Monday, March 8, 2010

Visita de Esha

Today, Maria told me that my son was coming to the clinic, and then laughed. I was very confused, and then realized she was talking about one of the twins. Sure enough, he came to the clinic, and it was a very nice reunion.
Esha is here now, which is wonderful. It's great having someone else in the dorm, being able to speak in English all day, and sharing my life here with someone from home. And, of course, it's just a lot of fun to hang out with her.
Two days ago, I gave the dorm a thorough cleaning in preparation for the people coming through. Tired and disgusting after the day, I was getting ready to take a shower, so I hung up the clean clothes I was going to wear. The pair of scrubs fell down, so I picked it up, and then a scorpion ran out from underneath. So that was terrifying. The worst was that, in my hysteria, I didn't see where it went. It's out there now, still on the loose, looking for vengeance...
Yesterday I made lunch for everyone--baked chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, cookies, and Janelle made salad. It was great eating some good old midwestern food again. And Ben brought me bacon from the city, so I cannot wait to consume that.
Esha came bearing gifts of candy and glasses, both of which are wonderful. Marmy, good work on the glasses--I love them!
Well, it's 10 now, so I'm off to get my Pepsi!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Back Again

As many of you who read this have reminded me several times, I have failed miserably at maintaining this blog, so this is my renewed attempt at writing in it.
I have now been back for about a month, which seems wild to me. I very quickly settled back into my routine, and it has been wonderful to start the project that was just in the preliminary stages during my first several months here.
In the past month, there have been several exciting events, including the opening of the new clinic in Concepcion, a trip to Tela, a city on the northern coast, and a trip to Costa del Sol in El Salvador (my skin is still healing from that sunburn). Those experience are pleasant memories and provide landmarks in my mind for the time that passes, but the most significant events to me are those that are seemingly commonplace here.
For example, I have now acquired the ability of making Daisy's twins laugh, just the same way that I can make Teddy laugh. They love being held in the air, "skydiving," and just being lightly tossed up. Today one of them cried every time I set him down or handed him off to someone else. Maria found it very amusing, and told me I'd just have hold him all day. It's so exciting watching them grow up--they're just starting to walk and have a few teeth.
I had another new experience today by eating a green mango. It was actually very good--it was more sour than a ripe one, and tougher, kind of the consistency of an apple. They're eaten like apples as well, with the skin on, just eating until you get to the center. It was a fun experience, eating green mangoes with the clinic staff in the preclinica room.
A couple days ago, I was drinking a soda out of a bag, and one of the doctors started laughing when he saw me. I asked him what was so funny, and he said, "you just look so Honduran right now! Gringas don't usually drink soda out of the bags." I guess that was a fulfillment of Maria's prediction that I would become Honduran.
Esha is coming to visit this weekend, which I'm very excited about. I'd love to find a way to go to Tela or something so that she can experience that aspect of Honduras as well, but I don't know if we'll be able to make it happen. Either way, though, it's going to be a great week.
It's a little weird being back to waking up to ants crawling all over me, or a spider on my neck (poor Happy, I threw him off my bed a couple nights ago because there was a big spider on him, but he's back now), and I thought that the lack of comfort would make it hard to be back, but I love it just as much, if not more, than I did before I was in the States for so long. Yes, there are difficult things, but coming back to life here was just wonderful. I just feel alive here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Barrio Cincinnati

A lot of the people who come to Santa Lucia on brigades are from Cincinnati, as the organization began there. So yesterday, when Doris was asking me where I was from and I answered that I was originally from Cincinnati, she said, ‘Oh, did you know that this area of town is called Barrio Cincinnati?’ I didn’t know. Apparently since so many people who come to the clinic are from Cincinnati, they just called this whole area Cincinnati, from Linda’s Salon de Belleza to the Clínica Hombro a Hombro. And they abbreviate it by saying ‘Cinci,’ which is also a popular abbreviation for Cincinnati in Ohio.
So I just wanted to share that, as I thought it was absolutely hilarious.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Geckos and Orange Juice

The other day, a bat flew by me and I barely flinched, and it made me realize how much I’ve unknowingly adapted to the differences in life here.
It’s like the geckos. They’re all over the walls in the houses, including the clinic. They make an almost clicking sound at night, which, with the sound of roosters, replaces for me the sound of dogs barking at the bears and cars passing by.
I’ve gotten used to the fresh orange juice every morning, too. It’s one of the highlights of my day, because it’s consistent and something I can count on. There may not be internet, power, or enough doctors to see all the patients in the clinic, but there’s always fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning. On Monday, there’s the plato típico for breakfast, which is beans, eggs, and tortillas. They also put out fruit and sometimes avocados or fried plantains. On Tuesday, there are pancakes, and Wednesday is my favorite because it’s the day for porridge. That’s another difference—I never would have eaten porridge before getting here, but now I really look forward to Wednesdays because of the breakfast. It’s nice and hot, and I add lots of cinnamon and sugar. Thursdays and Fridays change with food, but there’s always French toast and Saturday is usually cereal day. Also, for about half the people here, Saturday is a day off, so I usually sleep in an extra hour or two and make my own cereal.
I’ve gotten used to pilas. I love pilas. They’re these big outdoor sink type things. They fill them with water and then use a small container to pour water from the pila to another attached surface, where they wash dishes and sometimes clothes. This weekend I was in Camsasca, a neighboring town, staying with some friends, and they had a small outside space with a drain where they showered, pouring the water from the pila over themselves to bathe. It was freezing, but I actually preferred it to normal showers, which are cold anyway. Again, that used to be strange, but now I feel like it would be just weird to take a warm shower, much less a hot one, especially in this climate. Any temperature less than 90 feels pretty cool to me now.
Every Sunday, I wash my clothes by hand using the pila. There’s a washer and dryer here, but they’re always being used, and I like the hour or so it takes to wash it all myself, using powdered detergent that you can buy in some of the nearby pulperías, small stores that people set up from their homes. It’s 50 cents for enough detergent to last about two months. After my clothes are clean, I hang them outside of the apartment to dry, which just takes a few hours in this sun.
I’ve gotten used to hearing Spanish most of the day. It’s now almost a form of comfort to be surrounded by it, as I love its rhythm and consistency more and more, especially now that I speak and understand it better now than when I came.
So those have been my recent thoughts, as it’s just been striking me how things are seeming more and more normal. It’s pretty beautiful how that happens.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Yesterday, Maria told me that by the time I left, I would be Honduran.
I thought that sounded pretty good.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm Really Bad at Updating This

Well Hey!
Sorry about my failure at updating the blog. I think it's my tendency to get so caught up in what I'm doing at the moment that I forget to write and send updates. So my apologies.
On Friday, we went to a feria, like a small fair, in Camasca. It was really fun--we met a bunch of Peace Corps workers and there was dancing, which was a blast. That was our big night out, and we've been talking about how fun it was ever since.
I guess today I'll just write about some more basic information...
I stay in the apartments upstairs, at least for the next few weeks. I'm a big fan of the AC at night, which does not exist in the dorms. I work at a desk right by Yani, which is nice because it's quiet, and because there's a fan right by the desk that blows right on me when I work.
Essentially, life here is pretty constant, which is nice--there's a definite rythm.
Well it's time for dinner now, so I'll brainstorm good topics. But I'm safe, the politics aren't affecting anything here, and life's good!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Daily Life

Well hey everyone,
Sorry, I fail at keeping up with this...
So I was thinking, today I’ll just write about my everyday routine, at least as it’s been the past week.
I wake up around 7:20, do the typical morning routine, like tooth-brushing, that type of thing. Then I go downstairs, eat breakfast, which is always either eggs, beans, and tortillas, French toast, pancakes, or cereal, and there’s always fruit. I love breakfast because of the orange juice—there’s always fresh squeezed orange juice at breakfast.
After breakfast, I put on better clothes, do my hair, put on makeup, and all that. And sometimes before that, I pretend to be a monster and talk in a really weird voice and chase Fani, one of the cook’s daughters, all over the dorm area. She loves that game, and every time I see her, she pretends to call the monster to see if he’s coming. And if I don’t want to play the game, I just pretend to call him back and say he’s not answering his phone, so he must be busy. It’s a fun game though, and people always laugh when they see us, a huge American girl and a four-year-old Honduran, running all over, her screaming and laughing and me talking in a Louis Armstrong voice, saying things like, “Aquí viene el monstruo!!” and “no puede escapar, Fani!!”
So after I’m ready for the day, I work until about 10 or so, then I go down to El Chadai, the store by the gate to the clinic, and buy a Pepsi. I drink that while I work until lunch, which is at 12. I’ve been working upstairs, but Fani likes it when I work downstairs because I play music on the computer and let her take one of the earphones and listen, so sometimes I do that, although I get a lot less done when she sits beside me and talks endlessly. It’s fun, though. When I don’t have much to do, when I finish, I either play with Fani, read, or visit Mina, this wonderful 70-something year old seamstress, or Elias.
Lunch is always a big and yummy meal, with meat, fruit, and usually beans and tortillas. Yesterday, lunch was barbeque chicken with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. It was amazing...
After lunch, if there’s nothing going on, I take a nap until about 2. Then I get up, and this past week I’ve had meetings every day at 3:30 for the education project, so I’ve been preparing for those and then going. After the meetings, I have English class at 5, and that’s been happening every day. Those finish at 6, which is when dinner starts. Dinner is a good meal too, and the same types of food as lunch.
After dinner, it’s rest time for pretty much everyone. I’ve been reading for awhile, and the past few days we’ve been projecting movies onto a wall and watching them at night. So I usually watch when there’s a movie, but last night I just read until bed, pretty much, because it was a scary movie. The nights are calm, social, and fun. I really enjoy them.
During the weekends, people generally don’t work much Saturday, so this weekend we went to the market and the waterfall in Concepción. We had dinner here—Maria cooks on Saturday.
Sundays are rest days for everyone. No one comes to cook or clean, so usually Alex makes a big dinner for everyone, which is always delicious and American. This past Sunday we had baked ziti. There’s church on Sunday, and it’s usually pretty late, so it’s the one day to really sleep in.
So that’s the schedule!
Love you all, and email me any time!