Friday, September 26, 2008

Ramblings from La Ceiba...

La Ceiba has a section of town much like every city in Ontario has its big box stores, designed for all the foreign businesses, their mall, their pizza hut, their burger king, their dunkin' donuts, all the signs in english, all the food expensive and i am sure just as crappy, and of course everyone here heralds it as mecca, the cultural renaissance of our generation, flocked to for birthdays and christenings and wedding anniversaries, packed bumper to bumper with SUVs and taxi cabs and old US schoolbuses that serve as the public transportation, all leaning on their horns at all hours of the day, all belching a visible smog of vicious air with that burnt-tire smell of lowgrade diesel that we have come to know all to well. Unfortunately, on the one hand, our daily commute passes through this section of town twice; fortunately, on the other hand, is that we are leaving the city in the mornings and returning at night, thereby generally moving in the opposite direction of traffic, allowing us to pass with our sanity. however on the rare occassion we are headed in the direction of everybody else, the scene is almost too much to visualize: standing in the aisle of a schoolbus packed to the gills with people trying to return to the colonias after a day of work, all sweating like pigs in a factory farm in the 100 degree heat, every window open only to let in the exhaust of the sea of vechiles that surround us, motorbikes screaming their horns as they fly along the side of the road, everybody trying to go in the same direction by going in different ones, more horns, and then it starts to rain like it can only rain in the tropics, drops that could knock you off a bicycle if you weren't careful, so heavy you can hardly see two cars ahead of you, and the streets immediately begin to flood, people pass trying desperately to pedal bicycles through the knee-deep water, and i am overcome with the simultaneous sensations of distress at the suffocating feeling that sits in my chest and an almost serene relief that maybe this time the heavens have really opened up to swallow this mess we have created, and that somewhere there is an ark with two of every animal and i hope that you are on it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

el instituto y trabajo

here's an example: we went outside para sembrar unas arboles. well the thing
was that it was to hot, habia tanto sol to plant the trees. so we went
to dig the holes. cuatro huecas; four people. do you think we each dug a hole and
had done with it in a ten minute Moment? No. we watched Lourdes as she
showed us how to mark the holes. not even dig them entirely just mark there spots.
remember that these hole are maybe a foot wide and probably not even 10 inches
deep. after she marked the first hole, i grab el pico and started to
dig the second one. i was doing my best to just dig the hole straight out,
but no. "just mark it." they said. "come back later and dig the whole hoya"
so that's what happened. three stood around while one person marked the ground
for where the holes would go: finishing that we went to the garden, where there
was some turning of the ground to to not much a thin line, perhaps eleven feet
on each side of a planting bed. This was explain and the task demonstrated. then
we began to learn about the plants in the garden. as interest in as this was, "Los
huecos a mi me gritaban from their shallow bottoms "abranos y el suelo del jardin
me gratada "turname" finally i was allowed to work; el pico a mano fui a abrir
los huecos. on the third one (after perhaps, perhaps fifteen minutes - i stopped in the
shade after the second, the pick broke on a rock: maldito pico! maldita roca!
i went inside to report the development (all my IDS expectations come rushing back,
like my life flashing before my eye in that epiphanal moment before death. the irony
not lost) not seeming to shook about it, they send me to the carpentry shop. There
i met a fellow sitting in a chair looking out the door, at nothing in particular. his
compañero sits at the back of the shop: They both gather round and marvel at how much
force i must have been using, in other words, how hard i had been working, in order to break the pick.
they tell me they can fix it, but not today! they don't have the right wood.
and finally they say that famous word "mañana" stunned,
but 'not surprised, i won't push the matter. "para hoy que descansa." Even though
i'm told it's impossible i take the shovel and finish the last of the holes and
move on to the garden. which i finish despite the audience of coffee drinking, smoking
Cubans. who just want me to take a break.


llegamos en la lucha de siempre

ayer la lucha para siempre nos recibio dos mas guerillas. salieron bien los vuelos

desde Canada; pero la llegada a Cuba tomo tanto tiempo en la aduana. trajimos

dos laptops cada uno de Katie y Yo, pero solo esta permitado a sacar uno del aeropuerto.

entonces despues de una vida en la fila de aduana, y intentos sin limitas las deja mos

dos laptops allí Ias que podemos consiguir otro día con documentos del instituto de investigaciones

forestales, y unos papules legales de la aduana.

al fin Salimos del aeropuerto y fuimos directemante de nuestra hogar en la Habana,

la Contacté a Orlidia y nos arreglamos de conocernos el proximo dia. todavia la esperamos

It is hard to breath in Cuba. You can see the strangled economy in the

delapatated buildings and the frown lines, grimaces on the peoples faces. Sometimes

it takes nothing short of a miracle to find eggs. but...

i still find dapart of me longing for the life i see of people leaning on their fences

like they don't have (though i know they have many) a care in the world, and nothing is

happening (which it isn't).

y como es la lucha de siempre

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome interns!

Hello hello,

Hoping that our wonderful 7 international interns will find time and reason to post regularly on this blog and keep us up to date on the great projects and exciting possibilities they come across while settling in to their respective host countries!