Saturday, November 10, 2007

So you say I've been here for three months?

Wow, how time has flown....

Well, tomorrow is my last day officially living in Esteli. Now its off to Managua for a couple weeks (swearing in, AVC, and Thanksgiving) and then off to Chinandega to begin service!

I see that I never updated you all on my site, sorry it took so long I've had a lot on my plate with training winding to a close. My site is small (really small) and hot (really hot), but the people are wonderful and definately ready to work with me. Im about a 20 minute bus ride and then a half hour on horseback from the city of El Viejo for those of you that want to try and find my site on a map (good luck). Unfortunately I dont have any pictures because I lost my camera sometime over the last month or so, hopefully I'll be able to find one in Managua because they arent easy to come by here in Esteli.

Anyways, the farmers at my site pretty much solely work in corn and beans but want to start to produce some other crops that arent quite as common to sell in the markets and hopefully make some more money off them. A couple of producers also want to try and start a project with lambs/sheep, which I am pretty excited about (never really expected to be working with them here in Nicaragua, but hey... Peace Corps is full of surprises).

There is already a youth group in the town called "4S"which I believe was formed by INTA a while back. Right now they dont really do a whole lot of anything but they're organized very well (which makes me have to do a lot less work trying to round up the youth of the town and try and get them excited about a youth group). So I think I'll be able to start working with them as soon as I get to site, maybe making some huertos or a seed bank or something along those lines.

Well hopefully I will continue to be able to update the blog semi-regularly once I get out to site, but its hard to say (Im thinking I'll be getting to El Viejo every other week or so, so I should be able to update without a problem). Im hopeing that I'll be able to steal some pictures from other trainies and our tech trainer when Im in Managua and I'll definately post them here if I can.

Now Im off to Managua to become a real PC volunteer!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hato Grande

Thats ¨the big herd, or flock¨for those of you that arent spanish speakers... but more importantly, its the name of my future site! It is a small town in the middle of Chinindega (not quite sure on the exact location yet, but I know its a little north of the city El Viejo). It is a town of 450 people and the main crops are corn, rice, and beans. It sounds like there is a lot of milk and egg production as well. I will have electricity (at least sometimes), no running water (although I havent really missed that yet), and a cell phone signal (Im told my current phone will work there so those who have my number can assume that it will be staying the same... those who still want it can email me to get it). Im fairly excited about being somewhat close to the beach, at least in weekend trip range.

Unfortunately thats about all I know about the site as of right now, but I will be in site this coming weekend (from friday to next thursday) so I´ll be able to give a better update and hopefully some pictures next time.

Hope all is well back in the states

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Best Western... Round Two

Well its been a pretty busy week, so I guess I will start from the begining... As stated in my last post, I had tech week at one of the other volunteers site earlier this week to learn various useful bits of knowledge... like how to make Chicken Feed or an Improved Stove (improved in the sense that it uses less wood and doesnt fill the house with smoke). I thought it was a great trip, I think I learned a lot and seeing an actual Peace Corps site was really cool, gives me a clue on what to expect as this week unfolds and I hopefully recieve my site assignment this coming Friday.

Then it started to rain, and rain some more... and rain a lot more. The last tech day was a lot less productive as we had to cross what then was a pretty big river every time we wanted to work or eat, but this really wasnt bothering me too much because I spent most of the day in the lab with my first Nica Illness anyways (bacteria infection of the intestinal track for anyone who is wondering... not too much fun). But I spent the next day or so doing pretty much nothing and I feel a lot better now (Im sure the super antibiotics they have me on are having an impact as well).

With the rain that almost washed away the tail end of tech week came more rain, when we got back to Esteli it wasnt long before we all got word that the volunteers in the north half of the country were all being evacuated to the capital until the weather passed. So now Im in the same hotel that we had our welcome retreat at, watching football (what happened to the Bears defense... I leave and all the sudden they cant do anything right), enjoying the pool, and waiting for word to head back North.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More Pictures!

Well, I headed down to Esteli after class today to finish putting up the pictures that i was trying to last weekend, so here they are! sorry Im not going to have time to answer emails this time, so dont feel left out.

Me, after a long hike up to visit some caves with the youth group
A fairly common scene here
My town
Part of the youth group and other aspirantes after doing out first square meter garden

On an unrelated note, This week I´ll be heading out to a volunteers site for ¨tech week¨. Im pretty excited about getting my first experience on a real peace corps site. Then next weekend is the site fair where I will be looking at all the availible sites in country and putting in my word on which ones I am most interested in, also very exciting. Anyways, hopefully I´ll be able to update sometime during all of that to keep everyong posted.

hope all is well

Saturday, September 29, 2007



I figured since nothing really interesting happened this week i'd spend some time uploading pictures! Anyways, here it goes...

mi familia

Nica 45!

okay, so i only got to upload two in the time that i was here (it takes just this side of a year to upload them). hopefully i will put some more up next week sometime.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Independence Day

I noticed that I took my 4th installment of Chloroquine this week, which means that Ive been in country for a month now! (only 26 more, for those keeping track... haha). Its amazing how time travels in the Peace Corps, two days ago seems like years but I cant believe that its already been an entire month.

Anyways, last weekend was Nicaraguan Independence day. It was really interesting to see how another culture celebrates their independence (although it was pretty similar - just more dancing, less BBQ). We went into Esteli and watched the parade, all the students from the local schools were marching and the drum lines were playing (they were really good). On friday we all watched the "running of the torch", which is a torch that is carried through all of the Central American countries to celebrate together. After it passed we all jumped on my nica-dad's bus and followed the flag for a while, honking and waiving at everyone that had flags out.

After all the Indepence day festivities were finished, all the PCTs hiked up to a waterfall for some swimming (highly recomended) and a sack lunch - which was a great change from class/work routine they have us in here. Later we headed off to an organic farm to learn some more about safe chemicals that can be used when farming that wont harm the environment or the community's health. And finally, I learned how to vacinate a chicken! (so much fun) So if anyone has an chickens that are in need of some vaccinations, Im your guy.

Not a whole lot worth mentioning went on this week. I had Spanish class, some more Spanish class, oh... and then some more Spanish. But its good as Im still learning a ton. We dont have any activities planned for this weekend, and I just bought a guitar... so I plan on making good use of the extra time.

Hope all is well in the States!

PS: I was going to put some pictures up this week... but unfortunately I forgot my cords back in my house, so it'll have to wait until next weekend probably.