June 30, 2005
Today I woke up at Alba´s house (she´s the cook for Bridges to community, the NGO that the gringas work for here), and headed out with Miranda in the big pickup truck to Hormiguera, a place an hour away where there is an outpost with a nurse, Rufina. She was VERY VERY helpful--she gave me the handwritten censuses that had been taken of the area earlier this year. How trusting! just bring them back on monday. And we figured out there´s about 17 communities in the area that I am going to try and get a sampling of. some people have one cow, some have 300, so it will be interesting to figure out how to sample. perhaps every 5th cow til i´ve used all my stuff??? Margarito is a Nicaraguan guy that is really really awesome who is going to help me for the first couple of weeks. He is very patient and helped me today with my spanish, and gave me pointers. He is a vet tech, so that´s helpful too. Back in the day, there were bandits that came through here and stabbed over 30 people, 3 of whom died. Because he had knives and blood on his shoes, the authorities put him in jail and blamed him. The whole community knew that was bullshit, though, and that the blood was cow blood, and bailed him out. I´m psyched he´ll be helping me. We´re still trying to figure out this student thing too. A bunch of students from the university want to accompany me but I have to pay for their food, transportation, rainjackets and boots! So I told them no more than 4 total, 2 at a time (for 2 weeks) to cut down on cost. "Airplane" the dog that lives at Bridges House (he has ears that stick out so his head looks like an airplane), just waltzed up to me inside the cyber room. hee hee. It pours here for a few minutes every few hours, so it´s very very muddy. We took a bunch of plantain roots to another community from hormiguero, literally til the road ended at a river. the people there had sheep, a rabbit and a pet fawn in addition to the normal cows, swine, horses, dogs and cats. I looked at the roaring river and saw my first dugout canoe. Neat!