Saturday, October 08, 2005

Hey everybody, sorry for the lag in updates, looks like about a months gone by or so. It isn’t that I haven’t had the time or been able to get to the computer, I’ve just been lazy. I’ll give you some brief updates first.
1. My landlord, Don Meduardo, got drunk and rode a horse with his brother who was also drunk and fell off and died. His brother didn’t want to go to the hospital and instead went to his house, and from what I hear he is also going to die. This is pretty sad news, I looked forward to working with Don Meduardo, the previous two volunteers had some really great experiences with him and he was a very motivated gentleman. But there are lessons about drinking and horses to be learned here.
2. I found a scorpion in my swimming trunks and have adopted it as a pet.
3. There was a minor earthquake along the north coast of Honduras two weeks ago and I felt it. It was actually kind of fun (very minor earthquake) and it stirred some pretty funny memories of my mom rushing us kids out of Toone’s cabin in Willow Creek.
4. Another hurricane has been passing through; Hurricane Stan is what I heard on the radio. It has done nothing but rain and blow in Cruz Alta for the past week. I woke up every morning and had to convince myself that I wasn’t still in western Washington. There is mud everywhere and my garden is pretty much a mud hole.
5. I got to ride on Top (sorry mom) of a school bus the other day for an hour or so and it was one of the most visual rides I’ve taken.
6. I’ve been teaching eighth grade math, science, health, English and seventh grade English and have loved every minute of it. Maybe with the one exception of the math part. We’re working through some pretty basic Algebra. Basic if you speak the language. It is really a lot of fun trying to explain how x =3 when on the last problem x=6.8. But we’re having a blast doing it (or at least I am, it’s these kids’ futures that I’m joking about and making light of).

Other than that it has been kind of slow, and I realize that 1-4 of the above list could even be perceived as negative, but they are all experiences and I’ve learned a few things from each of them (like check your shorts for surprises before putting them on and don’t drink and drive, especially if you’re on a horse). I’m not saving the world yet; you all need to understand that Peace Corps, like any government agency is a slow and repetitive process. Could you imagine showing up to any other job and on your first day your boss says: “Joe, great to have you here, seriously man. Yeahh, for the first three months or so I don’t really want you to do anything, what’s that you’ve got some Grateful Dead Cds and some Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, excellent excellent, why don’t you go ahead and listen to those and put your feet up for awhile, get to know the office if you know what I mean.” So my job right now is talking to people and drinking coffee, and every day I teach. This is the life as far as I’m concerned, except for the fact that those that I love are so far away (that and the elk hunting sucks Peace Corps won’t even let me own a gun). Ok sorry if this came off as cynical it shouldn’t be (except for making jokes about dead guys that is pretty harsh) I am having a good time down here and everyone should come see for themselves. I will try to be better about the updates thing and I’m sorry if some of you have been worrying about me. Happy thoughts to all and I’ll leave you with a little of the Dead, keep on truckin. Joe

there is a road
no simple highway
between the dawn and dark of night
and if you go, no one may follow
that path is for your steps alone

Actually, what I’m really going to leave you with is a little Honduran imagery, a Central American landscape if you will. I hitchhiked into Gracias this morning (again sorry Mom, but it is much more accepted and less dangerous down here) and there was a campesino (Honduran farmer) in the act of personally fertilizing (deficating if you don't get the euphamism) his soil in the middle of a bare pasture (I mean bare man, no trees no nothing). Nobody else in the truck thought it was funny but I couldn’t stop laughing, the guy had this look on his face as if he were torn between stopping and getting up really quick and acting like nothing was happening or just going with it. And like we all should, he just kept on keepin on. There is a metaphor and a lesson in everything I guess.


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