Sunday, July 20, 2008

Maybe there is sunshine yet to come...

Well, I want to say I appreciate all your advice about bladder infections. Most of the advice, I am aware of, the problem is Nicaragua. (I dont mean that rude like) There are no cranberries or other berries here. I already drink purified water. I already eat tons of garlic, I already am taking cipro and it doesnt take it away. I did find a flower here called Rose de Jamaica that I have drinking. I stopped taking my cipro after my 7 days. I still have the infection but its hardly noticable so Im going to chill with it for a while and see if it goes away. But now im all constipated and messed up in the guts and having gallbladder issues. On top of that work has been real slow. But this sunday was better. Usually we get left in the dust during church and that makes us frustrated, but today we went to the beginner class and that helped.
This is a picture of our Art Club. This is the one thing that never lets us down. We are making a map of the world, one of Nicaragua and one or our municipality on the walls in the library. These kids have absolutley nothing to work with and yet things always happen. We are working with the teacher of an art school. He is great except that sometimes he doesnt listen which makes me real mad. Its like, ¨Do you understand what im saying or are you just ignoring me!¨But you have to just go with the Nica flow of things and let them happen. Its just that Kory and I are pretty anal retentive and organized and we have to learn to let that go for now.
This is a picture of our youth promoters doing a television spot or practicing one. The youth promoters will be a group of kids from all the far away villages that we will train to do our work! Great idea huh? Then we wont have to teach sex ed in the schools anymore because they will do it for us! Well, that sounds cruel. Actually it is a far more sustainable approach to health education. We will focus on mass media with them and eventually have a weekly radio program hopefully. 40 kids showed up to the first meeting. We have our work cut our for us, but this is exactly the kind of fun thing we love to do and wish we have more of to fill our time.
Kory was trying to show the neighbor kids how to play kick the can. It was pretty funny. They arnt that great at following our instructions. but these kids, though I thought they would molest us at first are actually pretty enjoyable. They line up outside our window which is right on the street, when we are cooking and are very curious. Last week I threw out parts of a basil twig and they picked it up out of the mud and were muching on it.

When I made this whole wheat bread, I went to throw the crumbs out the window and they made me give them to them. THis is the front of our house (though you cannot see the kitchen window to the right). Mom, notice how lovely the vines are! They have flowers on them and they have come into the house up through those decorative bricks on top and we now have flowers blooming in our house. Its super great!
Well. I hope this week goes better. Its pretty lonely out here when you are chuck full of business. I read a tony hillerman novel this week and it made miss utah. I realized that this is now the longest I have ever been away from there. I miss the desert and woodruff and my family. I miss being with people I know and who understand my culture etc. Well. I love you all! Love heather

Sunday, July 13, 2008

sometimes we are tired of nicaragua

Well. theres some rain here. I am sick again with a bladder infection. If ANYBODY knows of any supersecret preventative MEDICINE (As I am already taking all the regular precautions that need not be mentioned over the blog) I would appreciate it. I have now had four and Im really sick of it. Brett, how much cipro can you take in a day? Im at 500mg bid. I did recover from my diarrhea.. no I cant spell it. More cirpo. Im kindof down on Nicaragua today so I will keep my blog short. Dont worry, we are bound to feel this way sometimes. Our work is going a little slow. Did I mention the rain and the bladder infection?, sometimes we feel like we cant speak spanish at all. BUT we did have a fabulous youth promotores meeting. I dont feel like adding any pictures today and its time to catch my bus so I will add them next time and tell you all about it. I just didnt want to disappoint any fans... hehe. Well, I love you all! Em, congratulations! I wish I could be there and I really hope you send me some pictures either digital or snailmail. Ang and Mind, I will email you next time! Well! Tooooooooddddaaaaaloooooooooooo. Sorry this is the most lame blog entry we have yet to date. Kory wants to add something.

Foo for thought:
Kung foo
Foo Fighters
Pitty da foo
ni fu ni fa

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ometepe y más

Today we are in Granada, fabulously touristy, chock full of gringos. We are on our way back to La Dalia from Ometepe island. Heather has a bug or some such thing in her belly and is lying down in the dorm room. Hopefully she will recover for the 6-8-ish hour bus ride tomorrow.

Okay. Let us begin with the billiards tournament. The tournament works like this: We organize a tournament against VIH (HIV) wherein about 16 participants register to play billiards and recieve some education about the virus. In between each round of billiards, Heather and I give a brief "charla" (talk) about an aspect of the virus, how it works, how to avoid it, etc. Then, during the last round, the two players who are left have to answer a question about the charlas each time they get a ball in the pocket. If their answer is wrong, the ball is placed back on the table. The thing about this is, the men here never get any education because it is all geared toward women and children.

It was a blast. We had about 80 men crammed into this billiards hall and with the pouring rain outside, and no power. We had to climb halfway up a ladder against the wall and scream the charlas out to be heard. Here is a picture of Heather up on the ladder.

And some more random shots... there is a great picture of heather with me putting a condom over her arm, accompanied by a speech about how some men believe that their penis is too big to use a condom and about how none of their penis´are bigger than my wife´s arm. It is very compelling.

Well, after that, we had this language taller, or workshop, back in our training towns. Except this time, Heather and I were together in Santa Teresa. It was an intense crash course in the advanced compound tenses like past perfect subjunctive, in order to speak hypothetically. Try getting by in a lnguage, working in development in a thirdworld country where you can´t comfortably construct phrases like, "If you hadn´t thrown the garbage in your yard, you wouldn´t have slipped on the pop bottle on your way to the latrine in the middle of the night and and wouldn´t have broken your head." Yeah. Without compound hypothetical tenses, can´t be done. Right Ben?

Anyway, now we are practically fluent. Not really. But since most of the people from our group were gathered together in Carazo again, we decided to go to Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua (its the great big one on the map). It is an island in Lago Nicaragua which was formed by two volcanoes. They are a good time. Smoking and angry looking.

So we stayed on the island in a little hotel. I was pretty fun but pricy on volunteer budget ($0 per/hour). But cheap for tourist budget. It was $9 per person per night. The "all you can eat" buffet of Nica food was about $5.75. Ouch!

Yep. There they are. So we hiked around on Saturday looking for petroglyphs. Found ém. Got some great views of the volcanoes and plan to return for some of the more serious hikes later on.

Two of the other guys had birthdays this week and the girls got together real sneaky-like to plan a piñata. It was a good time. Then we swam in the lake, incidentally, the only land-locked source of fresh water sharks left on the earth. We swam in shark infested water. (Okay, to be fair, they are practically extinct and supposedly much further out.)

(at the hotel)
Well, thanks for the birthday wishes, those who sent them. We are now officially free to travel and have visitors so,... the flood gates are open...

Ometepe island

The piñata (the car, from Cars)

...and we close with a shot of Heather and Kory in beautiful Granada at twilight.

Thanks for the chocolates and letters and things. Abbey and Kim, I got the gummy bears, and letters from the kids and you guys, on my birthday. That was fun. Thanks.