Tuesday, April 11, 2006

happy april!!

honestly, i cannot believe it´s april! april 11th no doubt. i´ve been here going on 7 months! weird.

ok, well i’m not sure how to start off this entry – because there is just so much going on. first off, it´s semana santa and everyone in the entire country goes on vacation for a week. a lot of people go to the beach, but i´m staying put in apaneca. it´s supposed to be pretty dangerous to travel during semana santa, plus there are just too many people there during holidays. and i´m not a big fan of the huge crowds. i visited the cascades outside of juayua yesterday. i had a great time, despite falling on my ass not once, but TWICE, in front of a bunch of people. but who the hell cares. antonio thought it was funny, along with probably everyone else who saw me. my pants were filthy (front and back) and i ended up ¨washing¨ them (while i was still wearing them of course) in one of the cascade pools. it was so hot that they were dry, even when i was still wearing them, in about 15 minutes. the cascades in juayua are basically made up of about four or five natural waterfalls that have pools for swimming at the bottom before the water is then carried down the valley further. the pools actually then have man-made connectors whereupon you can be swimming in one pool, then take a clausterphobic journey underneath part of the mountain through a tunnel and end up in the pool of another cascade further down. they´re situated in a way so that there´s not much room to actually ¨look¨ at them, because they´re on a cliff area that drops off about twenty or thirty feet from the bases of the waterfalls. and yesterday they were packed with people, including this group of canadian tourists, so it was hard to take pictures and all that. actually, though, it was safer to be there when there were more people because banditos and pandilleros love to prey upon people walking the trail, so i guess it was ok that there were a bunch of people there.

¨la sirena¨ - this is a mermaid statue that is kind of in the middle of nowhere in juayua, but kind of also on the way to the cascades, depending on which road you take.

yours truly after wiping out twice. here i am washing my pants in the lower pool of one of the waterfalls. i´m just too graceful for words.

not sure what i´m doing the rest of the week, but it should be pretty cool just to be a part of the culture here during this religious week. they´ve been doing ¨tres cruces¨ through the streets of apaneca every friday night which is really, really cool. it´s basically the stations of the cross and different houses around town every friday decorate outside of their houses with a little alter dedicated to one station of the cross. then at about 8:00 pm there is a procession of people dressed up like shepherds carry a big huge statue of jesus to these different stations. the pastor of the catholic church is there as well as a bunch of members and they take this procession around town. it´s kind of funny too because bringing up the rear of the procession is a guy dressed up as a shepherd as well, but riding this bicycle that has a generator on the back which is attached to the jesus statue which has these huge lights around it. and then there are two other guys dressed up as shepherds and they kneel in front of the alters and read out the passages about each station of the cross at each house that has been decorated. and then people sing these sad songs about the whole thing. it´s really quite cool, and i´m gonna miss the procession once easter is over.

there was an earthquake/temblor sunday morning that was really quite strong. i was still in bed (yes, i was still sleeping….it was sunday!!!) and it felt like someone was shaking my bed and at first i was scared because i thought ¨who the hell is in my room?¨ and it went on for quite some time and then i realized it was a temblor and waited for it to end. i read in the paper yesterday that it was a 5.8 and the center was somewhere off the coast in la libertad. it´s not a big deal, though, i suppose. it´s getting ready to change over to the rainy season and there are always earthquakes in between the seasons. it´s just really a weird experience.

oh, i also visited my friend courtney up in chalatenango a couple weekends ago. dudes, it is HOT there. well, it´s really super frigging hot everywhere else in the country, while in apaneca it´s just frigging hot. anyway, she lives in a town called dulce nombre de maria which took me something like 6 hours to actually get to. she´s got some c-r-a-z-y people living there which were really entertaining. which reminds me, i have to tell you all about the crazy lady of apaneca next time. anyway, i had a great time at courtney´s site but i was so glad to get back to the relatively breathable climate of apaneca.

that´s all for now.