I haven’t actually done the calculation myself but I think my mom mentioned one time that November 11 was the halfway mark for me. I’m not sure today whether I am thinking more about having finished half of my time here or that I still have half of my time to go. In many ways it feels like a really long time since I have been here (and away from home) but I wonder if that is because everything at the beginning was so new and hard. I also look at it and it seems like I have done the bulk of the work and that the easy part is left. Today and tomorrow I do my first workshop for Junior High teachers. Next week I will have two more, a really full week, and the following week the last one. After that I will be just visiting the schools to do some follow-up and assess if any teachers are doing things differently. December will be a bit of a weird month with holidays, an election here, and no classes at times for exams so I am predicting that month will fly by. Hope it is so!
It is also helping that I have made a couple of friends. I don’t know if any of you noticed but just after I posted my address on the web a guy from the UK contacted me to say he and his brother would be coming to Jirapa. How crazy is that! Anyway, Jonathon and Joseph arrived two weeks ago and it has been so great to have regular company. They are doing some work at the orphanage down the hill and live at the “other” convent (I secretly wonder if there is a rival between the two sets of sisters…..). Anyway, it is nice to have a chat most days and yesterday I was particularly pleased when they were as excited as me to watch some ants carry away popcorn we had dropped on the ground. These ants were unbelievable! We watched them arrive on the scene, carry three HUGE pieces of popcorn into a crack for hiding and then later move them in to their nest. And it made my day that Joseph pointed out later that there was an entire branch being suspended from the tree held only by a spider web. This is a science geek’s dream! Talk about an exciting night in Jirapa. Seriously:)