Sunday, May 30, 2010

The last chapter

We’re on our way home within a week. What a ride it’s been: satisfactions; frustrations; lessons learned; friends made; observations and experiences anew; raging heat and humidity; sweat soaked clothes; pouring rain; mangoes; gorgeous clouds; bammy; litter; a four month drought; dogs and livestock roaming the streets; ackee and salt fish; miles walked each day (literally and figuratively); grateful people; callaloo; reggae and gospel music all day long; a lock down for all PCV’s; appreciation; and the realization that much more needs to be done.

Gary returned eleven days ago after three long months of separation. He went right to work helping me finish-up the closing and completion of our many projects. It has been made so clear to us that even people we don’t ever recall meeting greatly appreciated our returns. Those actions reassured so many that they were important and worthy enough for us to feel the need to return. In the first few days after Gary’s arrival, the walk to town was long and slow; everyone, including people he’d never met, stopped to welcome him back.

Our original plan was to finish the projects, take four days to visit a part of the island we hadn’t seen, head to MoBay for our host mother’s birthday party and then spend three days in Negril for the Close of Service Conference where we would see all our fellow volunteers who arrived and trained with us. None of that happened.

If you’ve followed any of the recent happenings regarding the extradition of Dudus, a West Kingston Don, you know about the violence and death that has occurred in Kingston. The Peace Corps has to be very conservative about our safety and security in those situations. None of the PCVs were at risk in their respective sites; the problems were travel beyond the sites and the prospect of violence spreading. In order to ensure our well being we were required to stand fast [not leave our communities] for a week; the PC had to be prepared to evacuate us immediately if the turmoil became widespread. Of course that week fell at the outset of our final adventures. And then, the drought ended with a rush; heavy, heavy rains, and thunderstorms; so much so that we’ve been not only confined to our town but essentially locked down in our house. We’re calling it the Chapelton Chalet and pretending we’re at a spa.

So, here we are with nothing to do and no place we can go. As the say in Jamaica, no problem, mon. You just have to roll with the punches, there’s no fighting the forces in Jamaica, whether they are man made or naturally driven.

Some of the nicest things about our last days have been the appreciation extended individually and collectively. Appreciation ceremonies are a tradition in Jamaican culture. A gentleman, who recently died, was given one a few months ago. Their premise is to say thank you before you die [or in our case leave]. They turn them into big events to celebrate the honoree. We’ve had two so far. They are touching, surprising and heart warming. Gary’s had a tough time maintaining his composure. We’ve been given so many memorabilia items that Gary suggested to one audience that we will start a Jamaica room in our new house.

If you ever want something to do that gives you a new perspective while challenging your mind, body and soul think about the United States Peace Corps as an option

After we get home we’ll move into a small home we bought in East Chatham, NY [western foothills of the Berkshire Mountains] and get started on the next stage. We hope to pursue the construction of a family compound in Canaan, NY, about 20 minutes away. Margaret's also going to see about getting a part-time job as a Peace Corps recruiter serving the colleges in the area, or to work as a Healthy Lifestyles Consultant at Canyon Ranch, a health spa in the Berkshire Mountains. Gary’s going to hunt, fish, and play golf.

Jamaicans never say good-bye, it’s too permanent. The only say lata.

Margaret & Gary


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tings cudda worse!

The drought continues in our area and it’s getting a little worrisome. Yesterday I had to buy 2 fifty gallon drums of water because we had nothing,… nada, ….not a drop for any purpose. Until last week I got by with bucket baths [about a half gallon a day and one if I washed my hair] but I actually went four days only sponging off with a wash cloth and not washing my hair. Gary was shocked; he couldn’t recall one day in our 41 year history of my missing a bath/shower.

Each day has been a new lesson for me in water conservation. After not washing any clothes for ten days I had to get some done. The Jamaican women take theirs to the river, a half mile walk carrying it on their heads, but I chose the luxury of doing it by hand in a bucket using 5 gallons of my newly purchased water, two for washing and three for rinsing. I washed everything by hand, towels, sheets, and clothes; wrung them out well; and dumped the left over water in the toilet tank. Then I discovered a great way to get more mileage out of the rinse water. After rinsing a few items I skimmed off any soap bubbles then rinsed more pieces. That gave me enough water to rinse each item twice [what a luxury!] then I dumped the remaining water in the toilet tank. All that water in the tank allowed me to flush for the first time in two days [thank goodness for toilet lids].

On the streets of Chapelton everyone carries multiple containers hunting for water, women, children, and men. I watched one young teenager with three full five gallon containers transporting them to her house two blocks away, Someone who had a bit of water must have given it to her family. At two cups of water per pound each one weighed 40 pounds. She solved the dilemma by ‘leap frogging’ them all the way, carrying one jug 20 feet, going back for another, and then for the third one….all the way down the street.

Apparently [I didn’t hear the actual report], the government has said the drought is officially over and everyone now has sufficient water. Today I spoke to a young man who lives in an even deeper rural area than Chapelton, where there are only farms and a few shops; he said they have water. What’s happened here is that I live in a “scheme” [development] which is densely populated [about 1/8th of an acre per house]. We rely on a single water tank about a mile away to supply us all. The story is that the tank is full but its pump is broken. Now in the US that baby would be repaired over night or there would be riots; not so in JM. Gary and I have seen water main leaks run for weeks before any repair is made. I don’t know if it’s a lack of willingness to get it repaired [if in fact this story is true] or that, because the government is so broke, there are not enough mechanics available to get all repairs accomplished in the parish. What seems obvious to me is that once the tank is operational we’ll be back to square one, a continued water shortage. When the water begins to flow it will be sucked up by 4,000 empty home storage tanks. Mrs. Rumble said it will take her a year to get her two tanks filled. The real worry is that if a hurricane hits this summer the difficulties will double without sufficient water stored.

No one complains. One of the Jamaican mantras is “tings cudda wurse”; so I suppose that approach helps those in rural JM cope with the frequent calamities they face.

On the up side, the Peace Corps has granted me an Advanced Close of Service. I will return June 5, almost two months early and prior to the thick of hurricane season. I’m very grateful for that. I miss Gary a lot. So, I’m busy finishing up projects and/or getting Jamaicans to take them over. Gary will come for a visit May 18 and stay until June 4.

The ACOS is considered a completion of service; thus, I will be qualified to take a government job, that I am qualified to do, on a non-compete basis. What I’d like to look into are Peace Corps college recruiting positions in western Mass/eastern NY. I think I might enjoy that on a part time basis.

Tuesday I will defend my parish title as female seniors track champion. This year there is one woman from Chapelton who may give me some real competition for the title. I hope to leave JM as the only white track star in the Caribbean. I consider it quite an accomplishment here where track rules the sports scene. Their recent CHAMPS series, the national high school championships, were run as if it were the Olympics. Every event was televised and the athletes were treated as world class sports stars. The Seniors don’t get the same attention, but it’s nice to know I can represent my country and be considered a valid competitor in a sport they value.

That’s all for now; I’m off to take a bucket bath while there is water to allow it.

Stay crisp, Margaret

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Post Surgery and Post PC

Things change again. I was in Massachusetts for three weeks during Gary’s surgery to remove his prostate and now we’re optimistic the procedure was successful. We will have a more definitive evaluation around April 6th when he receives follow-up PSA test results. If the score is 0.0 that indicates all cancer cells were likely removed. If it’s any higher than that he’ll re-do the PSA test for confirmation. If the second result supports the first positive score then other treatment measures will be taken. I returned March 21 to Jamaica and left Gary walking three miles a day. He plays his first round of golf today {Easter morning] with John. The miracles of modern medicine are truly astounding. So, right now things look rosy, but if the April 6 test results are positive I will separate from the Peace Corps right away to go home a help him with the next stage.

I would have stayed in the States if there had been anything to do for me at this point and nothing to be done in Jamaica. Gary’s busy, he: heads to Tampa next week to visit Stephen in; his oldest son, Todd and his grandchildren the following week and then he’ll make preparations for us to move into a home we just bought near the land where we’ll build our family compound in Canaan, NY. Presently it’s occupied by renters until May 11th. Unless Gary’s results are positive, I will stay on and wind up our roles in the various projects we’re involved in, take an early end of service on June 4th, and come home. I didn’t get the big grant and that’s turned out to be a blessing, I can see my mind would not have been fully engaged in the project.

I returned March 21st to a full fledged drought that has been going on in the Caribbean since I left. We’ve all heard about and/or experienced drought in the US but nothing that matches what’s going on here. We literally have no water. For Mrs. Rumble, my host mother, and I it’s not a catastrophe because we have the cash to buy water to drink, wash our hands, and clean our dishes [note I didn’t mention any of the luxuries like bathing, washing clothes, mopping the floor, etc], but for the majority of the community, who didn’t have $$$ to begin with and who relied on their agriculture for food and the river for water, it is bleak. There’s no means for all these farmers to earn anything if only for trading or bartering. All day long people walk the streets with empty plastic jugs looking for water. There’s been an outbreak of gastroenteritis because citizens’ can’t wash their hands. There’s a gray haze over everything, literally from the toll that’s been taken on the people and virtually from the dust haze. Jamaica is no longer green and is getting browner by the day. It all feels like what I imagine the “dust bowl” of the 1930’s must have felt like. Please think about how precious your water is as a resource, it is finite.

On the upside, in the midst of what many have told me is the worst of times in their lives, the Sangster Heights Citizens’ Association held it’s 2nd annual Sacred Concert for Community Unity on Good Friday. This time we let people come in for whatever they could afford to pay rather than the $200JM [$2.25US] charged last year. It was such an uplifting experience for all of us, an opportunity to have a good time and forget their worries. Those who didn’t have any money just stood outside and listened to the great band and all the items [JM for local contributions to the performance]. They danced, celebrated, and laughed all night, it was wonderful to see. The irony of our success was the band’s fee was covered by the local Funeral Home. I’m sure they’ll get some near term benefits if this drought doesn’t end soon.

Finally, on a familial note, both of our sons have changed jobs in the last week. For those who know Stephen it has been a monumental reversal. After dedicating his life to baseball for ten years plus he came to the realization that life in the big leagues is not what it seems. His schedule as a scout for the Texas Rangers began January 15 and much like his internship roles never stopped. He was on the road evaluating talent so much so that he saw he would never have a family life, ever. His schedule was non-stop 10 months of the year with two off in November/December. He wasn’t even able to come see Gary during his surgery. That did it for him. So, he started looking and John put him in touch with a commodity trading firm that specializes in alternative fuels. Once they found a spot for him he put in his two weeks notice and started a week ago. What was odd about this event was that three weeks ago the president of that same company, OceanConnect, out of the blue, took John to dinner and offered him a very nice position running one of their main desks, petrochemicals and alternative fuels. At the same time he received word that a big financial mortgage deal he’d been working on for nine months with the German Landis bank came through. Yikes!! As he said, so many are jobless and I have two fantastic opportunities. He stressed for a week,…. which would be the right decision??!! As he said, it’s better to have this kind of angst than being out of work. As of tomorrow he and Stephen will work for the same firm. John leaves April 15 for three weeks in Singapore and Korea to meet some of his staff. Then he goes to London to do the same. Both are very excited about their new opportunities and we’re happy for them.

And, what have I learned from all that’s happening to and around me……….. Stay flexible, things change and you’ve got to be able to adapt. As the Jamaican’s say, “tings cudda wurse”.

Hope ‘ever ting be crisp’ [happy], Margaret
P.S. Results just in Gary's PSA is 0.1...according to the Dr...that's great!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Things change

Things change!! That was the theme of one of the church sermons we heard a year ago and that’s certainly proved true for us. Up until two weeks ago I hadn’t had enough hours in the day to get everything done for two months and now I’m sitting and waiting ……….for many things.

First, Gary has been medically evacuated to the US. He’s been diagnosed with moderate stage prostate cancer. It appears he may not be allowed to return. The PC policy for medical care is that when it takes more than 45 days to resolve they separate you from the PC. They will take care of him but he will no longer be able to serve. As one of the medical officers said to me last night, “you never know; miracles do happen”, but the expectation is that he’s finished. Our first clue was in preparation for departure the PC completed all closure paper work in the event he didn’t return.

After many tests in Kingston over six weeks, he left two days ago for Boston armed with all his results from PSA scores, digital exams, and a sixteen site biopsy report with accompanying tissue slides [Considering that a prostate is about the size of a walnut I can’t imagine much is left of his now]. He will need a few more tests in the US to see if it’s spread. Then he’ll consult with doctors before deciding which procedure and by whom the procedure will be done. The Jamaican urologist recommended he get this taken care of within the month, so that’s the target.

He sees his first doc Monday morning and after that we ought to have a pretty good idea as to which procedure and when it can be done. He’s scheduled to see another doc Friday morning and then will decide from there if more need to be consulted. With that information I’ll have an idea of when to schedule my emergency leave to be with him.

What comes next is up in the air. As we understand it oncology test results are simply estimates of a patient’s status and not until the doctor is able to see and test surrounding tissues do you have a reasonable idea of what is next. If it turns out to be a routine prostatectomy and he has laparoscopic and/or robotic surgery he’ll be up and at ‘em in about 3 weeks. If he needs standard surgery it could take six to eight weeks. If they find it’s spread beyond the prostate other interventions will be required.

So, here I am waiting and hoping all will be well for him. It’s tough and lonely without him. At this point [I may change my mind] the plan is for me to stay on here in Jamaica and just take the brief leave [I’ll get to the rationale for that shortly] if the first or second situations occur. If the latter occurs I will separate and stay home to be with him.

Another thing I’m waiting on are the results of a mega-grant proposal I submitted in January. [It’s unbelievable how things unfold and then appear to collapse before your very eyes]. In late October I was asked by a Jamaican leader to submit a proposal to the National Health Fund [a Jamaican Foundation] to take the concept of the Healthy Lifestyles Seminars I mentioned in the July 30 blog to a national level. That’s why I’ve been so busy. There have been meetings and consultations with Ministries of Health and Education officials, parish leaders and educators, and local people I have already worked with on this project. That plus the research and writing process took up 90% of my time and focus for the last two months. The grant was submitted January 26 with the understanding that it must be funded no later than March 15 [all along NHF officials have said “no problem mon”….we’ll see about that]. If it goes through it might become a major contributor in the island’s fight against the chronic disease epidemic. Over three years it will cost more than JM$300,000,000 [US$264,000] to fund the project and if it goes to the six years I recommend it will be in the JM billions. Below is the proposal’s executive summary so you get an idea of what is proposed.

If healthy lifestyles are the bedrock of wellness the Jamaican health care system has been ‘rocked’ in the last ten years with a precipitous 10% increase in chronic diseases associated with unhealthy lifestyles. The financial and human costs are rising annually. Jamaican research suggests inactivity is the leading cause for obesity and overweight in 90% of women; 28% of males smoke; 98.5% of all Jamaicans eat less than one fruit and/or vegetable per day; and 30% fry all protein foods [Wilks, 2008; Ferguson, et al 2008]. Further, up to 38% may suffer from depressive disorder (Brown, 2005). Diet, activity levels, overweight/obesity, stress, and smoking, each modifiable lifestyle behaviors, positively correlate with the incidence of chronic diseases that Jamaicans now face at an ever increasing rate: Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, breast and prostate cancers, dyslipidemia, and osteoporosis.
Chapelton Hospital and the US Peace Corps are partnering to address this issue in Upper Clarendon. Presently three all age schools, St. Augustine Boys Home, and the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Chapelton, all in the Chapelton Health District, have had teachers, parents, youth and/or church members trained in healthy lifestyle practices (hygiene, exercise, nutrition, and stress management) during six-day (nine hours total) seminars at their respective sites. The aim of this model was for each participant who qualified for certification (according to written and practical examinations) to teach others: adults and children. Three all age schools, Chapelton, Rock River, and Wood Hall used HLS:TT certified teachers to instruct parents at PTA meetings and professional colleagues at staff meetings. As well, parents reached out to church members during services. The intent was to provide training for their colleagues to teach students and for parents to sustain the instruction at home. The objective was to provide a consistent message and skills that support the goal of reducing rates of chronic disease.
Acting within the structure of the Ministry of Education’s Health and Family Life Education Project (HFLE), the current proposal intends to test the Chapelton model, expand the concept of the HFLE project, and broaden the outreach of the Healthy Lifestyle Seminar to two parishes with distinctly different demographics, rural Clarendon and urban Kingston. In year one a random selection of 20% of public all-age and primary schools in both areas will test the template (with smoking cessation added) used in the Chapelton Health District. Certified Healthy Lifestyle teachers will conduct these seminars in their respective schools. Pre- and post-testing will identify knowledge gained as well as assess participants’ likelihood of changing their lifestyle behaviors in any or all of the five topic areas. On a monthly basis, certified teacher trainers will provide support, follow-up and further evaluation of progress at each participating school. During site visits trainers will also work with parent leaders regarding their skills development and participation in the effort.
The HLS:TT two-stage pilot and all-island project will: 1) be a partnership between MOE, Clarendon Health Department of the Southern Regional Health Authority, and the US Peace Corps; 2) run 39 months from March 2010 to June 2013; 3) reach 25 pubic schools in stage 1, 122 in stage 2 and 605 in the all-island effort ; and 4) cost $15, 194,761 in stage 1, with $ 13,106,761 requested from NHF, and an estimated $72,000,000 in stage 2. Yet to be set, costs for the all-island stage are estimated to be 3 ½ times those for stage 2. Pilot stages will identify successful strategies that best apply in rural and/or urban settings, allow for refinement of procedures, and ascertain more precisely the required materials/equipment. Using information and procedures developed in the two stage pilot, a revised effort will be developed for an Island-wide program designed to reach each parish with a similar concept. As we attempt to dramatically reduce the incidences and rates of chronic disease in Jamaica, this project will be a two-front attack from home and school on the current lifestyle practices known to be the sources of the current chronic disease epidemic.

So, I wait… see what happens with Gary…… and the proposal. Regardless of the outcome of the grant I won’t stay to implement it if Gary needs me, but it would be fulfilling to be able to see it through.

On the upside we’re still waiting on the Computer Center opening but it is eminent. There is a management committee in place, a J$983,777 grant was awarded to the Citizens’ Association for this, equipment is ordered and expected to be delivered next week, the room is secured, all tables and chairs are set up and waiting, phone and internet lines are in the cue for installation and the same is true for the burglar alarm. We’re planning a Grand Opening for the end of February [I’ll be away in the US but am sure they’ll carry it off in fine Jamaican style].

Another positive is that Gary’s situation may have accelerated the rate of project ownership by many of those in the community. Several of those we’ve worked along side appear to have realized they have to take over from us or all their efforts and money will have been wasted. With our scheduled departure only seven months away many have recognized the need.

What has been interesting to watch is how over time the belief and trust in what we’ve facilitated has been accepted and owned by the residents. It’s a demonstration of why two years is necessary. Initially, Gary and I had to do most of the work and we rarely had any leads on who to go to. Just last month someone stepped up and offered to find a truck to pick up five metal drums from a Kingston distillery who was donating them to the Citizens’ Association for water storage and garbage collection. When it was time to clean and set-up the Computer Center room people I’d never seen before showed up. A carpenter offered to donate his time to install a secure door for the Computer Center and a furniture maker is building a storage cabinet for the computer room tomorrow morning. Now that we’re about to leave we’re seeing residents appear from seemingly nowhere to contribute. All of this is reassuring that there may be a measurable residual once we leave.

I’ll keep you posted on Gary’s status; in the meantime keep everything you have connected to your body crossed for him. More lata, Margaret

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


It’s been a while since our last blog sometime in October. We got sidetracked with activities here in Jamaica and with the expectation of heading back to the U.S. Our family got together in the US for Thanksgiving and a good time was had by all. While it wasn’t particularly cold it was a relief to get away from the heat and the first time we were back in the states for any length of time since last Christmas. We arrived in Hartford on November 24 in order to beat the Thanksgiving traffic. Our destination was Hardwick, MA with our good friend Art Dell Orto. Our two boys arrived on the evening of the 25th when the celebration began in earnest (See Pics). In addition to good food, family, friends, and good ole’ R & R our time home was great. This is our last trip home until we depart in late July or early August. In addition to the R&R I ended the trip in Boston and specifically at Boston University, where I attended the dissertation defense of my last doctoral graduate student (we’ve been communicating via email and phone for the past year). She did a great job and will finalize her writing prior to the birth of her second child in April.
On the Jamaican front it was pretty quiet during the month of December---the English influence brings things to a slow (slower than normal) pace during the Christmas holidays. As soon as we returned from the US Margaret found out that we (the community) were awarded a $983K grant for a computer center at our local Community Center. This application began over 6 months ago. The next goal is to get the Center secure so that we can house the 10 computers and peripherals. Exciting times for the community!
Stephen came to visit for Christmas. It was great fun to have him here. He spent 2 ½ days in Chapelton and saw us at work. He even helped the Senior Citizens’ group deliver food packages to elderly shut-ins. Then we took him to the north coast and Ocho Rios where we spent the day at Dunn’s River Falls. The Falls are about ¼ mile long and we climbed them together with him then he did a timed climb of 8 min. 50 seconds. It was fun and exciting. We stayed in a villa of a couple US missionaries we’ve met. We had a beautiful view of the Caribbean .
Leaving Ochi our destination was to get indirectly to Kingston. So, we headed east along the coastal highway to Port Maria. It seems that the southwest [recall Treasure Beach] and the northeast coasts are the nicest places on the island, relatively untouched by tourism. Yet both areas are distinct in vegetation, dry and arid in the south and wet and tropical in the north.
Stephen’s last 24 hours were in Kingston. We stayed at our favorite hotel where it was very plush: a pool, gym, internet service, cable tv, wonderful food, a tropical ambiance, and great service. Then we walked over to the Peace Corps office where he met several staff members. We ended his stay with a taxi trip to downtown through the grand market [blocks and blocks of higglers in stalls selling anything and everything] and over to the rural bus park where we got out to catch a bus home and he was taken to the airport. He headed back to Florida to start his new job as a scout for the Texas Rangers [team not police].
I (GS) have written two grant proposals for two different communities. The Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives funds projects all over Jamaica for democratic governance and human rights. I worked with the Social Development Commission in an attempt to provide funds to move a rural Basic School that currently is held in the last five rows (pews) of a local church to a one room Community Centre. The CC needs an addition so that there is a kitchen and toilet facilities for faculty and students. The problem with holding the school in the church is that when they have events during the week (conferences or revivals) the school takes a back seat and is closed during this time.
The second grant, also to the CFLI, is for sanitation facilities for seven residents here in Sangster Heights. When the Health Inspector did a survey last spring they discovered that almost 10% of those surveyed had no toilet facility in their dwelling. This proposal simply asks for money to provide pit latrines or toilets for seven of these residences. I submitted a similar grant last June to another agency that has yet to fund our request…though they haven’t rejected the proposal. The CFLI meets in May to decide whether to fund these projects.
Not to be outdone Margaret has been working on a LARGE grant from the National Health Fund to establish a healthy lifestyles program that basically will train teachers and parents on the essence of health lifestyles (exercise, nutrition, hygiene, and stress management). They will then train others…a pyramid type methodology. The chairman of the grants section of the NHF is a friend who we have played golf with on a number of occasions. Sometime during October Margaret had spoken to him about a series of lectures she was doing on lifestyle. He was impressed with the content and asked Margaret to submit a grant so that this program could be implemented Island wide. She is currently working on a submission deadline of January 15th. This grant has the potential of being in excess of $1 B Jamaican which is the equivalent of 11 million US. Margaret may stay in Jamaica for the next 10 years to run this grant! NOT!
NOT is right. The six year project is designed to be self sustaining by the end of the first year. I expect that after we leave in August that I’ll have to return on a consulting basis a few times over the next 18 months but after that they ought to be fully operational on their own. Twice I’ve told our friend that I’ll be leaving and will need to return on a consulting basis and he never blinked.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We;'ve been so busy

There's only 18 minutes left on our computer time for today and so much to tell. Some ups and downs to report. Our camera is broken so no more pics until we get one in Novemeber when we return for Thanksgiving. John and his girfriend, Ashley, visited for a long Columbus Day weekend. They had a whirlwind tour of western JM. They spent 2 days in Chapelton, two in Negril and 2 in Rose Hall at that Ritz. They saw the full range of Jamaican life. It was wonderful to have them with us, albeit too brief. We've struggled to help the hospital get a major fundraiser off the ground; the second effort was just canceled but we're ever optimistic that the next effort will be the right one. They desperately need things like reliable water, a washing machine to launder the linen, computers for the records room, garbage bags for the garbage. Items you and I take for granted in the most basic hospitals. Hopefully, we're on the right track this time. Gary's writing more grants to get toilet facilities for homes and schools. I'm preparing to teach certificate programs to teachers and parents in Healthy Lifestyle Living. A few friends have indicated they may or will visit us in the winter. We'll be glad to have more American's around. Many of the volunteers who started with us and who are still here are counting the days until they come home. Although we're still busy and doing meaningful work we too are anxious to come home next summer.

Keep everting crisp, Margaret