Monday, October 09, 2006

Good morning everyone, been awhile I know. I’ve been pretty lazy with the whole blog scene again. We’ve been pretty busy in Cruz Alta. September and October are pretty huge months in the cultural calendar of Honduras. We celebrate Independence day and Dia de niños, in October we celebrate the birthday of Francisco Morazon and Dia de Cultura. To commemorate these holidays we usually have short programs or traditional and sometimes not so traditional dances. During the programs each class usually does two or three activities like a short play or lip-synching to a popular song. My ninth graders usually do a play they call “the gringo,” and strangely enough the gringo is looking more and more like me. The play usually involves a sneaky Catracho (Honduran) thinking of ways to make money and trick the gringo. In one scene the gringo comes along and wants to hear some piano music so the Catracho gets one of his friends to kneel down and puts a piece of paper over his back with the piano keys and gives the guy a flute to play. Then the gringo gives away all his money. I’m pretty sure this isn’t based on fact (at least on anything I’ve done). Another popular theme involves tricking death (La Negra). Death comes along and wants money or the Catracho’s soul. The Catracho never has money so he has to think of a way to trick death. A pretty woman shows up (she is always played by a man, I’m not sure why) and the Catracho tricks her into going with death instead.

Last week I went to another small community, Tierra Colorado, with my classes to play soccer, watch dramas, and have another dance. The problem with the dance was that Tierra Colorado is pretty much entirely Evangelical. And in Honduras it is forbidden for Evangelicals to dance unless it is in the name of God. I’m not exactly sure why an Evangelical community would host a dance because the only people dancing were from Cruz Alta (we’re Catholic). My male students were pretty ticked about it, because there are only a few girls in my classes and they couldn’t get any of the girls from Tierra Colorado to dance.

Work is moving right along as usual. Classes are fine, we are a little behind but we are always a little behind. I picked up a little slack this week by holding class on a Saturday, I hate teaching on Saturdays but it is becoming necessary if we want to finish this year. My coffee cooperative is doing well, I’m trying to help them with a web page and setting up latrines in their coffee fincas (farms). There is a big problem with human waste once coffee picking season comes around. And having latrines in your fincas is one of the certification requirements.

Other than that things are pretty much normal. Well normal for here anyway. One night last week my house was invaded by ants. I came home from class and noticed that my bedroom wall was black and moving. There were literally rivers of ants flowing across the wall, up the ceiling, and across the floor. I went outside and the same thing was happening outside. The wall was covered and in places on my wall there were these huge piles of ants, as big around as a basketball and two to three inches thick. And oh man did they bite, just standing outside my feet and legs were covered in seconds. I didn’t know what to do so I got my neighbor kids, they came over took one look and said “that is a lot of ants” I told them I knew that and asked what to do, they didn’t know and ran away once the ants started biting them. The biggest problem was that the ants were just small enough to fit through the wholes in my mosquito net, so before long they were crawling all over my bed. And all I wanted to do was sleep. So I spent first hours that night sitting on my bed, blasting a CCR cd, smashing ants that got through. The strange thing was that in the morning all the ants were gone, not a trace was left, and they never came back. Alright alright, I’ll talk to everyone soon, hope everything is good to the north of me and entirely ant free. Peace--Joe


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