Thursday, May 11, 2006

odds and ends

it´s getting ready to thunderstorm right now. you wouldn´t believe the weather today here. there were times when you couldn´t even see the football cancha right next to the school because there was so much fog - like in the middle of the day. it´s just because we´re so high up here in this area and when a storm´s coming the clouds literally cover the mountains and sweep over apaneca and san jorge and everywhere else around here. it´s so funny because the rest of the country (other than way up north in santa ana and chalatenango) is sweltering hot right now and the thought of fog rolling into places like la unión or san vicente is hilarious. there´s supposed to be another parade tomorrow in apaneca (for the older kids this time) and some soccer and softball games in san jorge. we might just get rained on. plus i´m supposed to hike that mountain tomorrow night too. if it´s raining like mad, i ain´t going. it´s bad enough trying to hike up mountains like that, let alone on slippery rocks all the while getting drenched. we´ll see!!! i really do want to hike it!!!

it was mother´s day here on wednesday. so there was no school, no government offices were open, and at 5:00 a.m. (no i´m not kidding), the alcalde´s ¨speaker¨ (everytime there is a death in apaneca or something of importance to tell the people of apaneca, this dude gets on this loudspeaker, which is located in the mayor´s building, and tells the entire town about whatever it is) started talking about it being mother´s day and then went on to play this kind of traditional spanish music, but because it was on the loudspeaker it sounded like carnival ride music. so happy mother´s day! i thought that day was the same ´round the world, isn´t it always on a sunday in the states?? i did send some things home to my mom though this week, so don´t think i´m a dunce and totally spaced mother´s day in the states.

got some more photos to share!

here are some photos of the kids planting flower and vegetable seeds in the seed planters. we only have four planters, so the rest of the seeds we´re planting in small bags. because there are so many kinds of crazy insects here (and the ants are HUGE), it´s better to plant the harder-to-grow stuff in a planter or bags and then transplant them. anyway, the kids did a great job and we´ve got quite a few ¨plantitos¨ now. we´re going to plant the seeds that can go directly into the soil next week.


atzumpa is this area near ataco that has a couple of outdoor pools run by the water company here in el salvador. it´s weird because it´s really kind of in the middle of nowhere in this forest. but there are the most amazing trees there and it´s pretty tranquilo.

ok, so take a look at this tree. like always, a photo will never do this tree justice. but i tried to get a couple pictures just to show how amazing it is.

another view of the tree

ok, so here´s me standing next to the tree. see how huge it is! (i´m talking about the tree! not me!)

a cool example of a live barrier. this is ezote (the national flower of el salvador) planted on the side of the cerro to prevent erosion.

this is a nice picture i took inside the actual forest surounding atzumpa and the pools

a platano tree

bamboo leaves

clavel...yes, the same flower as the pink clavel i posted pictures of before, but a different type. this is a ¨clavel normal¨ and the pink one is a ¨clavel colocho.¨


here are a couple of photos ashley took at our tech training at the escuela naciónal agronomía in san andres.

here we are working on fruit trees - trimming the branches so they´ll grow more fruit and spend less energy on the branches not producing fruit.

our group, minus a few people, ¨hugging¨ what the second dude from the left thinks is the last-known melon tree in el salvador. no, not melon like cantaloupe or whatever. but anyway, this tree has a sad story, but it´s possible that it could end nicely. there just might be two more of these trees - one in sonsonate and the other i think in la libertad. but this melon tree got struck by lightning and is pretty much dead and the guy that works at the MAG (minesterio de agricultura) is trying to save the species. they have tree seeds at the seed bank there and have tried starting a vivero, but haven´t had a lot of luck....viveros are super hard to start. so i think rolando (our ag4/ee peace corps director - the guy on the far left - took some seeds from there and is going to try and figure out how to have a successful vivero.