Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back in the USSA

WHO: Essa (aka Vanessa)
WHAT: Peace Corps, Environmental Education

WHERE: Nicaragua
WHEN: Sept '05 - Nov '07

WHY: Life is a carnaval.

On the eve of completing a year in Nicaragua, I returned stateside to visit my friend Debbie and work on my masters thesis proposal back at Michigan Tech in da UP (see map above). Originally, the trip was planned for one week. After having gone through an ugly 6 month period of reverse culture shock upon my return from living in Spain a few years back, I wasn't sure how I'd feel coming back from Nicaragua. I guess I can sum it up by saying I got a bit teary when I caught sight of an overall and flannel clad Minnesotan at the airport in Minneapolis. Good to be back...

Here's Debbie's newly rented house in Houghton. She is finishing up her PhD and will be beginning her post doc next month.

To blow off some steam, we hand a small impromtu gathering/dance party Monday night that ended at 5 am...ahhh, good to be a student.

The party portal-shot (thanks to Jesse (now in East Timor), whose many, many portal shots made me come to really appreciate them).

Debbie has two dogs and two horses - we were able to enjoy the amazing beautiful UP weather horseback riding a couple of times. (That is not Debbie's derriere...).

Debbie's post-doc research will in large part be conducted in Central America. And, at her request, I covered every item in her house with post-it notes with the item's name in Espanol. Here's la silla and el perro.

Sushi featured yet again in this blog... John, our advisor, and Gregg (Debbie's soon-to-be-new-boss) and their families came over for sushi one night.

Another geology prof in the department, Bill, has a little island off the coast of the Keweenaw Peninsula...complete with cabin and sauna. It was beautiful and tranquil, and the lake was (barely) warm enogh to swim in.

The portage bridge, pride of the Houghton-Hancock area, behind long-time resident Curt, his dog, Fish, and newly arrived Colombian-born Miriam, here to do her PhD.

So as idyllic as all this looks, I did get wound pretty tight one day working, and chose the wrong wall to vent my frustration out on...the result:

So I'm now on medical hold and will remain in Houghton for a few more weeks until the doctor clears me. I'll take advantage of the extra time and with my remaining hand, feed my face on much missed pastys and bratwurst.

Greek letters are a challenge with the left are easier. Notes from my last meeting with my advisor:

Hope all's well out there, learn from my example and find a healthier way to release the devil within.