Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Above, in Tegus after Honduras qualified for the World Cup.
Below...me trying to get my huge dog Lola to look at the camera.
Once again in Tegus, celebrating in the streets!
Halloween in Copan....we went as Mrs. Pac-Man and Ghosts. I´m the shorter ghost :o)
Just posin...these are the girls from my abstinence/self-esteem class. Good times
A pic of Lola and how big and beautiful she is.
This place is called La Ventana (The Window) and is a huge natural rock formation that happens to frame my town of Florida.
A couple of friends and me messing around on top of La Ventana.
Little closer of a shot...beautiful.
More of Florida...so not only is it beautiful, but I´m very isolated as well.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Last night I came home and found a crab in my living room…that´s right, a crab. Mind you I live in the mountains where it’s quite far from large bodies of water. He wasn´t a huge guy, could fit in the palm of your hand. I didn´t worry about it too much and just figure he´d go out the way he came in. After all, a crab pinch probably hurts a lot less than a scorpion sting. I woke up in the morning, went to the bathroom, got dressed fed Lola then went to open my window before leaving the house. I stopped…the crab was in my bedroom under the window…about 2ft from my bed. I don´t know when he entered but my door was shut all night. I´m assuming it was warmer there than in the living room. Once again this was a job for the fearless Deyvis. He picked it up and held its claws and set it outside. Shortly later he was gone…let’s hope not back into the house.
Cooking adventures continue. I finally filled up the gas tank for my stove and tried out the grill top that Adam sent me. Some friends were coming for the weekend so I splurged in town when I found boneless, skinless chicken breasts at the little grocery store. Oh my f-ing god! It was the best thing I´ve put in my mouth in the last year! Until we made homemade cinnamon rolls, that is! J It was a splurge on delicious food weekend. I think it was a splurge in general weekend…I broke down and got a new toaster oven after I found a good deal and a friend who had bought the same one told me she cooked two entire chickens in it. I also found a pair of American Eagle jeans and two shirts at the thrift store for a total of $7.40.
My class with the 6th grade girls is going well. We were meeting every day, but that was just too much work and stress on me. These classes are normally only 1-2hrs each, but the prep time necessary for visual aids, materials and whatnot is a lot more. And when I also have two English classes to prepare for as well as meals and dishes…it was a little too much. I figure 3x a week will spread it out enough that I get a little free time.
On a final note…Lola can now sit, shake and lay down almost anytime (not quite always) that you tell her. Like any large dog she responds better to food and gets easily distracted….
Monday, August 17, 2009
I also introduced Deyvis to biscotti…though he joked about how hard it turned out even though I told him a couple times that’s how it was supposed to be. Teriyaki and chipotle citrus marinades have also been enjoyed by Deyvis thanks to my bro. Red pepper chile flakes have become a necessity with almost every meal…courtesy of dad. It’s nice to change things up every once in awhile. As much as I love beans, eggs and tortillas you start to get bored after a year. I also splurged and paid for some olive oil which Deyvis was shocked at how much I paid and started to scold me. I explained that this is something special that only I’m allowed to touch…and we don’t use it to cook eggs, beans, etc. And that his mom is to go nowhere near it…I about died after being in the mountain with her for a couple of days and seeing how much Crisco (yes, Crisco…not even oil) she puts into everything. I’ve mentioned a few times to Deyvis about the excessive oil/manteca usage (okay…actually I say it a lot) and he’s finally mentioned it to his mom when she started talking about her health. Let’s hope for positive changes. A couple friends are coming this weekend and I want to make an attempt at cinnamon rolls or cinnamon raisin bread...I really hate my toaster oven though...it burns almost everything bc its super hot and doesn´t have temperature control. Usually the first time making something is more of an experiment of how long to cook it for using either the bottom, top, or combination of both for just the right amount of time. Usually with slight blackening...
It’s been a long while since I’ve updated and I feel like a lot has happened but at the same time not so much. Things started rolling with work and I felt semi-occupied…then the coup and all the strikes my teachers in town participate in have put me back into the position of a lot of book reading and housework. With my 3rd level English class we had figured out last week that if we continue with 2 classes per week we can finish by the end of Aug. instead of the end of Oct. But then there was a huge march in Tegus…so my teachers cancelled class for last week and said that maybe they’ll be back this week. Luckily they came back today, but they don´t know if they´ll be working next week or not. So its been a lot of lazy days...which has given me time to start reading the Harry Potter series (in Spanish).
This week I’m starting a Girls Empowerment class that focuses on abstinence, self-esteem and decision making. I want to start with the 6th grade girls here in town and if it turns out to be a pretty good program I can apply for a grant to get funding to do it again with various groups. It’s designed for ages 10-15…and they’re almost finished with a version for the boys.
We’ve finally got a few things going on in the library…with limited participation unfortunately. But Zona X (the teen group) is finally meeting again, and this is where I’d prefer to help most in programs concerning the library. Right now it’s just the teens that live with the church that are coming, but we should be able to get a few more locals…if not, oh well. We also started again with the story hour, early stimulation and reading club.
That´s about it for now...with my computer mostly running and internet access back at the library (for now) I should be able to post a little more often....Until the next time!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Besides that things are going well. Just got back from the states last week and had a good visit. It was good to see people. It wasn´t too strange to be home, but we´ll see how if feels in another year and a half when I come back for good. I do miss a lot of things about the US but at the same time I was ready to come back to my boyfriend and dog. And good tortillas.....yummmm.
So now that I´m back I´m finally starting to get rolling on some projects. I currently have 3 English classes going with the teachers in my community. Two level 1 classes and one level 3. I really enjoy doing those classes. I always drag my feet on the lesson planning and feel like I don´t want to go, but once we get started I have a blast. Especially with my high school teachers, which I have about 20 of in class. They´re all laid back and like to joke around. I just hope they stick with it. They´re looking for more pronunciation and to improve the little that they know. These classes are designed to teach teachers to teach their students. Honduras has started with the requirement that all students must be taught English starting in 4th grade. Which is great, but its hard for the teachers when they don´t know any of it either. So in the HS, I´m glad they´re attending, but its not specifically designed for them. They´re welcome to attend, but I´m just afraid they´ll get bored or expect something else from it.
This week I´m also starting a program that teachers kiddos the first steps of managing money/business basics. We´re doing it with 4th, 5th and 6th grades. It might be a little advanced for the younger ones, but we´ll see how it turns out. Also, I´m helping out the 7th, 8th and 9th grade teachers with an HIV/AIDS/STI session. And....we´ll be starting a Colgate dental health program with the kindergarden class. All this is happening at my centro basico which is located about 45mins walking from where I live. I just hope that the work will keep up.
So all in all things are all right. Still bored sometimes. Starting to train Lola a little better...trying to get her to run with me, but if she can just walk nicely I´m happy. It seems like when I want to run I´m almost dragging her as she just wants to sniff around. Then when she´s ready to run I´m tired. Or she goes waaaaay too fast for me. Deyvis says he´ll be taking her out more. He can run faster and a lot further than I can. He´s currently training for a competition at the end of July. A 9 mile race I do belive. Its through the University...and if he wins he gets to go to Panama! He won last fall, but at that time the universities hadn´t been connected to do something outside of Honduras with the winners. Something with the Centeral American Olympics or something. Hopefully he´ll win so we can take a trip to Panama in the fall!
That´s the majority of what´s been going on. I hope all is well and that everyone there is having a great time! I look forward to seeing everyone in the fall of 2010!
Friday, March 27, 2009
We started an early stimulation program in the library in Feb and the first week was great, second week had about half the kiddos/moms come back and since then....its been pretty much just me...maybe one other kid shows up. So we´re gonna send out invites again and hope for better results. I was also filling in as an English teacher at the HS....but only did like a week of classes. Right after I started I got sick with a bacteria that knocked me out. I didn´t eat for 4 days....blah. Don´t worry though, I´m not withering away....I just spent the majority of this week in a little resort town for a training and took full advantage of not making or paying for meals. We did sneak out last night to go to a new Italian resturant which was amazing! Italian food isn´t so common here....and when Hondurans make "spaghetti" its like the Chef Boyardee outta the can stuff. I saw some beautiful eggplants for sale in the market in Marcala and I instantly thought of eggplant parmesean....but then I remembered I don´t have an oven. So now I´m on the look-out for little pans that fit inside my toaster oven so I´ll never have a sadness like that again.
I guess there was a few things that happened...including the Feria (4 days of activities and parties at night). It was interesting....and thanks to Reykha warning me I wasn´t completely alarmed and thrown off when the marching band started playing around 430am on Thursday morning. I think my favorite part was the Show de Fuegos Artificales (Firesworks) which included the Toro de Fuego (Bull of Fire). This Toro de Fuego is a man that is under a wooden contraption that resembles a bull and he runs around as it sparks, flames and shoots fireworks. And I thought that an eletric shower was dangerous! Here´s a clip....hehe.
I did find a trantula in my bathroom the other day....granted it wasn´t huge, but it still wasn´t welcome in my house. Deyvis had just left for the mt and I didn´t quite know what to do so I shut the door and put a towel outside the door hoping that it would stay where it was until Deyvis came back. It didn´t move....but he did laugh at me for being afraid of such a small tarantula.
Besides that things have still been slow but school finally started (a month late) and I´m looking forward to having a bit more to do. I just finished a training this week called Joven a Joven (Youth to Youth) which is aimed at 14-28 year olds to think about job skills, emoloyability, character, personality....etc and help them to decide if they want to continue studying, work or start their own business. This topic really interests me and I´m excited to see how it works out in my community. Before accepting my other AmeriCorps position in Orange County, CA I was called about a job in CA in the desert working with youth transitioning out of the foster care system and teaching them independent living skills....something I might look into when I get back or at least keep in mind. I´m glad that I´m working with teens here b/c it gives me the chance to see if this is something I´d like to persue more in the future without a lot of pressure.
Anyways....I will be home in approx 41 days (or at least in the States) and I look forward to seeing everyone and eating TONS of fruits and veggies....and I mean a lot! I want my poo to turn colors! Haha.....strange, but very true statement. I miss you all and love you much! I´ll probably post again with more photos soon as I´ll be traveling in April for Semana Santa (Holy Week/Easter) then for my birthday for the weekend.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
So far Lola's been pretty laid back. Lots of sleeping still...she's just a few days under 2 months. Like all new puppies in a new house, I've been cleaning up some messes, but she's learning pretty quickly. And luckily she didn't cry much last night when I shut her out of the bedroom. She has quite a bark for being young...Deyvis walked up the house last night making noises which made her go off...then hide under the coffee table when he came in! She had been around him earlier, but didn't quite know what to do this time.
I think she'll be quite happy here...lots of doggie friends around and tons of space to run. So here's Lola...her first day in Florida!
Monday, January 5, 2009
December started with me going on a hike with the church to some hot springs. It wasn't a hot spring in the sense you would think...or at least like I thought. Instead of a pool of water it was more like a little waterfall coming down into a river. But it was nice, hot water. I didn't want to leave... (Here's some of the girls from the church enjoying the hot spring) I also got my face eaten by some barbed wire. I got a nice little cut running across my lip and upward, a gash under my nose, a cut inside my nostril as well as a small scrape on my cheek. The gash under my nose is still healing more or less...and I'll have a nice raised scare to remind me of the hike.
I also helped to harvest beans...what work that is! And its not like the nice flat fields in Michigan. Its literally on mountain sides...with rocks, trees, spiny plants and tarantulas. Okay...I only saw one tarantula, but if there's one there must be more. So the way they harvest beans is they leave them in the ground until they're dried. Then you go around pulling up the vines from the roots and collecting them until you have a pile. You put the pile on the ground and repeat. (The Padre has 6 acres!) Later you come back and pick up the piles of beans and carry them to a plastic tarp where they get beat with sticks to knock out all the grains. I think total we got about 8,500lbs of beans. Pretty good for 10 days of work...though it was hard and I wanted to cry. I had about 1.5hr of walking one way to get to the field. I definitely learned that I was a lot tougher than I thought...though I also learned that I'm not nearly as tough as I thought I was. Don't know if that makes sense or not.
The library closed down on the 21st and just reopened today...part of the reason I haven't updated. Which also gave me absolutely nothing to do besides hang out. Christmas Eve was a little sad...Deyvis had left for the mountains to finish some of the corn harvesting earlier in the week and didn't get back until later in the day. Between me with the beans and him with the corn we didn't see each other a lot for a couple of weeks. But the 24th he came back and I went over there to visit with his family before going to my host family's house for dinner. I had already met his youngest brother and sister and his two middle brothers had come into town to spend the holidays. Wow...do they all look alike! His whole family is super nice and really friendly...I enjoy them a lot and they've been good company. So I went to my host family's house for dinner and had tamales, coffee and sweet bread. Along with a shot of coffee liquor that is actually made nearby. There was a dance that night, but Deyvis worked the first shift and said it was pretty dead so we watched a movie instead and called it an early night. Christmas Day here is really nothing special. I went to Deyvis's house around 11 and we watched x-mas movies on tv most of the day. Ate another tamale for dinner, played some basketball and that was the extent of it.
The 27th the library put on a Festival de Cancion (Festival of Song) with a dance afterwards. So once again, gringa busted some moves with the boy.
For New Year's I convinced my friend from Choluteca (one of the bigger cities) to come out and visit me in Florida. It started with us just planning to go to the capital for a movie since neither of us had work to do. Then with the promise of Smores I got her to visit here. So I took off on the 30th and we watched Madagascar 2 and hung out in the mall. Ended up going to Chili's for dinner around 9ish. God...did that rip me up! I think I'll be sticking w/ beans and tortillas next time. We travelled back to Florida on New Year's Eve and meet up with Deyvis and his siblings a little later to go check out some festivities. They have this Toro de Fuego (Bull of Fire)...which is a man running around with this wooden contraption made to look like an archaic bull over him. So this man ran up and down the streets while this "toro" shot off rockets in random directions. Not the safest thing for the runner nor the observers. Unfortunately, neither of us brought a camera to caputre the action. There was also a dance going on...where it was basically just us dancing.
A neat tradition here is a type of scarecrow they make for New Years which represents all the bad things that happened during the year. Then at midnight it gets burned to represent the starting new. I wish I would have taken pics...2009 I will do better!
The 1st was quiet...we slept in a bit then went to the feria (festival) in the next aldea but it was pretty boring. We waited around and watched Deyvis's soccer game then left to eat. We also played with giant leaves... Later in the night we built a fire, made Smores and chatted...Here's Deyvis with his first Smore! He enjoyed it, but thought it was too sweet. Next time, he doesn't want the chocolate! In this photo you can see above me the coffee plant and above Deyvis the mandarin tree in my yard.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I am alive and well...December was a little rough. Between the lack of things to do and being away for the holidays...but much thanks to Deyvis. He's such a wonderful guy and has been more help than I think he realizes. I guess that's about it...I'll try and upload a few more photos soon...the house, Florida, etc. But since it takes awhile to upload photos I'll leave off with one more of Deyvis and me. Because we're that cute...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Yes…that’s right. A scorpion. I was not too excited to see that when I got in. I had been at Deyvis’s house watching tv (telenovelas…I swear I’ll master Spanish by watching them! Oh...and Deyvis is the guy that I met on the bus last month and quickly became a good friend with). Anyways, I went home at midnight and discovered this little guy in my room. My host parents were sleeping and I didn’t feel it was necessary to wake them. I called Deyvis and he told me to kill it…but the problem is that I can’t. I have a hard enough time killing bugs. I don’t like the thought that I’m taking a life and smushing the insides of the poor things. Then you have to clean up the intestines afterwards. I’m okay sucking them up in the vacuum or flooding them down the drain, but I just can’t smash 'em. Since I couldn’t kill it Deyvis told me to cover it and in the morning ask my family to kill it for me. I went inside to get a pot (with a handle!) to cover it with. But the bastard was close to the wall and I risked the chance of it moving while I was closer that what I would have liked. During this time I’m calling my friend Amira…b/c I don’t want to deal with it alone. She’s yelling at me to just put the pot over it and I’m freaking out about having it come near me or move. So I start slapping a flip-flop on the floor hoping it’ll move just a smidgen. It didn’t. Then I start swing my flip-flop hoping to create some wind to move it. Nothing but a flinch from the dirty potlicker. So I thought that maybe it was dying. I went outside to get the lime-pickin stick which is about 5’3. Apparently it didn't like the stick b/c it took off running (I scream a little) and went under the stand where I keep my clothes. I thought that maybe it would stay there till morning so I got my flashlight, made sure my mosquito net was completely covering my bed and put on a movie. About an hour later I went to check...I searched the floor around my bed then carefully got up and turned on the light. It was gone...and I still can't find it. I'm hoping that it left the way it came in.