Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Last week

Well, here it is. The last week of my stay is here, and I must say that I am ready to get back to school and Pittsburgh. Not to say that I did not have an incredible experience here, but it's just time to get back to my life. I cannot sleep right now, so I figured I may as well blog. And here it is.

This past weekend Sara came to visit! And great timing, too. Just when I was absolutely burnt out on work, I had the opportunity to take an amazing vacation with her and my new friend, Whitney. We went to Laguna de Apoyo, where we felt an earthquake! It's less exciting when you're surrounded by active volcanoes. In fact, I'd say it's almost frightening. Almost. It was kind of exciting and terrifying to think of the communities that have that reality. Active volcanoes are not really a joke, I suppose. As beautiful as they are.

After that, we explored Volcano Mombacho. We saw some steam craters and other active volcano things. Then we headed to Granada--my least favorite place in all of Nicaragua besides Managua. My feelings were confirmed when my watch got stolen. Boo. Oh well. Granada is such a beautiful city...it's such a shame that the tourists have to go and ruin everything. I hope my Leon never gets to be like that.

Work is just...work. I'm so ready to be done. I have so many things to say about working for an organization like this. Many good things, as well as many reasons why I find this life would be a hard career path to take. I will not enumerate everything here, but needless to say, I have learned quite a bit in a short amount of time.

I think this week will fly by me before I even know it. I am sad to think about parting ways with some of the people I have met along the way, but I know that our paths will cross someday again if we all continue on this same road. Most of all, leaving a place makes me wish the world were smaller, but I already know it is so small as it is. Sometimes leaving a place makes me feel like I become a more distant person because I never want to get too close to someone for fear of them leaving my life, but then again, sometimes I think these experiences just give me more friends in more places. I'd like to think the latter.

I am excited to think about what my life will bring next, but I'm also afraid because I'm worried that I've realized I could never do this kind of emotionally draining work for the rest of my life. I suppose I should have realized that after my fulfilling but exhausting experience working with the non-profit health advocacy organization in Pittsburgh. I guess there's something that always brings me back to this kind of stuff. And there's also something about the way I work, I guess. I never like to feel like I'm not contributing something useful. But then again, who does like to feel like they're useless?

I look forward to seeing my friends and family in Pittsburgh. I look forward to what my next step will be. I wish it could be a little easier to get there sometimes, but I suppose I wouldn't want to have my career yet anyway because then I wouldn't be able to do the things I have done. Also, I still don't know what I want to do with my life.

I said goodbye to Jason, my boss, because he is in the states this week, and we will just miss each other before he gets back and after I leave here. I really, really dislike goodbyes. For some reason, though, this one did not feel like a goodbye, but more like a see you soon. Maybe that feeling means I really will see him again soon. I'd like to think.

This weekend I will relax in Leon, as it is the last time I will see it for awhile. Most people have already left, so the Foundation has been quite empty and a little bit sad lately. I enjoy the quiet, though. On Monday morning I'll head to Managua and spend the night with a friend who has an apartment there. The trip there with all my luggage makes me nervous. Maybe I'll hide my passport and last few dollars in my clothes or something. It's a shame that the capital city is so terrifying. But I must go to Managua to spend the night because my flight on Tuesday morning is too early to get there in time on that same day. And then I'll spend a nice 8 hour layover (sarcasm) in Miami. Without my iPhone. Thank goodness for my Kindle...

Perhaps I will blog once more before I leave, but if not, I hope it's been entertaining. I'd definitely like to post some more substantive stuff about work, but as it is sensitive information and this is a public blog, I think I will hold off for a bit. If you are curious to know more, I am always happy to email.

Until next time...?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Less than one month until I'm home

It's been awhile since I posted anything. My apologies. Nothing tremendously amazing has happened, so I just haven't felt the need to share.

The past few weeks have been pretty uneventful. Three weekends ago I went back to Laguna de Apoyo. Met some fun people...swam...went on a hike and saw another waterfall...bought some honey. We also helped pull a pineapple truck out of a ditch with my boss's Hilux. Applause and pineapples all around! Yumzor!!! My boss is a nice guy.

We stopped in Managua to have lunch at the mall. What a surreal place. Ridiculously expensive stores in the shittiest city ever. Very out of place and odd. Our friend, who lives in Managua, said he walks through the mall sometimes just to feel safe. Managua is so ugly and shitty. On our way out, we picked up a hitchhiking cop. You read that correctly. Here, the cops are always hitchhiking, which I never really understood. My boss said it's because they're paid such shit. He also said this is the only country he's been to where he feels safe picking up a cop, knowing they won't rob him at gunpoint. In Honduras, his driver was shot while he was in the car. Horrifying.

Our weeks at work were a little hectic. We have a health fair going on in the community (in which I am not participating), so everyone has been pretty stressed. Also, we had a document to submit to my boss' friend at EcoFys. It was kind of stressful to have to put together that document last minute, but I'm happy to have gotten some of my written work out there.

The next week NBC came to film a special about us. They sent a whole film crew and Kerry Sanders! The amazing thing is how much money they probably spent to do all that, and our clip is only going to be 2.5 minutes long. My boss almost got himself shot trying to impress NBC, sneaking into the sugarcane plantation. That was probably a tense moment (I was not there, thank god). I mean, yeah, the guards at the plantation are assholes and should have just let him in...but still. We know of people that have been shot for lesser offenses.

We went to the beach and spent the night, which was fun. We bought a huge fish for only $C80. They cut it up for us right there on the side of the road on top of a bucket with a borrowed knife from a local "pulperia" (stores out of someone's home). We brought it to a comedor (restaurants out of someone's home) later for them to cook up for us. They breaded it, fried it, and served it with gallo pinto (rice and beans) and tajadas (plantain chips).

We drank a lot of rum that night. We saw the famous cookie lady from Leon, who goes to the beach every weekend to sell her cookies. We bought some cookies from her and gave her some rum, and she danced with us and told her about her children. She began speaking about the government in hushed tones, much of which I did not understand. I wish I had done my research project in 2010 with the knowledge and confidence that I have today. I think I would have learned more.

The next morning we went out for a swim, which ended in disaster. My friend dislocated his shoulder by a wave. Seriously. The waves here are no joke. People never seem to understand just how strong they actually are. I was afraid to go in because the rip tide seemed especially strong, so I was standing on the shore watching my three friends swim. A huge wave came and picked them all up, and one of them ran out of the water screaming. We called a taxi and drove all the way back to Leon to the hospital, but not after a few people attempted putting his shoulder back in place. It looked incredibly painful--I felt horrible for him. Additionally, his dislocation was apparently the rarest form of shoulder dislocation. His shoulder was inside his armpit. Gross. The hospital was free and universal. Just thought I'd throw that out there. People present in the room: one Canadian, one US. Both attested the care he received was better than he would have received in the states. Just mull that over in your brain for awhile...better care, free, universal, and in a third world country. So that's what free health care looks like...why is everyone so opposed to it again?

Now, you can stop reading this entry at this point if all you wanted was the fun stuff. Now I'm going to do some reflecting.
P.S. Sara Carothers is coming to visit me in a week and a half. I plan to take her to Ometepe. More fun stories to come!

I think I need to intern/work for a law firm, as well. I've now done the NGO/non-profit thing twice. Once at Consumer Health Coalition and then once here at La Isla Foundation. I definitely think this kind of stuff fulfills my soul, or whatever cliche thing I can say about it, but there's also some kind of toughness about it that I don't know I can do for the rest of my life. It's hard never having money. I have to just come right out and admit that I really don't want to be poor for the rest of my life.

But then again, this brings me to something else I've been thinking about. Why does my life have to follow the strict career path? Can't I just do something for awhile and then do something else if I decide I don't want to do it anymore? I met a friend here who was particularly inspiring to me in this aspect. She is a few years older than me, in her 30s, and I like to think that her life trajectory is how mine is going. She and I discussed the sadness we see in saving for retirement...in having kids...etc. Sure, she's not THAT old, so she is still figuring herself out as well, but I think she's the first person that's ever really understood what I mean when I say these kinds of things.

I think I need to take a trip like this at least once a year or every two years. I come home with a different perspective and a stronger drive to get what I want...because I start getting closer and closer to knowing what I want. I am reaching the inevitable point in every trip that I've ever had where I feel ready to come back home and hit the books. I was so discouraged by my grades before, and now I just don't really care. People back in Pittsburgh keep asking me about OCI stuff, and I don't even care to know what that is. I'm done with the law school bullshit. Everyone is so competitive and weirdly arrogant, and it's something I just can't understand. So I'm going to remember that this school thing is about ME and no one else.

Which brings me to yet another point. Once you leave the school system, you're stuck with your loans, your sad little degree, and no job. I've decided that when I finally do leave the school system, I am NOT going to immediately start looking for a law job. I think I'll apply for Americorps, the Peace Corps, or some other job that enables me to get some loan forgiveness and loan deferment, while building my resume. I also will always have my eye on job openings at thinkingbeyondborders.org. Yes, I realize that doing things this way means it's going to be a long time before I start making money. But right now, I don't really NEED money. I have no children, no mortgage, and no husband. I have no reason to worry about anything, except to find someone to take care of my cats. Which, as much as I love Rascal, I really regret having got him at this point in my life because now I love him too much to ever give him away, but he's holding me back from all these ideas. I know, that sounds so stupid, but I really do love him. I'll figure out some way. My friend here said, "I will watch your fucking cat if it's going to keep you from going into the Peace Corps." Okay. I'll remember to call her when that day comes.

This is the time to do all of these things. And this trip--the people I've met, the things I've seen, the working experience--has reinforced this idea I keep having about being alive. We only live once, and I don't want to spend it being a robot in a cubicle.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Where do I begin?

I almost don't even want to blog because it seems like a chore because there was so much that happened this past week. But I will. And so it begins...

On Wednesday our boss took my friend Darryl and I out to learn how to drive stick shift. Why? Because we were renting a truck to go up to the mountains with the group and someone else needed to drive. So, Thursday afternoon we got all 15 of us together and drove to the mountains with two pick up trucks. How to drive in Nicaragua: watch out for dogs, watch out for chickens, watch out for pigs, watch out for cows, watch out for horses, watch out for small children, watch out for potholes, watch out for motorcycles, watch out for bikes, don't drive too fast on shitty roads or you will get a flat tire and also break a window. I don't want to harp too much on the drive there, but really, driving in this country is pretty amazing/terrifying/difficult. And it was fun.

The first place we went to was FREEZING. At least for Nicaraguan standards. I was shivering (it was probably only like 60 degrees or more, but still, it felt pretty awful). But it was beautiful...the food was delicious...and the cabins were...rustic. I saw more giant spiders than I would prefer to see ever again. There was, however, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, hot water! Taking a hot shower when you're cold is such a luxury. In Leon, it's hardly necessary, but in the mountains, I was extremely grateful for the infamous electrocuting death showers. For those of you who do not know, these are showers with electric shower heads that are extremely dangerous because water and electricity obviously do not mix well. And furthermore, for those of you who do not know, I succeeded in electrocuting myself in one during my last trip to Nicaragua. Oops.

Our first full day there we took a hike up this mountain where this crazy dude resides. He carved out the mountainside with gorgeous artwork (his culture--he calls it). He said he wanted to see the whole world so that no one could ever tell him a lie. I thought that might have been the coolest thing I've ever heard in my life. As we left, he gave us three parting gifts carved out of rock: a turtle, a tucan, and a dolphin.

Next we went to a freakin' waterfall. And swam in it. It was really hard to top that. But then the next day we went to ANOTHER waterfall! And they were both gorgeous! And swimming in them both was freezing, but it made the air feel a lot warmer. Swimming underneath a waterfall is quite the experience. I felt like someone was throwing rocks on me.

The food in the mountains was incredible. We had homemade cheese and all sorts of different things that we don't usually eat in Leon. They had lemon grass tea, which was absolutely delicious, and they sell some of that here in the city so I will have to pick some up before I leave. Everything kind of tasted like the earth but in a good way.

Unfortunately, one of our friends was robbed when we were hiking. He left the window open and some local kids grabbed his money and some playing cards. That's where they went wrong. In a town that small, it's easy to find the culprit. So the ranch owner called the police, the local kids saw the cops, got scared, and gave everything back. Thank goodness! That was almost a big bummer in the trip, but it had a happy ending sort of. Oh, and we picked up some hitch hikers along the way and they came with us to the next place.

After that, we took a trip to a different area of the mountains. We stayed at a different ranch owned by two Germans. The food there was even more incredible! I couldn't have imagined such delicious things. We even had a typical German meal (sausage, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and mustard). More homemade cheese. And local meat. And by local, I mean that I probably saw the cow I ate for dinner.

At this ranch, we did a lot more hanging out. We had a bonfire and the ranch owner surprised us with pointy sticks for... marshmallows!! So that night we drank and ate and talked. That night was so pleasant.

The next day we knew we wanted to go hiking or horseback riding. As I have never been horseback riding, I chose to do that. Man, was it fun! At first it felt really unnatural and I was kind of terrified, but as the ride went on (it was nearly two hours around the mountain), I began to get a feel for the horse. I was riding a 25 year old horse, which is super old, and his bones were sticking out, so I kind of thought he was going to die at first when I got on him. I was really nervous about overworking him, but the incredible thing was that he really wanted to run! The owner said he always had that personality...never wanted to be last in a line of horses. And he never really was. The cool thing was the control I had over him. I would just lean forward a tiny bit, lift my butt slightly off him, and squeeze my thighs together, and off we ran! I was surprised at how well he responded to my movements. I honestly felt as if I was one with the horse. His name was Rojo (Red) but I nicknamed him Skeletor.

And that was pretty much the weekend trip in a nutshell. I mean, there's so much to be said about the trip there and back itself, but I can't really even put into words what a bonding experience it was for all of us. It was just a great time, and I was so happy to have had that experience with such amazing people. My clothes were filthy when we got back, though, as I only brought two outfits with me for a four day trip (travel light...you'll be glad you did). I was happy to be home in Leon, but also instantly stressed when we returned to the loudness of the city.

And that brings me to one final point. Work. Man, it is stressful sometimes. I know I blog about all these awesome things and it seems like work can never be work here, but it is. We play hard, work harder. Today absolutely blew. I think I'm having a hard time communicating with one of the lawyers I'm supposed to be working with, who is based out of the states right now. I don't know why, and I honestly think it is because we do not know each other and we are trying to do this stressful work without being able to have a beer and a smoke together. I also am picking up the slack since the Nicaraguan lawyer was fired, so I'm reading all these laws in Spanish and trying to understand a civil law system, which I just frankly don't really know anything about. So, yeah, today blew.

And I realize this has been a very long post, so if you're still reading, I thank you for sticking around, and I hope you enjoyed reading about the sweet time I'm having! Hopefully more adventures to come next weekend! Sending all my love to the states...(well, some of it that doesn't stay here in Nicaragua)!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lovely job by a fellow volunteer

Hi all,
Just wanted to share this video done by a fellow volunteer, Travis Meier. You can read about the project here. Travis left to go home today. It was really sad.

Things are going well this week. Danone came today (yes, the people that make Activia and Evian water) because they will mostly likely fund our causality study. I think we impressed them with our enthusiasm and the number of volunteers that showed up on a Sunday, though we are not paid nor were we obligated to go.

The drama has passed, even though things are still a little strange with the staff change-up, but I think it is (mostly) for the best. My colleagues on the Legal Team are really just as good as ever, and I am really pleased with what we have done so far. It took us awhile to get into the flow of the work, but now I think we are working at a good pace and our visions are aligned with each other. Also, I'm really happy to be considered an actual staff member now, and not a volunteer. It's better for the ol' resume, if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, despite finally reaching this happy place, I was thrown into a project that was never mine to begin with (after the other staff members were let go). I had to go to the community and conduct 8 interviews with current and former sugarcane workers. Because there are so few of us that can speak almost fluent Spanish, I was selected to go, even though it has nothing to do with my legal work. The Foundation collaborates with a man working on his PhD at the University of London, so one of us had to conduct the interviews for him. The results will take awhile to type up. So that sort of ruined my week for the legal stuff. Oh well.

As a reward for such a tough week, our boss is taking us to Esteli next weekend! Esteli is in the highlands of the country. The climate is much cooler, which I'm looking forward to. Also, it is quiet. There is no electricity or running water, however, sooooo that's always interesting!

I am beginning to worry about reverse culture shock when I return home to the states, especially after working with such a tough subject. The whole "first world problems" bullshit will most likely really get to me. So, as a warning to my friends and family reading this, please keep everything in perspective. The thing you may be freaking out about right now is nothing compared to what others have to deal with on a day to day basis. (Yes, that advice is for myself, too, as I often think about my law school grades and start having mini-heart attacks). I also want to start sharing more, complaining less, working out, eating right, and all of the other good stuff that I've been missing in my life.

A conversation that touched me today discussed between two other volunteers:
"Here, I bought you these from the market today."
"Oh, you bought them for me? Oh yay! I'm going to share them with everyone!"

And with that, I'm out. Peace. :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Drama at Work

Hi all,
I'm writing in the wee hours of the night because I feel like so much has happened. In the last two days 3 staff members resigned. It was a shock to many, and expected for others.
So, an NGO. How do you exactly move on from that? Well, the great thing is...when everyone is already working for free it is because they care. So lots of people have stepped up to take on the work that needs to be done. In this sense, I have been told I am lucky because now I am helping lead the legal team (as in, no longer an intern really). I think in the next few weeks I will have a LOT to report about work. It's going to be interesting, challenging, and fun.
I must be up in 5 hours to go to the community, so I must be off, but I wanted to write a quick update that things are all dramatic and crazy right now. I'll keep you all posted on the happenings.
Until then. Chau chau!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Work Environment

Hi everyone,

Nothing too exciting happened over the weekend, so I think I'll take this time to discuss what it's like to actually work in an environment like this.

But first, I did go to the beach this weekend, which was fun as always. I will miss being only a twenty minute drive away from the beach! I will not miss, however, sticking out like a sore thumb on public transportation. When I got on a camioneta (coolest form of transportation ever--a pick-up truck with a tarp over it!), everyone was like, "look at the china, there's a china, what's that china doing on here?" But whatever, I just try to be as nice as possible and remember that they don't see Asian people very often, and they don't mean offense by calling people by their skin color, race, etc. They call our Nicaraguan friend Chino because his eyes are kind of small.

It's kind of difficult to work here sometimes because our office is very crowded. It's hard to explain the feeling of not being able to find what you want, but not really needing the same things you need at home. No amazon.com here. You just kind of accept the fact that you can't find everything here in Leon. A lot of things are in Managua, but Managua is a two hour commute, so we don't go there very often. It's frustrating to have big bills and know that you can't use them at certain places because they won't have change. We end up paying for one another and then paying each other back later, simply because we know a place will not accept our C$500 bill. The first time we went to the grocery store, we were like, wow, this place doesn't have anything! But now I feel like the grocery store has so much because I'm comparing it to what I can get on the street. Everything is relative.

We went to the community on Thursday. I've begun teaching English classes. It's ok. It's difficult because the children do not have text books or notebooks or pens. They have what we have brought. So we have to take the pens and notebooks back at the end of the class. They kind of steal things from us, like paper, but I don't blame them, so it's hard to care. Though we have to because we have limited funds to buy new things. A highschool group of kids came and brought the children a pinata, so we had a little party for them. When the pinata broke, they all practically killed each other for a piece of candy. It kind of made me upset. We also brought coloring books for them and the kids ripped out pages to take home with them so that they would have something later. That also made me upset. It's not something I haven't seen before, as I did similar work when I was in Argentina. But it's unsettling to know that kids in the US would be indifferent to a coloring book after awhile, and parents end up throwing them away after the kids neglect them. Here, every last page will be colored, and there won't be enough pages to go around. There is a library for them there, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that there are MAYBE 20 books in it. Additionally, they were donated, so a lot of them are in English, so they can't even read them. It's hard not to just cry there. Everything looks kind of normal (albeit, poor), but there's something dark and sad going on there. Seventy percent of the population is dying of kidney disease, an incredibly treatable disease in the developed world. In this sense, my work here is hard. It's emotionally draining and at times feels very pointless.

The heat has become much more bearable. I thought it was cooler the past few days, but when I checked the weather, it has still been in the 90s...I'm just used to it finally. I no longer sweat all day long--just in the hottest part of the day when I'm in the direct sun. It's all relative!

For the first time, we had a long power and water outage in the same week. It's kind of just whatever. It was annoying, of course, but it's not like it was enough to ruin our day. We are really conscious of our energy and water usage anyway, so it didn't have a huge impact on us.

Working here has a lot of frustrations for other reasons, as well. We are a group of very young individuals. The oldest person is 34. Most of us are students or very young professionals. It's kind of difficult for me because I crave structure and order at work. Well, here it's very tranquilo. We are kind of making it up as we go along. Everyone is very hard-working and intelligent, but sometimes I'm just like, "UGH," because I want shit done like yesterday. Everyone works 40 hours a week or more. And, don't forget, everyone is working for free. That's the craziest part of all.

I would absolutely recommend that everyone work in an environment like this. I think my experiences in Nicaragua from before made me appreciate the things I have in the US much more. I just think people would be much better working with what they have if they were used to working with so much less. And we wouldn't bitch about so much.

I just wish everyone could understand what I am seeing every day. It's part of the reason I haven't really taken any pictures. I want to show you all what the market looks like or what a crowded bus/camioneta/shitty cab looks like here, but I'm not going to be that gringa that takes pictures of people living their everyday lives. And it's not just about seeing it--it's about actually understanding what is there in front of you and why it is the way it is. Why don't they have addresses or street names here? Because of shitty governance. Now tell me the government should stay out of our lives. Please. When the government doesn't give a shit, this is what happens. Everything goes to hell. Now, that's not to say that I want our government in every aspect of our lives, but I think people are being a little naive and misguided when they say big government is bad. The things we debate in US politics are just absolutely ridiculous. There are bigger things to worry about. And we have so much power to use for good, which we don't, because we are too busy debating about fucking hanging chads and keeping our own citizens from exercising the right to marry!

Well, anyway, that's what I wanted to write about this week. Hopefully next weekend I'll have done something more exciting to tell you all about! Until then.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Hello, everyone! I just got home from an amazing weekend at the beach. We went to the Tortuga Hostel in Poneloya-ish. It was very relaxing and a much-needed break from Leon. It's crazy how much I missed my bed here...even if it's a single bunk bed!

I've been to this hostel before so it wasn't as ridiculous of a trip as I remember, but for anyone who has never been there, it seems kind of nuts. To get there, we take a "chicken bus" (old US school buses used for short distances) to Poneloya. We get off the bus and look for Chepe's Place, a random bar. Then we ask for Juan Carlos. Then Juan Carlos takes us on a boat ride somewhere, we get off, and a man with a horse and carriage takes us the rest of the way. This time it was a little boy, 13 years old, who directed the horse for us.

We spent the day playing in the ocean, getting sunburnt, and drinking. The waves here are so crazy. The tide is incredibly strong, so I honestly fear the ocean a bit. But I went swimming nonetheless and had an awesome time. Some of us attempted to learn to surf (I did not), and it was met with mixed success. A lot of bruises and blood. We played some beach volleyball with the other people staying at the hostel and everyone had one hell of a night. We met some med students from UC Davis that were doing some work in the communities near Esteli. They were so cool, and it was refreshing to speak with educated people doing good things, too, and not just random backpackers.

Something that I have gotten used to here is BUGS. They are everywhere. Last night, I went to lay in the disgustingly moist top bunk bed and there were bugs all over my sheets. I just brushed them off and tried to fall asleep. I was bit like 7 times in the first minute I laid down. Gross. Eating can be kind of annoying because you spend most of the meal shooing away flies. It's at the point where we honestly just don't care that flies are in our food. I can't tell you all how many times I've just pulled flies out of my food and continued eating.

The next day we just relaxed and swam. We decided to hitch hike home instead of taking the bus. We just sort of  walked in the direction of Leon and waited for cars to pass by us and thumbed them down. Eventually three of us ran into a blonde German girl, who was also attempting to secure a ride back to Leon. She is here also doing do-good work for a non-profit organization. Very cool to meet people just like us from all over the world. A truck finally stopped and we all hopped in the bed of the truck and they drove us into the city. We jumped out when we were where we wanted to be. I never knew hitch hiking could be so easy and so safe. There are probably not many countries in the world where you could so safely do so, but really, here in Nicaragua there is not very much to fear (despite popular silly US opinion).

I wish there were not so many tourists here (even though there really are not very many at all). US missionaries are the easiest to spot. They don't even bother to learn the culture or the language and they walk around in huge groups, looking stupid. I don't understand how a group plans on helping a country if they don't even take the time to understand it first.

My dilemma is: I love this country so much and I want everyone to see how awesome it is, but I never want it to change. More tourism means change. And fortunately for them, tourism also means money coming into their economy. But the problem is...I don't want the people here because they're ruining it! Haha.

Well, anyway, I'm tired, so...until next time! Oh, and sorry, but I forgot to snap pictures this time. Oh well.