Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mmmmm......Turkey

I was very close to staying at home for Thanksgiving and eating beans and tortillas for a second year in a row. But I got an invitation to celebrate with some volunteers at the oprhanage in La Paz, which is the largest city in my department and about 4 hours away on bus. It turned out to be a really good time with way more food than you could imagine for being in Honduras. 3 turkeys were bought and cooked, along with an assortment of potatos, green beans, biscuits, cakes and cookies. We even had Oceanspray cranberry sauce. Now that was excitement. And of course, the kids....who had never tasted many of the things we're so accustomed to. I brought arts and craft supplies and we did the traditional hand-turkey cut-outs. But with a flair...instead of just coloring we used little pieces of construction paper to make multi-colored turkeys. Then the wind blew....and the ground was decorated with a rainbow of colors. I of course took part in the activities and made my turkey and decorated the rest of the paper. A little boy watching me draw politely informed me that trees were not pink. So I pointed out to him that turkeys were not blue either. We accepted our differences and happily continued coloring.

Lola stayed at home, but she decided to have her own post-Thanksgiving feast on Sunday. I went to buy in the market and Lola is not allowed. There's a dog-hater who threatens to poison those that enter the market. So I put Lola in the kitchen and ran off. I got back and realized that she had eaten at least half a pound of chocolate that I had on the counter! Well, Lola is okay....she didn't even get sick. Some of the hyperactivity I think kicked in the first night, but she's been acting like a normal Lola.

I on the other had got some sicknesses going on. Fevers on and off that started on Saturday night followed by chest congestions and pains and a cough that hurts my lungs. Just hoping its not bronchitis or doesn't turn into it. And back pains that are more consistent than before...which could be b/c my bed has a huge dip in the middle. Or it could be my kidneys again...another thing I hope its not. We'll see. I'm waiting for the Peace Corps doctors to call me back.

In the mean time I went to my host parents' store to see what they had for medicine and bought a cough syrup that said it was for cough, helps bronchitis, as well as a fever reducer and has antiviral somehthing. It is the most foul tasting stuff I have ever had. Deyvis was trying to tell me to take at least double the recommendation, but just from the smell of the stuff I would be drunk if I did. Haha....so in the night time I'm taking another dose and read the ingredients...its 10% alcohol! That's more than beer! Haha....that's why its only a tablespoon at a time! But think....its declared safe for kids too!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Time for some pics!

Okay, so these pics didn´t quite come in the order I wanted them to download in, but I´m done messing with it. And to see larger versions, click on the pic and it will come up in its own window...best for the last couple of pics that show my town!

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

Does anyone want a Lola???

So things have been crazy busy lately...or maybe crazy and busy. Let's take yesterday for example. I had my program director come for a site visit which lasted about 4 hours. Its customary for any visiting Peace Corps staff to treat us to lunch/dinner/etc since we make less than the monthly minimum wage in Honduras. For some reason or another, Lola was experiencing a huge amount of seperation anxiety, maybe due to the fact that I climbed into a car to go a block and she had to run along the side (twice). So when we go to the cafeteria to eat we shut the latch on the outside so that Lola couldn't get in. We heard her scratching on the door, but figured she'd calm down after a min. All of a sudden, the Evangelica Pastor yells "LOLA'S COMING IN THROUGH THE SCREEN!" Yes, my big geman shepard decided she wasn't gonna leave my side. I don't feel too bad b/c the screen on the door was already ripped, but I had to drag Lola home and we ate in my house to finish my meeting. Then I had English class in the afternoon with my 6th graders. Afterwards, I went to Deyvis's house to relax and have some coffee. His dad recently brought animals from the mountains so there's 5 ducks and a big, mean, male turkey outside the house. Isleny (Deyvis's sister) heard the ducks making noise so she went outside to check on them. When she came back in the living room she asked her mom how many ducks there were (she had just gotten in from Tegus the day before)...and instead of 5 she only saw 4. I went outside and the 5th duck was tied to a bush, but had managed to get all tangled up and couldn't move. So I decided to help him out. That got Lola going...because ducks tend to make more noise the closer you get to them. So Lola was freaking out, I had a tangled, bleeding duck in my arms. We got him untied and he tried to run. Lola wasn't helping things so Isleny took the duck and I went to get tortillas to lure Lola into the kitchen and get her out of the way. I came back and the turkey was attacking the duck. Not knowing what else to do I started throwing pieces of tortilla at it. We finally got the turkey, the duck and Lola under control. As my heart rate slowed back down, I noticed the other 4 ducks had ran away. Us 4 younger ones (Me, Isleny, Gusto--Deyvis's youngest brother and a cousin) then went on a wild-duck chase through the church grounds before Deyvis and his dad came back from working to find a duckless house.

Besides the animal adventures, things have been going along well. September-October was a wirlwind of English classes and observations to finish on time since the acting president declared that school would end an entire month early. Then on the last day of school, he declared a national holiday because Honduras qualified for the 2010 World Cup. Go figure...I'm wasn't surprised. After 17 months it takes a lot to surprise me. I really have no idea where October went or what I really did...and now we're at the halfway point of November. Before you know it I'll be giving away all my stuff and boarding a plane to come home.

Classes finished and I started English classes for the graduating 6th graders so that they can go to HS with some basic skills. We also started playing baseball and I'm in the works of forming two teams. The really exciting part is that Peace Corps has been working to get this to be a self-sustaining program and this next year the Dodgers have decided to sponsor the baseball program in Honduras! So in a few months we'll have some guys coming down to do a week-long training with us volunteers and our coaches. I'm really excited! Right now we're mostly just playing and learning the rules. I need some tips on how to form a constructive practice with all the right drills and whatnot.

I spent some time in Copan Ruins for Halloween which was nice, but I'd definately like to go back for a longer period of time. We got in at 6pm on Friday, and I left at 5am on Sunday. I was going to stay until Monday, but a friend found out that the Orchestra in Tegucigalpa was playing for free so 3 of us decided to hurry back to the capital for that. I did get to go to the ruins for a bit on Saturday afternoon, but I went late and by myself. Got to spend about 1.5 hours total, which was nice, but I didn't have a chance to see everything. I do plan on going back.

Deyvis and I are still doing wonderful...we've been together just over a year now and have yet to have any problems. Which is a little surprising we're not sick of each other yet. Dating in a small pueblo in the middle of nowhere is quite different from any dating experiences I'm sure any of you have had in the States. There's literally nowhere to go. Or if you go, you probally have to stay the night. A movie is a 6 hour bus ride away.

What else??? I'm thinking that I'll be having a lot going on these last 10 or so months. My counterparts have a laundry list of things, which we may or may not have time for. Also a possible trip to Nicaragua is in the plans...my main reason for wanting to go is to go volcano surfing! Doesn't that sound absolutely amazing? I also plan to get my diving certification while I'm here...we'll see about when. I also plan on seeing the alfombras in Comayagua this year. Every year during Holy Week this city makes amazing saw dust "carpets" (for lack of a better translation). The pictures look quite amazing and that's not something you can see just anywhere. If you have no idea what I'm talking about do a google search for "Alfombras Comayagua" and you'll see some pics. I have more than an entire month of vacation time to use before August! It might be nice just to take a small trip with Deyvis somewhere and not be at home.

That's about it for now...its time to go drink some coffee and eat some bread. My favorite afternoon activity! Take care all!



Friday, August 28, 2009

My house has become some sort of wildlife sanctuary...

Or something…heavy rains force little creatures inside. I´ve gotten used to the constant presence of millipedes, centipedes and spiders and most don´t bother me. Though when I do find the random tarantula I try to make it stay where it is until Deyvis can come and kill it. This usually involves shutting a door then sticking a towel on the ground to block the space between it and the floor. Scorpions still freak me out. I found one last Saturday as I was looking in a shoe box that I had gone through the day before. I screamed and dropped everything and the scorpion fell to the ground and stared at me with its tail raised and its pinchers ready. Oh…and this happened during my class with 20 sixth grade girls sitting in my living room staring at me and trying not to laugh. Then one got up and killed it for me. Thank you, Olimpia.

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

Parrots like Perogies

What is a perogie you ask and why is the parrot eating it? Well, I was left alone in Florida for a weekend while Deyvis had class and I get bored when I’m alone. When I get bored, I like to bake or cook…and lately I’ve been making things that I’ve never attempted even in the US…like perogies, which are a Polish yumminess consisting of a pasta-like shell in a half circle shape and normally filled with mashed potatoes, onions and sour cream. Fruit filling can also be made, but the potato is more typical. They’re cooked first by boiling to give a nice suave texture, then sautéed with a little oil to add just a bit of crisp. I didn’t buy or make tortillas this particular day and had nothing else to feed the parrot so he got a perogie and was quite happy about it. I also was quite happy about my accomplishment of making some Polish food for the first time and turning out surprisingly well. It will be repeated.

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

Yes....I´m alive

On Wednesday I woke up a few hours after going to bed.....exhausted from having an 8pm English class with 20 high school teachers. Of course, as soon as class was about to start, a torrentual downpour began thus delaying the start of class. When you´re teaching in a brick building with open windows and a tin roof, its hard talk over the rain. So all I could do was wait until it subdued a bit. At first I didn´t know what was going on...drowsy from sleep and remembering the heavy rains I thought it might be the wind. Then logic set in. The entire house was swaying, outside the earth was roaring...we were experiencing an earthquake. I didn´t ever think that Honduras had them....until I was visiting in Anahiem and talking to a former co-worker who told my old roommate Nick that we sometimes get earthquakes from the volcano San Miguel in El Salvador....which geographically is fairly close to where I live. About 50 miles. We had assumed that this one came from there. It wasn´t until a little later in the morning when I went to Deyvis´s house to see the news that we realized how strong it was. 7.1....that´s a big one. We felt it pretty strongly where I live which is furter south and near El Salvador, I can´t imagine what it was like for my compañeros further north. Luckily there wasn´t any real damage where I live and everyone here is safe. Deyvis´s found a new crack in the house and their house in Tegus also recieved a few, but things are just the same.

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

Life Without Internet

So I know I haven´t been in much contact with anyone lately....I´ve been hiding out in my little mountain town without internet for a few months now...if I didn´t tell you we lost internet in my pueblo. Well, the pueblo didn´t necessarily but the library did and that was the only place with internet. The HS is telling me that there´s a government grant and they should be connected in April or May, but some people are still skeptical that the gov will follow through. We shall see....in the mean time I travel to town every 10-15 days to check my email. But I´m alive and doing well....things are finally picking up work wise.

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.


video

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

Lola

I would like to introduce you all to Lola! She's the cute little German Shepherd pup I picked up yesterday from a Senor in Marcala for a very good price ($53 USD!) I had been going back and forth when I found out about the puppies. But after two weeks I was still thinking about them, so I figured I had to do it! I wasn't planning on getting a larger dog here, but I have the space both inside and out and I do really like the breed. Then when I found out the price I got really excited. I had told my friend Amira that I would only get one if he had a female left and she was black. Well, I went to check them out on Monday while passing through town. He had 4 females and all 9 puppies were mostly black!

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

Its been awhile....

So I was online twice during the entire month of December...definitely incommunicado for awhile, partly by choice. It has been incredibly boring without school...I have been able to spend some time with the youth from the church so that has been good.

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

Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Moon, Goodnight.......SCORPION

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.