Peace Corps Office

>> Friday, June 12, 2009

The Peace Corps office in Managua has a lot of functions: it's (obviously) an office where people go to work, a meeting point for volunteers from all around the country, a doctor's office, a library, and an air-conditioned refuge for volunteers. It is especially easy for Holly and me to get to the office because it's right off of the highway that we have to take to get to Managua, so if we have a lot of work to do, it's worth the $1.50 roundtrip to go to the office and do the work in air conditioning and with free internet since there's basically no place in Masaya with air conditioning.

Here is the outside of the office. Up the stairs is the entrance into the security guards' office; they are always really friendly as we sign in, and always on guard for stray cars parked in front of the office or terrorists that may be passing through (the FBI's most wanted list and various terrorist pictures are prominently posted in their guard station, just in case) :
The fleet of Peace Corps Landcruisers that are ubiquitous in international development circles:
The front door:
Mimi really deserves her own entry; she is the receptionist at the office, but you can tell by the cards hanging around her office that she means way more than that to the volunteers. She has lots of responsibilities and is always busy, but she is on top of all of her duties and is never too busy to say hi when you walk in and to ask how everything is going. She also seems to recognize all volunteers' voices when she answers the phone, even if you're really sick and mumbling that you need to talk to a doctor. We really appreciate Mimi and will miss her very much when we leave. Gracias por todo, Mimi!
Karen started working as the project specialist for the TEFL sector just a couple of months before we arrived in 2007. Before that she was a Spanish teacher in the Peace Corps. During our two years, we have had three separate APCDs (the sector boss), but just one Karen. She has been wonderful and we can't thank her enough either--especially for those months when there wasn't an APCD to help shoulder the work load.

Here is Karen with her really adorable son, Ryan.
Here's the entrance to the Peace Corps medical office, a place we visited far too many times. Marva was responsible for making all our appointments, filling our prescriptions, and keeping everyone on schedule (a nearly impossible task), and Maria Elena, Mariano, Marta, and Ximena were the four doctors charged with keeping us healthy and sane.
The books in the PC library are all donated, and since no one is really responsible for upkeep, they usually look about like this. That said, there are always good books to read in there, and it's definitely part of the reason why we both read more than usual during our two years.
The bulletin board is also a little on the Laissez Faire side, but it lets volunteers find out about important new events, like who was elected president. There are also glimpses of the volunteer computers; there are supposed to be two in the lounge and two in another room, but at least one is almost always broken or missing.


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