Friday, December 28, 2007

Heathers book, "mementos of divide" now available for purchase!

My book "mementos of divide" is now available for purchase.

This book is the a photographic documentary about illegal immigration and the border reality. The book is available for print cost only. No profits will be made from the sale of this book in any way shape or form. I began this endeavor to share the reality of those who cross the border with people in united states. It is but my humble opinion.

You should know that the print quality is quite substandard, but being that we are leaving in 8 days I do not have time to work with another publisher. When I come back, I hope to have copies available that are of greater print quality. In the mean time, I have worked very hard to make this book available before we leave. I will not have a chance to get a second proof, so if you notice anything wrong with the printing of the book, please let me know. Well, with great pleasure, I present to you:

mementos of divide,
by heather mckinnon, 2007

(or go to and search for "mementos of divide")

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More information about Nicaragua, in case you care...

So friends, there are a scant 11 days left until we depart. Christmas is now over and we can concentrate on leaving. We still have our green civic left to sell which is very sad, but we just did a preliminary tax evaluation and found that we will not owe money this year which is a huge relief. The passport situation is still not sorted out all the way. Today (wednesday) I was supposed to find out, but we never got a call back. Maybe tomorrow. BUT, we are moving on with plans.. as if we could hold off anyway with 11 days left. I think we have everything we need now, except a travel iron (lightweight), we have sold lots of things and farmed others out for babysitting.. (we are keeping a list so dont try to sell our stuff on ebay while we are gone). We kindof want to have an open house on saturday the 5th, but we are unsure of the details since our house will be empty.

Anyway, I thought I would post some more information we have learned about peace corps in Nicaragua. you can read through if you have time, its pretty much the information we have been given. I know this will entertain only a few people. Here is a link

Also, some facts we wanted to share with people that we have recently learned of:
-Nicaragua is the the 2nd poorest country in this hemisphere (Haiti 1st).
-Nicaragua has the least people per square mile out of all the countries in Central America at 35 people per square mile. El Salvador has the highest at 288 ppsm.
-Nicaragua was also ranked the safest country in Central America. El Salvador (again its opposite) came in first because of all the gang problems.
-Peace Corps has had volunteers back in Nicaragua since 1991. They do not place volunteers in countries that have political unrest.

Well. Thats all for today. We had a very fruitful day and so we are off to celebrate. (Which means watch a movie probably.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Well, the holiday season is upon us, even if we are unable to fully celebrate in lou of leaving on January 6th. However we did find time to make some fabulous gingerbread houses;

This one is my rendition of our low impact woodland home made with straw bale construction and and earthen roof.

Korys version of the gingerbread is reminiscent of an island painting made by a famous artist who likes mizgigs and trambleshoots in his whimsical drawings

Jessica, Jason, Brooke, Matt, Kory and Heather wish you all a merry Christmas!

Kory and I at the Hospice For Utah Christmas party

Julia and Enoch making candy. Looks delish doesn't it?

This is the terrifying drive coming down from Snowbird in the civic. It was a beautiful site even though we had to drive in first gear all the way!

And finally, we build our yearly, abstract snow sculptures.... they later had to be torn down to preserve the innocence of the gramercy dwellers after taking on a more ..."riske" shape.

Well, ya'll we hope you have a merry Christmas. It is the last time we will see snow for a couple of years.. I will try not to be broken up about this. I say this in sarcasm, but we probably will miss it. It can be lovely. We will be packing for a few more weeks. We have 17 days left to go!

As for those who are curious about heathers passport situation, it is still shite. But, It just might happen. Keep praying!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Changes. Help needed.....

Since we last blogged we have had some changes. We now have to report to Washington D.C. for "staging" on January 7th, instead of on January 10 as previously thought.

Also they have denied Heathers application for a government passport because they had already issued me one when I went to Honduras and cannot find it. What does this mean you might ask? Well, it could mean that they will not let us go to Nicaragua on the assigned date. It could mean that it takes them another little while to figure out and we would have to hang around the country almost jobless, careless and live in someones basement for another 3-6 months until we can get another assignment. That is the worst case scenario. Having said that.. we need all of your prayers and/or positive thoughts and energy towards the government issuing Heather another passport as soon as possible, that we can continue to make plans to leave.

Also, we need support in selling our car since this is a difficult time of year to sell. If you know of ANYONE who might be interested please let us know. Here are the specs:

Green 1998 Honda Civic EX (Power locks, sunroof)

-Manual Transmission
-body is in great shape
-Paint is in great shape
-has a custom CD player
-Has also had the oil changed religiously every 3000 miles
(don't misinterpret the reflection of the snow in this image for side paint or damage)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Well, the long anticipated Peace Corps assignment has arrived and it is decreed that we will be moving to Nicaragua on January 10, 2007. We will be in training in Managua for 11 weeks, then we will be moving to our site. This could be any number of small villages in the country, but we will not find out until our training is over. When we arrive at our "post" we will be Community Health Care Promoters. Here the three major roles our job will encompass (as laid out in out manual):

1. direct education to community members (such as mother's groups, adolescent groups, and school children) about preventative health practices;
2. facilitate and organize health groups to facilitate (our) role in the training of health promoters (for example, health advisory committees, community health assesment teams, women's groups, mothers' groups, community-based birthing homes, and adolescent groups); and
3. training of youth, volunteer community health promoters, and midwives in non-formal education techniques directed towards the reduction of unwanted pregnancies, healthy sexual practices, and improved maternal and child health.

Of course that is only a loose overview. Our actual work will entail many diferent projects, some including gardening, (yeah).
Here is a link to some information on Nicaragua:

The above picture is of the Corn Islands where pirates used to hang out and where we will go when people come to visit us (hint hint). And here is a map of Nicaragua. The count-down is on so you all better get as much Heather and Kory as you can handle in the next month and a half!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

spider down

These videos are pretty much self explanatory. "Shelob" came down on November 2(ish). She served us well and sparked the interest of strangers all over ogden. We are still hearing stories! That makes us feel very proud.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cooking Adventures

Kory and I were reminiscing about all the things we have cooked this summer and fall, and we were pretty darn proud of how crafty we have been. Plus, the spider is all we talk about and I thought we could change things up a bit. But really, this is the extent of our excitement now. ... well, It kind of is exciting to us.

It all started with making yogurt. I loved it! So easy and creamy and delicious!
Then we decided to make yogurt cheese, which is similar to goat or cream cheese and we added all kinds of delicious things like, kalamata olives, fresh basil and garlic.

Then.. we decided we could try making real CHEESE! (there are few things we regard with such reverence as cheese) So we made a Parmesan Reggiano cheese, which we havn't yet tasted because it takes five months to age, and a Gouda, which was lovely but a tad flat in taste and not as firm as we hoped. (The Parmesan is shown in a later picture).

Then we tried making different breads to go with our cheeses and balsamic vinegar. My brother is a pro and showed us how to make Cibatta bread which is very hard to make and takes a very long long time (like the entire day, especially if you mess up and measure the flour in cups when it tells you to weigh it.

We also made butter! Which was terribly easy.

Then this fall we began harvesting all kinds of things from our garden, like tomatoes and sunflower seeds, cucumbers, basil, beats and carrots. So we decided to make pickles! We made dill and they were delicious! We harvested our sunflower seeds, soaked them in brine, then baked them up!

This is a picture of our Parmesan, sunflower seeds, pickles and tomatoes.

Next we found out how much we love real grape juice, so we got some grapes from our neighbor and becky and made 18 quarts of grape juice.... we have already drank 1/3 of it!

Also since our trip to Italy, Kory has been perfecting his Foccacia bread recipe and making pretzels.. which have nothing to do with italy, BUT... He made these fantastic little fellows: (picture wont post.. sorry)
Snake pretzels for our upcoming halloween parties!
We also got a whole bunch of apples from our neighbor and we have been drying apples, but not faster than we can eat them. We made sugar free applesauce with the skins on and its pretty darn good too.

Well, I think that about does er.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Amazing Halloween Spider

Well, she is finished! We have finally erected our giant spider. So come and see her! Worship her! Offer her sacrifices! and say hi to us too.

Monday, September 24, 2007

well, no word yet

Welcome to our first entry of our first blog! This is exciting! We created this place for those of you who are curious about our adventures in the peace corps and like to stay posted on the different illnesses we may get and chicken bus happonings. This may be easier for us than emailing everybody, so if you have comments, please post them we will want to hear from you!

kory and I have all of our paperwork in the peace corps. every t crossed and i dotted. so we are just waiting to hear from them. Until we get our assignment letter, we do not know exactly which country in central america we are going to, or exactly when we are leaving. So, we are waiting for that very important letter in the mail!

well. its only september. So while we are in the US, you may be interested in our stellar halloween goings on, which is what occupies our current time. Drive by and see our house after the 29th!