World Aids Day—celebrated on December 1st—was INCREDIBLE! In the morning, I led two educational sessions with teens. Then the whole high school and staff of the local health post marched around Llama carrying educational banners. We even had a young boy dressed up wearing a condom outfit.
The afternoon proved even better. I had organized an afternoon educational session and cooking contest (healthiest food wins) with the moms in all the small towns that surround Llama. The moms were awesome! They brought all sorts of great concoctions and talked about the nutrients in each food as they presented it. The mayor even congratulated me when he stopped by on how impressive my work is with the moms. Some of the health promoters while presenting their foods talked about how much they love working with me and how much they have learned from me, it meant a lot!
One other surprise recently. The head of Peace Corps’ community health promoter program here in Peru contacted me and asked me to serve as an ambassador for Peace Corps. I think I will be describing my experiences with health promotion as an example of the impact that Peace Corps can have on local communities. I feel proud of the inroads I’ve made, especially when I think back to my first several months here when it seemed like I would never be accepted.