People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards;

sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are. ~Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

Friday, May 11, 2007

My mantra.

People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards;
sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.

~Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

Life is weird. I posted this title for my blog when I first moved to Honduras. It wasn't until Beth asked me about it this past weekend that I realized how much I needed to keep reminding myself of it.

I had made an observation to Becca a few months ago, that while her, dad and I may look the same and even sound the same from time to time, in that one moment, in the instant that mom passed we all died with her. And in that very same moment we began what I assume will become a very long process of becoming entirely new people; not as good I imagine, and not quite as whole, just new. I think most of the time people don't understand that we aren't the same anymore. I'm not who I was a year ago today and I'm not who I was February 18th either.

I am reading, per Becca, Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking". In her memoir she continually expresses the moment her husband passed due to a heart attack, by saying: " second you sit down for dinner and the next you're dead." and I know she meant herself as much as her husband.

I think the hope after such an event is to find a way back to normal, but normal no longer exists. Too often I am wishing for normalcy, completely oblivious to the fact that what I am really wishing for is my mom back. Nothing is normal without her, so what I'm really waiting for is to figure out who the new me is going to be. And I guess I will keep trying until I figure it out.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How cute was she!

My version of her obituary, for my aunt Beth

Janaan Stewart Diemer completed her baptismal journey February 19, 2007.

Those who were screwed include Janaan herself who never made it to Cabo, her loving yet now bitter husband Dan, her two daughters who are now at loss of a direction in life, Rebecca and Miriam, her sister who didn’t have enough time with her, Linda and her brother Scott who wishes he hadn’t picked on her so much, and her parents Ray and Myra who now wonder where they will go for the holidays if not warm New Mexico.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Becca and Mom, shortly after surgery...
and Dad's famous patio
and beautiful New Mexico

Cabin in Zancuro, Marcala where we stayed for two very cold nights visiting fellow PCV, Josh's rural tourism. Raul asked us to make a face as to how we felt about this adventure...
Erin and I in Zancuro
Raul and I overlooking Josh's site

Erin, Bridget and Stephanie making Erins famous picture face.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stuck in the Capital

Today I am stuck in the capital one more time. I came up yesterday for my (what has become) weekly discussion with the doctor here, and again, she was unable to meet and I had to stay the night. There is discussion of them keeping me one more day here. I wish I knew these things when I leave my site with little more than a book and a couple hundred Limperas (like 10 bucks).

This past weekend for Halloween Raul and I and a couple of our friends headed to the west past Marcala to a little town on the border of El Salvador. We have a friend up there who has opened up some cabins in a Rural Tourism project and we were the first customers. It was cold beyond imagination and with no electricity, we were unable to shower, or even change our clothes for the three days we were there. But we made the best of it, smores, games of Mafia, and a little rum made the whole adventure worth it. On Sunday we drove into El Salvador and ate pulpusas at a local comedor and got rid of a bit of our american dollars we still had lying around. It was a wonderful experience and I will post or send pictures as soon as I can.

We are still in the process of making plans for Thanksgiving, but it is looking like picking the largest house, which would be at our friend Stephanies in La Paz, La Paz and cooking up a chicken as turkey is hard to come by here. I had plans to stay in my site until then, but with the bureaucracy of the American Government, I was called into the capital and probably will be next week too. I am trying to work, but I feel a lack of opportunity, as I live in a perfect little community with most luxuries...other than bread. So I read a lot, see a lot of my friends, and have officially become cuerpo de paseo. I hope to change that soon. Maybe when they let me get back to my site.

Now for the real news. Mom is doing great. Her white blood cell count has been wonderful which means they can continue the treatment as ordered. She has returned to work for the majority of the day, and aside from beginning to loose her hair, she seems to be keeping together better than any of us. We will know more around Christmas as far as the tumors go, but she is feeling great and that is the most we could have hoped for.

My number here is 011-504-894-9829
Not that I expect any of you to be calling as it is expensive, but just incase anything comes up that I must know about.

I love you all and appreciate everythign!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

so i know everyone is so curious as to how I am doing back in Honduras, and how things are at home. Well, things seem to be going well in Cruces, mom is in her second week of Radiation and Chemo and seems to be handling them both pretty well. She has made every inclination that she wants to return to work for at least the mornings before her treatments, and may have actually started doing that. Her positive attitude is so inspiring and as much as I really don't want to be here right now, knowing that she is perfectly capable with just her and dad sort of makes me feel like my going home would be more of an impediment than not.

Things here are okay. It's weird being back at my site, speaking spanish, not having anyone to talk to for the majority of the day. I think if I had a site mate (or one that wasn't a total freak) I would be a little better to handle all this. Raul spent last weekend in my site with me, and I will be visiting him this weekend, but that leaves most of my days completely lonely. We are going to change phone services this weekend (and I will send along that new number when I get it) so we can talk a little more frequently, but the loneliness that usually doesn't bother me seems to be getting to me finally. Oh, and lets not forget about my adventure to get here in the first place. The trip ended up taking two days, and ended with them loosing my luggage. I am back in Tegus once more to try and find it all, but who knows with this country.

So, I guess I'm doing just okay. I seem to be getting from one day to the next and that's about as far as I can plan. My hope is to make it to Christmas, but I know that if I continue to be this sad here, not only will Raul Have to break up with me, but it's just no way to be, and I can make the decision to leave any time I need to. I had all these amazing plans with what I wanted to do with my service, but being so far away from home right now is the only thing, and really the most important thing that I can think about. I don' t think that if I decide to leave that I will be any more sad than I am staying, and that is a battle that I will take on soon enough.

I wish I could understand why God has us in certain places, what he wants from us, what our purpose is. But I suppose if I knew these things than God would be no better than my own limited mind. What I do keep praying for is that he will continue to be here with me until he makes it clear that he wants me somewhere else. I pray that our family can find comfort in his lack of answers and keep trusting in his reasons. And I pray that when I fall apart because of the distance that he will find ways to keep me together. Please keep my mom in your prayers, it really does mean the world to all of us.

For now my address will stay the same as posted before, and I will send my new number as soon as I can. I will be home for Christmas and will keep you updated if those plans change.
Thank you all for your love and support and I hope to be talking to you soon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


At the waterfall in San Juan
Stephanie and Erin at site announcement
Lucky Mora, Raul's and my dog
Raul and Stephanie at site announcement

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cuerpo de Light

Corruption, Strikes, Bolos and Basura.

When I imagined my life in Cuerpo de Paz I pictured huts, dirty clothes and poverty like I could never imagine. And it’s true, I’ve seen things I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’ve seen children with nothing, no clothes, no food, no parents. I seen houses that wouldn’t pass for a hut, with more people living in them than my extended family has, and the whole lot of them working every day just to survive, without jobs, without means, farming what they can to make it through just the one day. I have learned more bad words than I am honestly comfortable with, because a white girl walking around in a town of drunkards solicits a little too much attention just by being there. I’ve been called everything from bitch or slut, to virgin. In the middle of the day, in front of children, with no qualms, and it seems I am the only on around who it bothers. Men learn from a very young age here how to objectify women, and they get really good at it. In the states I feel that right about the time men learn how to behave like this is about the time they decide they want to start dating and know they better cut it out if they ever want to go out. Anyway, the reason there are children around to hear such things is because the teachers have been on strike for as long as I have been here. Last year, of the 200 scheduled school days (7:30-12:00) there were in actuality 97, and this year is looking to be worse. For a country struggling to develop, to crawl its way out of complete deprivation, it is leaving in its wake an entire generation of uneducated, unmotivated children. They are the future and it is almost guaranteed that the next generation will be worse off than the one before. There is a phrase here that roughly translates to “thrown out like the bolos” because the bolos who pass out and sleep on stoops, on the streets are just like the trash here. I understand the frustration, never being able to find a trashcan in this country, or in my house for that matter, wanting to give up and just throw whatever it is wherever I am. I suck it up because I refuse to throw whatever I have in what is already natures trash can, the country of Honduras.

This month in La Esperanza we have broken up into small groups to complete a series of projects. Thus far, ours have included a basic municipal report detailing the agencies and transparency within the Municipality. This project came pretty easy, with the help of the Mayor who wanted not only to make it completely obvious how much better he is than the last guy, but also to get a date with a girl in our group. His right hand man helped us organize a trash collection campaign, where this week we will paint trashcans with a group of students to be put up around the city. The municipality has the trashcans, they are sitting in a warehouse somewhere waiting for God knows what. His right hand man, after the formalities claro, proceeded to ask Raúl which of the girls in the group were already spoken for (only in a much cruder manner which I refuse to post on this site). We gave a charla to a group of women patronatos whos main complaint was corruption within an organization that has NO funds. And this week we are giving leadership charlas to a private school, kids who already have all the benefits that we are trying to provide them, but there is no telling when the public schools will be back in…this is our only resort.

But we are Cuerpo de Light. We are the diet coke of Peace Corps, even though I can’t for the life of me find diet coke in this country. We are Cuerpo de Light because we live in nice houses with middle class families who feed us more than we could ever consume and we shower in cold water, but we don’t really need to shower every day (or at least I don’t) because we don’t really get all that dirty. We are Cuerpo de Light because we watch movies at night, well, we try anyway, and in our down time we read and if our doors are closed we can almost forget about everything that is happening around us. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but I know that it gets us from one day to the next, and that is really important here.

I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, I can’t fathom what it will bring, but know that I am here, and even when I am completely unproductive and have no idea what is going on around me, this is where I am supposed to be, and looking around at the people here, and the friends here, that makes me happy.