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Monday, October 17, 2011

News update as of 17 Oct 2011

Blog as of 17 Oct

The weekend could not have come soon enough! Last week was like 2+ weeks crammed into one. It seemed like most days started early and did not end until well after 11:30 PM. There was never a break or siesta! Many days lunch came well after 3PM, which was typically short and then back to work until late in the evening with a short break for dinner. Both Stan and I rejoiced in sleeping in and not having to get up and do much of anything. We did work a lot on the very long blog post (posted Sunday night). Both Stan and I agree the Blogger interface could really use some upgrades. Inserting photos and getting them in the correct place takes a really LONG TIME! In compounding the problem Google thought that because I am in Mexico the interface should be in Spanish. It was only after Stan figured out how to change it to English that the editing went better. For one thing the Spanish interface has even less functionality, which makes editing even slower and more difficult. We both agreed that the post is way too long, but so much happened in just a few days that we felt we needed to get as much of the story out to you as we could. We were both happy to be back at our normal lodging spot at Rosalinda’s. It is much lower key then the fancy hotel, and more our style. We are the only guests so we have the run of the place.

For me (Rick) the weekend was spent cruising the city, doing some shopping, hanging out at the zocalo and taking several siestas. On Saturday there was a large youth orchestra with well over fifty kids in it playing in the zocalo. I hung out and listened to them for quite a while as they sounded really good. In my shopping adventures, I did score a new leather brief case which holds my netbook in-style, and some very comfortable sandals, along with some groceries for breakfast. I also stopped by a glasses place to see if they would be cheaper here vs in Seattle. They would cost about the same as in the States so I did not bother with them here. I find it strange that some things are really discounted and other items are at US prices. The weather has been overcast with some light rain, but warm by Seattle standards. On Saturday it was mostly sunny and nice. On Sunday it was cooler and overcast. When I was downtown, I had a very lightweight pile jacket on (unzipped), and I saw several folks with puffy down jackets (all zipped up). This is the coolest part of the year. The weekend had its typical noises with many fireworks, loud bangs and marching bands. On Sunday it seemed like every time I would nod off during my siesta, I would be startled awake by a big bang!

Monday brings the bimonthly status meeting at INSO that lasts most of the morning and includes all of the INSO staff. The meeting is all in Spanish so Rick excused himself to start on this blog update. The meeting began by getting everyone’s input on Friday’s Water Forum to find ways to make future forums better. Other topics included the meetings with the Finance Secretary, the visit to Villa de Etla, an upcoming Expo on Sustainability at the end of this week and many other projects going on at INSO. By the end of the meeting, the entire staff was up to date on all ongoing projects.

Last week Nelly suffered from an infected wisdom tooth that is coming in. Friday, it hurt so much she did not attend the breakfast with us and the Minister, as she swung by the dentist to get a Novocain shot to calm it down for a few hours. Today, Monday, her tooth is better (the dentist can’t remove it until the swelling and infection goes away), however, she has a touch of a cold (I think last week was too stressful and long for her). Luckily for all of us, this week will not be so intense and stressful.

This week will include one or more meetings with Mr. Cajiga to hopefully finalize a contract for our work, along with meetings with community leaders and the Rotary Club. Tonight, we will meet with the Rotary Club to bring them up to date on the status of our school water filter project in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla (SDBBE). Luckily for us the meeting will start at 8 PM, not 10:30 PM, like the other club in town. Tuesday we will go with Mara and her students from Bard College to do some water sampling and then have a 6PM meeting with the municipality head of Etla. Wednesday has no meetings scheduled until 5 PM when we go to Bravo Ahuja to meet with Ines to see the ongoing work to install her rain catchment system. If we have the “day off”, we hope to go shopping with Nelly to get items for our upcoming auction. Thursday, we will meet the school administrator at SDBBE and perform a water pressure test for the filter system. Friday, is currently without meetings. Of course, this schedule may have to be rearranged once we hear back from Secretary Cajiga.

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