Monday, May 29, 2006


WHO: Essa (aka Vanessa)
WHAT: Peace Corps, Environmental Education
WHERE: Nicaragua
WHEN: Sept '05 - Nov '07
WHY: To see this tarantula come shooting out of my tennis shoe after I unsuccessfully try to stuff my foot in his newly chosen home.

The "Save the Trees" parade we've been planning over the past few months finally happened. It was BIG! I was worried no one would show...but there were probably about 700 students! We walked all around town with banners, little saplings and plants, some even brought their parakeets. It ended at the steps of the cathedral in downtown, so we got quite a bit of exposure.

This banner says, "Other countries suffer water scarcity. We should care for our rivers."

"Life in your hands - protect the forests"

"We protect forests because they make the rain possible, give homes to animals, and give man food and medicine."

Fry Oscar addressing the students. He's the prinical of the Franciscan school, and the one who originally came up with the parade idea.

There was cultural dancing, music and singing as well. This girl and the others dancing with her are from the local orphanage. They are commonly invited to city events to perform.

The best dressed 6th grade class that showed up:

After the parade, the trees were planted at the cathedral.

Visit to Celine's house___________________________________

Over the weekend, I spent a few days in Celine's town. I needed a little bit of downtime and a break from my community. It rained a little bit:

Some of Celine's neighborhood kids and I got a hankerin' for some tamarind we shook some out of the tree in her yard.

A common sight on the roads into town:

Small bank project____________________

After getting the lowdown on how to do a small community bankat the Peace Corps In-Service training, my counterpart and I were inspired to start one with the 12 teachers under his direction. It's an internal short term savings and loan designed for members to save monthly and take out small loans. Here's Wilder in my house preparing the presentation.

Wilder making the pitch. I could see cordoba (Nica currency) signs flashing the the teachers´eyes as he spoke.


My friend Marisol and her daughter Erlinda came to help me paint a few walls in my house. This was supposed to be "dark salmon", but it turned out more like "sherbert orange." In any case, it's better than the current shade of "alcatraz cement." I also finally bought the obligatory hammock for my house. Right after I hung it up, I laid down to try it out, and it works well because I woke up an hour later.

Too late to save this one. The upper left I took last December - and the lower right is how it looks now.

I managed to capture these little flowers in my yard before the deer came and mowed 'em down.

It's hot and muggy right now. The rains have come, though they are pretty sporadic yet. However, it hasn't taken much for the green to take over the charred land - it practically happened overnight. The mosquito population, unfortunately, also quadrupled overnight...


Blogger Cynthia & Dan said...

Great work on the Save the Trees parade! How did you gather all of those groups? I love the pictures of all the kids with their signs.

The sherbert salmon color will go a long way to brightening your casita.


11:51 AM  
Blogger Essa said...

I certainly didn't do it single handedly. I worked with the local natural science library and one of the bigger schools in the city. A class from that school, accompanied by a few teachers, librarians, and myself, went and invited all the students in the other schools and that's how we got the word out.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Mike Sheppard said...


Here are some Peace Corps / Nicaragua blogs that I have found. If you know of any others that I have missed please let me know. Thanks!

-Mike Sheppard
RPCV / The Gambia


2:32 AM  

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