Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas in Malpaisillo

So, things are going well here. We make it through our days slowly... reading, chatting, walking around town, meeting new people. Today we officially found a house to move in to on our own and will do so in a few weeks after we make a few security updates (new locks and bars on the windows). We'll post pictures.

We have come across a youth group (sort of... most are late teens or early 20's, and there are only about 4 regular members) that is forming as part of a national club of youth environmentalists. This could potentialy be a great secondary project for us. We told them we know how to start viveros (tree nurseries) and that really excited them. They want us to help tham make one. So, the other day we gave them a class on composting and we are going to meet in a couple more days with all of our weeks worth of yard waste and kitchen scraps to start a big communal compost pile. The idea is that we will make compost for a few months and then use that soil to start our vivero in March. Everything grows here and compost happens much quicker too. So, we're pretty excited about this forming project. We really weren't expecting to do much work until school started in the end of Enero (January) so this is great. Hopefully we can help this group get more organized and grow and do good things for the town. We'll keep you posted.

Christmas is in a few days, but neither of us are really in that christmas (or hanukkah) mood. Maybe it is because we are away from our families and friends, or because it is in the 80s or 90s every day, or because there are no department stores or TV commercials trying to get our $$. Who knows, but we want to wish anyone out there reading this a great holiday season. Especially all of you in CO who are surely going to have a white christmas with that huge storm you just got. Enjoy a few turns for us.

We'll give you some pics soon...

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Hi friends!
Isn´t it the strangest thing that when you have nothing to do it´s that much harder to get anything done? Since arriving at our site over three weeks ago, we have pretty much done nothing! The Peace Corps just happened to place us here right when the school year ends. So as teachers, we have no job for the next two months. We´ve been filling our time rather well, I should say. Our typical day consists of a good three to four hours of what we have termed, ¨Hammock time.¨ We love hammock time. Many a books have been read, Spanish has been studied, even some games of chess and cards have been played in the hammock. But, deep down we still are ambitious Americans, so we go out exploring looking for activity on occasion. This will consist of playing ulitmate frisbee with a group of ¨chavalos¨ (kids), buying an ice cream, going to the vegetable market, or our favorite- checking our e-mail. I´ve also taken to going to some dance aerobics classes in the little gym here in town. I embarrass myself every time, because the class is basically just a lot of hip shaking, which white girls are famous for not knowing how to do. Mas and I have also been running on the country roads in the mornings before the sun gets too hot. Oh- and we´ve made it to the beach once and we have plans to go again soon. So we do get things done!
We're quite proud of one great accomplishment. We have joined an environmental youth group that is just starting up. They are excited to work with us and we have already begun training them on how to compost. We have plans to make a giant tree nursery in the future. Mas and I think that if it weren´t for us, they probably would never have organized into much.
We also officially found a new house! We will move in the day after Christmas. It´s got a living room and a bedroom, and the kitchen and bathroom are outside. We also have a great big yard that we share with our neighbors. They will take care of us and be like a family to us. We´ll send pics soon.
So, we find the days flying by just like at home. Life here is definitely slower but we are adjusting to the relaxed pace.