8/4/2011 -- A good friend of mine told me several weeks ago that I should continue blogging my life, not necessarily for any of you that happen to read this, but for me. So my goal with my new start is to reflect on things that have happened, how they've changed me, and how I can apply what I've learned to the future. Feel free to follow along or whatever, I got things under control even if no one ever reads this.

First post is something like half done, expected time of arrival: 1 week.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hot November


 Man I love Friday afternoons so much. I always think that six hours of work straight is not worth the whole afternoon off, but when I get to the afternoon, it sure is! I can just chill and do whatever I like. Right now I'm writing my blog, but after I'll probably write some of my friends, take a nap, and maybe shave.
 You have to realize that as hard as I've tried since I got here, I still can't grow thick enough hair on my face besides my mustache and goatee. It's really disappointing because I told my sister I'd have a full beard for her wedding! It's 6 and a half months away still, but I'm starting to doubt my chances of success. But never fear, I will never give up and never surrender!
 I have officially had bug bites everywhere on my body. I won't go into details, but yeah. Crazy things happen in Peru, and luckily enough, they will stay in Peru.
 Jonathan's parents sent him a thermometer, and I found out that I am acclimatized to the weather here. Wow. Wednesday night I was cold, like cold enough to feel cold and to be slightly chilled. You are never going to guess how warm it actually was. Upper 70s. Like 78. It might have something to do with me riding a motorcycle for part of it, but still. I am a wuss! Haha!! I would have never thought that it was possible to be cold in 78 degree weather! At home I woulda been sweating in such weather! Well, I actually probably woulda been skimming in such weather, so no sweating. Crazy week.
 It all started Monday with nothing crazy. At least that I can remember... Oh! Yeah. I was sick Monday, that is why nothing crazy happened. I tried working, but that didn't work out so great, so I went back to bed and rested the day away.
 Tuesday I went out to work, and the guys were working on the Convi (van) trying to get it fixed. So for some reason that meant that the rest of us didn't have anything to do, so I waited for them to finish. When they did, when they stopped anyway, the Doc showed up and had to run the Peruvian guys to CompoVerde for some reason. Whatever it was just affected them, so they told me to go rest for the morning, saying they wouldn't be back till lunch.
 Lo and behold, they are Peruvian, so of course they were back in 20 minutes instead of the 2 hours to lunch. So we ended up going out to work on fertilizing the palm trees. We continued after lunch and ended up finishing them all, yay!
 Since we finished them before 6, that meant that I had to find something else to do, and the best thing Alfonso could come up with was to ride the horse. The horse still isn't used to people or to being ridden, which I didn't realize at the time. We rigged up a halter with the rope we had for the horse and threw an old pillow on as a saddle. Without the stirrups, I discovered that it is relatively difficult to get on a nervous horse. So Alfonso held the horse while I half clambered onto the horse and then swung my legs over. Next thing I knew I was laying on the ground staring up at the lemon tree. Ouch.
 We determined that maybe jumping onto the horse wasn't the best approach to teaching a horse how to be ridden, so we brought it over to the tractor trailer and had take two for riding the crazy horse. This time, instead of simply getting tossed off, I got a nice throw off from the horses buck. Laughter is definitely the best medicine for such a happenstance, and laugh we all did. I ended up just walking the horse around with a sack of fertilizer on her back for the remainder of the day.
 That night, I tried calling one of my friends back at Walla Walla. His last name is Anderson, so when he answered I pulled a line from 'The Matrix', "Ah, we meet again Mr. Anderson". When I didn't get the response I wanted, I thought at first that he was pulling a joke on me, but when the guy told me to "Get the &^%$ off" his phone, I realized that indeed I had the wrong number. Ah well.
 Wednesday was as normal as a day can be around here. For the morning I cleaned up around one of the houses and then maintained a massive bonfire. Fun! Though since it's already hot around here, having a fire doesn't help, why can't they have some kind of endothermic reaction that takes place with wood? Now that would be nice to have around here. Cold instead of heat!
 During the afternoon, I went with Daniel, Elias, and Alfonso to replant the coconut trees (tallest were about 4 foot, nothing crazy) out where we had the fires before. We planted 5 or 6 rows of 11 and that took pretty much all afternoon between retrieving salt from the hangar (what we call the massive barn/garage type building. Could probably house a blimp... So hangar is a fitting name) and driving the tractor around in the grass and mud.
 The ultimate off-roading vehicle down here is the massive blue Ford Tractor that we have. It is a beast of a machine, even with a trailer full of uprooted coconut trees! Ha! It's crazy to drive too, but fun! Anything with 2+ wheels, a clutch, and a gear shifter is fun.
 Wednesday night I set a record at the internet cafe in CampoVerde. In 12 minutes I checked 3 email accounts, posted my blog, and checked Facebook. That might not sound too crazy, but this includes reading all the emails that I considered important and saving the ones I needed to reply too! I even sent an email in that time! Ha!
 Thursday was Thanksgiving!!!! Woo! We took the day off, but I ended up working anyway, just a different kinda work. My day started at 5 in the morning, I had to help out Elias milk the cow. I love getting outta bed at 5 in the morning. It took us the better part of an hour to catch the cow, mainly because Elias really wanted me to lasso the thing, so he got a good laugh outta the deal and I got a good run.
 At seven he and I were on for breakfast, so we cooked up some food for breakfast. After that, I went into Pucallpa to go shopping with the girls. They needed the help and I figured I could get some much needed cash outta the bank too. We stopped at the post office as well, and we walked out of that place with something like 10 or 12 packages, some of which were massive boxes! Granted only one package was for me, it's still exciting to get stuff in the mail!
 When we got back, it was cooking time. One thing I don't get about Thanksgiving is that we took a day off, because we didn't want to work, but then ended up working anyway... Doesn't make much sense to me either. Oh well, the girls did most of the cooking anyway and I was glad to see them working.
 For dinner we invited the Doc and his family and the workers' families (those that have families anyway) and we had a Thanksgiving to remember! Lots of food and lots of people! By the time we finished giving thanks by eating a lot of food, I could barely keep my eyes open I was so tired. So I headed out to catch some sleep. 15 minutes later the girls demanded (notice the word choice 'demanded') that I come back and help clean up. Not a chance. I was wasted and I actually had to work in the morning. (It was a like 9:15 9:30ish at this point) So I went back to sleep only to be woken up by Jonathan and his shaving party some time later. He shaved his head! Looks crazy, but it sucked because he made a whole party out of the deal and even after I requested less volume, was loud. So I'm tired today, but Jonathan looks pretty suave with his facial hair and shaved head! Ha.
 Today was leftover day, my favorite! Seriously. I also learned a bit about sautering. All you need is a power supply capable of pushing out 260 amps, clamp cables, a metal table, and special rod things and you are good to go! The electricity (in the plasma phase) does all the work. It's quite amazing actually. Makes a bright enough light that you can't even see through the shade thing that you need to work with the stuff without staring at the brightness. I also discovered today that you can drill throw metal with a metal drill bit. Sure it takes forever, but it is possible! Ha!
 Well that brings me up to date with this. Wait! Did I tell you about the survey we had to fill out? ... Just checked and I did not, let me tell you about a survey for the administration that we had to fill out:
 It was just a normal survey, the basic "What did you like best so far about your experience?" "What advice would you give future volunteers?" The works, nothing crazy until the second half. They wanted me to choose two of us volunteers and explain why I thought they were the greatest assets and then choose two more of us volunteers and explain why I thought they had the most negative impact and then do the same for the Peruvian workers. I don't know about you, but I don't quite agree with such surveys. So I expressed my feelings about it and wrote in my own questions. I don't have much respect for an organization that utilizes such tactics in leadership. Sounds like namecalling and whistle blowing to me.
 I also have something for you to ponder. They need my parents affirmation about my Christmas plans, and the Doc said it's not because they don't respect us as adults, but because they had some kind of miscommunication between a parent and SM last year... You probably already know how I feel about the whole deal. Ha! I'm an adult, I don't need my mom's permission to go to Costa Rica for Christmas. Realize that I my mom knows I'm going and I talk to her about everything I do down here, I just don't need her permission. It was my decision to come here and my decision to go to Costa Rica.
 I guess that what it comes down to, is that I am here through my school and, in regular SDA style, they feel that they need to control us even though we are adults. It ain't nothing I can't handle, so don't worry. I just don't necessarily agree with it.
 Here I am, the day after Thanksgiving sitting on my bed typing away in 82 degree weather without even breaking a sweat. Ha! I'm gonna freeze when I get home. Right now my hair is almost dry after showering, and I'm testing out a new hairstyle! The slick back. It's getting in my eyes too much, so I started pushing it back. Makes me feel like Jason, my boss back at the pool, he always ran his hands back through his hair to keep it outta his eyes. So I'm giving it a try! Will take pictures if it works out well, and if not........ Haha! You'll just never know.
 Miss you guys! If you are thinking of doing something for me for Christmas, (or even if you're not!) I would love to get a letter from you!! My address is as follows:

Anthony Howell
AMOR Projects
c/o Richard Mathews / Hanna Melara
Casilla 202
Pucallpa, PERU

 You must include Richard Matthews and Hanna Melara on there too because they are the ones that go to the post office! Keep me in your prayers, just because I sound happy or I sound frustrated doesn't always mean that. I'm good, trying to spiritualize my experience more. That's what this whole ordeal is about. I'm here to grow as a person into the man God meant for me to be. The best way to do that is in a different environment that what you're used to, so here I am!
 I really do miss you guys. Anyone that has read this far definitely knows me at least well enough to sit through my ramblings, which probably means I know you. And I miss you. Te estraño.

Machete (The Peruvian guys all started calling me 'Machete', lol)


 Alright! Typing on a freshly reformated computer! Gotta run into the internet to get some installs, so I'll be a posting this soon! But let me tell you about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday first!
 Friday afternoon was nothing special, just chill. Sabbath though, was a bit different. I was on guard duty for the weekend, so I took care of the cows with Lucio. That meant getting up early to milk them and then putting them to bed right before sunset. Nothing too crazy. This did also mean that I wasn't allowed to go to church, so I slept! Loved it. Needed that extra rest too, was up relatively late Friday night chatting.
 Sabbath afternoon and then night I spent most of the time chatting with the others that were there. Several of the girls were out at Km 8 cause the Doc wants them living out there. We have a Clinic there in case I didn't tell you before. We were up till like 11 and I'm still feeling it from then!
 Sunday My computer wouldn't boot so I spent most of the early afternoon working out solutions until I just decided to reformat. Unfortunately without the internet, it's a bit hard to get everything up to date. So I gotta download some stuff in CampoVerde to get it figured out.
 So I can't really say I had much to say about the weekend... Ha! Not enough sleep and much time spent fixing my computer. I did figure out when I'll be in Costa Rica! Leaving the 19th of December and coming back here the 9th of January. Very much looking forward to that.
 Oh! Had a half day of work because of some big soccer game this afternoon, ha! That is one thing to remember about hispanic culture is that they LOVE soccer! I don't mind, more free time for me!
&nbps;Keep me in your prayers, could use every bit that I can get. Was reading the Collegian (WWU periodical) recently, and it makes me miss everything back there. a LOT. Ah well, I'll be back to visit in May!


"My PEACE I leave with you, My PEACE I give to you. It's nothing like the world's PEACE." John 14:27

1 comment:

  1. Bro, I'm so glad you are experiencing this. I love the Hispanic culture (you have to come down to Miami, it's like a little taste of Cuba). Anyhow, here's my "real" number. (305) 613-0871. I wish I could be see, feeling, and tasting peru as well, it must be awesome. Keep the faith, and call me sometime. :)