Thursday, September 1, 2011

MacGyver, Futbol and Updates

On Wednesday my team organized a big event in order to promote youth involvement.  There were representatives from the government, the police, youth organizations and young people themselves.   Unfortunately, in the morning it was discovered that there was going to be a day long power outage.  I assume that work was being done as this has never happened before and people seemed to know that the power would be back on around 6pm, which it was.  This meant that there was no sound system, a big problem for a big event.  One of staff here came up with a way to run the sound system off of a car battery.   Incedible!!!  When I commented on how amazing I thought this was, Nelson (the person who rigged it) started to explain to me stuff about the voltages being compatible.  Really, I wouldn’t have understood it much in English, so the Spanish was really lost on me.  Clearly the voltages were compatible because nothing blew up and everything worked!  From now on I am going to call Nelson – MacGyver! 

I brought back a DVD player for our house in Guacotecti.  While I can buy one here, my housemates  thought one from Canada would be better.  What we didn’t do was check the TV to see if there was a DVD hook-up.  Turns out our TV is so old there isn’t.  However, Nelson (AKA MacGyver) doesn’t think it is a problem.  He knows how to rig the DVD player through the antenna.  I’ll keep you up to date on this!

Futbol (soccer) is very, very important here.  Everyone plays futbol and team loyalties are very strong.  Last week after work there were two games arranged between staff at our agency and staff at Radio Victoria (a local community radio station).  The first was for the women and the second was for the men.  When I got asked to play, I explained that I had never really played futbol before.  I’m not sure that people actually believed me, as in this culture that defies belief!   They decided that I definitely needed to play.  I got asked what position I played and I repeated that I had never played before.  They put in the centre which was good because there were people on offense in front of me and people on defense behind me.  Mostly I just stood around that watched the ball move.  The play was amazingly fast.  The quiet, shy, introverted women I work with turned into very assertive, tough soccer players.  I did kick the ball a couple of times and people cheered for me!  After about 15 minutes I got substituted and I then just was part of the cheering section.

I got so into cheering for the guys from our agency that part way through I realized that I was cheering in English!  No one seemed to notice or care very much! 
Our women's futbol team!

Last night there was a game with the men from our agency against another team (I’m still unclear who they were exactly).  I went to cheer.  It turns out there wasn’t enough players from the other team for a game, so two teams were made with people from each side and then the game began.  In all honesty, it was likely good for our team that there wasn’t enough of the other players because they were really, really good and two of our best players weren’t playing.   Sorry ADES men!

Afterwards, I was thinking it would be good to go out for beer and wings.  Turns out my Salvadorian friends were thinking the same thing except we went out for pupusas!   Seven of us went to the Mexican restaurant in our little village (which also makes pupusas).   Quien Quiere Ser Millionario (Who wants to be a millionaire?) started while we were there and so the TV got turned to that and we played along as a group - my favorite Wednesday night activity!

  • The ADES staff really, really liked the Reid's chocolates (from Cambridge) I brought back.  They are all very happy to hear that this coming Monday is a holiday in Canada as I will bring more chocolate to the office.  Anne Forler's jelly (a  Lutherwood colleague)  has been a huge hit with my Guaco housemates.  
  • The girls - Nigeli (the older sister) had eye surgery while I was in Canada.  It seems to have gone really well.  Katherine was not able to have surgery because her asthma was too bad.  She has been referred to an asthma specialist but I don't think she has had an appointment yet.  Thanks so much to everyone who has asked about them and offered support.
  • Vinicio - my young "hottie" housemate had a birthday last week and is now 24 years old.  He has a new girlfriend in Guaco.  She doesn't work at ADES so most of us don't know her, but he seems quite smitten with her.  Many of the young women at ADES are quite disappointed.
  • Mining - Thanks to my friend Anneliese, here is a link to a short You Tube clip of a story by Al Jezira English about mining here that includes an interview with my friend Hector.  It was filmed at ADES and there are shots of a meeting going on -  I was there but I'm not on the tape!
  • Mining - A friend in Canada sent me this link.  I didn't know that the RCMP has a small team that investigates the behaviour of Canadian companies overseas.  Although misdeeds are likely almost impossible to prove, I am heartened that there is at least a process in place.

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