Time has really flown by. It has now been a month and a half since we first stepped off that plane at the Guatemala City airport. Since then, we've all individually learned so much about our roles in the organization and in the community of Chaquiyá.
As Program Directors, we have fixed programs and roles into our daily schedules while also trying to implement various projects involving health, microfinance, and environment. With those responsibilities, sometimes - we may get discouraged along the way when things don't pan out the way we expect them to. Naturally, we get frustrated sometimes and start to question the methods we use to execute our programs. Take our Básico English program at the Central School for example.
Coming from no experience of having taught English, we struggle sometimes to
plan lessons that can most effectively help these kids learn (Easier
said than done). Also, sometimes I struggle in defining the line of helping and hurting the culture in the community with our involvement. A tricky thing with international development, in my opinion.
All in all, there are many challenges in the work that we strive for. We're still learning every day, the various methods and alternatives in our approach to our programs. Sometimes, it's simply a trial-and-error system in learning what works best and what does not. We rely heavily on the opinions of the community leaders and our co-workers because their input is invaluable in us understanding better the needs and wants of the community. We relish in the small victories - from seeing improvement in grades from the English classes to being able to successfully schedule a meeting with a community leader to discuss an upcoming project. They go a long way for me. Also, the small acts of kindness from the community - from the kids running up to you, yelling your name when you show up to the school to your co-workers actively giving you optimistic advice for the classroom.
Those things matter the most to me & have proven to be the most helpful in getting through some of the challenges that I've encountered since getting here. Those small things outweigh any of the frustration on any given day. I mean, how can you not be cheered up by these sweet girls? :)