Saturday, August 30, 2008


I just finished knitting my first sweater which I'm quite excited about. The women's group here has been having monthly knitting workshops and I've been attending. The lady in charge is a good teacher and I've learned a lot, both from her and watching everyone else knit. Yesterday we had an official graduation from the course and I got a fancy certificate and everything. It's also good that more of the women know how to make sweaters, because before not that many did so there weren't that many sweaters in the store (mainly just scarves and hats).
I've also started working on a tree nursery because one of the local hostels won money to start a nursery to go along with the compost and recycling center that are already here. It's been a crash course in making cuttings and preparing the soil. Hopefully some of the plants will survive despite my clumsy efforts =)
I don't think I mentioned yet on my blog, but I will be coming back to the states for xmas. I bought my tickets not that long ago and am looking forward to a little vacation time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Enjoying the canyon

This past week I walked down into the canyon that my town sits on the rim of. A lady who lives down there wanted me to come look at her gardens and try to figure out what was wrong with her carrots. She is one of the few people around here that has a pretty extensive vegetable garden, with everything from strawberries to cabbage. The neat thing about the canyon is that it is a lot warmer that on the rim, so you can grow avocados and various other fruits that you can't grow up higher. I'm probably going to go down there every two weeks to help out with her gardens and see if we can get the carrots going better (after I'm done with this post I plan on researching various carrot problems). The problem is that the hike out of the canyon totally kicked my butt. Here I thought I was getting in better shape since I'm walking everywhere, but climbing back up left me totally winded and sore the next day. Oh well, I guess I still have a ways to go until I can keep up with the people around here. Plus the hike down isn't easy since I'm paranoid about falling since it's so steep. More so now that one of my training buddies is back in the states having knee surgery because of all the hiking down hills. A couple of other people in my training group have left which is a bummer. We were excited to have all made it through training but now we're slowly loosing people. It seems mostly due to the fact that the larger organizations that people are working for seem to view peace corps volunteers as free office help. I'm very glad I don't have to work in an office!
In other news I just watched the entire 20K racewalking competition in the olympics. They haven't really shown much of the olympics here, but an ecuadorian had a good chance of winning so they showed the entire race. My host brothers were totally getting into the race and freaking out at the end. I was just trying not to giggle since I find the racewalkers funny doing their weird little stride. In the end the ecuadorian won silver which was very exciting and now my little host brother is pretending to be a racewalker.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun in the Gardens

Today we did a little workshop with family gardens. I had bought some carrot, beet, and cabbage seeds while in town the other week and we planted them at one of the group members house. We made some seed beds, used some worm compost, planted and voila! all done. Now hopefully something will grow. It is the dry season now, but we’re going to try and water some with the gray water collected from the laundry.
On another note, I have a growing respect for translators. That’s not to say I didn’t before but I hadn’t really ever thought about it. I was helping out in the hostel the other day trying to translate for a tourist there and getting highly confused in the process. It’s hard to keep languages straight when you’re using them simutaneously. I do fine as long as I’m just surrounded by one or the other, but when both are happening it’s very confusing. I was sitting outside with my host mom one day and a tourist came by to ask for directions. So I gave the directions and then turned to say something to my host mom, but instead of spanish I started speaking in english. Oops!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Don't miss driving

so the internet is being finicky and i had a longer post but it got deleted. so this one is going to be short now cause i´m feeling lazy. anyway i was thinking the other day that i´ve only been in a vehicle 7-8 times over the past 3 months and i don´t really miss it. Today however i do as i had to get up at 3 am to catch the bus into town. but most of the time i´m pretty happy to just walk places and not be creating more pollution with driving.