Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Visit to Panilla

So we took a field trip with the Planning Office a couple weeks ago to check on the progress of some projects the Muni is helping on (Read: we basically went to figure out why the project was behind schedule.) When we found out it was because one side of town didn’t want to hike up the hill to work on the road construction, we had to agree to a community meeting to seeverything straight.



It was a dusty and bumpy ride in the back of a pickup because Peace Corps has decided it is too dangerous to ride motorcycles for us volunteers. Please note that was a formerly BLACK leather jacket in his lap.

When we started our ride, the bed of the pickup was relatively clean. Imagine all that stuff in your face anytime we got any kind of speed going. 

Xela Hot Springs Part II

So I’m trying to post more since some people, Katie, feel I have been neglecting my posts as of late.

So I went to the hot spring in Xela again. I had been nagging everyone who talked to me that we should go soon. I finally succeeded in convincing Charlotte, Katie and Nice in joining me.

We took the tour again, which just makes everything easier. Before taking off, we were tempted by a pair of tourists eating what appeared to be a delicious brownie outside our micro bus. We were however, disappointed to find that the brownie was in fact not delicious. On the other hand it was quite strange. Example: I guess the lady in the cafe micro-waved it when they bought it, but somehow the Styrofoam was melted underneath the brownie. It was kind of weird, like I said before.

ANYWAYS, back to the story, This is what the water looked like.


Notice the steam coming off the water. That’s kind of remarkable given it was probably 80 degrees outside that day. The water was incredibly hot this time around. I had been to the springs about a month earlier and it had been considerably colder out. The water had been hot, don’t get me wrong, but this time it was ridiculous. I got in, but could only take it for a few minutes.

In the following picture, Katie and Charlotte illustrate what it felt like to get in the hot pool.

The other pools (There are three, Tepid, Hot and “Are You Kidding Me?”) were acceptable. Here’s the gang in the tepid one.

At the top is a guy who accompanied us on the bus. He was here taking Spanish lessons. He gave out candy and Canadian flags to all the kids who wanted.

On the way back, we stopped to take pictures of the Volcan Santa Maria.

Henry the cat

So there is a cat that hangs out in my backyard. His name is Henry. We had been getting along fine, as he respected some simple rules of cohabitation.

The first rule was he didn’t come in to my living space. And for this I didn’t poison him. It was a mutual agreement we had going. It worked out for both of us. A friend also pointed out that he would probably keep the mouse population under control. It seemed to make sense.

The second rule was he didn’t eat my food. Barring an isolated incident many months ago when he ravaged a loaf of bread in my kitchen, plastic wrapper and all, we had gotten along relatively well.

Until recently that is. I understand he is a street cat, and probably has to hunt his own food. Well this shouldn’t be a problem, as I know first hand there are quite a few mice/rats roaming around town. I have seen him hunting as far as the central park. However, he seemed to be incapable of hunting down the little mouse that was frequenting my bathroom for a few days. I considered this an affront to our mutual agreement. Ultimately though, this isn’t the greatest transgression. Inept hunting skills, I can deal with. Its unfortunate, but I haven’t really witnessed any mice for a number of months (knock on slightly rotted wood I hang my hammock from.)

However, when Henry began getting in to my food stores, my bread and butter (literally) I began to take issue with the feline fink. The volunteer I replaced had warned me to watch my food, because he sometimes helped himself to your foodstuffs. I had heard stories of a bold Henry making steaks on the grill disappear. I had not experienced such a contravention of our agreement so I thought I was safe. Until a few weeks ago when I was getting ready to cook up about a half pound of ground beef for some hamburgers. I left the meat unattended for a few moments, and when I returned it was gone, nowhere to be found. It took me a few minutes of searching to find some of the meat tucked away in a dark corner, half eaten.

I wasn’t going to risk cat cooties to salvage the rest of the meat, so I just let him eat the rest of it. Luckily for me, my mom had sent me a spam single package, an ingenious individualized serving of that delectable, fully cooked meat which only required heating to consume. I had already prepped the hamburger bun with ketchup and mustard, so I wasn’t going to waste that simply because Henry got greedy. It worked out in the end, the Spam turned out to be a formidable hamburger substitute.