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12th March 2008

1:28pm: uhh, ok, so im still kickin...life in guatemala is good, its been warm and surprisingly (or not) i did not miss the cold and snow of winter in every place ive ever lived in the states (MI,MA,VA). work is work. some interesting projects going, but those are the ones that take the longest and have the most hang ups and snags. going on vacation for semana santa (beach, lake, antigua, capital). Then another vacation for half of april (5 day hike to remote ruins, then visit from mom and brother). Then it will be buckle down time because i´ll be nearing 6 months left here. thats a crazy thought. ill be home for christmas!

29th November 2007

11:53am: sooo, here I am in Angigua Guatemala. For those of you not familiar, it is about the most touristy place in guatemala. Almost all tourists spend a day or 2 here at the beginning or end of their trip. It has been my home for much of the past 2 weeks. Mostly thats because I am finishing my first year of peace corps service so I have mountains of meetings, medical appointments, and other such funness to get done. Luckly I only have to do this once, because putting a bunch of peace corps volunteers in one place, especially here where there are about 5 bars per block, is a recipe for drunken disaster. I've already spent about amonths worth of my pay in half that time. And I got robbed at knife point {always loads of fun, but it was fine I didnt get hurt or anything}. I need to get out of here fast and get back to the sanity of my site in the mountains. That being said, it is fun to go bar to bar and run into tons of people who you know. It almost feels like I'm back in Grand Rapids or Blacksburg. Regardless, the holiday spirit has decended on Guatemala and there is christmas music blaring in both english and spanish and lots of christmas trees and lights and the rest everywhere you look. I almost get the feeling that snow is going to start falling at any moment, despite being here in the tropics. But hey, christmas miracles have been known to happen!

22nd October 2007

11:07pm: hello world
well. i should write a livejournal entry. thats what i should do.

ok that was easy.

haha, ok, so what´s up with brendan these days. things a bit slow these days. october was kind of a party month on the weekends, but during the week I haven´t had much work. thats ok i guess. but have three weeks here in Uspantan to get some things worked together. then the second half of november i will hardly be here. 5 days in el salvador, a Manà concert, thanksgiving in the capital, three days of medical examinations for the end of my first year of services. so i´ll be gone the better part of two weeks. then it will be december and i´ll have to figure out christmas in Guatemala...should be a party.

3rd September 2007

2:23pm: so if all i post about is hurricanes, well it is hurricane season after all. anyway, Felix is headed my way, but Peace Corps is all over it and is getting us together once again. The first time it was fun, this time it is kind of annoying. but its also manditory, so ill just have to take some work along with me and hope the power doesnt go out.

Oh yeah, and thurseday marked 1 year that I have lived in Guatemala. Crazy right? perhaps ill post some thoughts on the matter. after the hurricane.

16th August 2007

3:29pm: hurricane dean
well, so appearently hurricane dean, currently a tropical storm off the coast of venezuala, will be headed for guatemala (well for central america in general) sunday or monday. And me with no raincoat! It seems likely that Peace Corps will order us to gather at a couple of consolidation points for a day or two, just to make sure that we are safe from any damage or danger that might occure. Guess I will have to pospone my activities that I have planned monday and tuesday, darn! Actually, part of me hopes that there is enough of a storm to send us to get together for a couple of days, but not enough to cause much damage here. That would be fun. But I really hope that the storm dissipates or goes in a different dirrection. The last thing guatemala needs is another hurricane.

18th July 2007

9:08am: well, here i am updating my live journal...from the states of all places. Yup, arrived yesterday in chicago. am chillin with some folks up here today, then tomorrow i head up to GR to see the fam, the friends, the wedding, etc. i am sure that this week and a half will go by quickly, gotta enjoy it for all its worth.

Readjustment to the states, much as I anticipated, wasnt really anything big. I have been around places in GUA that are plenty modern, and i dont exactly live in a grass hut back in Uspantan. But i am enjoying the food, hot shower whenever i want it, drinking water from the tap, and most of all seeing my cousin and her soon to be husband. Seeing other family and friends will be wonderful as well. Then it will be over and back i go...

15th June 2007

4:02pm: happy 79th birthday Che Guevara¡! now wheres my t-shirt?

In other news...well, theres not really any other news. Life in guatemala is good. Reading lots, hopefully start writing lots soon too, because now I have two papers to write for my profs back at VT...something to do on a rainy afternoon I suppose...of which there are now an abundance.

i think I have and intestinal virus, or aomeobas or bacteria or something, because I havent had much of an appetite for a week now. or maybe i am just sick of tortillas? going tubing with my girls (and jonathan) next weekend, reminds me of long summer days in GR. Good times.

ok. hope all is well.

30th April 2007

12:43pm: shoot, i dont know when the last time i posted to livejournal was. kinda gets to be that the longer you go without posting the harder it is to post bc you dont know where to begin. but i have few minutes so...

Lots of love to everyone back in blacksburg. Was thinking about you guys. Believe me, it was both easier and harder being away when it all happened. My best wishes as you try to put things back together and move on.

work and play, work and play. kind of more the later for the past month or so. things have just been busy busy with social events, peace corps events, easter weeek (no one in guatemala works that week), and other such fun stuff. But may is work month! Even though next week is the town fair, so there wont be any work that week. But I am putting together some meetings, workshops, surveys, etc with my pet project (microcredit) that should finally come to fruition this month. That will open up more doors too, hopefully. Also soon i start K'iche lessones (that being the mayan dialect spoken around here) which should be fun, if frustrating at times (language aquisition: not my forte). Most of my issues here revolve around the fact that my counterpart doesnt really work with me, he just kind of lets me kick around for 90% of the time without direction. This could be good, but I just need to establish my role and my obligations so that I can go out and do my own thing without feeling like I am blowing off my organization. But given that he is hardly ever around, its been hard to have that conversation (granted it would be hard regardless). But its my goal for this week, so we shall see.

But am havin a blast whenever I can put work stuff out of my mind. my Peace Corps crew is great. Plus its fun to meet locals wherever we go, plus the odd traveler from the states or europe.

well, been all over guatemala now, though mostly the western highlands, and not yet to Tikal. June we are going to chiapas (subcomandante brendan?, what?) for a week to visit EZLN territory. Then in july I am coming back to the states. I hadnt planned to return during my 2 yrs, but my cousin is getting married and I really dont want to miss it. So july 17-26 i will be stateside.

Ok. time for lunch. i do read LJ slightly more than I write, so I have a faint understanding of whats going on in the LJ universe. Hope all are well.

7th February 2007

12:41pm: what? post to livejournal? whats that about?

well, regardless, I should take advantage of my fleeting time with internet to say that life is good here. Been busy visting communities, reading harry potter in spanish, and chilling at work with my coworkers. Sometimes Im bored. Sometimes I wish I was hanging out with friends from back home. But mostly I look forward to the days, weeks, and months to come as a chance to make some small difference here while also increasing my own understanding of life in another culture, another world it seems (except for the fact that i am still surfing the internet at the moment, so not everything is so different).

I am reading a lot, both books and whatever I can find of interest on the internet. Kinda miss huge libraries and databases at my fingertips back home, because everyday it seems like i run into something that I want to know more about, but you cant have everything, i guess.

But life is good. I speak spanish, who would have thought. I have a plateful of pancakes and a fried egg everymorning (breakfast of champions!). I have friends here, both gringo and guatemalteco. And a social calendar full of weekend getaways to see other friends and attend other events. Before I know it, its gonna be the end of march and my whole training group will be reunited for the first time in 4 months. That will be a party. And we will probably throw in a volcanoe climb just for fun.

Alright, time to go. Hope all are well.

16th December 2006

2:06pm: gettin to be time for navidad
so i spent most of yesterday inside a 30 foot christmas tree that we are constructing here in uspantan. work kind of grinds to a halt inthe weeks leading up to christmas, as the focus is on putting on a grand show. and indeed it shall be. 2000 gift packs should get to all the kids in town tomorrow, the tree got finished today. fireworks and marimba music to come. and a bunch of my PC compatriots are coming to stay in uspantan for christmas. it will be hard to be away from the fam but i think we will manage.

1st December 2006

10:01am: ok. so i have been in my site for a week. no doubt the hardest week that i will have to face. and it hasnt been a walk in the park, but i am through it. this weekend will be filled. next week i will be busier. soon will arrive festivities, the holidays, a visit from my dad...all things to look forward to when i feel i little lost. and by the time i know it, i will be involved in the things i wanted to be involved in. meeting the people and organizations i wanted to meet. and starting to carve out a niche for myself here. so things are looking up, i just needed to hang on. certainly wont be the last hardship that i will have gone through when its all said and done, but this was kind of the first test of whether i really want to be here and belong here. again i can say without reservation, yes.
Current Mood: relieved

27th November 2006

3:07pm: so i arrived in Uspantan, Guatemala on friday. I guess you could say my head has been spinning since then. I miss my friends from training group. We are all scattered about now. I will see half of them over christmas, and all of them in march. but those dates seem a long way off. some how i need to make it through the next few weeks. i think things will settle down, both in my external circumstances and in my internal monologue, enough for me to stay sane. but man, its a totally different ball game now that training is over and Im out on my own. not freaking out just yet, but that requires some effort. vamos a ver.
Current Mood: okay

3rd November 2006

4:07pm: quick update
i'm not going to be able to come close to filling in whats been going on over the past weeks here in Guatemala, not even going to try right now because my time is short and the line behind me to use the internet is long.

Things in guatemala have gone so well since I've gotten here. And now I only have a few weeks of training left before I head out to my site. Which happens to be Uspantan, El Quiche, Guatemala, for those who are interested. But being here has also been a time of mixed highs and lows. Both from things that have happened here and back home. And it sucks being so far away when things happpen back home and feeling so far away and removed.

Things have been super busy. Things will continue to be super busy over the next couple weeks, but should settle down in december when I am out in my site but wont have much to do just yet. But I will try to sit down and get my thoughts and feelings out for the general perusal of interested parties.


2nd September 2006

4:34pm: hey guys. i'm in guatemala. its been a blast so far. I've been here four days and it's been new and exciting each day. the peace corps is such an easy way to integrate into a culture...they take care of everything while still letting you have your independence. though i do need to cut my hair, the folks at the peace corps have made that very clear, sometimes several times a day. no problem. spanish is tough, but i have had some good convo in my host family and in spanish class. i can't wait to travel some and see the country. its so green and mountainy and beautiful. yeah. that's all for now, just letting folks know that I'm alive and kicking around.
Take care!
Current Mood: excited

25th August 2006

9:17am: The airport. Hardest goodbyes have been said. Last walks in silence around places that are familiar. I have one more weekend of familiarity, though VTech will not be the familiar place it became last year, but rather just another stop on the journey. Then the unknown.
I'm not scared. There are things that I'm scared of. Not making a difference. Not learning. Not connecting to people. But more than anything else I'm just tired. Tired of say goodbye. Tired of 'being ok'. The cracks are starting to show. I am my passions, but I am also the sum of those who care about me. And I'm ripping myself away from one to dedicate myself to the other. I know it's going to be worth it. But here, now, that seems like an abstract statement. Yeah, I know I'm experiencing the worst of it now. Goodbyes are an acute pain, missing people is a dull ache. And none of the return yet. The return will start to come soon. Meeting 30 people with whome I will be engaging this adventure, there will be solidarity there. So soon. Very soon. So soon that I can't even understand that it's upon me already. Two years of anticipation. Two years of telling people that I'm really going to go. Two years starts today. Leaving grand rapids. Not coming back. Goodbyes. No tears. Hope.

10th August 2006

12:22pm: so i'll be coming into blacksburg around 6 or 7pm on friday august 25. So make your reservations on my time early! Also I need a place to stay...so open couches please identify yourselves. And I need to get to the greyhound station rather early monday morning, so my really good friends should start volunteering now ;)

2nd August 2006

1:27pm: Alright, so I'm going to try to follow in Eric's illustrious example and write down a catalogue of my academic interests. (of course it's like 100 degrees here in chicago, so i may expire before i finish) Here it goes:

1. Socialy equitable sustainable development
a. Role of government institutions, private sector, ngo's
i. Ensuring transparency of all institutions, role of popular advocacy groups in
ii. Role of culture in determining
iii. Causes and consequences of corruption

b. Role of democracy as foundation of
i. Representative democracy as true democracy? or
ii. Direct democracy as true democracy? or
iii. Anarcho-communism as true democracy? or
iv. Inability to define democracy due to inherent context driven specifications

c. Role of International Gov's, Corps, NGO's, multilaterals, ex-pats (ME!) in development
i. Positive or negative impact?
ii. Politicized nature of "aid"
iii. Making "aid" actually work
iv. Sach's MDG model communities in Africa
v. Interaction between international organizations and indigenous organizations, the search for equinimity in
vi. Effect on economic/social policy decisions of developing nation

d. Role of sustainable small farm agriculture as foundation of
i. The need for and unatainability of land/agriculture reform
ii. The fair trade movement and sustainable coop model
iii. The international food economy and its push for monoculture megafarms
iv. Urban agrology as a means of survival and undercutting the international food system and its effects on local food networks
v. local food networks in a developing country context

e. Role of social movements in 3rd world countries
i. Causes of mass social movements (by this I only mean significant enough to actually bring change)
ii. Ability of mass social movements to bring about policy changes
iii. Ability to ensure institutional accountability
iv. As new model of democracy or as break down in democracy
v. As a necessary ingredient in radical reforms (Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuala examined)

f. Orthodox development paradigm examined
i. Foreign direct investment as a postive or negative development tool
ii. Export processing zones as a postive or negative development tool
iii. Free trade/regional free trade agreements as a positive or negative development tool
iv. Commodity exports as a postive or negative development tool

2. Globalization
a. Role of nations
i. Constraints on nations abilities to make positive social policy in a globalized context (raising min wage, tighter labor/environmental laws, etc)
ii. Role of nation groupings (G-8 vs G-77) in determining global policies

b. Role of international institutions
i. Collusion between WB, IMF, and WTO in creating a barrier free economy
ii. Unacountable nature of IFI's

c. The Doctrine of Free Trade
i. Economic flaws in free trade as beneficial to poor countries model
ii. How do poor countries make policy decisions in a free trade context?
iii. How do poor communities make policy decisions in a free trade context?
iv. Effect of regional and global free trade agreements on national/local economies
v. Alternatives to free trade

d. Decisions for communities in a globalized world (this will be the final product, how do communities respond to being in a globalized context and trying to improve their standards of living [and no i wont be taking very many cues from friedmand {either one}])

3. The problem of cities
a. Developing country urbanization post-1950
i. National policiy decisions resulting in urbanization
ii. Global context of urbanization
iii. Future of 3rd world urban growth

b. Housing
i. Need for urban land ownership reform (is De Soto right [i'm dubious])
ii. Squatter/informal housing communities as new social/cultural/political/economic form
iii. Role of local social organizations

c. Political representation
i. How to ensure equal representation for informal housing communities and homeless
ii. Role of local organizations as advocates at city hall
iii. Interactive city budgetting (the porto alegre model)

d. Sustainable urban transportation in a developing country context
i. The Curitiba model (not really third world)
ii. Role of public transportation
iii. Role of non-motorized transportion (while this may indeed be trivial, it's worth looking into)

4. Development 101: Guatemala
a. Role of social movements in development
i. Ability of indigenous movement to transition from cultural to socio-political advocacy
ii. Local social movements as advocacy actors
iii. Interaction between local, national, and international social movements

b. Role of International Organizations in development
i. Interaction between local and international organizations
ii. Interaction between government and international organizations
iii. Cooperation amongst international organizations (cooperative learning community or competing non-communicatory isolation)
iv. Role of international development organizations in advocacy
v. Role of IFI's (IDB, WB, US gov) on national policy

c. Effect of regional free trade on local communities
i. Proposed benefits of CAFTA for nation and communities
ii. Adaptations by local communities neccessitated by CAFTA
iii. Local perceptions of CAFTA and CAFTA ratification process (democratic system examined)
iv. Lessons to be learned from Mexico's NAFTA experience

d. Local context examined
i. International linkages in rural guatemala
ii. Local inequalities examined (indigenous/ladino, indigenous/indigenous, etc)
iii. Local decision making processes in a national context/framework (democracy in action?)
iv. Local involvement in national political process particularly 2008 national elections
v. What do these people need? Microloans? Land reform? Paricipatory democracy? Education? Language skills? Genetically modified seeds? A McDonalds down the street? Cell phones? A Nike factory? A fair trade coffee coop? Peace Corps volunteers? Nothing but time?

Alright. It's hot. I'm tired. I may ammend this later.

26 days. oh shit.
Current Mood: contemplative

24th July 2006

11:36pm: well its official. i have 33 more days in the country, then i'm leavin on a jet plane...as they say. its been a weird mix of emotions as i face towards this box on the calendar. for months (years) its been nothing but excitement. but as this becomes more real, the anxiety sets in. the questions start to poke their way into my head. questions i have no way to answer and really no business even asking myself. what if i fail. what if i can't make it. what if i don't make any difference. what if all my friends forget about me. in all honesty the last one plagues me the most.
I need to get my ass in gear and start to put together a list of shit i need to bring to guatemala, then i need to get a duffle bag from an army surplus store, buy the stuff i don't already have, and start to pack. at least thats the advice from my friend emily who left for mali this weekend. i should heed it no doubt. have spent a lot (parts of 8 days) of time in grand rapids lately. spending time with friends, family, etc. its been good. though i thought the pamoja reunion was sunday night not saturday, so i managed to miss that (i'm in grad school!).

anyway, suffice it to say, i'm alive. life is complicated. i'm going to leave it all behind. i need to start to buy some books from my obnoxiously large amazon.com wish list so that they get here before i leave. i could write more, but...its just not quite in me. i feel like i'm just caught in a current which is whisking me along towards a waterfall...and i'm hoping its just a deep pool and not jagged rocks over the edge. we shall see.

18th June 2006

10:36pm: well back from baja. well i've actually been back for a few days now, but just getting around to updating. Funny thing is that after 2 weeks of vacation, i have been really unmotivated to do anything the past few days...oh well.

The trip was fantastic. The wildlife was unbelievable with whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and all sorts of under sea life. We saw something new almost everyday. The landscape was very austere and full of contrasts. Sand and sky, rock and water. It was beautiful. And very empty we saw few locals and fewer tourists. But we did get to investigate a few communities, which I was really excited about, a precursor of things to come. Got to speak some spanish, though I was still too scared to go up to any locals and try to talk with them. Soon enough for that. Read some good books and some not so good ones. Got sunburned...a couple times. All in all, a very memorable trip...probably the last time I'll see my dad untill he comes and visits me in Guatemala, which will be who knows when.

So now I'm back in chicago. Still no job or permanent dwelling place....but I'm cautiously optimistic that things will work out soon. Stay tuned. Plus I spent a bunch of money on this past vacation, so I need to pay myself back.

So as for the near future...get job/appt....start spanish classes tomorrow....finish reading "the open viens of latin america" by eduardo galeano (really good!)...buy lots of books from amazon.com for guatemala...go to the dentist to get more x-rays for the peace corps...and enjoy chi-town.

Also, just saw Nacho Libre tonight. Not my favorite Jack Black movie, but entertaining none the less.
Current Mood: good

30th May 2006

4:49pm: well, I've been in chicago 2 weeks. technically not, because I spent this past long weekend in grand rapids. During which time I got to chill with friends and fam, get sunburned on the tops of my feet (not badly, though, they already feel better), and such things. It was fun. Then a brief two days in chicago, before taking off for Baja. Wanted to get a job and a place to live on a permanent basis before I left for Baja. Both are tenuous at the moment. I may have place to live at this hippie/community house. But thats only if they can find a place for me. Otherwise its back to craigslist sublets page, which hasn't proved particularly fruitful, but who knows. As for a job. Well, I had an interview today for an internship which went fine. It's probably the only shot I have for an internship for the summer. If that doesn't go, then i'll probably put together some kind of a mish-mash of tutoring, leading kayaking trips, fundraising for environment/charity orgs, and possibly selling spare organs. I knew things weren't going to fall right into place when I got here. I knew I was going to have to be patient and have low expectations. And hey, things could still fall into place. I should hear about the house today and the internship, well, perhaps I'll be able to get my email someplace in mexico and it will be good news. So, I'm just going to try to forget it all, go on vacation, and then come back and try to make things work out.

Current Mood: bored

17th May 2006

1:01pm: well, i'm here in chicago. things ended well at virginia tech, though goodbyes were rather protracted. I won't be back there for 2.5 years. Which i'm ok with. Things to accoplish in the next week and a half. Find a job. Find a place to live. Find a spanish class. Progress has been made on each front already. I will be interviewing for a position at neighborhood housing services next week. I am going to visit a community house of *gasp* 18 people on sunday which is seeming to be very Campeastern/pamoja-esque. And I have a tenative spanish class set up for july and august which will clear me to go to guatemala. So things may just fall nicely into place. Or they may disintegrate all around me, i'm not sure yet. in the meantime I'm hoping to enjoy a continuation the liesurely week I spent last week in blacksburg, though no more reading about guatemala...5 books in a week and a half has over saturated my brain. I'm hoping to find a copy of Confessions of a Blue Eyed devil kicking around at some library in chicago. The thing is I'll be sailing in Baja for 2 weeks in about 2 weeks, and there will be lots of reading time then too, I've been reading so non-stop for the past several weeks (months) that I don't want to burn out on day 4 of our voyage, that could spell dissaster. I need a hobby. Oooh, I know, I should pull out my spanish stuff and get a head start on that, that will be a good use of my time.
Current Mood: awake

6th May 2006

12:16pm: the first of many
well, saying goodbye was harder than I thought it would be. but only in retrospect, at the time it was just filled with, only partially alchohol induced, sentamentality and fond wishes of good luck. now, i return to the state of being that i was before last night and the acknowledgement that very few of those who i said goodbye to last night will i ever see again. it feels kind of familiar. i had similar experiences with my engineering coleages at calvin, then my polysci/ESC crew the next year, the friends and housemates the next, now my urban planning group, a couple years from now it will be my friends in guatemala. thats what modern life has done to relationships. but i suppose i take a few people with me each time i leave, not literally, obviously, but I take them with me in the sense that those that matter dont leave my life just because of we go our seperate ways. not that i'm particularly good at keeping up distant friendships. but the possibility remains none the less.
yes. so the goodbyes begin. without the possibility of a clean break for me, so they will continue for the next week and a half till i leave.
Current Mood: okay

23rd April 2006

9:36pm: wow. i must be really bored if i'm updating my livejournal. actually, i'm not bored, i am simply doing whatever possible to avoid finishing a paper that i'm writing. it is, however, due tomorrow. thus it must be completed. thats not to say that i cant put it off for a couple more hours. i guess i feel somewhat justified in my procrastination because i've worked my ass off this weekend, finishing major projects for 3 of 4 of my classes. so i guess i deserve to slack off a little bit.
hmm, so what else is new in the world of brendan. well, as some of you already know, i was named the outstanding first year graduate student in my department, so thats kinda nice. it makes me a little less bitter about the rampant grade inflation which goes on all around me. it is i nice capstone on a year that has been very rewarding for me academically, of course that has led more than one of my profs to utter "PhD" in my ear, which although intriguing is also somewhat repulsive given the fact that I have spent the preponderance of my life in school already. "Dr. Brendan Brink-Halloran" does have a bit of a ring to it though. Too bad i hate research. i'm planning on applying to some schools when i get back from guatemala anyway, just to hedge my bets as far as my next step is concerned, so i guess i could throw my hat in the ring for a few doctoral programs too. just to see how it goes. right now, though, there are two masters programs which i would am going to certainly apply for. fordham university in NYC has a good program which has a paid internship component with Catholic Relief Services in Brazil which is intriguing. Also harvard's MPA in international development would be good too. their program is less exciting, but graduates of that program all have really cool jobs which i covet. so there are possibilities if it turns out that no one wants to hire me. we'll see.
in the meantime, i'm headed to chicago this summer, but i don't exactly have a place to live for the summer, nor do i have a job. so thats causing me a bit of angst, but i think i just need to relax and take things as they come. Sailing for two weeks in baja with aileen and my dad and stepmom should go a long way in that regard. that will encompass the first two weeks of june. after that i need to earn some money and learn some spanish, then its off to guatemala with me. i'm SO ready for this. thats the thought that has gotten me through 30+ page term papers and any other minor frustrations which have assaulted me this year. soon i'll be on the front lines. as to whether i will be able to make much of a difference, that remains to be seen. but i have made a promise to myself that i will lay it all on the line when it comes to helping my community. but i need to temper my passion with pragmatism. asking some questions too loudly in guatemala is a good way to dissapear. peace corps volunteer or no. but that being said pushing the boundaries a little bit can be a very good thing. and those of you who know me can role your eyes at my occasional daydream about getting kicked out of the PC for leading a rural insurrection in the western highlands. i just need a few other like minded folks, a basic crash course in k'iche' and katchequel and i'll be ready to don my che barret and head off into the jungle. i am going to try to reign in the ego, because this experience isn't about me, its about giving of my time and talents to work with a community which has been marginalized for centuries. though in all honesty, i believe that this will be the most humbling experience of my life. which i welcome. another year of academics certainly hasn't helped my humility any.
well. this has been a nice distraction, but i should probably write a couple more paragraphs about heifer project international before the night gets too late. peace.
Current Mood: procrastinating

1st April 2006

12:40pm: cows
so i stuck my hand in a cow's stomach this morning. The stomach was still in the cow, and the cow was alive...which further complicated the matter. I didn't really want to, but I was told that it was the thing to do. Now I know why cows have 4 compartments in their stomach, because the grass that was in the first compartment was not digested at all, it just looked like what you get when you empty the bag on a lawn mower.
Hmm. maybe i'll go have a big hamburger now.

21st March 2006

11:09am: i always knew i should be history major...i guess its a bit late now
Your Scholastic Strength Is Deep Thinking

You aren't afraid to delve head first into a difficult subject, with mastery as your goal.
You are talented at adapting, motivating others, managing resources, and analyzing risk.

You should major in:

Foreign language
Current Mood: amused
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