Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a human!

I was heading to the grocery store today and noticed as I was about to leave my gate a bunch of people falling from the sky. Don't worry, their parachutes were open. However, the wind was picking up and it did concern me a bit. I have heard their landing sited described as a postage stamp. I almost went in for my camera but there were only about 10 left and I figured there would be another group to jump. They either had planned it as their last jump or the wind made them change their plans. I kept checking for the next few hours but they were grounded.

I hope that I will get a good picture before they are gone on the 3rd.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's a bit strange...

I was about to do another post but my apostrophe wouldn't work properly... every time I typed ' it sent me to another part of the page. How odd. Well, I will get on to the other post.

Home Sweet Home San Pedro

So, it feels as though I have been gone a month. In truth I have been gone most of the month. Actually, I haven't spent much time at home since November.

I am just settling back into "work". I was up at the Reserve for a while and hadn't had much time in my own bed in a long time. I wanted to get to this Monday when I returned, but I have been in a traveling coma for a while.

A real update is in the works soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Basic Chili

Basic Chili

Getting Started:
I buy or have someone buy the soy meat from 96 in Belize City on the Western Highway. I use about 1/3 of a pack or 2 cups. This probably equals about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef.
I have a large stock pot with a lid- probably holds about a gallon of stuff

Comal- the flat metal disk to make tortillas on

* all of the ingredients that have the * means that you use it if you like it

This should make enough for 8 to 10 people at least

2 cups of soy meat
2-3 ounces (almost) a full small container of Chili Powder or about a 4th of the big one (9 oz)
2 or 3 cans of the salsa casara
*1 can of jalapenos diced ( don’t add as much chili powder if you use these)

1 large or 2 small cans of the beans of your choice, I like to use black beans

*1 onion diced, I like the yellow ones that are fairly large
*1 can of corn
*1 can of tomatoes or 2 fresh ones diced (add a little salt to the fresh ones- 1/2 teaspoon or less is fine)
*3-4 tablespoons of flour

Water as needed
sour cream, and cheddar cheese if you can find and want it

if working with fresh meat: brown and drain before adding ingredients
if working with the soy meat it is going to take a bit longer, but I like it this way so this is how I will describe how I make it.

§ Start the morning or day before you want to eat it for the best flavor and texture

§ Dump the soy meat into your pot.

§ Add about ½ of your chili powder and stir it in with the meat

§ Dump the cans of salsa casera, * jalapenos, and the beans with the juices in the pot and mix it until the meat is wet

§ Rinse the cans and add the water to the pot about ½ to 1 cup total

§ * Dice the tomatoes. Add a little salt if they are fresh.

§ * Chop/Dice the onion If you like onion a bit mushy it is a good idea to sauté it before adding it to the pot.

§ Add the tomatoes and onion then stir them in.

§ Add enough water to cover all of the ingredients plus ½ to 1 cup. This is to help the meat plump up even more.

§ Let the mixture sit for a few hours to allow the soy to plump. Heating will speed the process some.

§ I usually move the pot on top of my comal before turning the heat on low. This prevents some of the ingredients from sticking.

What's the real cost of eating meat?

The more I read about eating less meat, the more sense it makes. I just found this article and thought you might be interested. I have been introduced to soy meat from a shop in Belize City called 96. I make a great chili with it. I will do a new post on my drawn out chili recipe. Enjoy :^)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Photos from the Library of Congress

I found a blog the other day that said that The Library of Congress was allowing the public to access many of the photos for free and without any restrictions. Click here to check out a site that tells more about it...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dirty Clothes...

Something that probably should have been more embarrassing, but wasn't, happened as I was getting off the boat this evening.

The best way to tell it is to preface the situation so here goes...

I have an immense amount of dirty clothes, various goods from Christine, the stuff I had initially packed in my bag over a week ago, plus some food from the city. I repacked my bags this morning before my self defense class, which was wonderful by the way, and had laid out "clean" clothes to ride home in. Kirsty, bless her, allowed me to leave two blowup mattresses at the apartment. I had my two bags stuffed, plus a tv, and was not willing to add yet another item to my load. Here comes the interesting part. I changed clothes, put the dirty ones balled up with everything stuffed in my workout pants under a towel that was fastened to the front of my backpack. When the guys (one was a kid from the Apprenticeship Program) pulled my bag out they apparently figured the towel was secure enough to pull it by. WRONG! My dirty clothes fell out. I heard them giggling a bit like school girls but I didn't care. They probably saw my bra and underwear, again , I didn't care. All I wanted to do was to get home, eat, catch up with things I am behind on, and go to bed. While there are tons more to get caught up on, I am going to bed since I can't keep my head upright. Good night!

Home in San Pedro

It seems as thought I have been gone a month. I know that isn't quite accurate and I have slept in my bed a few nights in the last month, it is just that I miss being here and getting the things done that really need to be done at home.... First I was at the Reserve; then in Belmopan for the elections; then in Hopkins to help a friend pack up to move back to the States; then in Belize City for some training, to see Christine off, and a self defense class. I had a few nights in my bed, but I also had guests for part of that time. The craziness starts again on Tuesday as I head back to the Reserve. Boo! Hiss! I don't want to go! I have work that needs to be done here! I don't really like counting lobsters and getting burnt... Plus I don't know when I will be back... If the wind keeps up the way it has been the last few days then we will be there far longer than I want to be. Argh! I have at least four loads of laundry to do tomorrow. I also have to rewrite my entire section about corals. The guy from CORAL will be here either Tuesday or Wednesday to see our work, but I won't be here. Next week I have to have an additional grant written to help pay for the Coral Mangrove and Seagrass project materials. AND the idiot skydivers will be in town. Last year one was killed and only a few others injured. The rescue team has been put on standby for their presence. I am also organizing some stuff for the Ruta Maya... I will update that soon too. I am about to pass out, so I am off to bed now. Goodnight!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Carnival in San Pedro

So, Carnival is currently going on. I didn't really realize this until I got home Monday and saw paint on a dog and a friend yelled out of his car, "Get the paint!" The local tradition is to cover whom ever you can in as much paint as you can or to egg them. The "event" is supposed to last three days.

This afternoon I met Dawn and her mom Hillary at Fido's. We chatted and watched the kids attack each other with paint. A few were launching eggs with a water balloon launcher from the municipal pier. They apparently had been practicing. They were fairly accurate. Unfortunately a group had been standing in front of us and an egg crashed into a palm tree in front of the porch we were sitting on. Dawn ended up with a bit of yoke and egg shell on her.

Tonight I went out to meet with friends. I met several groups covered in paint and one that had bottles of paint. I kept my eyes on the one with the paint. As I passed he acted like he was going to get me. I said, "You better not..." Lucky for me he didn't. I was just about at Big Daddy's when another person said "Fresh Meat!" I responded with a "I hope not." Lucky for me again, they didn't pursue me. I joined Dawn, Hillary, and Ethel. Dawn was covered in paint. Ethel had also been attacked to some degree, but she changed clothes before meeting us, so we don't know how bad. I was wearing a shirt that was already stained so I wouldn't mind as much if I too were attacked. Shortly after arriving we moved on. Ethel headed home, I hope she made it paint free. And the rest of us went to the Tackle Box. Only on the way we encountered a group that couldn't pass us up. While Dawn received the brunt of the painting, Hillary got some on her arm, and I got my face and earrings painted. I look forward to posting the pictures from Hillary's camera. I left it on until reaching home. I hoped this would prevent others from trying to paint me again. Apparently it was past the bed time of the young Picassos since they were nowhere to be seen.

Exciting News...

This weekend I was in Corozal with a variety of PCVs. I believe it was on the way to lunch that Chanda and I found out that the other person applying for the PCVL position will not be applying!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me that we are the only ones that apply or are the ones chosen.