Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Agric

Last weekend the National Agricultural and Trade Show was held in Belmopan. People look forward to it all year, because it's THE place to get good deals on merchandise - ESPECIALLY cell phones. The show is a cross between a State Fair and retail free-for-all. We went early Saturday morning to beat the crowd and the heat, stayed out there about three hours, which was plenty.

Featuring!

  • Cathy getting kicked in the butt by a horse
  • Spending time with the Taiwanese at the Central Farm booths, tasting their new and improved tomatoes, wax apples, corn and sweet peppers. Bigger, better, grow faster. 
  • Visits with the folks working at the HIV/AIDS and vector control booths. Always hustling for contacts.
  • Sneaked into the petting zoo, and saw our next door neighbor get bitten by a mouse.
  • Watched kids and friends ride the rides
  • Had our eardrums BLASTED out by HUGE speakers.
  • Concerts by Lova Boy and Supa G!
We didn't go back on Sunday to see the rodeo. We did, however, watch a televised show from the fairgrounds of Lova Boy singing his #1 hit song, Slow Tornado. See the YouTube version here:

I'm enjoying most of the music here, and will try to post more songs when I can get them.


Here's info Steve wrote to his sister - to fill you in on his point of view :--)
It looks like the rainy season is starting early this year. We got lots of rain last night and again today. Until then we has seen rain only twice since we arrived 5 weeks ago. Today was a culture day in the morning. We met at the market in Belmopan and went shopping. We spoke Spanish more often that Kriol, and we also met a Canadian vendor who has been here for 18 years after marrying a Belizean woman. This evening we are meeting at the instructors house, and the 6 of us are going to cook dinner according to Kriol recipes. I am sure we will have too much food. At the market I also got a new pair of short pants for US$7.50 which is BZ$ 15. I have lost two inches in my waist, and my belt makes the other pair of short uncomfortable.

This afternoon Cathy and another trainee named Taylor taught a sex ed class at the village school. Belize has this program called Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) for every year in school. Before the Easter break we observed the teacher do a session on conflict and crisis. Today's topic was along the same lines and was about coping mechanisms when you feel down. They do not actually get to the boy-girl stuff until late in hight school. At that point some of the students could teach it if they haven't dropped out because of pregnancy. The Catholic Church is very much a player here. Yesterday we had a workshop about how to teach HIV/AIDS education classes. The class was done by current Peace Corps volunteers who use a manual created by Peace Corps initially in Africa, but now used world wide. They will teach the course to groups of migrant farm workers as well as to schools and church or community groups. It includes a lot of nitty-gritty, including a condom relay contest between two groups of participants. The baton is a banana, and each person has to hold for the next person while they correctly place a condom. It gets slippery near the end of the line because of the stuff on the condoms. It seemed strange to have a recent college grad woman put a condom on my banana. We will also be teaching our own workshops, and one of the important parts is to make sure the students know where to get condoms and where to get HIV testing. The problem in this country is confidentiality. We are a long way from the restrictions imposed by HIPPA. Some people avoid getting tested even though they have been engaged in risky behavior, because the entire village will find out quickly if they test positive.

I think I mentioned on the phone that we will be going to Independence village on Saturday to shadow a current Peace Corps volunteer for a long weekend. I think Cathy and I both would be quite happy to be stationed in that area for our permanent assignment.

We are both healthy and happy. We have finished all the rabies vaccinations. We may have more hepatitis B shots, but I can't remember right now. I may have told you that we got our mid-term evaluations back. I got all "S"'s, and the written evaluations were very nice, especially about my attitude. I think they are going to keep us and give us an assignment here.

1 comment:

e.hutton said...

My Goodness Steve! Two inches skinnier? I can't even imagine! You better start having double helpings of iguana and some starches too!

Glad to hear you are both doing well. I look forward to the Blog enteries!

Take care,

Ed