The second week of school is finally over and I am looking forward to staying local and studying this weekend. Traveling to El Salvador last weekend was exhausting and I found it difficult to keep up in class the first couple days after I returned. I am hoping to catch up on studies and rest this weekend.
I am including a lot of photos in this post. Enjoy!
One of the amazing views from Cumbre del Olvido:
My wee friends from the village:
Ohhh…I can’t help holding little ones:
Working by flashlight in the evening. Left, Cesar (leader of the village). Right, Gilbert (Hydromissions associate):
The locals told us that this was a cross between a goat and a sheep. I was going to label this “Goaeep,” but Helene told me that a crossover like that doesn’t work genetically so I really don’t know what this animal is:
View of the area during our hike down from Cumbre del Olvido:
Work horses. I went to pet one and he flattened his ears, showed his teeth and gave me crazy eyes… Guess the horses aren’t used to gringos either:
The locals were showing us a borehole they are working on in the photo below. This was actually really cool to see because Raul and Gilbert trained them back in the fall (2013) on how to use the equipment, but didn’t reach water during that time. They dug multiple boreholes, but usually ended up getting stopped by rocks before making it beyond 30 or so feet. You would think that the community would be discouraged and not even try again after Raul and Gilbert left, but they did try again and here is a 26′ deep (and counting) borehole:
Here is the main reason the village is inaccessible during periods of the rainy season. This area gets covered by fast rushing water during peak rains and, as you can see, the bridge didn’t work out so well:
I found it interesting that this little girl is following her mother with her hands up on her head mimicking her mother’s posture as her mother carries dishes down to their house (although the young girl isn’t actually carrying anything on her own head):
I didn’t realize a filter was on my phone when I took this shot, but I still like it. This is a little clothes/dishes washing area in a village about an hour below Cumbre del Olvido:
Isn’t this such an awesome looking place!? I love going to villages that are quite literally “in the middle of nowhere”:
I was dancing down the rocks. They were quite steep although it is hard to tell in this photo:
This dude crawled out of my pack a couple days after I returned to Costa Rica. Guess I should have filled out my customs form to include a pet!:
So…the rats part of my story. For some reason, rats have been part of my last three project trips. NOT cool. The hardest thing to overcome when sleeping in the same room as rats is the psychological aspect of it all. For example, there were multiple rats scurrying up the walls and over the beams before I went to bed in the village. Yes, it was creepy and I wasn’t a fan of them. They had thick long tails and scurried about, but they were manageable. Manageable, that is, until the lights went out. As soon as it got dark, those beasts grew. They grew bigger, louder and more furious until, before long, my teammates and I were convinced that we were sharing space with R.O.U.S.’s! (Rodents Of Unusual Size). We felt as if we dared turn on our flashlights, we’d see monsters. I literally laid in bed with the thin blankets over my head and I listened to the giant GIANT rats scurry across the floor all night. When I did fall asleep, I only dreamed that they were in my bed and woke up again to hear them scurrying about. I need to come up with a good plan on how to handle the rats before next year. I’ll be spending two – three months in Cumbre del Olvido and I won’t be much good if I don’t sleep. I’m thinking of sleeping in a metal rat-proof box with guard cats and dogs. How does that sound? Like a good idea for sure ;-)!*Just a note for those of you that may not understand that photo. That is NOT real . That is an ROUS (Rodent Of Unusual Size) from the movie, “The Princess Bride.” I used that to illustrate what I think the rats turn in to after I turn off my flashlight.
I can’t end this blog on a rat-note like that so here is a photo of Pringles. I don’t really like Pringles when I am in the States (I’ve probably bought two containers my whole life back home) but, for some reason, when I see them in a local market abroad (Nepal, Guatemala, here), I just crave them so much. So this was my American snack splurg. Pringles. I think I ate two servings already today (whoops!)
Lastly, my study buddy, Doki, who keeps me company as I study in my bed at my Tico house: