Posted by: fullandbye | March 28, 2011

Various, as usual.

Blogging in Peace Corps is haaaaaard. (not really. I have no good excuse).

Things are going well though. I went to Michigan in late December to officiate the wedding of one of my best friends. A greenhouse in Northern Michigan is a beautiful place for such a wedding. The evening was simply lovely, and the decorations were in a style I dubbed “Great Lakes Provencale” (I love drinking beer and wine out of mason jars!). The entire trip was a wonderful time.

my favorite moment of the night

How I was trusted to officiate a wedding i will never know. The picture even makes it look like I knew what I was doing (although I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth).

Then mom and my stepdad came to visit in late January. Having them here was nice, although a bit stressful at times (“No mom, we are NOT paying 300j for six grapefruit. Where did Allan go?”)

Then I went to the group 80 close of service conference. This was really weird because
1) Having transferred from Ghana, I’m not exactly a part of group 80 and
2) I’m extending for 7 months (pending medical clearance) and was therefore in an entirely different headspace from the rest of the people there.

So COS conference was bit of a mindfuck, but I’m still glad I went.

Projects are moving along. I’ve introduced a few farmers to moringa cultivation for pig feed. Rising global commodity prices are starting to affect life pon di rock in myriad ways, and a couple pig farmers are pretty keen on trying just about anything that could curb their reliance on imported feed.

The trail to the falls is still a problem, although last week I took some people from Jamaica Social Investment Fund up the trail to see the washout to the upper falls and we talked about options. With how steep the slope is, and how unstable the soil is, they might find it more practical to instead build up from the lower falls rather than down from the rim of the upper falls. I drew them several schematics and we said we would stay in touch. Apparently there is renewed interest in tourism promotion in the Rio Grande Valley, and with some investment, Nanny Falls could be an amazing attraction. We’ll see what happens.

Work at the school is going well. I’ve actually got computer classes scheduled every day this week, as well as my usual literacy tutoring on Wednesday and Junior Achievement on Friday. Busy week.

Temperatures have also started to rise again. Oh dear. The cool season was delightul, but I’m excited for mangoes, avocado, guinep, and clothes that dry in one day.

I also may have inadvertently ordered a case of honey to my supermarket today. They have been out of honey for near on two months, and my supply is getting critically low (when I go through honey withdrawals the results are not pretty). In any event, the number of S&S farms is on the honey bottle, and I called them just to ask if there was a shortage. The conversation then proceeded thusly:

Raz: Afternoon, is this S&S?
Man: Yes. S&S.
Raz: You make honey?
Man: Yeah, we make honey.
Raz: Has there been a honey shortage recently?
Man: No shortage. We have honey.
Raz: Ok, well, Kamlyn’s and Kamal’s supermarkets in Port Antonio have not carried your honey for several weeks. I was wondering it there was a shortage in winter or something.
Man: No no no. We’ll send some out to Kamal’s.
Raz: Well, I don’t represent Kamal’s. I’m just a private citizen who really like honey. I’m not even a citizen of this country, even though I especially like the honey here.
Man: No problem, we’ll send some out.
Raz: You might want to call the store first to see if they…***click***

I really wonder what chain of events i’ve set in motion with this call. Without a call from an official buyer to discuss pricing, invoices etc. I wonder if the honey will even be delivered? I certainly hope so. If this technique of simply calling up suppliers whenever the store is out of something I like manages to actually get that product on the shelf, then I can see numerous shopping experiences getting a whole lot better. I need to get the number of the tofu company.

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