Saturday, May 17, 2008
This is our first host mom in site, Angela. On the end of her stick is the scorpion that stung me. Lee was not there at the time but some of the kids were on the porch and I was taking a shower. I grabbed my towel without looking at it and a scorpion stung me. When I pulled the towel away it dropped off and ran out of the shower. I asked the kids where the scorpions make their homes and the came right back there with machetes cutting back the grass to look for him. They could not find him but over the next couple of hours 4 or 5 different people from the community visited me and brought me the herbal remedies that they use. Oh, and they sat with me for the first 3o minutes or so after the sting because that is when you find out if you are going to get violently ill or not. We have 2 main types of scorpions in our site and I was pretty sure it was not the bad one but since nobody got a good look at it they wanted to make sure. When Angela came by to check on me she asked where it had happened I took her back there and showed her and she said, "Sometimes they get right under here" as she grabbed a stick and started poking. After about 4 jabs she came up with a scorpion on the end of her stick and asked if that was it. That was it indeed. I took a picture and that is the day she became my hero.
Here are some photos from when we hosted a volunteer visit. At about week 3 in training they send all of the trainees out to visit volunteers. You find your way there by yourself and you spend about 4 days seeing what volunteer life is really like. We had a couple, Isaac and Melissa, visit and it was pretty awesome. We made a different type of compost pile, we visited some farms, talked to a lot of people from the community, and we found time to go swimming. We did a lot of hiking but I think they enjoyed it. I thought the hike in might scare them a little so I arranged for the car to bring them in. I was coming back from Santa Fe that day too so I met them on the chiva. When we got to the store, they had taken the car to run an errand so we went to eat lunch at a fonda (small restaurant) and came back to check. The car still was not there and they seemed to want to do part of the hike so I told him we would go ahead and start walking and the car could just catch up with us when he got back. Melissa grabbed her backpack but Isaac and I left all of our stuff there for the truck to bring. About 10 minutes into the hike it started raining. It was kind of nice because I would have been wet with sweat anyway and this way I was cooler. I kept thinking that we would hear the car coming any minute but we never did. Before I knew it we were arriving at the house. We started cooking supper and waiting for the truck but by about 5:00 when it still had not shown up I was starting to get worried. I had the phone # to the tienda of the owners of the car but it was in my bag that I had left at the tienda. We started asking around the community to see if anyone knew the number but they didn't. Finally, I had the idea to call our regional leader and tell him the situation and see if he could get ahold of them. That is definitely above and beyond the call of duty of the regional leader but Brandon is awesome and he was willing to help us out. After a series of phone calls and misunderstandings things were taken care of. The truck came at about 6:30 the next morning and everything was fine. All of this may have been a little traumatic for some trainees but these guys seemed to take it all in stride. We jumped right in the first day and gathered materials and made the awesome compost pile in the first picture. We have never made one like this on a raised floor before but it is supposed to create a convection current and allow the compost to, well...compost faster.
The second picture shows Lee and Melissa with a Panamanian family in the background. Lee is holding the tool they use to make pilones. Pilones are what they use to pilar rice and coffee. Sorry, I do not know the noun or the verb in English. It is a huge wooden thing about waist high. They use a big bat-like thing to beat the rice or coffee out of their shells.
The third picture shows Isaac and Melissa with a tiny Panamanian family we went to visit. They really do not seem that short in person but they look tiny compared to North Americans.