Monday, December 14, 2009

New Blog

I have been having trouble with this blog and have switched to a new blog
So you can continue reading about my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mindelo, Cape Verde

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random Pictures

Santa Antãõ

Sãõ Vicente

Cheesy Fries, BLT´s and Pint Glasses

Carnival 2009

Carnival (Fat Tuesday~the day before ash Wednesday) is a big celebration here in São Vicente. Preparation for the big day start at least a month in advanced and there were parties basically every weekend leading up to, plus people in bands practiced every night. So needless to say there was tons of anticipation for the big day. The weekend before Carnival was full of parties. There were a couple of second year volunteers and this guy we met who was a volunteer in Cameroon a couple years back and on Saturday we dressed up in our finest ridiculous outfits and found a party at local hotel. This very popular drum band was playing and the place was packed, a little too much for my liking because at some point it was difficult to dance, but it was also close to impossible to get a drink at the bar (coca-cola of course!) and the bathroom situation was incredibly bad, especially for a nice hotel. Anyway despite a couple pit falls, over all it was a pretty good party with good music and it was kind of like Halloween with people in all these awesome costumes (I was a butterfly, kind of… I really just had wings). The most popular outfit amongst men however was…. Drum roll…. Dressing up as a girl.

At work on Monday we had a mini-Carnival which was so cute, the kids had some really awesome costumes and there was dancing, music and food. We made masks, the prev and a couple of kids wore thoseThey also had a clown who did a small act taking people from the audience. I almost fell over and contemplated running outside so he couldn’t get me. But he dragged me up on ´´stage´´ and it was kind of like Simon Says but more mortifying and included me bending over and winding up a car, getting yelled at for not opening the imaginary door to the car. The one thing that made it more bearable in the end was the smiles on all the kids faces, probably a mixture of being glad they weren’t pulled up there and also just loving me being bright pink and embarrassed.

Tuesday was the big parade that went on all day. Lindsay and I wore shirts that a friend gave us that said Carnival 2009. I unfortunatly didn´t make it all that long because I got a stomach bug of Monday morning which basically kept me in bed for way too much of Carnival, I figured there is always next year.

So overall Carnival was really cool, definalty something you have to experience. The only downer other than being sick as having my phone stolen which wasn´t all that dramatic execept for a small fight for the phone (Iºm a weakling so it wasnºt a fair fight). It was a bit of a hastle to get my new phone because the one that I was able to get was only at this one random post office in another community and itºs not nearly as cool as my other one, it doesnºt have a camera or anything but it is what it is and Iºm glad to be back in touch with the world again)

Random Picture of Mindelo

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dia do Namorados

Iºm pretty sure that the only good thing about Valentineºs day that is awesome is getting giant boxes of chocolate that you can eat your sorrows away with. O.K. that was a bit dramatic but still. So anyhoo, I didnºt think that much about valentineºs day this year until I was walking around Mindelo and noticed that there are hearts everywhere so my fears were answered... they do celebrate v-day even here. My co-workers asked me what I was doing for the day and I explained to them that I didnºt have any plans becaue I donºt like the holiday, they assured me that it was also a holiday about friendship (yea right). But all in all it wasnºt a bad valentineºs day, Lindsay and I went to a friends house and had a really good steak (my first one here and it was incredible) and just hung around and than had an early night which was very nice.

At work on friday before v-day the kids at work made valentineºs day cards which was hilarious because the kids were writting these quotes which were just rediculous. First off there was lots of ´´I love you´´s but it wasnºt spelled right, it was more like ´´ E lovi yo´´ almost but not quite. This is one of those English phrases that everyone knows because it is written over lots of stuff, so itºs not shocking for people in the street to confess their love to me or maybe a proposal or two every once in a while.
I will try to post some pictures later in the week of some of the great cards that you all will get a kick out of. Anyway, hope everyone has a good week. We are all getting ready for Carnival which is next week (Fat Tuesday in the U.S.) and is supposed to be really awesome. Lots of people are dressing up but I still havenºt decided if Iºm going to wear a costume or being boring and just wear normal clothes. We shall see, if anyone has any interesting ideaºs send them my way.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Whatºs the Superbowl without the commercials?

Superbowl Sunday in Cape Verde did not involve the typical events such as cooking ridiculous amounts of food and sitting on a comfortable couch (or at least relatively comf. with dorm couches). Instead pizza and shwarmas (mini gyro-kind of, with french fries inside) were ordered and eaten. Not that either of those options was all that bad, but it still isnºt the same as sitting down and stuffing your face with chips and dip (Iºve been thinking about wegmanºs amazing rye dip), pigs in a blanket, buffalo wings(and blue cheese dressing-defiantly not something you find here) and good beer (defiantly not what you find here).
But all in all it was at least exciting to be able to watch the game... that was until the first commercial came on, advertising Superbock, a Portuguese beer. I had heard the night before that because the Superbowl is aired on a satellite that you donºt get the commercials but I was trying to be optimistic. While I think that the average person in America (because letºs face it very few outside of the U.S. watch football) does actually want to watch the game, you always hear about the commercials and the superbock commercials which they aired twice in a row the whole game just didnºt make the cut. The other really funny thing about watchingthe game was that it was all in Portuguese. Iºm not sure if it wouldhave been as amusing in English because they kept saying the same things over and over again such as that was complicated, that was incredible etc. I canonly wonder if the American announcers described the game as that or if there were just a bunch of random Portuguese guys sitting around and translated to their liking because they donºt know anything about American football.
Well, all in all the game was at least relatively exciting, not as exciting of a game as last year but when neither are your favorite team itºs different, hence why the commericals are an important aspect of the game. We were all rooting for the Steelers (at least for a while until I decided to root for the far better looking team (Cardinals)- yes itºs superficial but I am totally ok with it). Well the better looking team did lose and I canºt partake in the ´´omg did you see that commercial when...´´ (although there are few people to actually have that conversation with) but overall at least I can say that I got to watch the Superbowl. Which by the way before the halftime did anyone else get a kick out of the lip singing fake journey band?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Feliz Ano Novo

Happy New Year!
I celebrated New Years in Mindelo with my sister and a couple other volunteers. It was definatly a very different new years than I have had in a very long time but it was pretty good.
We decided to go to a hotel in Mindelo, which was rediculously expensive but ended up being good. Although the ticket said the party started at 11, we werenºt even allowed in until 1230... 11pm Cape Verdean time. (We thought we were going late by showing up at 1145, clearly not). So we headed over to the bay where they were going to have fireworks. I really didnºt quite realize how close the fireworks would be to us. You know how in the states fireworks are usually put off in the water or at least the crowd has to be like REALLY far away? Well that was not the case. You could get within about 20 feet from the fireworks... dangerous to say the least! We smartly decided to stand a good 100 feet (maybe, something close to that) and once the fireworks started going off I was really glad that I was that far away. I have never been so close to firework in my life... except in Austria when small children were allowed to put off firework in the street... but that wasnºt as dangeous I donºt think.
Well anyway. So there was a big crowd hanging out around the water and at midnight instead of a countdown a band marches in and starts playing and than the fireworks go off. So there was no midnight kiss and thank god, because that is always my least favorite part of new years... never a fun moment to be single. The fireworks went off for a good while... there were definatly a couple of moments when I thought one might fall on me. They were also setting off flares which seems like a terrible idea, espeically since even on the water they donºt burn out... hence they are hot as hell. The last firework that went off sounded like a machine gun and scared the crap out of all of us and than we walked over to the batuk band and kind of danced for a bit before heading into the hotel.
Of course we were still one of the first ones that got into the hotel, but we had paid good money and there was food and drinks so we sucked up our pride and hung out with all the tourists who didnºt realize that the party wasnºt actually going to start until 3 am. They had your basic every festa Cape Verdean dishes. Despite my hiatus from beans, rice and fish (since training) I sucked it up and ate and than danced the night away. Danced the night away of course after Lindsay went back to change and took my shoes (so I sat with Brett who tried to hide that I wasnºt wearing shoes until she came back). After I had my flip flops all was good and although I didnºt make it until 930 like the others, I did make it to 6 am which was good enough for me.
Hope everyone else had an eventful new years.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in Santo Antão

I spent Christmas in Porto Novo, Santo Antão with Alissa, Dove and Josh (at their house) and a couple of other volunteers. Christmas Eve we ate Pasta Figioli (not sure if the name is right, a pasta and bean dish with lots of extra sause) which we ate with this amazing fried pizza dough. Iºm not a huge fan of beans but the beans werenºt overwhelming and it was just so so so good. After dinner we watched Sex and the City, the movie and than went to bed.

Christmas morning Dove made banana and peach muffins and than we sat around and opened some presents. Alissa had already given me everything so we didnºt have anything to open, but Megan gave us both loufas which was really sweet and wrapped them in a Time Magazine. We than had some leftover pasta and headed to the beach. After the beach we ate hummus and pita (both homemade and delicious). We than watch Love Actually which is a Christmas story, kind of and hung around until we were ready to have another feast. Dinner was bbq chicken, fish, stuffing, squash deliciousness, corn bread, garlic kale, mashed potatoes and for dessert a copious amount of cookies. It was all really good and I was stuffed by the end.

After dinner my parents called so Alissa and I got to talk to them which was nice and than we just hung out and played some cards until we all passed out from being so full.

Anyway, hope everyone else had a wonderful christmas too!