Friday, December 16, 2005

Swimming, Purisima, Water Treatment Plant

WHO: Essa (aka Vanessa)
WHAT: Peace Corps, Environmental Education
WHERE: Nicaragua
WHEN: Sept '05 - Nov '07
WHY: I needed more time to make cookies.

Lots to catch up on! Last week, Gigglia's nephew, Rafael, was in town and he and Keren (a niece) and I went to a waterfall nearby called La Palma. It was beautiful and secluded. Photos do more justice than my words:

After a meeting I had with the local natural science library, which I will be working with, I gained the confidence of the librarian and she agreed to let me take a book to read to the kids in my house. Libraries here aren't like in the States - it's more like a resource center since they don't let people take the books home. We had a long talk about how to promote reading with kids...reading is really not a pastime here, so not only do kids not do it, rarely do adults either. Hopefully reading this Richard Scarry book with me will encourage Larry to like reading!

These are the three kids in my house - William (or commonly called Willee), Larry, and baby Elias.
I went to a Purisima service (to celebrate the Immaculate Conception) in the rural community of Quebrantadero (where the school I'll work with is located). It was about two hours long and they said the entire rosary! Afterwards they gave out little bags to the kids filled with oranges, candies and juice.

My counterpart and I went to visit the municipal tree nursery. I'm hoping to spend a week or so there to learn more about planting trees in January, and possibly bring the students from Quebrantadero here for a field trip.


I'm going to get one of these for my house to remind me of AZ!

John, my advisor from Michigan Technological University, came down to nearby Boaco with a gaggle of engineering students to do some geophysical studies in groundwater exploration. I hung out with them for a bit in Boaco, and John came to Juigalpa to see my site. They are also doing a blog for their project here - check it out at:

John, my friend Patricia and I:

Work stuff! John and I went on a tour of Juigalpa's well field and water treatment plant. We were fortunate to have an engineer at ENECAL (the water company), accompany us and get us aquainted with the aqueduct project that they have planned to begin next year.

This is the water quality laboratory on site at the treatment plant. Every hour the water is tested at various points in the treatment process. They also say that the Ministry of Health does random checks on water quality througout the town. I am able to drink the water here (well, I drink the water everywhere in Nicaragua) and have yet to be sick. Not true of other volunteers however...

Some parting shots - the first was taken on the way to some local, undeveloped, hot springs. There not too far from perhaps that might entice some of the reluctant to visit me?? The second is a sorghoum (sp?) field in Quebrantadero. They say they make tortillas out of it...
Between all these activities, I've been trying to keep the house stocked with cookies! I've made 3 batches since I got to Juigalpa, and each batch is better than the previous one. Hot springs and homemade cookies? Whose NOT going to come visit me??

I've got a few pictures of the baby turtles (thanks, Noemi!), but I'm having a hard time putting them on the blog - you can still see them by going to:

and then clicking on "Nica Nov 05" to view the pics. Enjoy!


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