Friday, July 17, 2009

Murders and Strikes

So things are still not back to normal here. School was supposed to start this week and did in some places, just not here. Kids actually went to school Monday but the teachers refused to have classes. The university students at the university where Kevin works went on strike because they were afraid that the university was not going to have enough money to finish the school year (which is supposedly true). Then all but the external classes were canceled so the students could go to the marches in support of Zelaya. On Thursday we both went to Kevin's English class and it turned out to be the only class in the entire school that day because all the teachers went to the march. The students were mad but we decided that they needed to learn since they are the worst class ever. At least it gave us something to do! Shannon did an HIV/AIDS training last week at one of the private high schools since they still have classes. She was happy to be able to work and the training went really well. The kids gave great feedback, participated, and really seemed to enjoy it as well as learned something (their post-test scores were significantly higher than their pre-test scores).

On Monday Shannon had quite a disturbing experience that broke the monotony. She went to CEREPA thinking that she would be able to do her dental hygiene program because there were supposed to be classes, only to find out that a patient had come in Friday and died of a heart-attack early Sunday morning. It was decided that personnel from CEREPA should attend the funeral and Shannon was chosen as one of the people to go. She went with four of her co-workers and they had only been there for about five minutes when she heard a gunshot. This is pretty normal here and nobody really paid attention. She noticed that it seemed louder than normal so she looked and saw a man in a cowboy hat with a pistol walking behind another man. He shot the man two times in the back while she watched! She saw two blood spots begin to form on the man's chest and he started to fall. Chaos ensued and everyone started running and screaming. Her co-workers yelled "corra Shannon, corra" and she ran like the wind. They ran to a little store and took shelter. The police and ambulance came quickly but only stayed a few minutes as the shooter had fled the scene. The driver from CEREPA picked them up and the rest of the day was uneventful. The murderer was supposedly drunk and killed the other man over "cosas personales". He has since been arrested and sent to jail. Now the talk at CEREPA is how fast Shannon runs, how she witnessed a murder like in a "Hollywood movie", and how scared one of her co-workers was. She is surprisingly unaffected; we chalk it up to hearing about things like this all the time so it seems commonplace. She hopes to never witness a murder again!

Kevin got the opportunity to go with the university on a canoe trip through La Moskitia, a biological reserve. He left yesterday and will return Wednesday. It was all very last minute as the trip had been canceled and rescheduled very quickly. He was almost not able to go as all trips through this area require pre-approval from Peace Corps. Luckily our country director and the director of safety and security worked with him to get everything done last night. There is only one cell company that gets reception out there and his trip hinged on getting a chip from them for his phone. Shannon, like the good wife that she is, had to run around at 6:00 PM last night in the rain searching for a place that was still open that sold Digicel chips. Kevin was at a meeting at the university and was unable to do it himself. She had given up hope when she ran into some very nice men who called all their friends until they found a place. The trip was saved! She's just jealous that she couldn't go too!

1 comment:

Russell said...

Score! You should now be able to see Threstrals!