Thursday, January 28, 2010

One small step for man, one giant leap for MANNA-kind

This week's edition of the guest blog comes from none other than our esteemed guest and compañera for the past week, Miss Dana Zichlin. In such a short period of time Dana won over our hearts through her deep love of crosswords and high tolerance for library games. We wish you all of the best in Guatemala and hope to see you soon, whether it's back here in Ecuador because you can't get enough of us, in Guatemala as 2nd year PDs, or back in Jersey (yes, that Jersey) for holidays. We love you!!

"It's been a whirlwind of a week here with team Ecuador. It seems like months ago that I was deciding whether to hug or handshake my soon-to-be new friends. Since then, I've really come to appreciate the time and effort that goes into running the library and its everyday activities.

Dana and Sonia bonding atop Pasachoa

I thought I would write the remainder of this guest blog in High Fidelity format...

Top 5 things I'm going to miss:
1. Family dinners over candelight
2. Bibi's where's waldo sunglasses (see below)
3. galapagitos (aka animal crackers version 2.0)
4. Riding in the back of a camioneta
5. The 'woo woo' hand snap (that I will never master)

Bibi & sunglasses, per item #2 above

Top 5 things learned:
1. Always label your food in the Manna house
2. Buses are closer than they appear
3. Headbands are just as effective as showers
4. Don't let the sun fool you, it will hail at any given moment
5. No matter how many options there are, children will always repeat your example

Top 5 lessons to take with me to Guatemala:
1. Everything sounds better in Spanish
2. When in doubt, assume it's a cognate
3. Moving from tourist to community member is the most important step
4. Don't make hollow promises
5. Everyone defines development differently

Today, I'm taking off for Guatemala to start the 'feasibility' part of the feasibility trip. Stay tuned for progress updates at

Thank you to all of the Ecuador PDs and Bibi for your individual suggestions, wise words, great senses of humor, and contagious optimism. You will all be in the back of my mind throughout this great adventure.

It looks like I have a lot to live up to...

- Dana"

For more information about Guatemala, the feasibility study, and future opportunity to apply to be a Guatemala PD (!), please tune into Dana's blog and the MPI website!

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