I am feeling much better. Thanks for your concern. It started with an amoeba and the flu, then it was giardia, and finally a bacterial infection, all of which have exited my system. I feel much lighter though. Actually, in all seriousness, I am approximately 20 lbs. lighter than when I arrived. No, it is not entirely the result of my recent infirmities, but rather a combination of things. For one thing, everything in La Dalia is uphill from anywhere. For real. Those old men, you know the ones: not liars. There is no snow though. (But we have mud up to our knees).
The chocolate has come to a sort of a standstill. I tried a recipe last night and all I can say is that it made awesome hot chocolate, but the problem is this. In chocolate processing, the cocoa butter is pressed out of the chocolate to become cocoa powder for hot cocoa, allowing it to mix with water or milk. Ours still has the cocoa butter in it which means it stays separated, but isn´t necessarily grainy. Also, to make chocolate, the cocoa butter is left in, and in fact, more is added (from the cocoa that has been pressed) to help it be smooth and also to help solidify the final product. Anyway, the work continues.
Here is a photo of Heather and the environment volunteer (Sarah, or la Sarita) who works in La Dalia, in our back yard after much effort (possibly hours, I was drugged and sleeping at the time) showing their success at having turned a tire inside out for planting. I know it looks easy, but think again.
Otra cosa. Thank you all for your comments and e-mails. It is easy to forget how fast everything is moving in the states. Here, things are slow. For this, the five months we have been here, although at times seem short, are like a year compared to the speed of home. We really do appreciate you all taking the time to drop a line. We know you are busy.
Also, Kris, I am sorry I never wrote to you when you were in Tennesee. Kim, I am sorry I only wrote to you once when you were in Germany. Those were different times. I get it now okay.
We had a regional meeting today and received some packages and letters (sweet stamps Chad) that were mailed to us in February and April (during trainig). Our Project Director brought them up to us from Managua. Thanks!
Well, I hope the new Indiana Jones movie doesn´t suck. I didn´t see any dragons in it...and I´m not sure what that means.