So I´ve been writing these from home. And the internet place is just 1 block from my house now so, niiiiice.
03/20/2010 – Volunteer visit to the south
I didn’t have much time to write on that last post but now I’ll give some more details. So, on my site visit to Choluteca we spent one day to go to another town and try to figure out what the problem was with their water system. A couple guys drove us a lot of the way down rock/dirt roads and we met with the president of the water board. The morning was spent just talking, asking questions to try to figure out certain things before going to see the system. Down the street from his house we saw this candy they make from sugar cane. It was awesome so I’ll try to describe it (unfortunately none of us had brought cameras). There were 2 oxen walking in circles to turn big man-made wooden gears while a couple of workers would feed sugar cane through it. All of the sugar/juice would get squeezed out after a couple of times through and fall into a wooden bucket underneath. Then it was all thrown in a large pot over a large fire and water was added. Once all the water boiled off all that was left was a gooey-like thing which is pretty much just sugar. Then some guy would batir it and it would dry to be a really sweet (pure-sugar) natural sugar cane candy. They gave each one of us a really big piece to take home.
After this, they gave us lunch (one really nice aspect of our project is that supposedly we will get fed a lot when we are working in aldeas, or neighboring smaller towns) and went to see the system. After a bit of driving it took about another hour of hiking/climbing to get to the source of water. There we did an aforo to measure the flow of a potential water source and then checked out the storage tanks they use and they explained us everything. The hike was really nice, it’s beautiful scenery there, and the main point was the aforo to know how many more houses could be supplied with water if that source is used. The PC volunteer we went with will work with them the next couple months to do a survey, design and hopefully there’s some funds to construct the addition to the system. That’s the gist of the workday and was a really good time.
03-22-10 – New city, new family, and other random things
Our group, Watsan (Water and Sanitation), is now in El Paraíso and it is awesome here. The city has about 20,000 people, a couple nice parks in the center and it´s just overall nice. Not to mention all of our host families are really cool and I´m staying in a pretty sweet house. In my new host family, I have my parents, 3 sisters and 1 brother, but I still haven´t met 2 of the sisters and the brother. They have a finca de café a short drive from here and on the finca also have some dogs, chickens, goats, geese, a turkey and around 30 rabbits. It’s pretty sweet. But at the house there are just 2 dogs and a parrot.
Cheque is the word for cool, so it´s like chevere or bakan. I didn’t think chevere or bakan could be replaced, but they have been. You can also say chequeleque and chequeleque como pancqueques (ok, I don’t think people actually say that but you’ll get some good laughs out of people).
Guaro is a cheap liquor that supposedly gets the job done pretty good. I tried a little bit but my stomach didn´t like it too much. If I had to compare it, I´d say it´s like Aguardiente in Colombia or Zhumir in Ecuador, just a bit lower quality.
Piropos... Piropos are the comments guys yell to girls as they’re passing by (also vice-versa). Most girls don’t like this. These comments can be as simple as ‘Hey chica you’re so beautiful’ but some of them can be pretty vulgar. Today I got my first piropos. A few of us were standing outside where we had class and a bunch of high school girls were looking, pointing, giggling and took a couple pictures. It was pretty funny and afterwards we took a pic of them too. Then walking around later they were yelling a bunch of stuff but I was able to keep from laughing and just walked by. But now I can imagine why girls in the Peace Corps may not like hearing this for 2 years. Either way, everyone stares at us here since we arrived yesterday. If you’re wondering why… yes, it’s because we are celebrities and an extremely attractive bunch of people.
03-27-10 – Huge finca of coffee, banana, and lots of bulls!
Today, with my brother and dad, we went to a bigger finca that they have. The main reason for going was to inject the bulls with vitamins, vaccines and something else. They have 71 bulls and even though I didn’t inject any myself, it was pretty wild. Some of these bulls were craaazy. They jumped/broke the fence quite a few times. It’s hard to describe in writing, but it seemed like some of the bulls were full of rage or just really don’t like getting shots. After most of them had been given their shots, my dad here lassoed a few of them and they were fighting till the last second trying to get away.
The finca is huge and a really nice place. It’s like a mini-jungle and most of it has coffee plants but there are also other fruits and vegetables. It seems like it’s got some good hiking too, although I only got to see a small part of the entire area. So I’ll hopefully be getting back there in the next few weeks to do some more exploring.
This week we only have 3 days of training because it’s semana santa, Holy Week. We’ve got the 2nd round of Spanish interviews to see how people are doing (hopefully have moved up a level). On Wednesday, all of us aspirantes, PC trainees, are going to cook different typical foods from here with our host families and then have a little cultural day for whoever wants to come. And a few of us here want to get some soccer games going, but it hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully this week.