Sunday, November 16, 2008

news from tucson

dear kristin,

it's been three months since you left. how time flies, eh? it must be strange for you to think about us here in the desert... i, for one, have trouble imagining you in the lush green mountains of guatemala. we are truly in different worlds right now!

it's cooling off quickly here. days are reaching between 70-80 degrees, but nights and early mornings are cold (i bought long underwear the other day). the days are getting shorter, which means it's dark in the morning when i get up for work and dark by six at night, which makes me want to fall asleep shortly thereafter.

i have been workingworkingworking. nose to the grindstone, hands in the dirt--this is how i roll these days. when i get into a rhythm with it all, it feels good. but inevitably, i hit a wall after a couple of weeks and then i must take a mental health day, which usually translates into spending the day listening to npr and cleaning my house...

in other news, adam and cj have made some serious headway at the farm. they now are almost finished digging and planting beds in the first section that we rented and are almost ready to move to another field. VERY exciting. this picture is a couple weeks old, but it show you at least how the first field is set up.

they've also been continuing to experiment with microgreens. these amaranth microgreens are particularly beautiful.

and they sold their first radishes! they look like this:

AND, say hello to the poultry!

penny is our adorably sweet rhode island red rooster, roo is the younger rhode island red rooster. charlie is our rhode island red hen of laying age, and then we have 35 gawky teenage chickens--diletta, maya, pecky, rosco, pat, and RuPaul have names so far. they should be laying in the springtime, so get ready for some eggs when you get back!! i've been brushing up on my omelette/egg product culinary skills, so i'll be able to make you breakfast when you get home.

anyways, that's about all i have time for now. i'll post thanksgiving pictures soon. we had thanksgiving on the rained and rained--which we were thankful for, of course.

i miss you, as always,


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

El Foro Social

Thousands of participants and organizations from around the americas decended on the San Carlos Univisity in Guatemala City last week for the social forum. One of the raddest things were the many new murals and graffitti that sprang up all over campus that week. Some art and politics displayed themselves on the security doors of Zona Una shops but I didn´t catch those on camera.

Hasta La Victoria,

Un desfile

Oh yes, it is a building sized praying mantis. For some reason last night a parade of giant motorized bug puppets roamed the streets of San Christobal to techno music. The artists were a Catalan performance group from Barcelona.

At the end, the giant mantis had a fight with the giant ant and killed it. Symbolically anyway, it turned off its lights and stopped moving.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dear Debbie,
This morning finds me in Huehuetenango with Clare, a friend from La Escuela. She is changing her plane ticket next to me as I type because yesturday we decieded to spend the week in Chiapas. So a couple lovely days in San Christobal and then next weekend I am headed back to Xela! This should be interesting since I had no plans to go to Mexico or actually to enjoy the thrills of border crossing.

The Foro was exhilerating and edventually exhausting. I knit during a couple conferenses after giving up on being able to understand. On the final day I had a mental breakthrough and understood a presentation on Dams and hydroelectric mega projects that bulldoze their way through communities and the ways the communities are organizing to protect their land.

An hour later, equally unexplainable as the breakthrough, my brain shut down and refused entry to any spanish comprehension.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I can´t leave guatemala

Dear Debbie,
After a month of language school, I am in Guate at the Foro Social Américas. In typical foro style, events are changed, start late and all overlap. I think I have spent half the time pouring over my list of conferences trying to figure out which one to attend. I have been collecting as much free propaganda from the various luchas as I can get my hot little hands on. The University of San Carlos is beautiful and the only public university in Guatemala. I heard that it is as cheap as Q80 a month to attend and the majority of classes are held at night and on weekends since most students have jobs. There have been demonstrations on campus also this week to protest plans to privatize and raise the costs of the University.

In other news I have changed my ticket to Ecuador in order to stay longer in Guatemala, my plan is to spend more time at the language school where I have fallen in love with the community.

here are some pictures to make up for being out of touch.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

blow up your tv...

Dear Kristin,

Here in Tucson, the early mornings and late nights are beginning to feel like fall. Soon it will be layering season--boots and sweater weather--my favorite. Life is funny, how things settle and change. I talked to Becca today, and she said it was chilly fall in North Carolina. She was wandering around an antique store in long sleeves and a sweater. Sometimes I miss how cozy Fall and Winter are. I get the urge to hunker down, build a fire, and read books and books and books all winter long.

But here I am in Arizona. It's beautiful here. Uppie, Dave, Pam, Emily, and I went to Romero Pools the other day. It was gorgeous and green from the end of monsoon season. There was a ton of water in the pools and we swam all day. The temps are still 90 degrees everyday, and I've been sweating bullets on the farm. Adam and CJ are making progress on the microgreens. Here they are, looking lovely. These are specifically arugula microgreens. We ate them on crackers along with my most recent batch of goat cheese (green onion and garlic flavored), and they were delicious!

Here are pictures of Adam and I from a recent sunset at Gate's Pass. There some more neat ones from that day (there was a whole car-load of us that went up there), but they're on CJ's computer.

In other news, I'm doing some temporary work at the Native Seeds farm with Chris and am starting my job at the Food Bank Farm on October 1st. We've been putting in some sweaty hours at Adam and CJ's sinking chicken wire along the fence to keep the rabbits out. I drove the tractor (Fidel) down the road and back. I think I did pretty well, considering.

I love seeing your Guatemala pictures, but I want to see pictures of YOU in Guatemala!!! I miss you!!


La escuela de la Montaña

Dear Debbie,
I spent my first week of language school up in the rural mountains at a school on an old Coffee Finca. Today I am headed back up there for two more weeks of peaceful relaxing study. Es muy tranquilo.
Algunos photos de la escuela

This is the front porch, used for relaxing, studying and drinking beer.

These are two of the ranchitos where we have our classes outside under the little thatched huts during the afternoon rain storms.

The school is of course small and intimate. I quickly got to know the 9 other students and all 5 teachers, much more so than at the larger school in Xela. The small size of the two local communities that work with the school makes the impact of the escuela very apparent. Once a week a noche cultural is held in an old barn for the children. This basically consits of playing games involving one person being IT and trying to get someone else to be IT. Ejemplo- the first game was everyone sitting in a circle in chairs, facing in with one extra empty chair. The joven who was IT tries to sit in the empty chair but the kids in the circle keep moving one chair over, trying to fill it and so the empty chair moves around the circle. If IT manages to sit down, the person in the chair to the right is now IT. This reminds me of an inside out musical chairs. Another game we played consisted of IT secretly picking a veggie or fruit and asking people around the circle to guess it. But you don't want to be correct, because if you guess right you get a small glass of water thrown in your face and you become it. The prize that now you get to toss water on someone. The secretness of the chosen fruit gives the water holder an awful lot of power. During one round a compañero de classe guessed Piña and did not get wet but about three guesses later I heard una chica guess Piña as well, getting herself a faceful of water.

Muy divertido.

Love y Amor,