Burning, burning wood

But now so much less wood. The first few efficient wood-burning stoves from our USAID Small Project Assistance grant have been installed. They seem awesome, and the woman are reporting excellent results. The reduction in wood usage is immediately apparent, but I will wait to take measurements until all the stoves are installed and they […]

Ready to Rock ‘n Roll

Apparently one way that development work can start is with a wad of cash. This is Micha and me making the transfer of funds for the efficient wood-burning cookstove project. Ah, nothing like getting a few thousand dollars in denominations of $5’s, $10’s and $50’s, or their peso equivalents. Pretty exciting and a bit scary, […]

Have solar oven, will travel

Although the climate in the state of Puebla is significantly cloudier and rainier than where I live, I packed up my solar oven and took it with me to a science fair this weekend in a small community there. The fair was organized by another Volunteer for the children and parents at the school where […]


For Part 2 of the MST essay series, we are going to take a look at one of the touchier-feelier activities we did on the last day of Mid-Service Training. This activity was rereading our original Aspiration Statements from the Peace Corps Application. I feel that it deserves capitalization and the be recognized as a […]

Underutilized and misplaced

First off, let me say, not me. Well, not me outside the office. The problem is that I don’t want to be utilized or placed in the office. More on this later in this post. I’m struggling a bit with tone in these essay posts. My voice is my voice, but it starts to feel […]

Project Quickie

A.k.a. one day work day at a local children’s home. A group of us tried to make the yard a bit less rocky for the kids to play in, and we much more successfully repainted almost the entire playground. Some other stuff as well, but too tired to go into it now. More later.

After the Big Check… the Weighty Certificate

I like coming up with witty titles too much to not in this case, but actually it was quite an honor to attend and receive a plaque in recognition of the work we having been doing with the solar ovens during the solar oven festival today. The real shame was that Sarah couldn’t be there […]

Goal 4

To be present and assist where ever there is dessert to be found.

Niños y Niñas BIG CHECK day

Micha and I write emails back and forth in Spanish most often, but we kept referring to the BIG CHECK as just that. It doesn’t translate well into Spanish, and is more amusing this way. While neither of us are much for ceremony, it felt like the right thing to do in this case, especially […]

Planta Madre

Planta Madre is a group committed the conservation, cultivation, replanting of cactus and medicinal plants in the Bernal area of the state of Querétaro. The work in the protected area of the Peña de Bernal and have a large production greenhouse in San Antonio de la Cal. The group has been in existence for 6-7 […]

Happy Cactus Day

I had a happy cactus day. I’m not trying to imply that Cactus Day is an actual holiday, but it might be. Also, not that I need another project, but when Sarah makes a great contact and the opportunity involves going to Bernal to check out rare cacti, I’m in. At least this is starting […]

Sun Stripes = More Cake

I generally find it better when people correct my Spanish mistakes, but I understand why someone would choose to let a repeated mistake pass. I have done the same in English many, many times because I understood what the person was saying and for a host of other reasons. So these days, I try to […]