Monday, June 12, 2006

Picture Update

Since we have been a bit behind in updating there is a hodgepodge of new pictures on the Flickr site. But they do offer some more insight into what we have been up to the past few weeks. Two weekends ago we chilled around our house, for the first time in a long while not going anywhere or having any visitors. We hung out with one of the neighborhood girls, Regina, for a bit and even took a little walk to get some tasty ice cream. She is quiet the talker and told us all about her plans to go to the U.S. and all the things she is going to buy and bring back. She also drew a nice picture of me or I should say of Candee which is what she has taken to calling me. And she has informed all the other kids in the neighborhood of my name too, which they love to call out whenever they see me.

Then we had a visit from our friend Khaled who has been helping with our database project at work. He is convinced that I can learn Visual Basic in a week. But since I haven't had a week yet to go through his tutorial he has to come and do the programming for now. We had a bit of a scare when Access went berserk and locked us out thanks to some security corruption. But luckily the solution came to Khaled in a dream and everything was back up and running again the next day.

Quarterly meetings happened the first weekend in June. Those are always a good time to catch up with everyone. And of course there is Happy Hour at the Four Seasons which is always lots of fun. But there are also lots of meetings which can last forever. What we need is more Happy Hour and less meetings! Another exciting note of the weekend - we discovered some sunflowers in New Kingston. As we walked along between the bus stop and the Peace Corps office there they were giving us a lovely reminder of our Kansas home. Ahhh, the things that make you smile!

After Quarterlies I ventured to Malvern, in exchange for Khaled's help I was off to help the St. Helena's Womens Group with their accounting system. They are a group of weavers who live in Retrieve, St. Elizabeth who Caitlin assists as a secondary project. She is working to help them market their baskets and other woven goods, which are quite gorgeous and I must admit I own a few pieces myself. I spent part of a day up in Retrieve (which would definitely be considered deep bush Jamaica) working with the woman who is in charge of keeping their records and attending a meeting of all the women in the partnership. It was truly one of the most rewarding days I've spent as a Peace Corps volunteer and I hope I have more opportunities to help this group in the future.

While in Malvern I also spent some more quality time with the kitties. Their rank has sadly gone from four to three but they are still as cute as ever. We had previously selected the squeaker as the one we would adopt but he is pretty much a scaredy cat and we don't know that he could handle the bus ride to our house. So we have decided to go with the most outgoing one in the bunch, Duo. Although Brownin is the sweetest and Caitlin's favorite we are pretty sure she is a girl and we just don't think we could handle baby kitties of our own. So Duo it is and he should be arriving at our house this coming weekend which will be all sorts of exciting!

Otherwise we have just been dealing with our "Adventures in Plumbing" and the lack of power at our office. Unfortunately no pictures of the enormous holes in our bathroom floor. The sight was just too much to bear and I really didn't want any reminder. I will say that we are getting better and better at adapting to these annoying instances of no showers, lack of power, and constant rainfall. These are some interesting times!

- Kaelyn

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