Monday, October 09, 2006

ah, does it get any better than this?

"You kind of get tired of giving the other team credit," third baseman Alex Rodriguez said after another terrible October. "At some point you've got to look in the mirror and say, 'I sucked."'

damn straight! that’s what i’m talkin’ about! go tigers! dudes, i’m so excited for them. as sad as i am that i can’t be up there partaking in all the motown madness, at least they’re in the playoffs – ALCS, that is. i disagree with a-rod´s comments that it´s all about him....that the tigers won just because ¨he sucked.¨ but, whatever. let him think that all winter. hee hee.

i found an article in la prensa gráfica (one of el sal’s national newspapers) about how the tigers won, but goddammit if it didn’t have a photo of derek jeter pouting in the dugout that he lost. seems as if the media EVERYWHERE, not just ESPN, still can’t manage to give the tigers proper credit. jesus h. christ. i used to say that the entire tigers squad could find a cure for cancer and ESPN would still start their daily sportscast with what a-rod ate for breakfast and how long it took for him to take a shit afterwards. and here the tigers are, going from worst to best and beating the prodigal son-like yankees in the playoffs, and true to form, the media’s sticking it to the tigers. i have my “my yahoo” page set to give me all the news about the tigers and there weren’t that many articles about how they were awesome this year. but when they started playing shitty towards the end of the season, there were all kinds of articles saying “what happened?” “the tigers are faltering!” blah, blah, blah. whatever. so, pardon my language, but fuck you yankees and ESPN and la prensa gráfica and my yahoo. hello oakland! oh, and i have to say MUCHAS, MUCHAS GRACIAS to my dad and my friend bryan for keeping me updated on all the last minute goings on of how the tigers are doing (as well as all other detroit sports teams).

on with other things. i hope you all got through the entries about guatemala! i know it’s a huge undertaking to sit there and read something that long on the computer, but i really do like how i can keep you all updated on life here in central america. i have to admit though, that the photos of the lake really don’t do it justice. just like any other place in the world that is so big, beyond what a camera is able to capture, and breathtaking – it’s nearly impossible to convey just how picturesque it really is. so i guess that’s the point of actually visiting places. i have taken a ton of pictures of places like canyon de chelly (in northeast arizona), the big sur coast up to monterey, the eiffel tower, the cologne dome in germany, etc. – but none of these pictures matches actually seeing them up close. i’d really like to see the pacific coast from north of san franciscio all the way up to seattle. that area is pretty high on my places i’d like to visit sometime in the near future, as well as new zealand, rapa nui, the canadian rockies, turkey and of course, all of south america.

anyway, getting on with things.... things have been really, really busy here. i’m trying to get a few more biodiversity lessons in at the school before the last day. classes end on november 9th, so i don’t have that much time left. you know, there’s the usual fiestas and things like that that need to be worked into the last days – so taking that into account too, there’s really not that many days left. you know, i’m feeling like i did a pretty good job this year in the school. i mean, if you look at it like this: i came to this country a little over a year ago not really knowing the language other than words and phrases and basic verb conjugations. and now, a year later i can go in and teach classes and converse with people. so all in all i think that’s pretty good. and it just means that next year i’ll probably be a little more effective just because i won’t have to take the time to learn the language and get to know the school and community and all that. but i think i’ve done a lot just this year – i’ve talked about trash and recycling, bosques, volcanoes and butterflies. we did a worm box, the huertos, we planted flowers and two izote plants at the school. plus i’ve done a lot of other teaching stuff not really related to the environment. anyway, i’m going to try and work on an internet project for the school during vacaciones, as well as work on lombriculture in the community.

on top of wrapping things up at the school, i’m getting ready to have a volunteer from the new group come to my site on thursday. a couple weeks ago, a few of us from my group had to go to san vicente to have “mentor day.” those of us who were mentors to people from the new group had to form this panel and answer questions about what it’s like to be a volunteer – how we’ve managed in our sites this year and how we’ve dealt with illnesses and our spanish and all that. it was interesting, although the whole time i was sitting up there, i was like – what? i’ve been here a year already? the group seems pretty cool and it was just funny hearing them ask all their questions. there was this one guy i talked to for a while and the whole time he wanted to know what the likelihood would be that his future site would be on the beach. i remember clear as day how we were all freaking out about where our sites would be, and now we’ve all be in them for a year. anyway, so we’re now hosts to this group’s immersion day and so i’ve got somebody coming on thursday. and let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy coordinating this. see, we have to find a family in a cantón or caserio near us that will let a volunteer stay with them for a couple days. then on the third day, they come and stay with us where we live. so i asked this one mom, niña doris, whose family lives kind of outside san jorge. her daughter’s in sixth grade and her son’s in first grade. anyway, she’s really nice so i asked her a couple weeks ago. well, see, she and her husband live on the grounds of these stables that this other guy, don jaime, owns. it’s kind of like this horse ranch, not huge or anything, but there are stables and it’s more in the campo than san jorge is. so she said that it was totally fine but she just wanted to make sure it was ok with don jaime. so the next day she told mirna that don jaime wanted to talk to me, so i walked there and don jaime wasn’t there. but niña doris told me that don jaime was concerned because the area where niña doris thought the volunteer could sleep was not very nice....just a bed and it was outside the actual house, in another building. i told her that it wasn’t a big deal because that is all part of immersion day – seeing how other people live, having to adjust to living in a different setting, etc. anyway, don jaime didn’t come back that day, so i wrote him a note and left later in the afternoon. then the next day i didn’t go to the school because i promised antonio’s sister i’d hike laguna verde with her and her students and some teachers from her school in sonsonate. so i did that, and that night don jaime called me and explained that the volunteer could sleep on the second floor of his house. so he invited me to come over and check it out this past weekend. so on saturday i went over there, and his house is super fine! like, this volunteer is going to be living in style because his house is so nice! anyway, so i explained that the volunteer can eat and stuff with niña doris’s family and all that – then just come back and sleep at don jaime’s. but it’s weird because everyone thinks that because we’re americans we can’t live in the kinds of houses the normal average salvadoran lives in.

but don jaime is really a cool guy. he’s got money and is trying to develop the area where the stables are into an area where people from the surrounding caserios and cantónes can come and have an open market. he showed me this map that had all the property outlined and his vision as to what would be located where. anyway, at his house he’s got this vivero where he’s working with a university in san salvador on agro projects. so i mentioned how i was looking to promote lombriculture to the viveros here and he told me that if i was looking for space to start up a bunch of bigger worm boxes he would let me use space either at the stables or at the vivero at his house. then i could just go from there. anyway, so i’m really happy about that whole thing.

so we’ll see how immersion day goes. and then on top of that, i finally found a place to live in apaneca. it’s been tough because like i mentioned above, every time somebody showed me a house in apaneca it’d be way too big and expensive. because everyone thinks because i’m american i need this big, huge house. but finally i found something that i think will work. it’s bigger than my cuarto, and of course it’s more expensive because it’s apaneca, but there’s nothing i can do about that. i went to talk to rolando to explain to him that i’m not trying to live it up in apaneca or anything, but that i need somewhere bigger to live especially so i can work with the kids during vacaciones. he was like “laura, you don’t have to explain to me.” because he said that he never sees me in the office and knows that i’m not always coming to san salvador and that i’m always at my site working. so somebody from the peace corps just needs to come and check out the house to make sure it’s secure and all that, and then in november i can move there. which means i have to get all my shit packed up from my cuarto and tell niña teresita i’m moving. i feel bad telling her, but the cuarto is sooooo small! and i’m going to be giving up my hot water....sooooo sad. i’m going to be freezing my ass off every morning when i move. cold water showers in the morning in apaneca. seriously? but whatever. i’ll have a house. it’s a nice house, it’s got three rooms, a bathroom, a patio and a pila. vamos a ver.

what else? i gotta head back to molineros in a couple weeks for sindy’s and mama rosa’s birthdays. plus, day of the dead and dia de los santos is coming up at the end of the month. megan’s bringing her boyfriend from the states up to hike one of the lagunas the first weekend in november. i’m supposed to go to my friend nate’s birthday party at his site, way the hell over in la unión that same weekend. whaaaaaaat? how in god’s name am i going to do all this stuff? plus i have to move and wrap up school around the same time. jeebus.

also, also, also.....courtney and i are planning this trip – maybe – we’ll see. but it involves going on a sailboat from lake izabel in guatemala, up the rio dulce to livingston, guatemala, and then on into the caribbean and over to the islands in belize. it’s super cheap and since we don’t have to fly anywhere (like if we were in the states, we’d have to actually fly to guatemala), it’s really, really cheap. we just have to catch buses up to the lake and then we’d be on our way. that’s supposed to happen the first part of december. we’ll see though.

so i don’t think i went into detail about this – but bessy, the kindergarten teacher, left the school in san jorge to teach in ahuachapán because it’s closer to where she lives. so we got a new teacher, elba’s cousin, whose name is maria laura. ha. anyway, she’s super nice and really good with the kids. but during the week in-between bessy leaving and maria laura coming, i “had” to teach kindergarten for a week. those kids were nuts. but i suppose i had fun, in-between the kids acting like crazy banshees.

anyway, that’s just a quick update on everything here in el sal.

go to wrap up…… los tigres contra las atléticas. game on!