Former Craig nurse reassesses reasons for service in Belize

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To the Editor:

Hi everyone!

Sorry I haven't written for awhile. As many of you know, my father passed away in February and I was in Arizona caring for him when he died. Needless to say, it shook my world. I miss my Dad terribly for a lot of reasons, but know that he is in a great place -- playing golf and the clarinet!

I continue to reassess my staying in Belize. I want to be with my family, especially my Mom, but the calling to stay in Punta Gorda is strong.

Yesterday I went to a village, San Jose, where I was invited to speak about "child-spacing" (women at 1:30 p.m., men at 6 p.m.). Twenty-one women attended the meeting and I prepared 30 minutes of info. They stayed for more than two hours, asking questions and talking about their personal situations. Most had between nine and 14 children and didn't want any more. Twenty-three men attended the night session, but there were at least 20 more outside of the building listening! That session went until after 8:30 p.m.

There is no electricity in the village; I did the session with one Coleman lantern in the community center. I stayed overnight with some great Peace Corps volunteers and by 6 a.m., the people were lined up on the porch of their house for more info about contraception. It felt great!

My 7-year-old dog (with very few teeth and lots of warts) and I are bonding wonderfully every day. I learned today that she does not know how to play with a ball, so we have lots MORE playing to do! She came to San Jose with me and loved chasing the free-range ducks and chickens! The local radio station said today that the public health department will be putting out poison tomorrow to kill stray dogs and cats and again sometime next week. Lady will be staying in my house for a while!

Keep writing. I still get lonely here ...

Love, Nurse Donna,

Punta Gorda, Belize

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