What can I send you?
It has been great to hear from many of you and we are happy to report that the rainy season has begun, so now instead of always being hot it is either raining, cloudy or kinda nice. Although, it is also much more humid now. Also, we are seeing that living in a town with mostly dirt roads is just as bad in the wet season as it is in the dusty season. Our street turns into a chocolatey looking river during each storm. I find myself wishing for a kayak...
The rainy season generally means that it isn't nearly as hot as it once was, which leads to many changes. For example, I (Mason) have started running again, we don't wake up to sweat in the mornings, our clothes take more than 45 minutes to dry on the clothesline, sometimes we sleep with the fan on "low," we only have to take a "cool down" shower once a day. It is getting nicer, but many locals warn that this is going to be a very strong rainy season. It has, apparently, started much stronger and earlier than usual, and all of the hurricane experts are predicting a big year. In case you are unaware, hurricane Mitch destroyed much of the country in 1998, so there is obviously a big hurricane fear for the people here. So far, we are really enjoying the rain, but if it continues as frequently and as strong as this week has been, I'm sure we'll gladly welcome the end in October or November.
So, many people continue to ask us, "What can we send you?" or "What do you need?" or things like that. We are exremely grateful for the wonderful magazines, candy, snacks and other random things that people have sent. These things really do help us out a lot. Even if it is a month or two old, it is really nice to lay in the hammock and read a U.S. magazine, or eat some sunflower seeds or other things (Hot Tamales). So, over the last few days we just wrote down any little thing we could come up with that would be nice to have. I'm sorry if it is a bit long. Also, some of the things probably just aren't practical, but we can dream...
Food/snacks: Craisins, cous cous, quinoa, almonds, pecans, tahini, parmesan cheese, Annie's mac & cheese, trail mix, apricots, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate(not Hersheys), m&m's, cookies, hot tamales, skittles, macaroons
Beverages: Gatorade powder, Tea, New Belgium beer
Things for pets: Dog chew bones, one of those thick pieces of rope with a knot for a pull toy, pig skin things, any sort of animal treats
Things for kids: colored pencils, easy puzzles, marbles, kid's books in Spanish, basic school supplies
Periodicals: Climbing, Rock & Ice, National Geographic, The Economist, Runner's World, Rolling Stone, Mountain Gazette (free), High Country News, interesting newspaper articles
Other: DVD's, an air conditioner, cash, visitors, letters, funny things that we would never think of
And, here are some pictures:
Here is one of the banana plants that we planted in the yard. The leaves grow straight up out of the middle all rolled up like that and then they unroll to become these huge leaves.
The requisite pet picture. Here Clavo and Poster are playing under one of our rocking chairs.
Some of Brenna's students in school. This is a typical shot of one of our classes. Except that this girl has markers (they're Brenna's).
This old lady walks by our house every morning. She has to be at least 200 years old. Her upper back is almost completely horizontal. Really nice lady.
On this trip to Cerro Negro, we went down into the crater. It is full of plumes of sulfur smoke and chemically stained rocks. This shot is from in the crater looking up to the rim.
Here are some of those chemically stained rocks. Its like those crystal making kits we had when we were kids, except these smell like rotten eggs and are really hot.
This is the group of people that we hiked up there with. We were 3 Americans, 2 Spaniards, 3 Swiss and 5 or 6 Nicas. We're sitting on the rim looking northeast. If it weren't so cloudy you could probably see the ocean behind us.