Monday, June 06, 2005

First post - recent news in Honduras

Sup everyone,

I set up this blog primarily for the purposes of getting information to my friends and family about my adventures/misadventures as a peace corps volunteer in Honduras. I came to the conclusion that it´s extremely superior to email for several reasons:

The crappy mail servers here don´t like to send more than a few messages at once.

Some people aren´t going to want to get spammed by me as often as others, so this way anyone can check on me as often as they like.

People can respond and discuss with each other on my page if they wish.

Mass emails get smacked down by most spam filters these days.

To my direct family members, I imagine we will continue to exchange emails about specific things, but for general news and happenings this is where I am going to post updates.


So, what has been going on lately, you ask? Oh, lots of stuff. I am fairly well settled in my training city of Siguatepeque now, and I feel like my host family and I have gotten to know each other well. They are very friendly and eager to help me learn spanish. The cooking is a little bit repetetive, but at least I´m accilimated to lots of beans and tortillas from years of living with dad. :) For those of you who don´t know, I my host mom´s name is Vilma, she´s 32 and her husband works in New York; she has two little kids named Frank and Rosaura who are 10 and 8, respectively. Also living in the house is a student guest named Estela who is 20 years old and studying industrial design, and Vilma´s little brother Edgar who´s 18 and going to school. Also Vilma´s older sister Esperanza is around a lot of the time, but I´m still not quite sure where she lives. Almost every day there is someone new visiting, and based on my travels around the neighborhood with Frank, at least 20-30 direct or extended family members live in the immediate area. It´s all very confusing.

Training is coming along well. My spanish is improving steadily, if slowly, and we´re finally getting into the meat of our technical training. ¨Technical¨ might be slightly too strong of a word since so far we have learned how to make compost piles correctly. But that´s what they´re calling it. ;)

My companions are a great bunch. For the most part we have gotten along swimmingly, with essentially no drama. Some members of the group I feel like I don´t have that much in common with, but many I do and I really don´t have a PROBLEM with anyone. There´s a guy from Idaho who studied archaeology, and a couple girls from Oregon that are interested in sustainable farming. The rest of the Protected Areas Management crew are pretty similar, but those are the ones from my corner of the USA. Some of the Business Development people I connect with very well too, since I have my geeky side.... There´s a few of them from the IT field and it´s nice to have someone I can talk tech with. Some of my outdoorsy friends back home would look at me like I just sprouted a second head if I started talking about computer games.

We´ve all been working very hard the last couple weeks, but we got a chance to relax a little bit last weekend..... we had enough days off in a row (the last time we will before finishing training, I bet) to take a vacation to the Caribbean coast. That was pretty damn sweet. We hopped a bus en masse (10 bucks for a pretty long journey, on a really nice bus, woohoo) and stayed at a beachfront hotel for one night while swimming, eating great food, and drinking the occasional Cuba Libre. We also went out dancing at night, which is not usually up my alley but the place we went to had a very good DJ and actually enough room on the dance floor to have a good time. That was great. I dug into my cash reserves from the USA for the trip, but all told it still only costed me about $50 and hell.... it was my birthday, darn it. So going back to classes today was kind of hard after a beautiful caribbean vacation, but another adjustment day and I´ll be fine.

Other news..... I dunno. My health is fine again. Almost everyone in my group was in the hospital last week or the week before for extreme diahrrea and fevers, etc. I got some meds when I went and it took me about a week to feel normal again, but I´m back in good spirits and appetite.

If I have more time later this week, I will comment further on the culture and my other thoughts about the country. However, this is all for now. I miss you guys, especially Sam and Maya, and I will try to get a phone number for Vilma´s house. I´m pretty sure we can take calls from the usa there. Note that they will be extremely expensive for the caller though.




At 5:15 PM, Blogger Dave/SugarBear said...

Great stuff Gabe! Glad that you're settling in well. Spanish is a cool language! If we weren't adopting from Ukraine and learning Russian our children would definitely be learning Spanish. It sounds like you're going to have an awesome adventure with the Peace Corps! My cousin loved the 2 years that she did in Tibet last decade. I'm looking forward to reading more of your adventures man... good stuff!

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Cody said...

Cody here ;)

Glad you're having a good time down in Honduras! I could so go for a Carribian vacation right now, jealousy +10. Instead I get to do finals and break down on the side of the road alot :D sw00t. Maybe I should look into doing this, sounds like an adventure! Also considering I haven't left the pacific northwest once in all my life.. Maybe some new things wouldn't kill me :P

Anyway, glad to hear from ya


At 8:09 PM, Blogger RiserBurn said...

Good to hear you have access to feed us news bytes and such. Man I'm totally in awe/envious that you are having such an awesome experience down there. You continue to impress me my friend, I look forward to reading all the stories of your exploits :)


At 9:45 PM, Blogger Devin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Devin said...

Hey, good to hear about your adventures. I didn't really get to know you at BLE but it's still cool to hear about what your up to. My Coach for swimming was in the Peace Corps for several years and loved it. I'm sure you'll have a great time, especially since the fun week is over with...
-Devin aka Shadow

At 1:13 AM, Blogger garrick/addict said...


I'm glad you decided to put up a Blog, so that everyone can come here and read your experiences. I'm glad it seems your adapting well to the culture and learning spanglish. :) UT2k7!!!


At 2:47 PM, Blogger Slice/Chris said...

Sounds like your doing well. Dont forget to post some pics. I will be checking often to how your doing. If provided a phone number, we will all call you during the next lan (on Addy's cell :P) Take Care Gabe.



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