Friday, January 29, 2010

Makin´ it happen.

As a part of my New Year’s resolution to write more to my friends and family at home, here it is, an unprecedented second updated within the month of January.

Since being back, things during this rainy season have been going great. There have been more people than I’ve expected, or at least this year I know who is willing to work with me of the people who are here. We’ve been hitting the theme of garbage management hard, and it looks like it is going to pay off. What does that mean, to hit the theme of garbage management? Let me tell you.

As you know, I live within the boundaries of the Reserva Paisijística Nor Yauyos Cochas. This is a protected landscape reserve, which according to Peruvian law means that people still live within the area in harmony with nature. The RPNYC was created in October of 2005 and each year it makes many advances to achieve this goal of harmony between man and nature. This year the push with the park service (SERNANP) is to build sanitary landfills in each of the nine districts of the park. That is where Peace Corps and I come in handy.

Since the first of January, we’ve located a place in my town to build the landfill (a challenge to find a flat space 50 meters from the river), we’ve had a solid waste engineer come do a site evaluation, and we are in the process of studying the garbage that we produce each day per capita so we know what size of landfill we need. We have the support of the Municipality (very important, since they have the funding), SERNANP, a local NGO called Instituto Rural Valle Grande, and the conservation committee of Tomas. All these players are helping, and I am specifically working with organizing all of these and helping with the logistics of moving a project like this forward.

The plan is to have all 9 districts of the RPNYC have a sanitary landfill before July of this year. This is an ambitious goal but with the right amount of push from many players, it is possible. Tomas is in a great spot since we have already acquired most of the resources that we need to get this project done. I’ll keep you updated. It is exciting.

Besides this ambitious garbage project, we are slowly moving with forward with planting the 4,000 eucalyptus trees we have. We are having weekly showings of the series Planet Earth by the BBC as a part of environmental education on the community level. I have 2 English classes each week, and a few other small projects always seem to be popping up here and there (such as restoring Andean Terraces). I’ve been busy, and except for the Vikings NFC Championship game loss on Sunday and a depressing amount of rain, I’m really happy with my time here. I’d love to hear from you all in emails or whatever form you choose!
And now some pictures for you viewing enjoyment…

My family coming home from the cows one day. Notice the shoes of my cousin Angie (blue pants), she stepped a little deep in the mud.

A meeting with all the Mayors of the RPNYC and the park service (SERNANP). Makin´it happen.

My dog, Oso. He´s grown quite a bit since the last picture.

One of the two rivers in my town. This is the same afternoon that further up the mountain there was a large landslide, which turned the water the color of hot chocolate.

Notice that little white oven on behind Brad? That allows for such bonding times as cookie baking here in Yauyos. I can almost guarantee those were the first M&M cookies baked in the region. MMMMMM, delicious dough, too.

My host borther, Dany, crossing a small landslide on a small road. Lots of landslides make things a little dangerous.

Some Andean Terraces up the hill that we are restoring. To make the restoration complete we need to plant something...

Fellow Yauyos PCV, Sarah, posing with a model of trash recepticales that her town´s schools are getting.

My first and only trout caught in Yauyos. Fishing in a lake is much different than the river. My host brother caught 11 and my host dad 9...i just need a little more practice.

Working with my community on the Terrace restoration.

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