Change Yourself…Change The World.

Being A Busy Bee Is Good
March 11, 2012, 9:56 am
Filed under: Paraguay

I hate to do this, but when you’re so busy sometimes there’s nothing more that you can do but give a laundry-list of things going on in your life right now. Here we go!

I’m suddenly incredibly busy in my community- and it feels really good. Here’s some things I’ve been working on over the past month:

– A group of my VAC-mates and I (Volunteers that live in little towns around my city) have started a weekly TV show on my city’s local channel! This is really exciting and probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve been doing in my community lately. We go on for about an hour a week to give presentations on HIV/AIDs, nutrition, agricultural techniques, and business practices (for example, next week I’ll be giving a presentation on little ways family’s can save their money). The past few TV sessions were really fun- we all got on to talk about the Peace Corps and our roles within our community. Last week we talked about recycling and demonstrated how to make wine bottles into drinking glasses. And I recently turned 24 on March 2nd, so a man came on live TV with a cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday! These TV shows have been a lot of fun and many people in my community tune in. It’s also great because I get to see my VAC-mates once a week, and I really enjoy hosting them at my house before we go on air.

– I am now a Project Manager for ‘Jóvenes Empresarios del Paraguay’ my sector’s business camp. In February we had a successful ‘business case competition’ (I still have yet to post on this), where Paraguayan youth came to the capital to participate and compete for the best business practices for ‘Chulina’s Café,’ a business case co-written by the Programming Committee (something I was involved in!) This next coming camp is a business plan competition- Volunteers will be teaching youth the business course ‘Construye tus Sueños,’ and helping them create a business plan that addresses a need in their community. In July we’ll be holding a competition with a grand prize of up to $300 US dollars (that’s a lot in Paraguay!) As a project manager, I’m a liason between my Associate Peace Corps Directors, contacts at the Peace Corps office, our potential Paraguayan sponsors, and the rest of our committees (Logistics, Finance, Communications, and Programming). The work so far is very rewarding and I’ve been learning quite a lot.

– Lots of planning has been in the works, and I am finally starting ‘Construye tus Sueños’ (a course on how to start your own business) at two high schools in my community, beginning this week. I’m really excited to be working with these two high schools, full of students who are passionate about business. My goal is to focus on having one class create business plans for the July competition, and the other class focus on a business case competition that I’m planning to have in Caazapá, with two groups and their respective volunteers competing from neighboring cities (Yuty and San Juan Nepomuceno). This is still in the beginning stages, but we’d like to have the same ‘Chulina’ business case competition, except regionally. My community has already expressed a lot of interest in this idea, so I’m excited to see how it turns out. I’m also thinking long-term future with my business course- after the course finishes I’d like to start a youth group in my community focused on leadership and entrepreneurship. Some ideas I have are taking them on field trips to learn more about big businesses in Paraguay and how ‘social enterprise’ works, and helping youth create business plans and solicit loans to make it happen in Caazapá.

– English! As a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer said, I have finally figured out the REAL spelling of the Peace Corps (English Teacher). Yes, I’ve finally been roped into teaching English in my community. I was initially against teaching English for a variety of reasons (unsustainable, I thought that reasons why people in my community wanted to learn English were unrealistic, I didn’t want to set myself up as ‘the English teacher’ for the next two years, etc.) After 6 months of continuous begging from people in my community, I realized a few things: one, how egotistical am I to think I know what my community needs? And two, I figured building relationships with more people in my community was a hidden benefit of teaching English- so finally, I acquiesced. I am now teaching English at my cooperative once a week, and will start teaching at a local high school as well. Even through my initial reluctance, I have to say- teaching English is fun, and I’m enjoying it!

– Nationally, I am currently running for President of the National Volunteer Advisory Committee (NVAC). It’s a committee that oversees support for all Volunteers in Paraguay, and I’m really excited to be running for the position. I think I’m a great candidate for NVAC President, and I hope I win! I’m also working on the Kuat, a Peace Corps magazine we put out three times a year. We have our next meeting at the end of March, and I’m really excited about putting our next one out.

– The oh-so-wonderful GMAT- who can forget? I recently won a scholarship for an online Manhattan GMAT course, and so I’ve really been focusing on studying and prepping for the graduate exam to get into business school. the Manhattan GMAT sent me 15 huge books to work on, so all of my free time is now consumed by studying for this exam! I’m really grateful to the Manhattan GMAT for this incredible opportunity, and it’s great to have something productive and challenging to do in the few free times I have now.

– Finally, establishing a routine in my community has been something I’ve been working on a lot. When I first moved into my house, it took me quite a long time to feel comfortable and that this was my home. I’ve been working pretty much non-stop over the past few months to make it feel like a cozy space that I can relax in. After a few months of saving up, I finally have most of the things I need in my house, and it’s really coming together to become a place I really enjoy. I’ve also been continually working on strategies to improve my daily routine. When daylight savings changes in Paraguay, it will be lighter an hour earlier, and I’m planning on switching my running routine to the early mornings. I’m also trying out a strategy where I cook almost all of my meals for the week on one day- cooking takes up at least an hour of my time every day, on top of washing the dishes- it’s really time consuming, especially when I have so many things to do now. I figure if I take care of all of this at the beginning of each week, I’ll always have nutritious and varied foods that I can grab or eat on the go. It’s been a long process to get to this point, but I’m happy where I am right now!

Now take all of this and try to balance a social life and aprovecharing (taking advantage of) all of the wonderful sights Paraguay has to offer!

So there’s a couple things I’m working on in Paraguay. Life is pretty good, and I’m feeling happy and productive right now. I’m excited to see where the next year and of a half of my service takes me!

Much love,

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Excellent article, thanks for sharing!

Comment by ascii

Thanks ascii!

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

Keep it coming Brit, I love hearing about all your doing, and I’m soooo proud of you!
XOXOXOalways, Mama

Comment by Mama

wow Brittany, sounds like you’ve been really busy! Sorry to blow up your facebook and blog, but is the journal coming to Peru any time soon??? Kim Ayers, Cuerpo de Paz / Casilla Postal 208 / SERPOST Chiclayo / Lambayeque, Peru pleeeeease!!!

Comment by Kim

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