Sunday, November 2, 2008

Los Gringos del Gato

That´s how it goes Matt. Notice it is singular. Gato.

Well, here he is. Of course it didn´t take long for Heather to meet, fall in love with, purchase, and at last pledge her undying love for, a cat. We found an orange one for her, which she has always wanted. I guess the orange fellas get lost and starving and wander to Heather´s doorstep in Woodruff often enough for her to have had one by now. Allow me, if you will, to introduce Wembly. Yes, like the fraggle. Doesn´t he look like a fraggle? When he is in trouble, which you can imagine is almost always, his name is Wemblton. When he is cute, which I´ll admit is also almost always, he is Wembles or Wemblito. He is the most codependent animal I have ever met. He is so needy and cuddly. It is quite cold here right now as we are in the middle of winter, and when we got the cat he was so malnurished that he has really thin hair and is tiny. He is about 4 months old! Tiny.
We will see how he holds up. Or how we hold up.
I will probably be doing most of the blogs from now on because with Heather´s church calling she usually has meetings after church and we still don´t really come into town on other days. I will try to be fair and express her honest thoughts along with mine.

Today is el Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. This is a heavily celebrated holiday in most of Central America. It is kind of the Central American Halloween counterpart, except there are no cute kitty cat costumes and princesses. In Mexico people dress up as skeletons and parade around, for example. For those of you who know what Halloween is to Heather and me (Which reminds me, we will have no more talk of Halloween candy on this blog. Thanks. Just kidding, we love to hear about all of the yummy things that are available there) you can probably guess that this holiday is one of those events in which we have always wanted to participate. However, much to our chagrin, Día de los Muertos here is a lot like Memorial Day. People visit the cemetary with flowers. That´s basically it. What a drag. Happy Day of the Dead

As I said last time, we have been having some adventures around the house, partly because of the rain, and partly because it is about this time in our service that it is normal for us to be completely disenchanted and utterly frustrated with our work and Nicaraguans in general. This makes for a lot of time in the house and what we call "secondary projects." Here are some of them:

Flat Stanely.
We recieved a letter from my nephew Braxton a few weeks ago. In the letter was a paper cutout of a person colored with crayons. His letter explained that in school he was learning about the world through Flat Stanely. He sent us Stanely to photograph in various Nicaraguan activities and send them back with the cartoon. Here are some of them:
Stanely and the neighborhood kids
Stanley and a neighborhood chancho (pig).
Stanley and a view from the calle.
Stanley and "deme una foto" Anger in the market.

The cabana.
Remember the Indian queen pagent that I got to judge? Well, we went to the school a couple of days after the event. They had also built little huts from which to sell traditional foods. We used the oportunity to carry several tens of pounds of bamboo back to our house. It nearly killed us. We used it first to build a lovely cabana off the back of the house on the patio. We have yet to acquire any palm leaves for the roof, but it is in the works. Here is a picture of "Flat Stanely" helping out.

The tools.
Bamboo is a very useful plant. We have also taken some of the smaller pieces and carved some candle holders (vital since we only have power for a few hours a day right now, and rarely at night), chop sticks, wooden mixing and cooking spoons, tortilla flippers, and marshmallow roasters (we are going to make smoors tomorrow on the wood stove with marshmallows and these lousy cookies that have some chocolate frosting on one side, yikes).
Heather has the memory card with all of the photos on it so I am hoping that she gets done with her meeting and gets here with it soon.

We may not be able to check the internet for a little while because next weekend we are being put on "stand fast." This is the pre-level one security stage which means we can´t leave our site in case they need to consolodate us. This is because the Mayorial elections here will be taking place on the 9th. The Sandinistas have a tendency to get a little rowdy if they don´t win, or in the process of making sure they win, or when they win,...whenever. This shouldn´t be a problem for us because La Dalia is predominantly Sandinista. Which means for the few Liberals there it is sort of like being a Democrat in Utah. Not gonna happen. (In case anybody has not heard anything about Nicaragua since the 80´s, the Sandinistas are just a political party which happens to be in power. They are no longer a rebel force fighting the army and killing gringos.)

Our site-mate Sarah, the environment volunteer, is going home this week as she has completed her service. Here is a picture of Sarah, Wembly, Heather and me celebrating Halloween with some carmel popcorn and glow in the dark vampire teeth! Bye Sarah.


The Fluckigers said...

Thanks for including Flat Stanley in your adventures. It was way fun for the kids to read and look at the pictures of Flat Stanley. Braxton is just thrilled and can't wait to tell his teachers today. Hope all is well and I love your orange kitty. Orange kittens have also always been a weakness of mine. Take care-

Love Robin, Kris and kids

Matt said...

I kind of really want to make something out of bamboo now. Guess I'll have to settle for 2x4's and dry wall. Your cat looks pretty awesome. Don't be too hard on him for being skinny. Some of us are just that way and we can't help it. Halloween struggled a bit without y'all. Remind me again when you'll be in town... getting closer now isn't it? See you soon.

Megs said...

I love Wembly! He is so cute! Flat Stanley is pretty adorable too. Good luck with the s'mores!

Adelle and Cord said...

So that is what I am going to have to do to get a cat? Travel half-way around the world and live without power, good food, a computer at my fingertips, family and friend Halloween Parties with lots of great candy, and well, probably a lot more. Can you believe with all of that going on someone could still be envious of what you have...a cute little orange kitty.

Glad to see you guys are doing well. It was fun reading about some of your adventures! Pretty brave. You two are so creative and crafty. Way to go.

Seth Dani & kaylie said...

Hey! This is Dani and Seth! Sounds like you guys are doing well. Dani just has a few questions about your lists. As far as baby clothes go...what sizes are you needing and for what kind of weather? Also are baby clothes the only clothes you need or do you also need children's and adult's clothes? Also what kind of other gifts for women are you talking about? And last what kind of things do you need for them to sell in their store? Let me know..we are going to see what we can get together. Well...I have to go...let me know. E-mail me at Thanks! Stay safe and have fun!