In the last few days I finished the topo study in the Rio Platano Biosphere and did another one for a small community that currently has no water. The first day some people from another community were supposed to pick us up and have people ready to work, but who would’ve guessed, they couldn’t make it to pick us up so they told us that they’d meet us on our side of the mountain with horses to take us over there. After breakfast, we headed over to where we were supposed to meet up and still no one. Finally, after almost an hour of walking uphill, they showed up with the horses and we rode the rest of the way. So we started late but finished later that day. Ah, it was good to finish. And for lunch, someone made us a nice fresh hot soup that was delicious. Then we rode all the way back on horses. Getting to ride horses through the mountains was sweet but it definitely came with a lot of soreness and a couple of bruises on the tailbone.
The next day I did a topo study in a community called Las Cruzitas. The best thing about starting a new study is that you start out in the source, so far for me has been a river in a nicely protected watershed, aka beautiful forest with NO trash (there’s a lot of nice places in Honduras, but there’s always trash whether it be soda bottles or churro bags). We were going to get a ride in a car all the way to the source but we couldn’t pass the river because of the rain. This seems to be a recurring theme for half of the time I’ve gone out trying to work in this place. At first while we were waiting, a bunch of cows passed. It was funny because the smaller cows as they were crossing started to get carried down the river by the current. All you could see was their heads as they tried making their way across. But they didn’t get carried to far before they got to a point shallow enough that they just walked back up on land and continued on their way to wherever they were going. We finally crossed on horses and continued on them for a while till we reached the source and started working. Around lunchtime, I ate lunch quickly and 10 minutes afterwards one guy from the community showed up with fresh hot soup for all of us. Even though I was stuffed I couldn’t say no… it would be rude wouldn’t it? So I ate lunch again. They had killed a chicken to make the soup for us that morning. There’s nothing like freshly killed chicken soup.
Then as we finished the topo study the same guy gave us all café and a bunch of bananas. I enjoyed it while watching their 12 little pigs and parrot running around the yard.
So that’s the end of work for now over there. Supposedly, I’ll be returning to the area in the future to work in other projects, but if not, then I’m definitely going back to visit.
18/07/10 – 2 Months in-site, My Own Apartment, and a Bike
The awesome thing about the day that marks 2 months in-site is that we’re allowed to move into our own place (that is if there are places available) and we can spend the night outside of our sites. It’s only been a couple days in this apartment but already so great. I’ve started cooking a little bit (which means more veggies than normal and a lot less grease). Today I marinated some beef in lime, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and curry powder and cooked it up with a nice side of rice and veggies. Ah yes it was good and accompanied by a side of yerba mate. Oooh I also made tajaditas for the first time. Pretty much you take a plantain, cut it up in a bunch of very thin slices and fry it in lots and lots of oil. I rubbed garlic and put curry powder on some of them. Some of those didn’t get any extra flavor but other pieces did, it was good.
I still have to buy some furniture although everything I need is here in Juticalpa. A couple other volunteers have been coming here to buy things like a bed, fridge, trash cans and other things they can’t find in their sites. I’m going to make a table or two out of PVC and buy 2 small mattresses and some pillows to throw on the ground in my living room instead of buying a couch.
I also got a bicycle from another volunteer (originally bought by Peace Corps) so I’m excited to start riding that around. I’ll have to be careful because there are many large holes in the streets and crazy drivers (actually, sounds like Philly). Unfortunately, we haven’t played soccer in quite a few weeks because everyone’s been out working in different communities. I’m hoping to start up again soon although I haven’t been here very much either.