My musings…

Archive for September, 2008

about time

Well, I guess it’s about time I update this so that Mom and Dad don’t get mad about me updating about everything else in the world, except for when they come to visit.  Yes, that’s right, Mom and Dad came to visit last weekend (everyone should have gasped when they read that sentence right there.  See, it’s amazing because I lived at Juniata for 3 years and did they come visit?  No.  (Okay, so they were going to come visit once and it snowed 2 feet that day, but still there were other opportunities.)  I lived in Pittsburgh for 2 years and did they come visit?  No.  (At this point I should probably give them credit that they did come and visit when I was in Ecuador, but that kind of ruins the story.)  Anyway, I have now been in College Park for a grand total of 5 months (to the day – I moved down here April 26, into the apartment on the 27) and they come to visit.  Elvis says that the real reason they came to visit was for him, which is quite possible seeing as how his parents ask more about me than about him when they call and they’re excited that I might be planning another visit there. But I guess I should be happy they came to visit at all. 🙂

They decided to come down 11/15 instead of 322 which maybe I’ll do someday…we’ll see.  So we decided to meet them at El Gran Dia Chapin (people from Guatemala are called Chapines) at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.  We ate some Guatemalan food and listened to some really loud music.  First Checha y Su India Maya (a marimba band from Guatemala) and some other okay-ish acts.  There was also a Mayan group who did some traditional dances that represented a day in their life, a party, males “conquering” women, and some other people.  We walked around to the different booths (not very many) and relaxed for awhile.

Afterwards Mom and Dad came to the house where we made crabs (Mom and Elvis tortured the poor little guys!) and shrimp with alfredo pasta and broccoli.  Eating the crabs was an interesting adventure, but I think it turned out okay.  Then we went duck pin bowling.  It was a lot of fun.  None of us did spectacularly well, but it was fun and that’s all that matters.

Sunday we came into DC and went to the Natural History Musuem (Mom and Dad were disappointed by the Australian animals) and up the Washington Monument (which Elvis really enjoyed – he’s still telling his friends all about it).  Then we went out for a late lunch/early dinner at a Mexican/El Salvadorian place in Adelphi.  Mom and Dad headed home.  Elvis and I went to another Hispanic festival for a short while, then to talk with his friends.  Since then, it’s been work, work, work.  Wednesday I went to my first event at the World Bank which was really neat.  Yesterday and today it suddenly turned very cold in DC, but it’ll be okay, I hope.  Right now it’s raining which isn’t fun at all!  I hope it gets nicer this weekend – there’s another festival in DC this weekend!

Hopefully I’ll put up pictures from last weekend on Monday or early next week!


Simple Woman’s Daybook 2


For Today…September 18

Outside my Window… the sun is peaking through the windows.  Cars are driving up and down the street.  Another day is in full swing.

I am thinking… about the world’s problems and how to solve them.

I am thankful for… another day.

From the kitchen… last night was chicharron with tomato sauce, rice and black beans.

I am wearing… a blue polo shirt and gray pants.

I am reading… Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand…on page 120 only 1000 more to go.

I am hoping… to get to see Jenica soon.

I am hearing… coworkers going about their business, answering phone calls, typing away, stirring their coffee

Around the house… getting ready for Mom and Dad to come and visit.

One of my favorite things… being able to breathe last weekend when we left the city and went camping!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… work today and tomorrow. El final de “Al Diablo con los Guapos.” My parents visiting, El Gran Dia del Chapin, who knows what else.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you… click on the picture below to learn about Yasuni green gold – a very important campaign to protect the Ecuadorian Amazon from oil drilling!

Camping trip #2


Thursday a friend of Elvis called and suggested we go camping for the weekend.  After a quick trip the grocery store (more like 4 quick trips to the grocery store) and 2 cars full of stuff later, we were on our way back to Tuckahoe (where Elvis and I went camping the weekend of my birthday).


Luckily the rain held off long enough on Friday for us to get the tents set up and a fire started, but we were mostly drenched by the time the food was actually cooked.  The good part about the rain was that it kept the bugs away!  After we ate some carne asada and tamales, we played cards in my tent for awhile before turning in for an early bed time.  

Saturday we were up and at ’em pretty early.  Luckily there was no more rain the rest of the weekend.  We walked from the tents to the lake (which didn’t seem nearly as far this time as it did the last time), rented canoes, fished and ate.  I won the fisher(wo)man of the weekend award as I caught over 20 fish!  Almost every time I casted, there was a bite at the other end.  For a little bit, the pole I was using had 2 hooks on it and a couple of times I pulled out 2 fish with 1 cast!  We fished until sometime in the afternoon when we headed back to the campground, made lunch and showered.  We played cards, listened to music and relaxed until Chicha showed up a little bit later.  Then we made dinner and sat around the fire telling jokes and chatting until we ran out of firewood.

Sunday Chicha wanted to go fishing again, so after breakfast we headed down to the lake and river.  The fish weren’t biting nearly as much as they had the day before, though Elvis and I still managed to catch a handful before we were bored of fishing.  We rented a canoe and a kayak and, after I taught the boys some maneuvering, everyone had a turn in each.  It was interesting watching them change places in the canoe and switch from the canoe to the kayak in the middle of the lake, but they made it safely!  The boys also rescued a family who got their boat stuck on a tree in the “flooded woodland” section of the lake.  After we had had enough, we ate some lunch and headed to Sandy Point (again).  We swam for a little bit before we got into a volleyball match with 3 guys from India.  We kicked their butts, so they went to find some friends.  What really happened was we ended up with 7 a side, which caused too much confusion and ended up with a bunch of people who didn’t really know how to play, but that’s okay.  We ended up winning the first game and losing the second two, but who’s counting?  It was cool, though, because they were speaking Hindi, we were speaking Spanish and the common language was English.  I think we ended up with 3 Americans, 2 Guatemalans and 9 Indians playing…cool stuff.

Yesterday was work and kicking Elvis’s butt in basketball.

Today back at work then to the soccer field.

I wish the election were over already.

Here's one of my (slightly edited) favorite pics from the weekend.

Here's one of my favorite (slightly edited) pics from the weekend.

Toto, we’re not in the US anymore…

This weekend was filled with so much Latino activity that I honestly forgot I was in the US for awhile.  Seriously.  Let’s start at the beginning and maybe you’ll believe me.

Friday wasn’t too exciting – Elvis’s coworker’s (Juan Carlos’s) wife (Shatzy) was sick, so they came to DC to pick her up from work.  They picked me up, too, though it took far longer to get home in a car than it does in the metro.  I had a really long, really good conversation with Juan Carlos, though, which was pretty amazing and fun.  Then we went to pick up the new (used) car, made pupusas and slept.

Saturday – Braved the hurricane (it rained over 5″ in most places around here) to go out to lunch (at a Mexican restaurant) and run a whole lot of errands.  Came back to the house and watched TV in Spanish, including a couple of soccer games, then got ready to go see LOS INTERNACIONALES CONEJOS!  They’re a marimba band from Guatemala and they’re really good.  Anyway, we got to the club (actually a restaurant with a dance floor) around 10, pushed into the line that wrapped around the block (luckily Elvis and his friends have a lot of friends who let us jump in line in front of them – told you this was a latino weekend) and eventually got inside.  When we got there, however, El Salvador was still playing their game against Haiti (El Salvador won 5-0), so we just stood around for awhile.  Eventually the DJ put on some music and we danced a little.  Then Anibal, some new guy from Guatemala, sang some durangense, so we danced some more.  The conejos still hadn’t arrived, so the DJ went back to doing his thing.  Finally at 1:15 in the morning, the conejos arrived.  But, until they got their equipment set up and everything, it was almost 2 am and the club had to close at 3, even though everyone was still wanting more.

Sunday – We woke up fairly early at 9, called one of Elvis’s compatriotas (a girl from Canilla who comes to play basketball with us) and her boyfriend and got ready to go to Virginia.  By a stroke of luck we made it to where we were headed and got to the Primer Festival de la Raza around 1.  We got some food (carne asada, pinchos, arroz, frijoles, ensalada, helotes locos) and listened to some music (Dulce Sensacion, La Maquina de El Salvador, Oro Solido, Guanaco Solido, Jose Reyes and maybe more) and hung out until 8.  Then we got back on the road.  When we reached the interstate, I saw a sign, did a double take and started laughing.  Elvis asked me what was wrong and I confessed that I had been surprised to see that the sign was written in English because I had forgotten I was still in the US!  Haha!  Okay, now do you believe me?

Anyway, pictures from the weekend are here:

PS – anyone know where we can get a 5′ US flag to match the Guatemalan one we bought this weekend?

a day in the life

Since it’s been almost 2 weeks since I have updated, someone might think that I would have something interesting about which to update.  Wrong.  This is what has happened:

August 22 – 26:  Took 3 days off of work and went home for Grange Fair.  (Pictures here.)  Highlights – playing cards, eating fattening food (I seriously think I gained 2+ pounds), seeing some family members I hadn’t seen in a long time (that may or may not have been a highlight haha!).

Last week – worked and worked and didn’t really have time for much else.  On Thursday, we took Elvis’s ex-next door neighbors (from Canilla) who were here to visit out for dinner.  That was kind of fun.  Friday we went dancing at Latin Palace for the first time since May.  Also fun.

Saturday – went to look at a car.  Relaxed.  Listened to Maynor whine about how no one comes and visits any more.

Sunday – saw Alyssa’s baby and hung out at the boys’ house for awhile.  Magdiel and Melvin came to watch a soccer game.  Dency, Coca, Marlon came to play basketball for awhile.  Then hung out at the house w/ them, Alyssa and Ari.

Monday – day of rest and relaxation.  Went to Sandy Point (trip #???) to swim and fish in the afternoon.  I caught 2 fish in 10 minutes.  Elvis caught 10 in 2 hours and Chicha caught 0 (I told him he needed to use a floater…)

Today – back at work.  Lots of things to do (which I’m obviously not doing).  To the soccer fields this afternoon and then to eat fish soup maybe?