But anyways, not as much of note has happened since my last post. We´ve been digging into Spanish classes pretty hard (7 hours yesterday!) and we took a short trip out to a youth camp last Friday-Saturday. The goal was to learn more about youth development, which probably most of us are going to end up doing in our spare time, especially as it pertains to leadership training and environmental education. That was mostly fun, and I found out that there´s a microbrewery/restaurant near Lago de Yojoa, where, it is rumored, they actually serve brew of a shade somewhat darker than urine. Inasmuch as the beer here is generally horrible to the point of near-toxicity, for me this is basically like finding the goddamn fountain of youth. Didn´t have a chance to go there last weekend, but I certainly will in the future. Oh, I guess the leadership camp was cool too. We did teambuilding activities. Woo.
On Saturday, Vilma finally cornered me on the subject of religion and I had to admit that I´m not a Good Christian(tm). She said that she was very surprised, but still thinks I´m a good person. Phew. Between my poor spanish and my very abstract beliefs, it was basically impossible to explain to her that I don´t think God doesn´t
exist, but I don´t go to church. I don´t think she really differentiates between the ideas of believing in God and being a religious, churchgoing person which for me is an important distinction. I am actually going to have to learn to lie about this before I go out to the middle of an aldea, which could be one of my greatest challenges. But I had a good discussion with Vilma. She cited several uncontrovertible religious experiences between herself and other friends/family, and said that since I have an open mind I´m bound to find God someday, though it makes her sad that I´m like, not a complete person right now. Toward the end of the conversation I was like ¨so are you going to try and save me?¨ and she said that was my personal responsibility. That was good to hear anyways.
On Sunday, we went up into the mountains to visit the house of Myrna, a cousin-in-law that lives with Vilma and works in Siguatepeque during the week. She has a small house out in the country with a few crops (more guava than anything else), some cool children, and a worthless husband that doesn´t do jack shit. Vilma was telling me that this guy threatened to kill her and her kids if she left him, but it was a lie. I could have waited to learn that info til after I had to meet the guy. As it turned out he was pretty friendly around everyone else and he took me and Frank up to a sweet waterfall in the mountains. I´m guessing it was at least 150 feet high and a pretty fair sized river. We had to machete our way through an unused rainforest to get there too. Still, it was kind of hard hanging out with the dude.
I´ve been hanging out some more with Edgar, the 18 year old in my household, and he taught me a few expressions that the younger generation uses, and of course, the oppressive older generation doesn´t care for. I´ve learned some good ones in my spanish classes too. Here are some of my favorites, their meanings, and for your amusement, their literal translations.
Cheque - ¨check¨
Basically means the exact same thing as OK, which they use also from time to time. Often said as ¨cheque leque¨ which is kind of like ¨okey dokey¨, ¨cheque leque pankeque (pancake)¨ (okey dokey smokey) or our group´s version ¨cheque leque en Siguatepeque¨.
Me puse una gran borrachera - ¨I put a great drunkenness on myself¨
beber hasta los codos - Dunno the literal translation but it basically means to drink as much alcohol as is physically possible.
¿Qué pedo? - ¨What the fart?¨
What´s up, what´s crackin, how you doin´. An appropriate response would be ¨todo bien¨ or ¨todo cheque¨.
Que Fresa - ¨What a strawberry¨
I´m pretty sure this applies to girls or other Bonita things. Edgar said ¨niñas¨ which is like children girls, but that might be more slang. Oh, the youth these days!
Que Mango - ¨What a mango¨
Choice male specimen.
Me cae mal - ¨he/she falls poorly on me¨
This is generic spanish, but it´s too wierd not to include. Means you don´t get along with the person you´re talking about, like your personalities don´t mix. Can also apply to food and other stuff.
That´s all I can think of for now, although I know there´s more that I´m forgetting.
I know there are some people that are interested in sending me stuff through snail mail, mostly direct family members and whatnot, and I finally got ahold of an address to send stuff to. This is the Peace Corps main office in Tegucigalpa, which can send stuff out to me wherever I am so I think it would be the best place to direct mail traffic. Always keep in mind that mail can take 2 weeks to months on end to get here. Mom/Dad/Maya, if you guys are already sending me something, I would like to request that you include some pics of our family and house and stuff because people keep asking me. Also a random person who I can pretend is my girlfriend back home would be good too. I need some way to deflect all the relationship questions people ask around here, and a good excuse why I´m alone and not married right now. Apparently this kind of behavior is downright bizarre and unnatural.
So anyways here´s the address.
Avenida Republica de Childe
Apartado Postal #3158
I guess you could write my name somewhere on the package, and/or say who it´s going to inside a bigger envelope.