Friday, April 3, 2009

It's Official

I am now no longer a Trainee – I am officially a Volunteer! We had a beautiful Swearing In ceremony at the American Embassy in the capitol yesterday, followed by dinner and a party hosted by other Volunteers. Everyone departed for their sites this morning – lots of tears and goodbyes! I’m excited to get to my site even thought I’ve been placed far away from everyone else in my Training class. I’m replacing a Volunteer so we’ll have an overlap of a few months before I’m alone in my site.

Yesterday morning before orientation we had Counterpart Day – every Volunteer has an assigned counterpart in their community (for Munis it’s usually the mayor) and they all came to the capitol for an orientation. Unfortunately, my counterpart couldn’t come, and it was really depressing being one of the only ones at the orientation without my counterpart!

The elections on March 15 went really well - no incidents that were cause for alarm. The country elected the president from a different party from the one that has been in power for 20 years, so there was a lot of excitement. Last Friday night I watched the town kill, bleed out, skin, and dismember two young oxen. That was definitely a first (and hopefully a last!!).

Another first – I climbed the San Vicente Volcano last Sunday! It was by far physically the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I found a guide from my training community who was willing to take us (about 8 Trainees) and we started out at 6:45 and got back at 3:30 – straight hiking with short infrequent breaks and about 30 minutes for lunch at the top. my feet were covered in blisters and I could hardly walk afterwards, but at least the view was pretty!

30 mins in

At the top!

My training community <3


  1. El Salvador, WOW vives allá, eso es maravilloso..

  2. hey punk...sorry to hear your counterpart was not at the meet and greet. not to worry, your are fortunate to have time with the vol you are replacing. the transition will go soothly. i am so proud of you ( as always ). keep up the good work. i love

  3. your dad called you punk, ha i love it. you too- you're aight i guess.

  4. hello, i'm ari's mom.( one of your fellow volunteers). My name is Rayni and i'm sure he will kill me for corresponding with you! i just wanted to thank you for blogging because i love hearing about your adventures and knowing he might be experiencing many similar ones. Keep the pics and news coming. You mentioned Morazan and I know he is near there (Torola ?) . I wish you all the best in your service and ditto what your Dad said, We, the parents, are bursting with pride at your noble deeds.

  5. you climbed a volcano! look at you adventure girl! keep testing yourself, you'll be surprised of just what you're capable of :)

  6. OMG,Lauren, what a great accomplishment! You look GREAT, happy and healthy! I see your gaining some fans as you go also. Keep us informed and keep it safe.