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Showing posts from January, 2011

And The Soccer Begins

Practice for our two younger teams has begun in earnest. Much, methinks, to the chagrin of our coach Johnny. The kids have known fo quite some time that league play begins in March and between Johnny and myself we had decided we would begin practicing in the first week of February. The players had other plans though and at the beginning of last week they began showing up at Johnny's door in droves begging him to commence training. He reluctantly agreed and so we are off. It's fun to watch the way he organizes nearly 50 children into groups and is able to work with them over the course of 2 & 1/2 hours. It's no easy task, there are about 10-15 tiny children that aren't even eligible for Kindergarten let alone the 9-12 team, that show up to practice religously in the desire to be a part of the team, and Johnny works with them. The older kids from the two older teams have begun showing up too because their coach Leo only began practices yesterday...and Johnny worked w…

The Gringo Is In

My bedroom window has become something akin to Lucy Van Pelt's "Psychiatric Help Booth" excepting of course that I don't charge for the dispensation of advice. People just pop around back the house at all hours and appear in my bedroom window; it can be a bit frightening at times. They stop to chat, to ask for things, to ask for advice, to offer me coffee in the early morning...
...or in the case of Juan Carlos and Lauro, to simply stare at me.

Chita Turns 9

chita has become an absolute joy to be around these past 6 months. he helps me round kids up for church, he's always quick with a smile and he always looks out for the little ways. i understand why konrad took such a liking to him. h.b. chita.

A Free-Wheelin' Friday Evening

La Ceiba gots 'em some go-carts. They're new, at least I think they are, they're new to me anyways. This past Friday night I gathered a group of 5 kids and myself and off we went to the races. We discovered that Manuel and Sergio are fast but safe drivers, Chihua is reckless and dangerous, Cristian just wrecks a lot and Duke drives slower than my Grandmother and not very well either. We're going to try and set up a tournament next time. After the go-carts we got pizza and ate it on the beach, it was a tranquil end to a long, hot week.
this is the best photo i came up with. the others are just streaks and blurs. and who is this? duke. and who drives so slow that my camera can catch him? duke. hmmm. shirley, it looks like i've found you a travel buddy.

Career Day in Laureles

Yesterday Belinda from church, a psychologist and the director of the Peace & Justice Project invited my potential high schoolers to participate in test to help them identify their strengths, talents, likes and potential career options. The kids weren't exactly thrilled about sitting through a 2 hour lecture and test but helping them focus their studies and getting them to think long-term about their future is invaluable. Today we get the results. What really struck me is how little they think of themselves - on the last page they were asked to rate their abilities and skill level in 7 areas. Many of them from Manuel on down put themselves at a 1 or a 2 out of 7 in all 7 categories. This isn't false humility, they really feel like they don't have talents apart from soccer.
all 9 boys crowded around the table

the 4 girls took a more relaxed and intelligent approach

Wash Day

I got a dog, which has nothing to do with doing the wash...except now that I write that, it does. I feel like every 10 minutes I'm wiping up paw prints, cleaning up little gifts left for me by the dog, wiping up footprints left by children wanting to see the dog. Cleaning, which was an obsession thanks to my OCD tendencies has become my life. I cannot keep this pace up for much longer. So the dog, I named it Keiser. I love hearing my bold, German surname shouted from the hilltops here Los Laureles. I know, it's a bit arrogant and self-centered but what can I say, I'm a Keiser...turns out the dog is too. This morning Manuel was awakened by little Keiser and after gathering his wits he suggested we go to the river to clean the's been badly needing a good wash since before Christmas. In that I had nothing much planned for the day I agreed and off we went to the mouth of the river where we spent the better part of the morning washing the car, washing ourselves and…

The Rains Came Down & The Floods Came Up...

I've always loved to check out rivers and streams after major rainstorms and today was no exception. After enrolling half of my kids in high school this morning we took a pause on the bridge that takes us back to Los Laureles to take in the view. Water is awesome!

the normally tranquil, blue-green waters of the rio cangrejal
that rapid area is a massive rock where we like to sun-bathe and dive from

this area is usually all rock and beach

that area in the distance is never covered by water, i've only ever seen the water this high one other time.
the poor people of the river community taking stock of the rising waters

our troop of high schoolers taking in the sight

my ever-present companion manuel
the one girl in today's outing, the furious nodi

thankfully no one jumped

Another Rainy Day in Paradise

It's been raining torrentially for the past 14 hours without pause and so Manuel, Cristian & I spent the day playing cards, playing Wii, playing music and talking. Funny how rain, real heavy, torrential rain takes away all the guilt of staying indoors and doing absolutely nothing productive.
it also makes coffee that much more enjoyable

that's la ceiba in the distant haze and rain

that crack between the two walls brings the natural water flow down to my house
it was built that way on purpose, otherwise the water would have no where to go and it would eventually take my wall with it
with this rain though it brought with it mud
lots of it

our soccer field

at least it was supposed to be

with the rain it's exposed for what it is...

a landfill that washes down into the community
juan carlos staying dry

with the exposed landfill the garbage scourers take adavantage

a bit of sun on my landing yesterday

my very own banana tree

a quick nap between rainstorms

away from annoying chi…