Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Big News for the casita

Looks like I have found a frige! This is very exciting news as for the past month or so I have been without. I will finally be able to enjoy refreshing ice water. And in the heat here, it is sorely, sorely missed. Plus, no more wilting cilantro. I want to cry I am so excited.

All I have to do now is find a way to transport it. I am going to go ahead and rule out the bus. I would also like to avoid a taxi but here I know significantly less people with trucks.

Other exciting news. I have been working on my first quarter work report and my Community Assessment Tool (CAT). The work report is your typical bureaucratic fun paperwork. The CAT is a whole other animal (punn intended). It is a description off the community including all characteristics, services, social problems etc. It is even more fun since I have to do both in Spanish. I guess I can't complain too much, I am a sociologist and that is pretty much what we do.

I am headed to El Salvador in about three weeks for Easter to visit friends I met when I was there two years ago. I am very excited. It has been quite a long time. I will also be visiting some people I met here that live there. I will also spend Easter weekend in Nicaragua with a fellow Peace Corps volunteer that I met down here. I had given up on being able to get ahold of her cuz Mike D. lost her email address when we hung out with her. Luckily though, another volunteer has left service and is traveling in Nicaragua and happened to run into her. Sometimes the world is quite small. So, I am excited to do some more traveling. And I will only have to spend about 48 hours in a bus round trip. ¡Que dicha! :)

Friday, March 17, 2006

I'm bored... I think I will try to get somewhere on time

I read in the paper on Tue that there was a speaker at the university in San Jose 6p Thursday night. It was a Nicaraguan journalist speaking about Power and Politics in Central American Literature. So I decide, what the hey, I havn't battled the traffic gods in a while.
I had a workshop at the school that was suppose to be done at 2. I figured, if I could make the 3p bus I could get there relatively on time. I get done with the workshop at 2:45. I haul ass home, change clothes, and leave. Miraculously I find a cab on the corner as if it were waiting for me. We head to the bus stop and pull in right behind the bus I have to catch. I get my ticket and get in line for the bus. It is nearly full and I am thinking…”If I can’t get on this bus, I may as well not go.” The guy in front of me says “there’s no more room” and squeezes past me to get off the bus. I think I see a spot behind a big guy with an even bigger suitcase. And I got the absolute last spot on the bus. By this time, I am thinking that things have really just worked out in a place where things never work out unless “Díos quiere” (God wants) so, I figure, I am destined to be on this bus.
I get into San José at about 5:30 and traffic is insane. I have to get to the other end of town, so I get off the bus and proceed to walk/run through rush-hour crowds to the other side of the center to get a cab that won’t have to sit in traffic. I catch a cab and get to the lecture about a half-hour late. The room is packed but I am able to get a seat. Then reality set in and I realize that my Spanish is not quite good enough to keep up. Actually, since I was sitting by the door I was privy to a hallway noise which included the audio for the English class which drowned out the soft-speaking author and was super distracting for me to concentrate on Spanish. I also realized that I am at the point where I know enough Spanish that I get the gist of pretty much everything. I also know enough to realize that I don’t know enough to understand the subtleties and imagery of the language, you know, all the “good stuff” that makes learning another language worth the effort. Being an student of literature, I realize that that is pretty much what literature is. Still totally worth it.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ain't technology cool....

Can you see me? I am waving...


(you have to cut and paste the link into your browser...)

I live on the "bump" on the right directly below the word "map"

Friday, March 10, 2006

Qué lejos está mi tierra

Things are starting to roll. I had busy and even quasi-productive week. I am sure you were all aware that Wednesday March 8th was International Women's Day. How did you celebrate? I helped the local women's organization plan some activities for Wed evening and even read a poem. Very few people showed up which was luckily for me, not so much for the women of the Puntarenas. The following is the poem I read, followed by the English translation for those of you who are Spanish impaired...

Qué lejos está mi tierra,
y sin embargo qué cerca,
o es que esiste un territorio,
donde las sangres se mesclan.

Tanta distancia y camino
las diferentes banderas,
y la pobreza es la misma,
las mismas mujeres esperan.

Yo quiero romper mi mapa,
formar el mapa de todos,
mestizas, negras, blancas,
trazado codo con codo.

Yo quiero romper la vida,
cómo cambiarla quisiera,
ayúdame, compañera;
ayúdame, no demore,
que una gota con ser poco,
con otra se hace aquacero.

How far is my country
yet how close
or is it that there exists a land
where blood mixes.

So far and the road so long,
the different flags,
and the poverty is the same,
the same women wait.

I want to tear my map
create one map for all
Mestizas, Blacks, Whites
drawn arm in arm.

I want to tear life,
to make it what we wish,
help me, friend
help me, without hesitation
One drop is little
with another begins a downpour.

-Daniel Viglietti