Friday, February 5, 2010

State of the Heather Address

We interrupt these travel-related stories to let you know what is happening. (If you can picture the sounds of morris code and whatnot in the background, like on the old news updates, that would really help with the atmosphere of this post).

For the past month or so, I have been hard at work on a project with acidic waters in three communities in the Northern Autonomous Region (RAAN) of Nicaragua in the municipality of Siuna. I have been travelling frequently between Managua and Rio Blanco (about 5 hours by bus) and on Monday I am making a trip out to Siuna (6 hours from Rio Blanco) to go out to the communities, check the pH's of the water and collect samples to bring to the lab in Managua for analysis. It's been a lot of work, but really interesting.

I've been making contacts with the people in charge of water quality from all over Nicaragua and this week alone had meetings with directors and subdirectors of local universities (UNI/CIEMA, UNAN-CIGEO, UNAN-CIRA) as well as local and international organizations (UNICEF, ENACAL, MINSA, MARENA, INAA) and after collecting water samples on Monday, I will be meeting with people from the Alcaldia (mayor's office), MINSA in Siuna and meeting with a team of investigators from URACCAN, the university in Siuna.

It's been a lot of work but I am learning so much.

Wednesday , the 10th, we will head back to Rio Blanco from Siuna and early Thursday morning I will go to Managua so I can buy food and start the preparations for my birthday party on Saturday!

I have also accepted a paid position teaching English as a second language at the English Language Institute of the American Nicaraguan School in Managua Nicaragua. I will be working there 4 evenings a week and will continue my volunteer work with Agua Para La Vida during the day and going to discotecas on the weekends!

I start the new job March 8th and am currently looking for an apartment in Managua.

Jesse and Henry are coming to Nicaragua at the end of February! They will only be here for 5 days and they want to do a lot. I've been travelling so much lately that, the more I think about it, the more I kind of just want to go to the beach and hang out and drink some rum.

In general, things are good. I'm excited to move back to Managua, but I am going to miss the river.