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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More good news

Last night after work as I was walking to the gate in the dark to catch my taxi I was thinking how nice it is to feel safe while on post and how I trust my taxi driver to get me home safely as well. I am not usually out after dark. This late shift is a new thing. In between looking up and seeing stars and the sliver of a moon I was thinking that I didn't know how I would do this after the move with a new taxi driver from a new town that is further away. I may have even said a prayer about it.

When I got to the gate the alternate driver was there, who I also trust. He is the 'boss' I think of my usual driver. While we were in the gatehouse we took advantage of the bilingual guard to talk. I asked if my usual drive would be able to continue 'if' I was to move to the other town. His boss said yes. I did a happy dance, which made the guard and driver both laugh. On the way home via cell phone and Spanglish, a price for the new drive was agreed upon. So, I will have my safe ride to and from work still. This is a big deal. Especially after dark on lonely roads down here.

I'll be paying a lot more than I could arrange for transportation back and forth. However, my driver is ALWAYS where he says he will be. That means a lot. I also know that he appreciates the money. Some of the drivers try to get as much money extra as they can. My driver just shows up, is friendly, and gets me safely where I need to be. I am happy that this relationship can continue.

Still no word on the big truck. Tomorrow I'll try again for that. Here in Honduras, most plans don't proceed in a linear fashion. I'm trying to work within that framework.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Week of changes

The move is coming along. This morning I started pulling out what little kitchen stuff I had unpacked while at the hotel with no real kitchen and started thinking about how I want to get the rest of the clothes and other stuff packed. This weekend I packed most of my shoes, and started pulling out other things to start seeing what I need to pack and what I have to pack it in. The majority of my stuff is still in the boxes and containers it came down here to Honduras packed in by the movers in WA. I'm thinking I'll use my fairly large collection of suitcases for a lot of the small things.

I decided to try to find a large truck and driver to move all my things in one load. It turns out that there are a couple of options. So, tomorrow that should be nailed down. This move must be meant to happen because everything (so far) is going easily. When I'm doing what I should be doing where I'm supposed to be doing it, that is how it happens. When I try to force things is when I end up regretting the decisions I made. Moving down here was as simple as asking a co-worker in WA if he could find out who to contact for the IT jobs here. A couple of phone calls and emails and I had this job. This move has been the same way, ask someone who I should see about an apartment, and two days later I find what looks to be the perfect place. I think the new apartment will put me in a good space to actually enjoy living down here more.

I am on the late shift this weekend. So, I took a late lunch that fell after the 1pm opening time of the hammock shop. I still have 2 stripes left on the hammock I started making back in June. I got a few rows done. Maybe if I take half my lunch hours when I'm on this shift I'll actually finish the hammock.

I work a row or so on the sweater I'm knitting in the mornings that I have time to fill that I no longer have at night. Switching to Continental style knitting means that my left hand can only knit one row of 166 stitches before it starts aching and messing up. Still, this style of knitting is faster and easier than the English way I've done up to now. Like many things, I just have to work up the endurance to do it longer at one sitting.

I'm bringing some things in to work to leave here during the move. I have some computer gear that I bring in my day pack and I'll lock in my desk. Slowly I'm getting things sorted so I'll have what I need immediately before and after the move. I'm excited. The 'laundry area' at the new apartment is on the open flat roof. I'm looking forward to taking a camp chair and my coffee up there and watching a sun rise and a sun set. I'll do pictures. That vision is what is getting me through this week.

I just re-read this, and it is just stream of consciousness typing while I try to get through the last hour of my shift. It is how life is going right now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Finished Project




Here is the baby blanket/afghan that I finished last week. This is to show that I do eventually finish things, sometimes. I'll donate it prior to next weekend's move. There is no shortage of places to donate down here.

Movin' On Up

Quick post to say that I found an apartment in a neighboring town. I'll hopefully be moving next weekend. The owners live right next door, the policia station is across the street. I'm looking forward to living there. So, this weekend I start packing. Most of my stuff has not been unpacked, so it isn't like some of my other moves. I'll post more after I drink more coffee and figure out how I'm going to arrange some of this stuff.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

live goes on

I'm talking to people about other places to live. I have specific criteria, which are different than others here. Mostly I want quiet, and to have the landlord/owner interface with the local utilities for me. Also, that landlord/owner needs to understand/speak some level of English to meet my level of Spanish so we can communicate. And, quiet can also be interpreted as safe. So, the search begins.

In my efforts to be safer here I keep learning Spanish at my slow rate. Someone on a message board offered up this site as a place for free classes on many subjects: http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses . It is a cool site. It turned me onto a site that is what looks like a fun way for me to get better at Spanish. It is a telenova, or mystery video in 52 chapters that is meant to teach the language. http://learner.org/series/destinos/ I am going to try at least one chapter or segment a week. Maybe faster, but with trying to move I don't want to set a goal that I'll fail immediately.

On the creative front, I finished the baby afghan I was crocheting from yarn in my yarn stash. I like the way it turned out. I'll try to get a picture of it tonight. My next project is a cardigan for me from a pattern called Sawtelle. Affectioknit (see blogs in my sidebar) is knitting this, and I like it a lot. I'm making the adult version first because I have enough yarn in full skeins to make it, and I can see to judge better what misc yarn in my stash is enough to make a childs version. I'm trying to switch to Continental style knitting after 40+ years of English style (has to do with which hand holds the yarn being fed to the needles) so this is awkward and I have to keep a video handy so that I can remind myself just what I'm doing. I use the videos at http://www.knittinghelp.com/ .

There was another large fire, this time down in Tegucigalpa, the capitol, on Saturday. The maket burned, 1800 stalls. That is the livelihood for at least that many families. So, prayers again requested for the families affected. This time at least there were no fatalities.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Shift Happens

Little things are annoying me more since I've been back from leave. Work has changed in that this past week my hours shifted 3 hours later. I have time I don't know what to do with in the morning, and get home after dark too tired to do anything. The noise level around the hotel gets to me more. The new grocery store accross the street has a very loud alarm that goes off several times in the middle of the night. My clutter of stuff gets to me more. The hotel staff came in my room yesterday with no notice, so I didn't have things (including the Wii) packed away. I don't want a lot of people seeing what I have, and to be honest I feel a bit ashamed and conspicuous having so much in a place where most people have so little. Then they didn't admit to being in my room. It was confirmed this morning by a co-worker who lives there as well. I'm irritable and pissy.

So, I'm heading into a 3 day weekend. Time to sort/scan/repack and maybe send some more stuff back and donate more stuff to those who can use it down here. I'm also putting out feelers to find another place to live that isn't in the town I'm in now. Away from the main highway, in a smaller town sounds really good to me. Probably another hotel situation.

I have been folloiwng Tioga George's vacation in Guatemala this week. See my sidebar for a link to his blog. I'm not that far away from the area he's in. So, I'm pricing flights and making note of the places he's staying. I'm thinking maybe Memorial Day weekend I'll venture out on my first trip in Central America outside of Honduras. I need to get better at Spanish between now and then. I'll also ask around if anyone wants to go with me. But, I'm ok traveling alone. Really, as long as I blend in and am careful it is safe down here.

As for the fire in the prison, so many sad details are coming out. I really don't want to post much about it, but that is weighing on my mind as well. The living conditions, the lack of infrastructure to deal with the fire and aftermath. It is all so sad. Of course there are those with the black humor making jokes. I know the value of black humor in helping folks deal with things like this. I'm just not there yet about this fire.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm safe

For those of you who follow the International headlines, I'm safe. Prayers for the lives lost in the fire last night requested, as well as for the families.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Earthquake?

DDwants to know if I felt the earthquake in Costa Rica. I did feel one for a bit last week. It seems that we had two here last week. And it also seems that we live downstream of a dam that is in need of some maintenance. On local news, which I get from the breakfast club of the guys who are married to local women and live here permanently, the word is they are putting out comments of a need of assistance to do the needed work, prompted by the earthquakes. That is something I'm having more and more issue with down here. There is so much aid and assistance flowing into this country that the first response to anything is to just ask someone to come in and do it for them. And, it usually works. But that is a rant for another time. My other news feeds are fox and cnn on-line. Nothing about any of it in either place. If I read the Spanish editions I might get more local news.

Another question in my comments while I was on vacation was 'who is TurtleLady?' She and her husband Bill have been good friends of mine for maybe 30 years. We met through a common enjoyment of a sport (caving), and have stayed friends through the years. She is one of the few friends from home with whom I keep in fairly constant contact while I'm down here.

I don't tend to jump back and answer comments in that section. Since I'm getting more comments lately I may start. I do read and enjoy every one.

Monday, February 13, 2012

lights - on

Apparently the power came on about an hour or so after it went off. Not sure what the dramatic glow was, but everything seems ok. Well, except the main air conditioner in my apartment. The two bedroom ones were not on, so they are ok. I haven't gone to ask if maybe there is just a breaker tripped somewhere. So, coffee from the coffee-maker tomorrow, not the camp stove.

EDITED TO ADD: Main air conditioner just sprang to life, so guess it was a breaker. So, life is back to normal.

Well, (bad word)

The drama at work has 2 of us covering our dept over a 12 hour shift. Overtime for the person covering the late shift. Thing is, neither of us wants the late shift. So we compromise. One week early, one week late. I start the late shift tomorrow. It will be a long day, overtime on a contract that doesn't allow overtime. Except for now. I'm at the point I want my time more than the money, but that wasn't an option. Guess the credit cards will get paid up a bit sooner than the original plan.

Another step forward, another back

Wow, my spelling/typing/editing skilz are totally non-existant lately. Sorry for that. Just kind of roll with what you think I might be trying to say.

I tweeked and re-worked the hammock yesterday. Last night I made it all night in the hammock, and woke up able to walk, so that is progress. Next weekend is a 3 day weekend, and I have no real desire to head off anywhere, so perhaps I will pull out the rest of the hammocks I have here and experiment.

I got up on time this morning, started coffee brewing and picked out my clothes for work. Took a nice hot shower. As I was getting dressed the electricity started bouncing, much to the displeasure of the air conditioners. It was a major brown out/bounce/brown out. I ran for the remotes for the poor air conditioners and commiserated with the big fans at the restaurant outside my bathroom window as they groaned with the varying power. Then it was all dark. It was 5:45am, and still basically dark. I gave thanks that I was already showered and the coffee was ready. I lit my votive candle for light to brush my teeth and comb my hair, and by then the gray day was beginning to get light.

Word has it that the main power station went down in flames, or at least a flash and huge orange glow. That is what folks saw who looked outside. I was busy trying to turn off the compressors I had control over. So, life may get interesting with no power. I have my backpacking cookstove, so I will have coffee. The rest is just luxury.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

One step forward, one back

Yesterday I got a bug in my whatsits and cleaned my bedroom. As in, took everything out, cleaned as I put things back. The first push for this is an intermittent smell. I have geckos here, not pets but ones that run around the ceiling. These leave small deposits around the perimeter of the room. I discovered this awhile ago. I pulled most things a few inches away from the wall. I blamed the deposits for the smell. So, everything out, the floor all swept. Nice. Except that I still smell the smell. I think I have it located to one drawer in my plastic dresser. Further investigation ensures.

The second thing pushing this is that TurtleLady gave me a new hammock for my collection when I was back. It is a bridge hammock, which is a very different style from the asymmetrical gathered end hammocks I currently own. Ok, if that didn't make sense to you, then just go with it for now. So, with most everything out of the room I once again set up my too large metal pipe hammock stand in the bedroom and spent some time hanging the hammock. The reason I'm not sleeping in a hammock every night is that with this stand I can't get comfortable in any of my current hammocks. I am hoping I can make the bridge hammock work. Last night was the first test. I put a pad underneath in the pad pocket to kind of spread it out some. In the end I slept most of the night in my recliner. I have a spot on my right hip that is kind of numb. Apparently I usually sleep on that side, and in the hammock the way I have it hung all my weight is on that hip. Even this morning it is still bothering me. For the record I have never had a bad night in a hammock hung between two trees, just with this stand. I think it is too short or something. I'm going to make some adjustments to it and try again tonight. If it still doesn't work I may try my BlackBird hammock, my main go to hammock when I camp, one more time. If nothing else, I'll put up the air mattress bed again, but at least all the bedding will be clean now.

If you are curious at all about hammocks and using them for camping/backpacking or sleeping in every night, the definitive website for information is:
http://hammockforums.net/

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wii be playin'

Time to move on from the Bad Mood post. I was invited to watch my Mom bowl in the Wii bowling tournament they are having at the retirement complex where she lives. It was a hoot. I'd wanted a Wii a few years ago for the Wii Fit aspect. Since I don't own a TV it was going to cost a lot to by the Wii, the Wii Fit Plus, and a TV, so I put it off. The hotel here put a TV in my room that I never watch. I decided that all things considered I need more entertainment down here, so before I left KC I bout a Wii and secured it in my luggage. It made the trip fine. However, the Best Buy we went to didn't have a Wii Fit Plus, so I was wondering what the best way to get one sent here when my Program Manager mentioned he had one he wasn't using. So, for half price I now own that. I've gotten on it 3 days in a row now. My Wii Fit Age has gone from -1 year from my real age to -13 years, then to +6 years of my real age. I'm not good at the balance stuff, but I'm having fun. My BMI started at 23.6 (22 is 'perfect'), and it is still hounding me to lose that last 8 pounds. sigh. It's one thing when I want to lose it, quite another for a video game to tell me I need to.

Some drama at work yesterday, so things will be unsettled next week as it all shakes out. I'm actually more concerned that I truly do not care. I'm more in the mood to just pop some popcorn and sit back and watch. I'm not to the point that I want to actually push things to crash, but I don't feel much obligation to go out of my way to stop it, either. It is time to move on when I feel this way.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Bad Mood

I've been in a bad mood since I've been back. I think it took all of 33 minutes back at work before a co-worker made me mad about something (basically what I see as stupidity...). When I'm like this it's best to just keep my head down. I'm ok. Just don't want to whine, and I'm not in a mood to do much else.