Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chuleta! I forgot about the tide!

These are from a camp that we had. There were about 8 volunteers and somewhere around 30 kids. The first picture shows Lee on the hike back from the beach. The area in the background is where they dropped the Man vs. Wild guy when they filmed the Panamá mangrove episode. The second picture shows Lee pointing at John Wayne Island. Why do they call it John Wayne Island, you might ask. Well, it was John Wayne´s Island, that´s why. It is now owned by the John Wayne foundation or something like that. The third picture is an attempt to capture how treacherous the hike back was. My favorite quote from camp: Chuleta! I forgot about the tide! The kids were finishing up with lunch when Stephen said that. I guess the tide was about halfway up. We just had to scale a little higher and wade through some parts. It was an adventure. The kids were awesome. They never complained or got scared. I was a little scared but Stephen and a girl from his site hung back to help Lee and I bring up the rear.

The Arrival of the Hamburglar, Ronald, and Ronald

This is an older picture but I think it slipped through the cracks without getting posted. Everyone puts up some sort of nativity in our site in early December the wise men start their journey and they move them a little closer each day until they arrive. This is the arrival. No, your eyes do not deceive you. From left to right that is the Hamburgler, Ronald McDonald, and, yes, you guessed it, Ronald McDonald. The family was surprised when we recognized them. I do not know where they got them from but they had never heard of McDonald´s.

Bridges Schmridges

The first picture is of some of the kids who come by and visit after school sometimes. They are in Kindergarten, 1st , and 2nd grades. The second shows the Gatlin family river crossing. Who needs bridges, right? The third picture is Lee and his dad with Oso. Can you tell he likes to hang out with us? He is a pretty awesome dog.

Kari, Antonio, y Carolina

The first picture was taken on the chiva. It wasn´t too scary was it? The second picture shows Kari in what is now known by the community as Kari´s hammock. I think some of them think she brought it from the States because it showed up the same day she did. Chana is on the left and another nice little girl who´s name escapes me is on the right. Chana asks about Kari just about every time we see her. She asks about Antonio and Carolina too.

El Mercado

After our adventure in the city we went to El Valle for a cooler climate, a more laid-back atmosphere, and an amazing market (el mercado). The first picture shows part of the market. They sell everything there from orchids to vegetables to indigenous art. There are some stores around the market too and that is where Lee´s dad found a friend. Buhuhuhuuu! That is my atempt to spell a Gatlin family sound of disgust. Everyone who knows them should know what I am talking about.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mono Perezoso

This is Kari, Lee´s sister, holding the cutest little baby sloth in the world. She lives at the hotel beside the one we stayed at in El Valle. She is about 2 months old and they take her out of her cage to hold her every day so she will have contact with other animals. That helps her stay healthy. We were coming back from the market and we saw a guy holding her so we just asked if we could hold her too. Oh, and the Spanish for sloth, mono perezoso, literally translates to lazy monkey. I thought that was pretty funny for a while but, if you think about it, us calling them sloths is kind of funny too.

Our hotel had some interesting pets too but we did not hold them. They had a Tucan and some golden frogs.

Just a side note while I am waiting for the picture to load... Lee and I will have spent a total of over 8 hours each on the computer today by the time we are finished. I never would have imagined that we would use computers so much in the Peace Corps, but we do a lot of paper work. We are helping with the training of the new group of volunteers in a couple of weeks so we worked on that for a while. We did thank-you letters to agency members who came out to our community. Lee worked on the cover for an educational video, using inadequate software. I have spent hours on work-related e-mails. I have not even sent one personal e-mail today. Sorry to everyone waiting for responses... And after a cummulative effort of about 2 hours I will have completed one new post for the blog if/when this picture finishes loading. I really do not mind the work, even the quarterly reports we have to do, which are a little tedious at times. I actually love the work. What is so frustrating is using computers that may or may not have the software you need and may or may not have issues so that it may or may not take you 2 hours to finish a post that should take about 5 minutes. Okay, I am finished venting and the picture is finished loading. Sorry about that; I try to keep this fun and informative but I slipped up with a little rant. Hopefully I will be able to try this again tomorrow. I have lots more awesome pictures from Lee´s family´s trip down here to visit us and if they load fast enough tomorrow I will not have time for any more rants...