19 June, 2009

Update


Wow, these last few weeks have just completely flown by.

The work aspect of training has started to pick up. We had a week long training session in Totonicapán. There, me and a few co-trainees gave our first class in front of 70 kids, completely in Spanish! That was a crazy experience. But definitely something to learn upon and afterwards I felt much more comfortable with the language and being in front of a class.

This tuesday I had myself weighed for the first time since I came here. I have lost 20 pounds! Change in diet, having to walk everywhere, being sick a few times. My clothes do not fit so well right now.

I'm real excited to find out my future site July 1st. That day I will find out my permanent site for the next two years!

As far as training, we have a leadership camp that we giving tomorrow (20/6) and then a teacher workshop in a few weeks. Some pretty exciting stuff!

The picture on top is from a cumplia├▒os we had this week. That is Pamela, she turned 8.

Stay in touch,

Love,

Marc

30 May, 2009

One month!


I have been in the Peace Corps for a whole month. In some ways, this month has gone by very fast and in others, very slow. Still, the experience has been largely very positive.

Right now the most difficult aspect is the lack of personal time that I have. Guatemalans expect all time to be spent together as a family and do not understand if someone wants any alone time. It is starting to get better though, as this afternoon I have been able to read, take a nap and just surf the internet for useless information (ahh, nothing greater!).

I'm very excited about being in classroom and feel less nervous every day about the language. Right now, I have no problems speaking and have had some great conversations, especially with my host mom. But sometimes it can be a little difficult to understand people, especially if they use a word that is uncommon.

I posted a picture of the black sand beach that the trainee group went to on the Pacific Ocean. How beautiful!

Love always,

Marc

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

26 May, 2009

Been awhile

Okay, I now have wireless internet on my computer, so I should actually be able to keep up with this blog.

So, spanish is really coming along. Now the focus is just increasing my vocab. But it is great to be able to have real conversations in another language.

I got sick, twice. It was a little rough, but it is over now and I am probably stronger now that I went through it. I have great health care here, which definitely eases the mind.

The job has really started to take shape and I am really enjoying it. Basically, I am a teacher of life skills at local middle schools. The language is a bit intimidating, but now that I have been in front of a class in spanish, I feel much more confident. The director interpreted me and my counterparts in the community having a short activity, as us taking over a class for two hours. So, our 15 minute activity was over, and we had to fill another hour and 45 minutes of class time. The teachers were no where to be found!

But the class we built strong relationships and now the students know us and are really enthusiastic to see us in the community or in school. It is so great to walk down the street and have kids yelling, "Marcos!!!" when they see you or having kids on the "Marcos alert," yelling to their friends and relatives that I am walking down the street.

Anyway, life here is awesome and I am truly enjoying my time. Peace Corps is slowing down and making sense.

I hope everyone is great!

Marc "Marcos" Franzblau

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

07 May, 2009

Update!

Sorry, I have not had anytime to update the blog. It´s been so incredibly busy here.

Basically, my life right now is studying spanish and beginning training for the actual job. It´s been pretty remarkable how quickly you learn a language when you have to use it everyday.

As far as the living conditions, I do not have some of the comforts of home, but overall, things are comfortable and I have no real complaints.

I am having a great time here and learning an incredible amount. My host family is great and very hospitable.

Things are just going to get crazier, but this has been a great experience so far.

Love always,

Marc

23 April, 2009

Last day at TL Hanna/Yom Hashoah

This morning was the last day I had at TL Hanna. It has been a terrific experience there and has definitely given me confidence and experience for my job in Guatemala.

Tuesday was the Jewish holiday of Yom Hashoah. It is a day of reflection and remembrance of those who had fallen victim to the Holocaust. Unfortunately, there have been many instances of Genocide since the Holocaust, including one such instance in Guatemala.

200,000 Guatemalans were ruthlessly murdered from 1980-1982 and even today, Guatemala remains a violent nation. The ruling party in Guatemala attempted to further their political control of the nation and did so by murdering "Indians" and those of mixed "Indian" race, most of whom supported a rival political faction. Those who are guilty of these crimes have never been brought to justice and from the looks of it, never will.

It's important to remember when we say "Never Forget," that we must not only never forget those who perished in the Shoah. But also, those who have perished in other cases of Genocide, that are all too easily forgotten.

Love,

Marc

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

20 April, 2009

I created a blog!

Hello all,

As most of you know by now, I am joining the Peace Corps in Guatemala. I figure it will be difficult to keep in touch with everyone, so I figured a blog would help.

Well, I am leaving April 28 for DC to have a staging orientation and then I leave the next morning, April 29 for Guatemala! It is absolutely amazing that the time leading up to the departure has just flown by.

This Thursday, April 23 I have to say goodbye to the students that I have been tutoring at TL Hanna High School here in Anderson, SC. I have loved working with them and that experience has motivated me to become a teacher after the Peace Corps.

Next time you hear from me in this blog will most likely be actually in Guatemala! I cannot wait!

Love,

Marc

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.