so i know it has been a long long time since my last update, and for that i apoligize, however, here i go.
life in site has been great. i am as adapted as i think i could get and things are starting to fall into place when it comes to projects. one of the communities i am working with has 24 houses and is very compact. they are way organized and have had the goal of potable water for a long time now. i am working with an organization here in nicaragua named water for life to come and give technical advice about how we can go about istalling this type of system. the university of iowa has an undergraduate environmental engineering class that is starting on this water project as well and their plan will be available for us in may (as the semester comes to a close). the logistics of funding are underway but have not been completely determined. i have begun playing in a baseball league in this community as well. i have been the secondbasemen and pinch runner thus far. we are in first place with a stunning record of 8-2.. i think.. anyway tomorrow ill be playing again. a goal outside of the water is a fence for the baseball field. during the rainy season, it isnt uncommon to find cattle gazing around the field and this leaves perfect hoove prints that turn ground balls into pop flys. so, i am working on finding funding for putting a fence in so that we can more easily maintain the field. the field is one of the nicest around so teams from nearby enjoy visiting. we play on sundays so this is perfect for the women to bring there homemade foods and sell at the ball fields as well.
the community up the hill from me already has a water distribution system and seem to have fewer necessities than my other sites. however, i just took a youth from this community to a drip irrigation class in managua last weekend and we recieved a ten by ten meter drip irrigation kit. our goal is to help generate incomes in the dry season. this being said we have to have a water source for our garden. so, beings that this community has water springs year round, we are going to start preparing the dirt to make our garden next week.
in my community, i just completed my first paper written 100 percent in spanish. it was a request for small project assistence from USAID. we have a well that is in need of reparation and adding a few more washing stations and showers with another water source could save people a lot of time. the well was just built about 4 or 5 years ago but was abandoned after the string broke. so, now we are hoping to recieve funds or materials and also to hire an organization to come out of give a training course on how to repair a well. if all goes as planned, a counterpart and myself should have the opportunity to travel to managua later this month and present to the water sanitation sector of the SPA comitee and hopefully recieve the funds next month.
for all of the communities i am hoping to get an application in for an improved oven and stove project for the majority of the homes. this would reduce the amount of wood needed to maintain a fire all day long while at the same time minimize the amount of smoke inhaled everyday by using tin chimneys to take it outside.
so today marks 9 months in country. that indicates that one third of my time here is done. the first nine months have certainly been a challenge but i couldnt imagine where else i could have already created as many of great memories as i have. my spanish is coming along ( much better than i imagined) and the friendships i have started will last my lifetime. i now have a guitar in site so i am spending time pretending to learn new chords and strum different patterns but ive concluded that listening to music is more of my talent than playing it. regardless it allows for good laughs and something fun for my host siblings and me to do. i have a 10 k coming up next month so for my training i have started running every morning just before the sun peaks around its corner to begin its daily frying fest on our tin roofs. most of the dogs are used to me by now so their chasing me isnt a problem. i am continuing to read book after book. there are days ill read 5 pages and others 95, it just depends on the day. i havent written on this since i have booked my ticket home! ill be home for a few weeks in later may to mid june then off to a wedding in new orleans for a few days before my return to nicaragua. anyway i have a lot planned in the meantime so i know time will continue to fly by as fast as it already has.
hope this message finds you all in good spirits! miss you and love you