Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rabbits, Worms and a Photojournalist

Wow! it’s been quite a while since my last blog entry. Looking at it realizing the last thing I wrote about was the mysterious murder of Rodrigo Rosenberg makes me feel like a year has passed since I updated this. By the way, no information of any worth has been discovered regarding the Rosenberg case.

Let’s see… what of interest has happened lately. I have 5 rabbits and thousands of worms. Both came from fellow Peace Corps volunteers (PCV) living in a neighboring town who recently closed their service and moved back to the U.S. The rabbits are eating and shitting machines. It’s incredible. I then gather the rabbit poop and feed it to the California earth worms which reside in both a large wooden box and a tire I flipped inside which transformed it into a large holding container. The worms devour the rabbit poop and then poop themselves. But worm poop is considered some of the best organic fertilizer known to man. I use the fertilizer for our flowers and soon will be planting a big vegetable garden on the property where I live. Worms also eat kitchen scraps. For those of you who are interested in vermicomposting, I recommend looking into it. I believe this process is starting to catch on in the U.S.

At some point in time I’ll start eating the rabbits. A female can give birth to up to 50 bunnies a year. And considering that I have two breeding couples, that equals a whole lot of bunnies. A chef in Antigua is interested in adding hasenpfeffer to his four-dish menu (fancy restaurant) so we’re going to slaughter and cook a few up serving as a test run. I’ll let you know how it turns out. My rabbits are New Zealanders by the way. Big white fluffy things with blood red eyes.

In other news, a photojournalist and former PCV spent a week with me documenting my life before he moved on to other volunteers in other countries in Central and South America. Peace Corps is turning 50 in 2011 and he’s collecting photos and conducting interviews with hopes it will be valuable material for the Peace Corps as it prepares to tell its story after half a century of service. I’ve posted just a few of his amazing pictures on my blog. Thanks, Rich! It was great to have you here and good luck with your future projects.

In just about one week’s time I will have completed my first year in Guatemala. I arrived on August 13th of last year. It’s a bit surreal to imagine that the new Municipal Development training group is about to arrive and our mentors are about to close their service. Now our group is the senior one and we have to work even harder on our quest to constantly improve this program and carry the torch. I’m mentoring one of the new trainees and look forward to meeting and discussing issues with them all. Ours is a difficult program. We are representatives of the U.S. government yet we work in Guatemalan government offices at the municipal level. We have to constantly be thinking of the fine line we walk as we do our best to remain neutral and apolitical which castrates our voice in many ways. This is the first time I’ve ever had to self-filter out of concern that what I have to say could offend a politician (ours and theirs). I’ve learned to deal with it but that doesn’t mean it feels good.

I’m going to Antigua again soon to attend a workshop on project design and management with a technician from the planning office where I work. I’ve struck up a friendship with a woman in there and looking forward to seeing her again. She works at a hotel where I normally stay when I’m there. Stay tuned for more information on the romantic front.

I hope you enjoy some of these new photos and the short update. I will try harder to keep the blog more current.

In vino veritas, my friends. Raise a glass for me and think about how I can’t get any good vino down here!

Oh, I’ll be in Los Angeles for a few days and then up to Coos Bay, Oregon to where my sister and her family is moving around Thanksgiving time. Maybe I’ll see some of you then.

And please don’t ever forgot – Ungowa!