Saturday, February 23, 2008

adventures indeed

Well. This last weekend we went with some of the youth in my town to a nearby river and went swimming. It was really pretty and we both got in the water. No we did not see any terrible bugs or snakes or anything.. thats kind of sad huh? Sorry that this picture is sideways. Im too tired to try to fix it. But its pretty sweet. Turn your head.
This week was a ton of work in spanish and technical stuff. We both did charlas in the school.

Heathers topic was self esteem, and Korys was garbage... well. the garbage problem. We both had peacecorps people from all over the world come and watch us.. pretty scary!

Our spanish is coming along. They are now doing all of our technical trainings in spanish and as long as they speak at a reasonable speed, we can understand. That is pretty exciting to us.

This week we also had our midtrainging language interviews and this coming week we will get to see how we have progressed.... we might not tell you all unless its good..
I have had a rough week witht he cucarachas in my room. I woke up one night to hear them rifling through my stuff like a heard of cattle. I got out of bed and found the little critter on my desk, and I couldnt do it. I could kill it. So i scared it off and tried to go to sleep. Sleep was not to come this night... They kept being so loud and I felt like they were going to sneak into bed with me. Now, these are not your standard utah roaches. These are bonafide south american cacaroaches about an inch and a half in length and scary as hell. You can hear them walking! Anyway, I definatley couldnt sleep so I got up and came eye to eye with my nemisis. There he was. Lurking around by the toilet. I had a big descision to make. I could kill it with my shoe.. which if you know me, wasnt really an option, I could leave it alone, or I could use the one cup I have in my possesion to catch him and decide later what to do. The thought of putting a cup that I would later have to place in my mouth on the floor by the toilet in this country was a heavy disuation, but I decided it had to be done. I caught him and left him under the cup til morning. The next morning I tried to explain to Panchita that I had a roach under a cup. You can imagine how confounded she was by this. I had to tell her I was scared to kill the roach, because I dont have the vocabulary yet to tell her that emotionally and ethicaly I could not kill a bug. BUT, I was ok with HER killing it because this is Nicaragua.. and THIS is WAR. She went to my room and in the process of stomping on this roach with great big exagerated stomping motions, she knocked over the poo basket on accident. Now for those of you who dont know what a poo basket is, I will explain. You cannot flush toilet paper here, so you put all your poopy toilet paper in the garbage. You can imagine my distain for this also, and especially that it went flying all over my floor. BUT, It was pretty amusing in a sad sort of way. ANYWAY, (kory just told me that he wanted seperate blogs because I wrote "poo basket," So I will say that this paragraph is the sole opinion of heather and was strongly contested by the spouse.)

Well, today we went to the Volcan Masaya. It was pretty sweet. It is one of the many active volcanoes here in Nicaragua. We literally stared into the face of death. I think I saw satan down there. Kory kept a pretty cool demeanor the whole time however.... as evidenced by this photo. It was pretty cool up there. But now we are sunburned. Fun. Well. We will be in Managua and Chinendega all next week learning about HIV-AIDS. So if you dont hear from us, dont frett, but im sure you will. We always find a way!

On friday we find out our sites!! THis will be terribly exciting, so we will keep you posted. Remember this will be our home for the next two years.

On a last note.. kory claims he found a three incher (roach) being eaten by some mice. I cannot say how or where this occured, or if its even true at all. PS. I still love my husband.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Volunteer visits

Well, we are back home in our training site. It is really good to be back with our ¨families¨. The bus ride was extremely long. My bus broke down three times on the way there and took 12 hours instead of 8.5. The first time the radiator pooped out and they dumped us on the side of the panamerican highway and left. We (I was with one other volunteer and a whole bunch of Nica´s) waited for about 1.5 hours until the next bus came. Consequently the already full bus was extroadinarily full and im not sure how it pulled us up the mountain. Seriously, I kept thinking I was in the movie, ¨Jewel of the Nile¨when their bus breaks down in columbia and they slide through the jungle, except that everything is so increadibley dry right now that the dust coveres the trees around the road and it comes in the window and sticks to your face and clothes. The radiator on that bus went kaput for a while too, but they fixed it. Then after we had dropped off the other volunteer and it was getting dark, we got a flat tire and had to change it on the mountain side. Korys bus almost slid off the mountain on the way there, but they made it. Last year during rainy season they consolidated all the volunteers in managua because of the rain. They dont want us to be stuck in our towns if there is an emergency, and the roads get terrible and wash out. As it was, we forded two rivers.

My volunteer was very helpful and very nice. We did three presentations (charlas) in the school to 5th and 6th graders about self esteem. We also did a charla at the Casa Materna about breastfeeding. If you dont know, in Nicaragua, because of the high infant and maternal mortality rate and because of the rural locations people live in, they have instituted the Casa Materna. This is a place where pregnant women go when they have two or three weeks left in their pregnancy. They wait around here and are monitored if there are complications and they deliver at the hospital or Health center when they are ready. They have nothing to do there, so we made cookies with them too. There were three women there. One 36 year old lady was on here 9th child and appeared to be like 60 years old!

We also worked on a poster at the Casa de Adolescentes for ¨back to school¨ which talked about the importance of studying at a university. The volunteer I visited also had the local carpenter make her a wooden penis for condom demonstrations. He took the liberty of making it very realistic. It was funny. Also he had a monkey in his yard on a leash. It was soooo cute, but sooo sad. The site I visited was high up in the mountains and therefore was pretty green and cold compared to other places in Nicaragua.
Kory was in the next town over and also had a really good experience. WE got to ride home together luckily.

Today was our site fair. Which was a presentation of all the different sites that are available to us. We will be getting our assignments on the 28th of this month. Today we had to write our top 3 choices and why we thought we wanted them. This was hard. For us we really thought that a cool climate is very very important. Next was projects that included, nutrition, gardens, latrine prejects, cooking, a casa materna, working with youth and soy projects. Next was the proximity of a morman church, next availablity of vegetables and lastley we didnt really want to be in a big sight, but not too far away from a big city. We are a bit frustrated because none of this actually matters. They pretty much have an idea where the two married couples are going but they wont tell us before they others. So. We will see. Pray it will be a site we can be happy in.

This kory and his youth group
A random Nicaragua scene in El Crucero
This is heathers house with a bunch of volunteers sitting on the porch.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

off for volunteer visits this week

Kory and I are off starting tomarrow to visit volunteers in the northern part of the country. It is a time when we can see how volunteers live and work. We will be travelling seperatley and will not see each other this week until next friday. Bummer. But we have lots of homework to do with them and questions to ask and it will be a good change for us. We are working very hard during training, giving charlas to the health centers about all kinds of different topics, charlas to the primary schools, working with a youth group and doing a service project with them, going to meetings with peacecorp two days a week, studying spanish, discussing peace corps rules and hanging out with our families here in between. .. and sometimes getting sick.

I went for a run today and was sickened by a scene with some dogs. Sometimes I find that I am immune to all the things going on around me, and sometimes it really gets to me. I was on a bus last night and looked at the house and streets that are everywhere. The extreme poverty here is staggering, and yet I get immune to it at times. I feel a litte bit removed from it because my family has such nice living arrangements. But truley most of nicaragua is not this well off.

I changed the address from the last post, because I wrote Peace Corps instead of Cuerpo de Paz so take note.

The kinds of seeds that would be good for us to get are any herb, corn, tomatoes, peppers, .. really anything. even beens, squash, whatever!

Also, I have a plee. Please, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE do not send us forwarded emails. It really hurts when you wait for 5 minutes to open a page and it really is of little emotional value to me. We love you all and want to hear from you, but personal messages, not surveys or funny little things that someone else sent you. They are deleated anyway.

Also if you are emailing pictures, please size them down first to like less than 7 inches in pixel size. IT takes forever for us to open them.

Well. I will update again after the volunteer visit. We will be discussing our future sites when we get back, so that will be exciting. -heather

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Sorry that I have not updated the blog lately or written anyone back. The email situation has been hurting lately. Im squeezing this one is as we speak. Things are going well with both of us, just about the same. The news is that we are going to visit volunteers this next week. We find out where in the country we are going tomarrow. No we are not going to the same place. It will be fun to see how a volunteer lives. We all changed teachers for the next three weeks and mine is a little more difficult to work with, but I am giving it my all.

Many of you have asked what our address is. I posted it on the blog before we left, so you just need to look back a few pages, but you can mail stuff to us at the following address (same)

Cuerpo de Paz
Hermana Heather McKinnon, PCT or Hermano Kory FLuckiger, PCT
Apartido Postal 3256
Managua, Nicaragua

Send everything in padded envelopes or regular ones, no boxes
Put religious things all over it please to ensure it gets here

Feel free at any time to send us pepper mint gum (in the big packs) (no geletine)
Seeds for garden
or anything else that you feel.

Well. I must go for today!