Monday, October 02, 2006

It’s been a month since swearing in and things are going well and have settled in to my place. Time has been going pretty quick and I have been keeping busy getting to know people and hanging out. Last weekend went on an eleven hour hike with two other volunteers. We used a tourist map and some random directions from people to plan our trip. We were told many stories about what we would find including many waterfalls, a very high cliff and a lake millions of feet deep. We set off at 6:30 in the pouring rain to see what would happen. The riverbed is like something out of a dinosaur movie when the people are getting chased down some canyon. We were falling just walking there is no way a person could run over these rocks and holes. We found six waterfalls ranging from 15 to 30 feet that we got over before we met the big one that was over a 100 ft that we tried to get past but couldn’t get up. It made for a great day out and we found a trail on the way back that will let us get back there in 2 instead of 6 hours. The next day we were pretty beat up and spent nearly the entire day on the floor flat on our backs. Back home I would do almost nothing when I would get cuts or scrapes. Here you can aggressively treat and take care of them and they still will get infected. We started referring to our bodies as puss factories because every limb had multiple little cuts and 1 or 2 larger ones that were infected.

When I got back to the village started on my first project. There is no piped water system in my village just rainwater tanks and a couple wells of unknown quality and salinity. So I did a survey of the village with 3 locals of what everyone had. We counted water tanks, noting size and condition; roof area for collection and how much was being collected; number of people; and so forth. This also helped define the village boundaries for me and locate some of the homes that are well off the main road.

The new group for the other program comes on the 11th and I’ll be back in for that. It has been great hearing from people mail is always great to get and I’ve been working on replies. Enjoy the fall and hope all is well.

Jon & Vik at the first roaring waterfall

The riverbed


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