Sunday, October 23, 2005

Week 7 - Town profile

WHO: Essa (aka Vanessa)
WHAT: Peace Corps, Environmental Education
WHERE: Nicaragua
WHEN: Sept '05 - Nov '07
WHY: La vida es un carnaval

Just in case you are already forgeting what I look like!!

So, I thought I'd give you all a better idea of where I've been living for the past 7 weeks. The town has a population of about 5000 (I think), and though I haven't traveled all it's streets, these pics will at least give an idea what the town looks like. It's on the fringes of the department capital, and I think a lot of people travel the couple of kilometers to work in that city. But there are several little mom and pop shops, an internet, and...I guess that's about it. I really only have about two weeks left here, as in the next month, we'll be doing site visits, and training wrap-up in Managua.

This is the central park in the town - serves a common meeting place and playground. This is where I saw a strange animal up in a tree which I still don't belive I've positively identified. It had the body and tail of a cat, but with shorter legs, and a head like a porcupine, but it's head was green (!!) with huge black spines coming out of it. Any ideas??

This is the Catholic church. I've noticed that there are a number of US and Canadian Evangelical missionaries coming into the town and setting up shop. There are quite a few families jumping on the bandwagon - all four of our host families are evangelical.

This is one of the paved streets in the center of town. I would hazard to say maybe a third of the towns streets are paved like this...the other are still dirt.

This is one of the roads out of town - and Noemi and my preferred running route. The paved part is only about a half mile long, then it turns to dirt, but with all the rain, it's been too muddy to run on. So we go back and forth between the end of this road and the cemetary.

Here's that same road during a rain shower.

Noemi and I see these cows being herded every morning.

The owners of this home lived in the US and either saved money and came back, or have some kind of business set up there. That afforded them to build this mansion - it even has AC. Though it doesn't show in the photo, there are high steel bars all around the home.

One of the dirt/mud roads.

This is an example of what the rains do to roads - it would be better to travel this one in a canoe.

One of the houses on the outskirts. It's built on the slope of a river bank. Seems tenuous to me, but the view is spectacular!

A couple of homes on the outskirts.

Just to show that the sun DOES come out occasionally in October!

In other news...Nazareth is practicing to become a teacher...

And I've made a second round of peanut butter! You can buy it in the department capital, but it's uber-expensive. I buy the nuts in the market, toast them, and take them to be ground at the local mill. I add a bit of salt and honey. My PB making experiments have turned out way better than my baking ones. Maura now loves peanut butter, but Nazareth has her doubts.


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