Saturday, April 3, 2010

Leaving Home

As you can see by our little gage to the right of your screen, our peace corps service is now 100 percent complete. The last week of our service was pure parties and getting the house ready to go. This party was a particular favorite because it began with a pinata modeled after kory complete with tie, hat and sandles (professional sandles of course). Everyone was quite honored to take a wack at him. The rest of the party consisted of speaches made in our honor and long silences when no one wanted to say anything. We found out later that many didnt want to speak because they thought they would cry. (I swear I'm not making that up.)
This was the third going away party we had from the members of our church. We were very touched, but made sure there were no uncomfortable speaches this day, instead we made everyone sing the national anthem twice and dance and play games. We had a presentation with Dr. Lia and Panchita, the team of our big charla project, that hopefully they will finish. Even our boss Pilar, George the director of Peace Corps Nicaragua and his wife came. (Ps, those are the baners in the background). A final good bye dinner at the casa materna followed by more speaches.
The ringing of the bell in the Peace Corps office is the official end of service ceremony. It means you have finished with honor (i guess) and that you are on your way home with no more work to do. I love this picture of Kory! He is so cute! He was very excited to finish all the way to the day we were supposed too.And even though we left our home in Nicaragua, we arrive in a home much more engrained in our souls. And in this new home lives all our families whom we adore. We were greated at the airport with tons of people and love and have enjoyed every second of being with the people we love.
Don't think its all fun and games though, its hard. Though a fluke we found ourselves in the super Walmart in Evenston Wyoming, standing in front of the deoderant, mesmerized by the shear selection of brands and scents and the lovely packaging on every single one. We had difficulty making the decision. Then we were at a birthday party for my cute little niece, wherin she had a pony and a pinata.. and just feast your eyes on how calmly the children are picking up the candy. We were used to a sight much more similar to a chunk of meat thrown into a pirana pond. Everything here is so luxurious and clean and orderly. Even the outsides are clean. Even the dirt I think is pretty clean. You buy it in sacks here at the store. Its weird. Being jobless for the first time in our lives is unnerving but we are trying to enjoy all the company we have since we are living with Heather's sister. Heather will be pursuing a career in community based social work.. whatever that means (she doesn't even know what kind of a job that will land her) but she has big dreams and is not sure the common social work job is going to cut it. Kory also has big dreams, the first of which include buying a new computer to work on. He will be designing a computer program which he has never done. We are people who need that creative slack that Peace Corps fostered so well in our jobs there. We want nothing more than to keep doing Peace Corps, but here at home. Hopefully we will find our niche in this big strange world full of stuff and order.
We are thinking this will be the last blog entry as real life just isnt as interesting. We thank all of you who followed our blog and kept up with what we did. We created it for all who wanted to share in our adventures. The next adventure is parenthood and beyond! Wish us luck!
!Adios y que Dios les bendiga!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Host Family Goodbyes

We spent the weekend with our host families for the last time. Going back to Carazo is craziness. The difference in ones personality from when you first arrive in country, unable to speak, stunned at the way things are here, and returning after everything is completely normal, is difficult to explain. This time, instead of them showing us the ropes, and teaching us how to wash clothes and eat fruits, we were showing them how to build ovens and better their buisinesses. It was really rewarding to see our personal growth juxtaposed against itself and to remember the kindness of people who have looked after us.

Me in the pulpuria
Panchita- Mom
Me, grandma, mom, and cousin pedro
Marvin, Kory's mom and dad, Claudia and Javier

Kory and Javier making popcorn.

Attention Attention, Vegetarian of 5 Years Goes Back to Eating Meat! Read All About it!!!!

After 5 years, vegetarian gets... hungry. It was decided that he should eat tantalizing tidbits of meat when desired, but not in excess. So those of you who have been saddened by Kory's vegetarianness, will be pleased to know that he will welcome any fine cutlets, but only of the finest. Example, Matt is authorized to share a steak that only he has cooked. Anyone is authorized to buy a pepporoni pizza for him or chicken strips. Meats that will not be accepted include fish, boney kinds, skinny kinds, guts, snakes and slugs.

PS, no the wife is not saddened by this new turn of events, but she reports feeling happy that her sweetie is content with eating style.

BIodigester, a Poo Miracle

How, you ask can poo be a miracle? Well, you take a cow and a bag of plastic and you get food. Simple.. missed one step.. gas. This is another awsome project that peace corps volunteers are doing here in Nicaragua. We (being health volunteers) havn't had the pleasure of being trained in biodigesters, but we decided to go and observe one so that when we get back to the states, we can impliment this low tech miracle when we build our straw-bale home.

Look, its like this. You have a cow, or maybe you don't. You can find cow poo in the streets, or you can use other kinds of poo, including human. You mix the poo with 1 part water, well blended. Then you put it in a bag, where the gas is collected and goes through a pipe that lands at your gas stove. This gas is oderless and can provide about 6 hours of cooking a day based on the size of the bag.
This day, we went to a very small and dry community in Leon, where there were plenty of cows, dirt, rocks and jicaro trees. They already had the hole dug, so the volunteer showed up with her bags, and pipes and we put it together. I wont bore you with the details, but its a pretty nice biodigester and we were pretty excited at the concept. now we just have to figure out how to insulate it against the Utah winters.

Poo in hole.
Poo out hole.
Nice lady makes you fresco de cacao.. my favorite. Dont worry, Im going to make some for everyone who comes to our party. I dont think I will be ablet toast the cacao like she is in utah. But i will do my best to make it authentic.

Crochet with Plastic Bags Project

This is a project that a few volunteers are doing. Did you know that you can crochet or knit using plastic bags that you get from the grocerty store? It is a fantastic way to help kids here make money and help the environment. I thought that we were plastic bag over users in the states but it is much worse here. If you tell the vender that you dont want a bag, he or she stops, looks at you in this sober and confused way and without questioning, they nervously slip your item into a bag and give it to you. Its funny. Anyway, this is my second bag, I taught the youth group at my church how to do it and they struggled a little, because they didnt know how to crochet. But it was fun.

Anyway, I think many of our friends may be interested in this. The plastic bags, once they are cut are called Plarn and I have included a youtube video on how to cut them.
There is lots of info on the web about how to use the plarn to make all kinds of fun things. Im working on a rainbow bag now. I tried making a sun hat, and it didnt really work out that great. You have to learn to crochet, but this takes about 1 hour. Seriously. Also I have found youtube to be very useful in learning crochet techniques so I can follow patterns. TRY IT OUT! Maybe when we come home we can do a little peace corps activity and learn how to do it!