Friday, October 26, 2007

Who mistook this steak for chicken?

I have been wondering as of late about many a things. Some of these involve tap dancing, others involve how much 15 kilos of pork really is, while others are simple day to day wonderings that we all have. My point... I have none. I was simply looking for an opener.

Anywho, two months have now passed since being at site. These two months certainty went a lot faster than the two months during training on Santiago. This leads me to believe that much of the time spent here will go relatively fast, or at least not at the snails pace that PST went by at. We have rumors of having our IST at the end of November, letting us celebrate that wonderful holiday celebrating the genocide of a native race, Thanksgiving. But I digress… if we meet not in November then most likely we wait until March. Our three month moratorium of not traveling out of site or off island soon ends. I have been looking at the TACV deals hoping there will be some magical deal for inter island travel. I am probably more likely to walk through a wall, which as we all know will happen eventually given enough time.

Islands I hope to see, though I want to see them all, are Santão Antão, Boa Vista, and Brava. Islands I know Ill see are Sal, as whoever comes to visit or if I need to fly out of country, Ill do it from Sal, and of course our beloved São Tiago [the proper way to spell Santiago]. Most of these islands you can also take ferries too, which is a lot cheaper and since I have been issued a huge, yellow and red Peace Corp life jacket that I MUST wear when traveling via water craft, it makes the prospect of taking a boat even more attractive.

So, what else if anything has been going on here… The weather remains tropical for the most part. The days are warm and the nights would be too, but in Cachaço it gets a little bit chillier due to our altitude and the mountains. The mist that had been enveloping our town for the first month and a half has slowly been retreating, the days have become much more sunny, which is nice. There are not many festivals happening now, basically there is the festival on November 1st for corn in Faja, and then Ano Novo, the new year which is a two day celebration. After that, it’s a festival rollercoaster. In February, there is the famous Carnival celebrations, and then almost every other week there is a Saints Day celebration. All of these festivals have common themes with the exception of Carnival, which is similar in scope to the Brazilian version. Festivals have lots of meat. Many animals are killed and cooked because as meat is scarce and expensive, having it at festivals is part of what makes it a festival. Then there is the ear shatteringly loud funana or other music, the obligatory grogue and beer, and then basically its like any other party you might go to back home.

What else…what else… I have been asked to work more with Community Development in regards to environmental education in schools, which I have some experience with. Oh, and our community has approached us to teach them English, so soon we will probably start having English classes at night for our town and a few of the nearby towns, which is kinda exciting because it A. helps further our integration, B. Helps us learn me of the people in our town and vica versa, C. Its actually fun to teach English, D. I like this letter, E. we can introduce other things as part of our classes like environmental stuff or health stuff and F. see g, G. they came to us to for this which makes it even better. Lets see what happens…

Not much else has changed, or really for that matter there hasn’t been any major happenings. No meteors crashes, no sudden volcanic eruptions, no new rivers a flowing… Simply falling into the pattern of life here. Everyday it feels more and more like home. Making food from scratch and from food that we either grow or have growing ourselves of often given to us from our neighbors is nice, and going for a hike almost everyday into the park or other areas is really nice too. I am going to start going on longer hikes during the weekends, two day-ers, as the weather is pretty predictable, warm and no rain, and you can sleep outside anywhere without hassle. Plus, there is a lot to this little island I haven’t discovered yet, like the so called elusive east pistol part of the island. Well, I suppose that’s a lot for now. Be well.

Oh… and Im getting a bike….


Monday, October 15, 2007

Lucky Update Number 9 (hooray)

I have been battered by people with questions about life in Cape Verde, about what my dia a dia is, are there really elephants in Cape Verde and if so, how high can they fly off the ground, is it true that they have an inside out verison of blue, these among many other questions i hope to answer in this next exciting installment of "Janelas: Ka pode fechada!!!!!"

(For this update, i have used the very old form of listing that the Afrikans used way before the time of Jesus or pita bread, they called it bullet points. Ancient huh?)

  • Since my commute to workis under a 5 minutes walk, i for some reason get up earlier than when my commute was an hour bike ride through the mean gritty streets of NYC. Entao, i get up about 6:30 and do a little workout jam session untill about 8 ish. Depois, i get some stuff ready for work and then read untill 8:30 when i leave my house, take a few steps and wa la, i'm at work
  • I have just created a plan for the nextthree months of work here, basically i will be working on a few things with room to maneuver to help out other sections or do fun stuff that seems to pop up every once in a while, like last week, the school here had to harvest a bunch of vegetables they wanted to sell. So, me and Nat went on over to watch and/or buy, As they kids were standing around getting restless, i would pick up a vegetable and ask "O Que e que li?" or "Tomat verde e mais sabe do tomat vermelho?" And then all the kids would scream out thier answer. Twas fun.
  • Anywho
  • My three main areas of focus for eco tourism are:
    • Creating a management systems (and quality system) for the eco tourism section
    • this is harder than my brief description makes it sound as i have had to create everything from scratch minus what i have slyly copied and pasted form old ISO documents i made
    • creating a simplified EIA framework for park projects to adhere to. This is basically to help ensure that bio diversity and local communities are not harmedwhen projects are undertaken...and lastly
    • english classes!!! thats right, not only was it my major in college, not only do i rank #3 in 2007 for Worlds Best Speller, but now i am teaching my superior form of english to the guides and eco tourism staff two days a week. Fun
  • After work, which ends at 3:30 offically, i have been hiking. Moslty, its a hike in the park, which wiht its limited number of trails is slowlybecoming very known to me, or something. other times, i hike or catch a ride to Vila where i can buy most of the thingsthat you cant buy in Cachaco, like vegetables and dryed chickpeas, thens it an hour and half hike up hill, and when i say hill, i mean pretty sheer volcanic mountain, tis grueling at times. Vila is also the magicaly town where the post office is for all of you wondering
  • Then, we make dinner.
  • hmm, thought thatd be more exciting
  • Then its more reading or other stuff, and to bed around 9:30 or 10. I bet you are surprised, just as i was, to realize that the night life in Cachaco isn't as robust as they advertised. But alas...
Anything else, well, thats my basic kind of day. The weekends are very similar except i dont walk to work, i just hike alot longer, or we go to Tarrafal, where a few of the UN volunteers live. Its hot, very, in Tarrafal so not only do we get a break form the mists of Cachaco, but we can bringout clothes and dry them, go for a swim in the ocean, and other stuff that PCV's and UNV's do when they hang out.

And the elephants, always buzzing overhead wearing summer dresses of the most striking inside out blue you have ever seen. Tis a sight.