"...He prayeth well, who loveth well, Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best, All things both great and small;
for the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all..."

The Rime of the Anchient Mariner -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Friday, October 26, 2012

Every New Beginning...

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..."  This is the republishing of the title of one of my blog posts from 2010.  I wrote about feeling happy for the change and preparing to come to Mexico and sad for the good-byes of family and friends.  The cycle continues and time advances in God's perfect pace.  I shared a few quotes then, which as I re-read them, inspire me once again:

"Have the courage to ask." -my friend Anna
"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dares dream." -my Dad
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader." -John Quincy Adams
"He who dares not, need hope not." my brother Robert

I made my niche here for myself, I am independent, and I am working for a cause I really believe in.  This sounds conceded, but I'm really 'someone' here.  The challenge will be to define who I want to be when I go back; I'm still trying to imagine what the next six months is going to look like, but for now I know that I'll be traveling around Mexico for the next month on my tour d' Bon Voyage.

I came here to be inspired, find direction, grow and learn among other things.  I have learned more than I could have taught.  I have learned how to plant trees, clean beaches, talk to little kids, bird-watch and I have learned how much I enjoy helping others.  In the process of all this learning, I dare say I've inspired a few little people....I was recently flattered by a little girl who said she wanted to be a Marine Biologist just like me when she grew up...I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'm not a Marine Biologist, lol...but I truly hope she meant it.  In all,  I did not change the world, but rather I changed.  I'm of the opinion that we need to actively seek opportunities to be inspired and inspire others.  It worked!--this Peace Corps journey turned out to be a great inspiration to me through the people I have met and the defining moments I have lived over the last 27 months.

I'm fresh on the heels of having coordinated a successful 2-day workshop for local teachers on migratory birds, wetlands, and climate change.  The purpose was to equip teachers with information, and inspire them to take action in the classroom and in their schools.  It's so fresh in my mind, I'd rather not write too much about it, but I am so happy that the training marks the completion of my Environmental Education Project for San Blas.

Me and my boss 'Jorge'...he's the Man.  Truly a great leader.

The San Blas teachers

We taught about Migratory Birds...

...and environmental services and benefits of keeping a healthy environment.

We also gave them books w/ lesson plans to help them take the info into the classroom easily.

Then we went to a near-by lagoon to scope out our local and  migratory birds.

Commitment time-each teacher made a commitment to implement or organize a conservation oriented activity in their school/classroom.

For the next few weeks I'll be pushing forward without jumping too far forward.  I'm going to try to enjoy the moment, find time for myself to relax, do my reports, and find time to say my good-byes with glassy eyes that won't hold back tears...just another part life to be remembered, as my emotions start to mark the end of this beginning.

Below is a picture timeline of my time as a volunteer: Aug 18th, 2010 - Oct 31st, 2012

Day 1 of PC w/ national soccer stars.

My first weekend in Mexico w/ my host mom.

Four months-touring an hacienda, San Luis PotosĂ­

A Quetzal bird head dress & I think it was Quetzalquatl's.
National Museum of Hisory and Antropology, Mexico City
Easter 2011
Casa de las Sieta Muñecas, Yucatan
My brother came to visit his gf & I tagged along. Aug 2011

El Cora, Nayarit
Adventure tourism with local San Blas legend Juan Bananas.

Isla del Rey, Nay
Out for a gingerly hike Oct 2011

Platanitos, Nay
We're not bothering the turtle with all these flashes...they go into a trance once they start laying eggs.
Taken at a Federally run turtle camp. Nightly patrols to protect against poachers.
Oct 2011

Valle de Bravo, Estado de Mex
A piece of Europe in Mexico, and a great place to see the North American Butterfly migration.
March 2012

Isla Isabel, Nay
Though I worked for this National Park, I only went 3 times to this marine bird sanctuary.
Mar 2012

Seafood so fresh it'll make you smack yo' momma!  Weather so hot they serve minny- beer to avoid it getting warm.
San Blas, Nay
This blog started one bitterly cold January night in West Virginia, and I think it's going to end on one muggy night in Nayarit, Mexico.  It started off as 'From CG to PC and beyond', but I later changed it to 'Girl with the Blue Dove Tattoo' in honor of the Steig Larson triology's first book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (no, I do not have a dove tattoo).  Through the application process, training, and the ups and downs of being a volunteer far from loved ones, this has been my outlet. My URL comes from Revelations 3:8 "See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut," because I had a sense of destiny in coming to the Peace Corps.  I feel like Moses coming down from the mountain: older, wiser, and with something to say. I've tried to be positive, informative, and personal in this blog.  Keeping up with it has been cathartic, but it also helped me realize that I would like to continue to write in a more academic setting.

Thanks to my followers and friends.  Please keep in touch!