Sunday, September 14, 2008


Here are the weaverbirds that have been squawking away in the trees. Finally I had my camera ready when they were around.Yup, he's up there...Also, not sure if I've shared with you all the rambutans (here they're called mamo chino, but I learned the other word in Hawai`i). Have you tried these before?They taste like sweet-tarts, like a semi-sour lychee fruit - the season is already over, but you could see these muppet fruits weighing down trees in San Felix.

This is just a quick update, sorry it's not well-developed. I'm in Panama City for a medical checkup and realized I had some free time to share photos and news.

The composting latrine saga continues but extra materials just arrived to finish the last 2 structures. At this time, the 3rd latrine has been completed (well, the blocking and plancha-throwing) and we have started the carpentry-work for the wooden house that will enclose the sitting area of the latrine (suddenly my description sounds very odd... well obviously, this is official latrine jargon). Why did it take so long for the sand to arrive in town? Because of this:

Some great data came in from the National Aqueduct and Sewer Institute (IDAAN). They handed over the water analysis of my Quebrada Mina springs, so I have some detailed info to share with the water committee.

The critters are still scampering around my penca hut. This recent visitor got a dose of insecticide and immortality on this blog as I share with you the last moment of its life:

A Peace Corps Trainee visited me for a few days and we got to chat about good old Michigan Tech days and how the PCMI program is working out - for us both. The visit allowed us to pasear, survey the last branch of the aqueduct, and jump into the river.

The REALLY rainy season is about to hit and I'm now wondering if my geology fieldwork is going to flounder with the aguaceros. This is a bit of a worry since I'm aiming for some intensive hoofing around the DAD of Volcan Baru in October. I'll stay optimistic, but wary.

Of course the "Saca mi foto" insanity is continuing. I'm gritting my teeth and concentrating on maintaining a sense of humor. Check out the Res. Dogs charisma of my latest solicitors:
At the house of the Comite de Agua meetings, this family also requested portraits. As I waited for the kids to clean up and assemble, these 3 were unsure about stage left or right. The girl on the left ultimately decided our positions and cleared up the confusion of who was in charge - she's in-the-know and will always take the lead when even the PCV is confounded with who's relative is who's. This sharp kid is my other community guide.Also in the late-breaking news, all of the chicks from my hen have passed away. A mysterious tragedy that has left all of us saddened. (I can't hellp thinking that maybe I really should have cooked that hen for my birthday feast...).