Guatemala photos here
Many stories to tell.
The project I was lined up for was more engineering-y than my background and skillset. I worked on it a little, and spent a lot of time making various things. I talked safety, I talked about what tools to buy next, I got the flu, I fixed things, etc. Actually I was sick a lot of the time. Thank the sweet lord for antibiotics.
Climbed the Pacaya volcano in my last week there. Went to Lago Atitlan a couple days. Only a few days in Antigua...it was nice but it gets old quick.
A great experience, all in all. But I am a lot less idealistic about being able to make a career doing that kind of work. Seems like everyone involved is a volunteer, more or less.
The plan was to treat my time in Guatemala as a 'field internship' to earn the last credits of my undergraduate degree. This worked, somehow, and now I'm a few days from graduating with a VCU Bachelor's of Interdisciplinary Studies degree (concentration in Appropriate Technology)
.....and after only 12 years and 27 institutions...... *
So, now what?
The plan is to earn an M.S. in Technology with a concentration in Appropriate Technology from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. This is the only 'AT' graduate program in the country, to my knowledge. Through the Academic Common Market, I am an in-state student, tuition-wise, even though I'm from Virginia. And they have a nice 50s-era Department of Technology building, with what appear to be well-equipped wood and metal shops. They were a big factor, perhaps not surprisingly.
Earlier in the summer, I was working on a really cool prototype of a fuel cell system for a small start-up in Richmond. Great place to work, and I was doing some fun/challenging 3-D solid modeling in AutoCAD Inventor. I was ready to take a more permanent position, defer my grad school admission, and stay on for the fall or longer. They were down, but the money wasn't there to pay me.
So grad school it is. I move to Boone on Saturday.
Eventually I suppose I have to end my career as a professional student. But not yet.
*actually more like 6 years and 5 colleges