Friday, October 24, 2008

natural disasters

there´s been a lot going on here the past week. Last Friday there was a huge landslide up in one of the mountains, which wiped out an entire aldea (village). Luckily, they had some warning and everyone got out in time, but they lost everything in their homes. Then the dirt from the landslide fell into the river, creating a large, natural damn. So whenever this damn breaks, all the water behind it will come rushing down the river. About 5 aldeas down the river were evacuated. There are hundreds of evacuees staying in the school and in the munincipal meeting room of the town next to mine, and about 25 people staying here. So I´ve been going almost every day to play with the kids and keep them occupied. They are just waiting; they can´t go back to thier homes until the damn breaks. I have to say the local government, police, army, and NGOs have been very organized taking care of the evacuees and keeping everything in order. Also, throughout the country, there has been a lot of flooding, and, in certain parts, tremors. So people are being evacuated all over. It´s pretty crazy. The other volunteers near me and I are safe, and Peace Corps is well aware of the situation. In other news, I have a friend from the US coming on Tuesday, so I´m excited about that. It´s fun having visitors.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I just want to write a quick update. I decided against having a cat; I just don't really like cats. So I gave him back to the people who gave him to me. My duck is doing well and getting big. He pretty much lives at my neighbors' but he's happy because he has a pond to swim in and geese to hang out with. My neighbors had a couple turkeys, but the male turkey just attacked and killed the female turkey! I told them he's too aggressive and dangerous. I don't want my duck in danger of a turkey attack. So we are going to kill and eat the aggressive turkey. He gets the death penalty for killing his wife. I think we're going to have him for Thanksgiving. Hondurans obviously don't celebrate Thanksgiving but they know what it is, so we'll have a little Thanksgiving dinner.

The map is finally finished! It took exactly one month to do. Next week we are going to celebrate. Me and the students will write our names on the wall and I'll make a cake. And I want to organize some geography activities. The map looks pretty good, although it's far from perfect. I'll post pictures of the whole process when I get a chance. The electricity has been going out a lot lately, so I haven't had much chance to use internet.

Right now I'm in the Peace Corps office in Tegucigalpa. My group is here for mid-term medical exams. We have to poop in a cup, get a physical, and go to the dentist. I traveled all day yesterday to get here, I have the medical stuff today, and I'll travel all day tommorrow to get back to my town. It's just so far.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I had a really good weekend. On Friday during the day I hung out in the market. I didn’t paint the map border like I had planned because we ran out of paint thinner and the one hardware store in town didn’t have any. I didn’t feel like going to one of the neighboring towns to get some, so instead I just hung out and talked to people. We played soccer for a little while and I made paper airplanes with the kids. It was really relaxing, and sitting there making paper airplanes, I thought about what a great job I have. In the US, I’d never be able to be sitting around on a Friday afternoon making paper airplanes and get paid for it.
Around 4pm I left for my friend Kyler’s site, a volunteer about 35 minutes in bus from me. It was the feria in his town this weekend. It was bigger than our feria, but we had better rides. The ferris wheel in our feria was pretty big and it went super fast. At this feria, they had a little ferris wheel, and it was manual. There was no motor, just a man standing at the bottom, hand-pulling it. He was a very strong man.
On Saturday, there was bull-riding. We had bull-riding in our feria, but I didn’t go because it was raining. So Saturday was the first time I’d ever seen bull-riding, other than on TV. There were 9 bulls and a small ring, and the guys took turns riding. Kyler said he was going to ride one but I was kind of skeptical. He was all ready with his sombrero, belt, and cowboy shirt. During the event, he stood down by the riders and the bulls and I sat in the stands with another volunteer, Meghan, who came to watch. It was pretty scary to watch the riding, and a couple guys almost got stepped on by the bull, although no one did actually get hurt. So I was really thinking that Kyler would back out and decide not to ride. But then he was suiting up to go. The participants wore a helmet that looked like a baseball catcher’s helmet, but was a little different. And they wore a padded leather vest. I was kind of nervous when Kyler got on the bull, but he did well, stayed on for about 5 seconds, and he fell well and didn’t hurt anything. And then the announcer did a quick interview and congratulated him. It’s not everyday you see a gringo riding bulls in Honduras. It was all pretty exciting.
Sunday, I went with my neighbors to their niece’s 12th birthday party. The party was in a community in the mountains, so we all crowded into the back of a pickup truck to drive up there. It was a nice, small party. We ate tamales, talked, and had cake. I knew most of the people there, so it was nice to talk to people. There were some cute little kids there, too.
Sunday evening, walking home from the little store down the street, around 6:30, I saw a little animal in the street. It was kind of dark out and at first I thought it was a rat, but then realized it was a tiny kitten. So I chased it and grabbed it, so that a car wouldn’t hit it in the dark, and asked around to see who it belonged to. The twins across the street, two 8 year olds, said it belonged to them, their cat recently had 3 kittens, but that they were giving away the kittens and I could have it if I wanted it. I don’t really want a cat, but this kitten is just so little and cute. And it needs care, it’s dirty and skinny. I told them I wasn’t sure I wanted it, but could they loan it to me. So I brought it home, gave it a bath and some milk, and it’s sitting in my lap sleeping as I type this. I don’t really want a cat, but I do like this kitten. And my duck’s kind of left me, so I no longer have a pet.
Things have been going well lately. The map is almost done, we should finish by Tuesday I think. It´s looking great!