Year THREE in Zacango here we come...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Zacango's Summer Kid's Club during a marathon rock-painting session. A more detailed description of the group below.

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Bruce and I are helping out with a kids group in Zacongo. It's kind of like a kids summer camp/environmental education group. Our friends Miciala and Hilario are teaching the kids about gardening (the kids started their own garden with the couple's help) and Bruce and I are leading environmental study portion of the group's gatherings through lessons, games and crafts.

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The kids environmental group hard at work on their garden.
A swingin' good time out ploughing at Miguel's family's maize plot.
The tortilla girls at work -- Hizee, Anaiesa, Diana, and Maribel taking part in their nightly tortilla-making ritual.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The rains started to come at the end of May, and beginning of June and the soil became soft enough to begin ploughing. Here is our neighbor Luis making a new plough. Below, our burro Taco is getting a haircut before his big ploughing debut! We hope to plough a small plot of our own in th coming weeks so we are trying to learn all we can about ploughing and planting. It`s all very new and exciting for us!

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Zam and Enrique catching grasshoppers to bring back to the chickens...

While Hizee, Erriberto, and Ziko supervise the ploughing...

And Taco gets "broken" (some more) for ploughing...

And everyone takes a break in the shade in the nearby trees to read and play. Zam has been spending full days out in the "milpa" with Miguel and his family, playing and "helping" plough.
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Bruce and I escaped for a romantic burro ride through the countryside a few weeks back. Here are some photos from our excursion.

Burro Love...Taco making friends with our neighbor's burro that we borrowed.

I continue to be blown away by the beauty of this place!
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Zam's guinia pig, "Chocolate n' Bananas," had her babies! Remember past photos of how huge she was? Well, she didn't have her babies for another TWO WEEKS after those photos, so she was super huge by the time she had them. She ended up having FIVE babies (guinia pigs usually have 1 - 3 babies), however, two were still-born. They are extra tiny and extra cute! For pictures of the actual birth you can check out our friend Meredith's blog (first blog listed on right corner of this page).
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One of Hizee's favorite things to do every day was to go to English class. She was a great help to have in class -- always willing to be my conversation partner in order to give the students examples of English dialouge. So when the classes ended a few weeks ago Hizee was a little sad but very excited and proud of the fact that she had completed "Introduction to English" with perfect attendance. She said that what she wanted for her perfect attendance gift was a "real tortilla maker."
And the rest is history! We now enjoy fresh tortillas almost every night, thanks to Hizee and her friends Diana and Maribel. The girls bring the masa (tortilla dough) and they usually get to work by 7:30 each night. They are especially proud of their "chiqitita" (tiny) tortillas. It is such a joy to watch; and the results of their endevours are actually quite tasty! We have some really great videos but so far I've been unable to post them...hopefully in the future!

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The nightly tortilla feast that follows the girls nightly making of tortillas!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

English classes are taking a break for the summer (not sure when they will return and/or what form the classes will take in the future) and we had a program in the community to celebrate. When I asked the three groups of English students what they wanted to do for the program all three chose to sing! English! We practiced quite a bit in the weeks leading up to the program but, nevertheless, I thought it was pretty brave of them to want to sing in another language in front of the whole community! The program turned out great and I think the community really enjoyed the singing.
MCs of the program Erika and Blanca going over their notes one last time before the program with their classmate Selene.
We had a pizza party at our house before the program.
The muchachas (young women) class practicing their song one last time before their big debut!
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The crowd gathered for the show.
One of the groups singing the song "Yesterday" by the Beatles.

The muchachas getting ready to sing "Angel of the Morning" by Merilee Rush
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Betul... Elvira...

Luis and.... Irenea...

recieving their "Introduction to English" diplomas.
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Zam and Hizee were excited about "graduating" from English class too!
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Ziko demonstrating the how to eat mole (I think I've mentioned mole before but didn't say what it is made from -- it is a delciciously hot delicacy here made from ground nuts and/or seeds, chile and broth).
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