals his secret.  For my part, I thought the music was a perfect fit for each segment, and catchy, too: I had "Don't Stop the Tempo" stuck in my head for days after.  I would have liked to add some footage from some other activities EC82 participated in, but a lack of either material, time left in the movie, or time left to make the movie constricted me to the four segments that ultimately passed muster.  And despite all of the planning and time and thought and attention that had been poured into making the movie happen, I was still so nervous on Monday morning, that I had to stand up in the back of the room whilst it was playing.

Newly dubbed PC Volunteers with PC Staff
But it all went well.  My class of EC82 stood and took our oath of service, not unlike the president's oath of office in structure and content, and signed official forms to the same end.  My fellow PCV from Nevis was asked to deliver the remarks from our training class, and performed with gusto.  He hit all of the good points and kept it brief and entertaining.  I will have his speech, as well as more photo and video footage from the ceremony, included in the highlight video for October.  But if you're dying for more video now, my friend from Antigua posted a video of some of her clips from St. Lucia and the first month at her site.

With that over and done with, most volunteers took the rest of the day off (it was 2 o'clock by the time we were back home, anyway) and we celebrated the end of training and the official beginning of a 730-day commitment to improving community-building capacity and bidirectional cultural discourse in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.  For my part, I am still engaged in my projects at the school and at the NSTP, so more specific updates for those in the future. And that brings everyone up to date.

P.S.  1500 all-time page views today.

15 October 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Yay for what I believe will be my last PST post! Here's your quote:

"For the next activity, I want you all to pretend...
like you can work together."

The tongue-in-cheek humor of our esteemed NGO Development instructor managed to lighten the mood for some of our number, after being confined to a little training room with the same people for far too long.  But with the end of training comes pictures of Happy Moments in PreService Training!

P.S. I've just seen my new apartment!  It's wonderful.  Hold out for new pics very soon.  I can't wait to get to cleaning it, decorating it, and making it my little corner of the world for the next two years.

13 October 2010

I Passed!

My final APCD assessment took place yesterday, and my assessors concluded that I would be "highly recommended" for Peace Corps service.  The bottom line: I will be sworn in on Monday as a PCV member of EC82.  The ceremony will draw top Peace Corps staff from St. Lucia, host families and co-workers, and even, perhaps, the Governor-General of St. Kitts-Nevis.  I will be working with fellow volunteers to compile a slideshow of activities and experiences from our brief time on island, which will be aired at the ceremony.  I, of course, will share the resulting video with readers following the event, as well as any pictures or video from the event itself at least by the end of the month.  We volunteers will be expected to learn the SKN national anthem!

My final day of training took place today.  It was kind of a tough end, since our schedule placed a workshop on dealing with at-risk youth as our last subject, which was an emotional subject to tackle.  But I am finally free to concentrate on job assignments, projects for school, developing after-school extra-curricular activities, moving into my new apartment, planning meals for the next week, budgeting money for my phone, household appliances, and groceries, running errands in town...
Whoa! Looks like it was easier pushing all these things back with PreService Training as an excuse!  Who knew?  But that's okay, the other side to finally filling up all of my week's time with projects and duties is that I finally have a week's worth of time to fill up.  And I think that's the consensus among my fellow Kittitian and Nevisian trainees: everyone is staying positive with PreService Training behind us, and learning to live on our own "island time" in front!

Also, Happy Birthday Jerry Rice; here's to your many accomplishments.

11 October 2010

Send Me a Package!

It's here: the address you were waiting for.  I will be moving into my own place within a week, so I welcome any thoughtful gifts or packages at that time.  Please bear in mind these considerations before shipping anything to me:
  • Shipping could take as little as 10 days, as long as 30 days.
  • I will be expected to pay duties on any merchandise that could be perceived as "new."
  • Please send all packages via US Postal Service.
... to this address:

Christopher Nelson
Peace Corps Office
College Housing Project
P. O. Box 246
Basseterre, St. Kitts
St. Kitts & Nevis, West Indies

Thanks in advance!

A Very Fun Weekend

While many of my fellow volunteers spent the weekend moving into their own apartments and houses for the first time, some without internet or washing machines, I enjoyed a relaxing weekend with new friends that were not so burdened.  On Friday night, several of us limed (līme v. to hang out with friends, or socialize in an organized public setting) at Frigate Bay, which is a collection of beaches, clubs, restaurants and resorts at the southern isthmus of the island.  My host sister escorted me, and we had a good time meeting up with friends, as well as new and old acquaintances.  Don't even ask how late I stayed up – you don't want to know!

Saturday I joined up with the group again and we trucked over to Cockleshell Beach, the southernmost tip of St. Christopher island.  (You did know that "St. Kitts" is short for St. Christopher, didn't you? ... I'm not kidding.)  But the beach, which is supposed to be one of the most idyllic on the island, got trounced by Tropical Storm Otto, so swimming and lounging looked less appealing the longer we hung out.  So we changed our minds and retraced our path back to the Marriott beach, the most posh beach on island.  We chilled for a few hours, and I swam out to the reef and back, maybe a distance of 150 feet from the shore.  So I missed the GT game, but in a very fashionable way.  We stuck around long enough for a pizza dinner at one of the Marriott resort's outside lounges, and it was so worth it.  Nothing like a pizza and Ting after a long swim!

I look forward to moving into my own apartment on this upcoming Friday and Saturday.  My host family has been more than accommodating, and is willing to go above and beyond to host me for one more week and help me move in.  Their generosity is much appreciated.  Also, the swearing-in ceremony is a week from today.  I'll get pictures and hopefully some video to share with everybody, no later than the end of this month.  I liked doing the brief video last time, so I might try to compile a little video once a month.  Sound good?

08 October 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Here's your quote:

"Did you know that there is a tropical 
cyclone formation right over you?"


But in all seriousness, I of course appreciate everyone that monitors the weather down here for me, especially since it is entirely possible that there could be a serious storm in the Caribbean and I might not notice until it was either too late or simply because it missed the island of St. Kitts.  However, in the case of Tropical Storm Otto, we definitely felt the worst of it.  Some even compared it to the effects of Earl, though fortunately the bad parts were mostly intermittent for the last few days, and not continuous for four days.  I know for my part, while my home stayed quite dry, listening to the wind-accelerated rain blow in sheets against the roof was like listening to a subway train pass in the next room.  We PC trainees were put on our first "Standfast" alert last night, so that was an exciting experience in finding something to do while the power was out.  I did manage to get a little reading done, played some solitaire, and... uh... I mean, I did homework.  Yeah, that's it.  Got caught up on shadowing homework.

Truly, though, shadowing went well yesterday.  I visited a nonprofit in Basseterre whose mission is very similar to my worksite's mission, in the interest of learning about their own competencies and abilities.  As I suspected, while there is some small overlap, the two organizations really have specialties in different vocational sectors, implying that cooperation between the two would result in an improvement in capacity of services for all parties.  Which means I'm excited about future cooperative initiatives between the two organizations.  I also have NEMA left to visit, the Kittitian equivalent of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.  I expect they will be very busy, which means I caught them at either exactly the right time or exactly the worst time... We'll see.

Looking forward to a productive weekend – I intend on finishing the math activities booklet (I am currently standing at 10 completed activities, and I want at least 12) and spending either Friday or Saturday evening with friends, maybe even catching The Social Network, which starts tonight here on the island.  Thanks again to everyone for the comments; I read them religiously and am always excited to see a new response.  I'll be moving into my own place as early as a week from today, so I hope to have Skype set up by next weekend, assuming no internet troubles.

06 October 2010

There's Water Everywhere!

I'm getting even more excited about these math activities.  I know, I know, I'm such a nerd, but at the same time, it's meta-exciting to know that I can get this excited about what should otherwise be an incredibly boring exercise in expanding curriculum.  But I am excited!  I've already come up with seven different ideas on my own, and I want at least a dozen to present to the school when I see them next week.  I'm leaving space below each activity for teachers to add input, thoughts, parts that worked and parts that didn't work so that I can improve on these before compiling them all for future Peace Corps use.

The storm here is pretty intense, and has already caused some collateral damage to the Bay Road.  See what the Bay Road used to look like:
We were so young and naïve then...
And see what it looks like after heavy rains, strong winds, high waves and flooding:
I said consummate V's,  consummate!
... and apparently sea monsters.  But seriously, about a 20-foot section of the sidewalk adjacent the Bay Road fell into the Caribbean, and that hole has since expanded to a 40-foot section, and so our daily jaunts into town from our training center must be in a new and different direction.

My presentation of my assessment of a local nonprofit went well on Tuesday, despite the fact that it took me 20-25 minutes to deliver.  It was just a very long presentation!... much to the dismay of my fellow presenters, perhaps.  My instructor liked it, anyway.

Being careful to stay dry...

04 October 2010

There's Math Everywhere!

I'm really excited about coming up with new math activities and games, especially since I found out today that Peace Corps encourages the dissemination of that kind of material to other islands and countries, so maybe my ideas will be useful for many, many others as well!  I'm pulling ideas from experiences with board games, math games I learned in grade school, and ... dreams I had last night. (Seriously!)  Who knows where inspiration for the next one will come from?  Hopscotch?  Cribbage?  The shape of Nevis Peak?  Halloween?  There's math everywhere!

Which brings me to another point: if anyone has any ideas or memories of fun, engaging, and educational games that can be used in a classroom setting using only a chalkboard, dice, a deck of cards, poker chips, origami paper, or anything like that, Please Please send me a description.  This goes double for fellow PCVs reading this, since most of you here in the EC are youth developers, and have some training in classroom activities.  Of course any submissions would receive full credit for the submitter, and you'd be helping me in one of my objectives here on St. Kitts!  Not to mention the help to students like the ones in this video!

Also, a PSA for readers: I've gotten reports that there is an occasional hiccup when would-be commenters submit their comment and, for whatever reason, it does not go up.  Please be aware that, while I do have the ability to moderate comments, I have only exercised this ability when people have included personal info like e-mail addresses.  Please do not think that I have removed any comments due to content, or any personal reasons – I welcome all your thoughts!  Please keep them coming!

I miss everybody, and I look forward to speaking to many of you on a more regular basis when I can set up a Skype account with a more permanent internet connection.  I'm on Eastern Standard Time here, at least while the US is on Daylight Savings Time, so it should be very easy to coordinate times for virtual visits.  Anyone that is interested, shoot me an e-mail sometime.  In the meantime, don't be afraid to write or call me on my cell, even if just for a few minutes.

Pictures from the 5K Run around the golf course on Saturday:

03 October 2010

Hashing Out New Lessons

On Saturday I participated in the 1st Annual St. Kitts 5K Run & Family Walk for the support of the St. Christopher Children's Home!  I'll obtain some pictures and video from the event soon, so keep checking.  The scoop, though, is that I came in at 28:00 – a whole 4 minutes longer than I was shooting for.  So while I was disappointed with my performance, I still had lots of fun with fellow volunteers and the on-island running club that call themselves the Hash House Harriers, apparently an international known quantity.  Now known to me, as well.

I have a presentation to give on Tuesday; it's my assessment of a nonprofit here on island.  I was able to accrue tons of material, so my only real concern is keeping my time under 15 minutes.

A thought: I'm at that point where I'm starting to learn approximately one important new thing each day.  Whether it be about myself, the culture, the island, my job, or my circles of influence, I am taking in lots of data and, with clarity of mind, am able to infer the truth in the lesson.  More importantly, I am finding willing ears to share these occasional revelations with, a necessary means for me to obtain that clarity of thought.  So without making it sound too ethereal, I am grateful that God has put people in my path (host family, fellow volunteers, co-workers, PC staff) that are actively helping me adapt at an even quicker rate than I was before.  In summary, I guess you could say that I am gladly still on the upswing of the typical culture-shock wave. (Pun completely unintended.)
How about those Jackets?  Getting it done in the fourth quarter!

Finally, for your viewing delight, pictures of my host family:

01 October 2010

Funnyquote Friday

Seen on a sign at the strip at Frigate Bay:

"If you like it up North, stay up North."

A slightly darker quote this week.  The context is: at the strip where lots of fun (and some questionably legal fun) goes down, basically the message is, "Don't judge me."

Not a lot to add, just the usual plea for continued prayer for strength of body, mind, will, and character.  If I can get very personal for a sentence, I have been having a bout with my anxieties for the last few days, basically echoing the struggles I was facing in the States before starting down here.  Please pray that God would take from me this anxiety and replace it with the assurance that He has a plan for me here, and more importantly, will see it through.

Training is starting to wrap up, which is to say we have less than two full weeks left of PST schedule, and only three or four more full days of training regimen.  So hopes are high on that end, and just enough to keep us buoyant through the heavy homework and presentations we are expected to make in the coming days.