Sunday, December 21, 2008
I got to ride around on a donkey the other day and play polo, it was Peace Corps vs. Honduras. We lost, by a lot, but it was still a lot of fun. I think however the most fun cultural activity I have participated in so far was the Honduras vs. Mexico soccer game in San Pedro a couple month ago. We got absolutely soaked at the game; the environment and fans were out of this world. The stadium was like a heart and the beating of the heart the passion the Honduran fans were pouring into the game. When Honduras scored the goal that would prove to be the winner that heart exploded from so much joy and emotion. Those experiences are truly the best, and for an instance it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, old or young, black or white, everyone is bonded as one through the pure emotion and everyone is equal (except the Mexicans, they were probably just cussing and kicking the floor).
When I head back to Honduras I am hoping that the water filters project we are starting up will really get going and this next year I am going to try and work more in the school and maybe do some environmental education, or something along those lines.
I hope that everyone who is reading this has (or had) a wonderful holiday season, whether at home or at your second or third homes. Sometimes it is not possible for us to physically be with one another and at certain times of the years it’s felt more than others, however there is always something that puts us with are loved ones everyday, and never deny that that thing exists (it does, or maybe it doesn’t but if we think it does it will at least make us feel better (maybe)).
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tick-tock, I don’t own a clock, but if I did I am sure it would make that sound J I think that in spite of that fact that I don’t own a clock I feel that seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months slowly ticking away. It will be a year in site in about 1 month, the time has gone by so very fast, and the cold weather is upon us yet again. Recently the weather has been even less predictable than normal, we go days without rain and then get hit by a storm that has enough water in it that it could sprinkle for days and accumulate as much water as the 1 to 2 hour thunder blunder. My garden has become sparse; my tomatoes were attacked and destroyed by a type of fungus that is made much worse by the thunderstorms. I am currently working on planting some green pepper, onion and more cucumber. The tomato plants in front of my house are doing good, but grow very slow because they only get sun in the morning.
My chicken coop project is in full effect and we recently got the money from the grant we had written to buy the materials (chicken wire, tin roof, and nails) for the construction. However before we start construction we have to finish another 3 trainings on the proper management of chickens and chicken coops. Now that we are going to have the material I am sure the people will be even more animated to attend and participate, as the construction phase of the project is very near. It can be difficult to get people to attend meetings here, because all in all the people here are lazy (my Honduran friends tell this to me frequently when we talk about why people don’t do things). For this project I am trying to instill a sense of responsibility in the people, by making them come to meetings and be on time and for the most part it has gone very well, which tells me that whatever it is that makes people here not go to meetings could be done away with, with the proper motivation!
I am still working with various coffee and vegetable producers, I am going to post a couple of pictures from the other day when we harvested more than 700 pounds of carrots from the terrace beds that one of the producers has. That same day I managed to cut my finger with my machete (first time I have cut my self with my machete). It was just a little slice and it has since then healed, but it made life difficult for a couple days as the cut was right on the tip of my left thumb.
There are so many little things that happen here that could probably be written in my blog, but I right so very rarely that by the time I think about writing I have forgotten most of the things. Such as the electricity project being 95% done and the lamp they recently put up in front of my house. It is now glowing yet but will be very very shortly. Also the fact that I have read more books this year than in the last 5 combined and the year is not nearly over yet. Rachel and I went on vacation in El Salvador in July and that was a really good time. We went to a couple distinct beaches (one for surfing (which we weren’t interested in doing) and one for swimming and lounging (which we took advantage of)). San Salvador was a really cool place, and we went to the biggest mall in Central America when we visited!
That’s all I got for now, as the tick-tock continues I will do my best to write something else on here when I remember. Hasta entonces,
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Well now I have not written a blog in donkeys years, so lets see if I can’t write one that will make your hair stand up on end. Recently life in my site has been very good, I have been teaching a little bit of environmental education in the school, and we have gotten a space ready to plant some trees and vegetables which will be added to the students merienda (snack) that is typically beans and rice than has been given to the schools by the government.
Other than that the tree in the vivero (nursery) in my house are growing and I have gotten a number of coffee producers that are also planting the trees on their farms. In reality where I live is not a danger area for deforestation, the valleys of Honduras and the Biosphere de rio platano which is on the other side of the country are the real danger areas for deforestation. But it never hurts to plant trees and I like to do my best to encourage it because someday deforestation could be an issue here and it is better to prevent then have to fix the problem.
In my house I have planted some different vegetables (to test) some seeds I was given and also so I can produce some of my own vegetables to consume. All of the seeds I put down have come up, so in a couple of months I should get to eat some onions, carrots, radish and maybe some tomatoes.
Recently I had a medical issue that was a little different than anything I have ever experienced and is (according to some research I did) only found in Central and South America. About 2 weeks ago I had a horribly swollen ankle and has hospitalized for 2 days with a staff infection, this was kind of disheartening cause I missed part of a workshop I had been waiting to attend for a couple of months with my Counter Part from my community. Anyway, after a lot of pain, not being able to walk much and 9 days of Antibiotics I still wasn’t healed, and the hole in my leg where pus had come out did not want to shut. I talked with people in my site and they all swore I had something called torsalo, of course I had no idea what this was, but it was described to me as a worm that lives in your leg. I decided I wasn’t to get a professional opinion and so I went back to the clinic in San Pedro Sula where I had been hospitalized. The doctor looked at it and told me I had an infection, but that it wasn’t torsalo, which I later found out to be a botfly larva.
Anyway the doctor took a sample of the pus to do a culture and I stayed in San Pedro and did some research about how the botfly larva works, and it turns out although the doctor swore to me this is not what I had, my symptoms were exactly that of the botfly larva. So when I got home the next day I cut off the “air hole” with duct tape and in 15 minutes where I removed the tape, low and behold I had a little worm looking for air.
I called and talk to the PC doctor and she gave me some advice as to how to get it out, I followed the advice and after having the hole plugged for over and hour I managed to squeeze (with a little bit of pain) the little bastard out of my poor ankle. I would have put a picture online but he came out in two nasty pieces, and I was tending the open hole so I didn’t get to take the picture, however if you look online you can see some “great” videos of people who have had botfly larva’s growing in their bodies, let me tell you its nasty stuff, but such is life.
Oh well, you live and you learn, I could have had that worm out of me a lot faster if I had listened to the people in my community!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
For Semana Santa (holy week) i had the pleasure of spending some time with some of my friends in a little town on the north coast known as Trujillo. We had a great time hanging out on the beach, and just relaxing and talking about this that and the other. Life is good right now, I am enjoying my time and hoping that the work we are just starting up gives us some results.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Whoa, it is already February, the time flies bye in this country, or at least it does now, I remember when I first got to site and it went so very slow. Recently they entered into coffee season in my site, which means I have had the pleasure of picking coffee, and getting bitten by this annoying little bug that makes my skin itch. I have also been working with some farmers that are into small vegetable production (like onion, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, carrots, and some others). I am hoping to convince these farmers to try and create some of their own organic fertilizer, instead of buying which is what they all do. I would say my integration into my community is all but complete and I feel very comfortable in my site.
Recently I got a whole bunch of seeds to do a reforestation project with my community. The majority of the seeds are trees that have wood that is good in building (cedar, laurel, and mahogany); however I also got us some fruit trees. Right now because of the coffee season this is on hold, but hopefully in March/April we will start on this by making a nursery and then from their we will be able to transplant the seeds. Due to the large amount of reforestation in my sector to clear way to plant other things, I am hoping this project will be a hit and we can plant some of these clear cut areas, and the water source for our village.
I have also been in contact with an ex-Peace Corps Volunteer in the states that works with LED lights as a hobby, and I am hoping to do a project with an LED light to replace candles. The lights are much safer than candles, are very cheap to run and could save families here quite a bit of money. I am still not sure how big of a hit this project will be with the people in my community or if I will be able to solicit some funds to help it, but I am still researching and hopefully by the end of February will have a good idea as to whether this project is feasible and with the effort.
Other than these work related issues I have been having a good time, I like my little house, and am currently working on making a little garden in my back yard. I am having to bring in soil from somewhere else however because the soil in my backyard is crap. I am also doing some composting in my back yard with the hope of using the product on my garden which I am hoping to have ready to plant sometime in May. I currently bought an antenna for my house so I could use my cell phone without doing the 15 minute walk. Also the tigo site is now working to send text messages, so I am going to put a new set of instructions here in the blog if you ever feel like getting on the internet to send me a text, I might even text you back, because I recently found out that texting the states doesn’t cost much more than texting in country.
Vaya pues, I hope that all is well back in the states, we are about to enter into summer, and I have been trying to play soccer as much as possible, but sometimes its hard to find the time as I am now busy with other things. I don’t really have any new pictures, so I will have to wait to put some new ones online, but I will put up a note when I get some new ones online.
Text messaging instructions for free from the internet:
click on the following link:
look for the part on the screen that says “Envia tus mensajes desde la web” (send your messages from the web). Click on this button.
A screen will pop up, it sometimes takes some time, let it load and in the box that says “tu nombre” (your name) type in your name and click aceptar (accept).
A list comes up on the screen that says “lista de destinarios” (list of destination). Click on the first box and type 97653847 (which is my phone number). Click aceptar.
The next screen that comes up has a part down below that says “escribe aqui el texto que quieres enviar” (write here the text you want to send). Click on this box and write me the message, there is a limit on space, but you can send various messages and it costs nothing.
When you have the message typed how you want it click “aceptar”, a new screen will come up that says “codigo verificador” (verifying code) it sometimes takes a little while for the actual code to come up, however when it does copy it into the box below it and click “aceptar”.
This should send me the text message. If you have any questions, doubts, problems, just let me know.
Friday, December 28, 2007
|Allí no máscito…so what did you do for christmas, I got to listen to scary stories about death and listen to fireworks until I finally fell asleep, after writing a report I have been procrastinating for a week…good time up on the mountain…on the bright side of things I got to eat some pretty kick ass tamales, as an old custom here is to make tamales this time of year…its funny how Christmas hasn’t really felt like Christmas at all. I don’t know if it is the lack of gift giving, maybe the fact that I walk out my front door to a nice green patch of grass that I recently cut with my machete, or the fact that I spent Christmas away from my family and friends for the first time. The funniest part of it is that although there are some things I miss (spending time with family, friends, and the food which is usually pretty awesome this time of year), I really haven’t missed the whole consumer part of Christmas that I don’t have to deal with or see hear considering the only things they sell in my village are coke and a few necessary food products (beans, rice, eggs, etc.)|
Recently I got to go and participate in a bird count with one of Peace Corps business partner type NGO’s. it was very educational and a whole lot of fun, and now whenever I am anywhere and I see a bird I watch it until I can’t see it and I only wish I had some binoculars and the ability to distinguish it. Some of the birds we saw were really amazing, and all of a sudden I am interested in birds, it’s funny how a little event can do that to someone…we’ll see how long it lasts J Recenlty I finished up the first job type thing that we had been working on for the past couple months, and now it is just sit and wait to see if anything happens. We can only hope!
I have been living in my house now for almost a month and I am liking it a lot. Although I will not deny that living with the family for the first 2 months was a great experience and esentiall in my integration process here in the community. In Fact I still go and eat frequently in my host parents house, because the food is delicious, they are my neighbor, and sometimes I am lazy and do not like to cook. I still am in the process of getting rid of my bad habit of cooking more than I can eat, without refrigeration it leads to much waste or me looking for someone who wants to try the “weird” food that the gringo just made. Recently I have been cooking a lot of potatoes considering I keep getting given them. The other day I was given a whole stem of bananas which I hung up in my bodega, and they just started ripining, and considering there are probably 150-200 bananas on the stem I am in the process of eat and giving away a lot of bananas. It is amazing that there’s so much banana here and yet the people here rarely eat banana.
Anyway the coffee season is coming into heat and lots of people are starting to show up to work. I am not really sure where this is gonna leave me, but pretty soon I am going to learn how to pick, and I could have some long days ahead of me. I hope everyone has a happy new year at home and try and check out some of the photos I am gonna put online today if I have the time.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Oh yeah 2 months down, only 22 left to go J, So I have sort of started to work now, I mean I guess it all depends on your point of view when you ask or define work…I have recently turned in a proposal for a reforestation project with Trees for the Future, which I am hoping to undertake sometime next year with my community and the school. Also we are in process to ask for a middle school to be brought to our community. I am not really sure if we are going to accomplish the latter, but it never hurts to try. I have also been to meetings in the other surrounding communities and have told them I will support them in the projects they are doing where I can, however in reality I have very few resources as Peace Corps Volunteer. In reality my job is less focused on the actual work I do as a volunteer and more on the cultural exchange I have with the people in the community. This doesn’t mean I am just going to walk around talking about differences and drinking coffee with people, but I will be doing this a lot.
I played soccer again last weekend; I got to wait for about 3 hours of discussion and confusion before we finally played. Of course we lost, the team I played for in very poorly organized, it was fun either which way, and I could barely walk the next day, but that was probably more because I had to walk 40 minutes to and from the soccer game, and in a hurry after the game up the hill from the neighboring village to get to a meeting I had called. In the end I got to the meeting, absolutely wasted, but it went well and we completed the stuff I needed us to do to turn in the application for the reforestation project.
This weekend I think I am going to move into my own little shack/house. We did some work to put glass windows and metal bars on the windows, and also to install a sink inside the house. I am only waiting on going and getting the furniture that is waiting for me in a neighboring village. I got really lucky that past volunteers left me a whole bunch of stuff, the only furniture I have had to buy is a bed, and since the past volunteers in my area were couple the bed frame I was left is queen, so I bought a nice queen size bed for 2300 lempiras (125 dollars). I really like my host family and will come and eat with them all the time even when I move out, but it is a step that I need to take and now my friends are going to be able to come and visit me and have a place to stay!
The coffee season is on the verge, they are already picking, but just a few beans a day, pretty soon it will be mayhem and people will be picking left right and center. I am going to go out one of these days and see what it is like to pick coffee for a day; it should be an interesting experience.
I had a great thanksgiving with some friends in a town called
Bueno, that’s all I got for now…I am probably leaving out a lot, but it’s hard to include everything…all I know is that I haven’t fallen off the mule yet!!! More to come on that… J