October 29, 2008

Obama or McCain?

Which flavor do you like?

You might have noticed that La Gringa doesn't talk about US politics. I feel too far removed and am much more interested in learning about Honduran politics, even though I don't get to vote here and am forbidden by the Honduran constitution to get involved in politics.

Besides there are only so many hours in the day.
I do occasionally turn on CNN and half listen while I'm doing other things. I've been completely disgusted with the coverage. At first I was so impressed with both candidates as far not sinking to smear campaigns and attack ads. Well, that didn't last long, did it?

El Jefe has been similarly disgusted and wonders why the media nitpicks for days about a slip of the tongue or the cost of a slip. He's also been very impressed with some aspects of the campaign process and wishes we had something similar here in Honduras. During one debate, he asked, "Is that just a regular person? Can anyone ask questions?" He also likes the "keeping 'em honest" exposés of the media and the way the interviewers ask tough questions of the candidates.

Sadly, here in Honduras, we have only the barest shadow of a democracy*. The oligarchy picks the candidates, if not the winners, and the voters are only needed or wanted one day every four years, if then -- votes can easily be bought or lost or invented. Even President Mel Zelaya admitted PUBLICLY, without shame, that his election was rigged! Incredible.

Once the election is over, it's back to business as usual. I don't think that it is even possible to find out how the representatives voted on any issue. At least it is not reported in the newspaper. The only voice that the people have is to march in the streets, block traffic, and stop commerce until they are listened to. Even then, they usually only receive false promises and are told to be "patient."

Oops. I'm rambling off the topic again!

US politics affects the whole world. The newspapers have an article about the US Presidential campaign just about every day. It seems that everybody in the world has an opinion, so I thought I would offer Hondurans and others who don't have a vote a chance to let us know what they think.

Six more days to vote in the official La Gringa unofficial US Presidential Election. ;-)

The poll is in the upper right-hand sidebar.

* Interesting Freudian slip. I originally typed 'Demoncracy.' Heheh.

October 28, 2008

Rains of October

Rio Cangrejal, La Ceiba, HondurasCangrejal River, La Ceiba
Cangrejal photos by: David Ashby, Helping Honduras Kids

While we haven't had any named tropical storms come near Honduras yet this hurricane season, the country is suffering from terrible flooding from the rains. So far, 33 people have died, 16 are missing, 58,000 people are homeless, and hundreds of thousands of homes have been damaged.

Tarp shelter, HondurasFamilies are living in shelters or with relatives − if they are lucky − or in tarp covered stick shelters along the river banks and even in the median strips of the highways with no food, clothes, or sanitary facilities. More than 100,000 manzanas (168,000 acres) of crops have been lost. (Photo, El Progreso: La Prensa, Honduras)

During the last 24 hours, we've had almost constant rain in La Ceiba. Some of it has been very heavy. I would estimate that we've had at least 4-5 inches (10-13 cm.).

Some information that I received from Dave Ashby of Helping Honduras Kids is this:
Cangrejal River, La Ceiba, HondurasA cold front just went by and another is on the way in a few hours. It rained much harder in the mountains than it did in Ceiba and the Cangrejal river came up high, fast and furious. I went to the Jungle School, where there were no students, volunteers or teachers, but the school is ok. Scott, the missionary from Porvenir went by and said the road is washed out farther up, where this happened in December 2 years ago.

There is apparently no passage between Tela and Ceiba, between San Pedro Sula and Tela and between Tegucigalpa and SPS.

I have attached 2 photos of the Cangrejal river, taken near our Jungle School. Pretty wild. It could get worse if the next cold front is very strong. Anyone for Class 8 rafting? Hope the bridges hold. Families along the river edge are having to move to higher ground, just like in La Lima.

More later,

A little later, Dave sent this:
They just closed the Saopin bridge across the Cangrejal. The other bridge is still open.

Our children are all well so far, just some hungry ones that we are dealing with. Pepe Herrero (USAID) is helping us.

El Jefe was in town and I called him to say "COME HOME NOW!" before they close the only other bridge between here and town. He made it. He said the river was scary and he didn't want to stop the car to take a photo.

River, La Ceiba, HondurasFor comparison purposes, this is what the rivers in La Ceiba usually look like. This photo is not the same part of the river as Dave's photos. In fact, this photo may be of Rio Danto, a few miles away, but Rio Cangrejal in town normally looks very similar to this.

For a view of what is happening in other areas of Honduras, check out the videos on the Project Honduras site. I haven't had a chance to check YouTube, but I imagine that there are many more videos.

Trujillo, Colon, HondurasI'm going to guess that once upon a time, the country could have handled 5 or 10 inches of rain. No more. With forests clear cut and mountains striped of all trees, river basins dug out for sand and gravel for construction purposes, and rivers and sewage systems stuffed to the gills with garbage and trash, the country has been raped of all it's natural protections. (Photo, Trujillo, Colon: La Prensa, Honduras)

It makes me very angry that people are suffering so. This isn't a natural disaster. It is an unnatural disaster caused primarily by greed, corruption, and ignorance. I'd love to know how many millions of dollars of aid have been sent to Honduras to combat these issues and I'd like to know where it went.

I've been happy to see so many reports of Hondurans helping other Hondurans with donated food, clothing, and shelter. El Jefe tells me that Hondurans don't like to give cash, because there is always that worry of corruption.

If you are interested in helping in some way, check out Dave's HHK organization in La Ceiba or Project Honduras. Project Honduras is a sort of NGO networking community for Honduras and they can probably point you in the right direction.

Related article: Floods in Honduras, Todd Rules

October 23, 2008

Traveling the same road

Road, Santa Lucia, HondurasFork in the road, Santa Lucia, Honduras

I have been beating my head against a brick wall for more than a year with our patronato (homeowners' association). We have accomplished some things but neighborhood participation could be so much better.

Road along the Cangrejal River, HondurasI do know about these things! I have six years experience and know that neighbors who are not kept informed are not going to feel or act like a part of the group. Neighbors who don't believe that they have a say aren't so willing to pay dues. Neighbors who never find out about a meeting or find out mere hours before it happens are probably not going to come − as proven by our attend- ance in the past year.

One suggestion is that we send a written announcement of the meetings and what is to be discussed a week before and a reminder the day before. I've volunteered to do the announcements and get them copied. The only thing that I need from the others is to know the meeting date in advance.

I know this works even in Honduras! I know it because when we tried to start a patronato a few years ago, we had 30-40 people attend the meetings, compared to 5-6 using the our current method. We've had at least 20 "emergency" meetings in the past year and I can tell you that NONE of them were a true emergency that couldn't have waited a few days in order to notify the neighbors properly.

Road along the Cangrejal River, HondurasAnother suggestion is to have one or two nice, friendly people meet and greet new neighbors and inform them about the patronato, instead of having a guard send them to a grouchy, rude old man who demands money from them. Well, in my actual suggestion, I left off the part after "instead" but most knew what I was talking about. That would be tougher because it would require volunteers.

The neighborhood newsletter was my idea, of course. I would bring up the idea and the negativos would pooh-pooh it, saying "nobody cares". Finally, a few weeks ago, I just sat down and wrote a newsletter, translated it on Google, and asked a neighbor to edit it. I formatted it and printed a color copy and asked the President for his permission to send it out. He loved it. (More about that in another article.)

There are two or three extremely negative people who object to every suggestion by saying "This is Honduras" as if after seven years I don't know that. It's so aggravating because often they don't even let me finish what I'm saying so they don't even know what my suggestion is going to be before they object to it! That's rude.

Road to Tegucigalpa, HondurasThe strange thing is that many of my suggestions are less what some might think of as the brusk, efficient, bottom-line N. American manner, and more what you might think of as the Hispanic way, as they have to do with friendliness and respect for the neighbors.

The other night after 2 1/2 hours, we left the "emergency" meeting before it was finished. We hadn't had dinner and it was after 9:30 p.m. Yes, I was fed up and ready to give up for the umpteenth time.

The next day, two different neighbors told me about what happened. It seems that after we left, one of the
negativos made a disparaging comment about me wanting to do things gringo style, apparently expecting the group to laugh or applaud or something. Instead, another neighbor yelled at him that "We can learn a lot from gringos. They are much more advanced than this country! She knows what she's doing." Another neighbor said that I had good ideas and that the patronato needed me. "She is somebody that gets things done." My supporters even had a little meeting out in the street after the meeting to discuss the problems with the negativos. So there, Señor Negativo!

Road to Tegucigalpa, HondurasI thought of something that I'm going to say the next time someone assures me that there is no need to change what we do because "People don't care", "People are apathetic", "People will never get involved", "People won't pay", and so on. I'm going to say, "You are exactly right. If you always travel the same road, you'll always end up at the same location."

October 15, 2008

More water

waterIsn't it loverly?

I couldn't resist saying "'Nuff said" on that last article. However, you know me...why write two words when you can write 200, or even better 2,000? It's a flaw of mine, but not a terrible one when you are a blogger, I suppose. Call me thorough.

To answer Daniel and Steve's questions: We have a 260 meter deep well that had 220 meters (!) of water even after it had been pumped out for 12 hours per day for two days! The problem was getting the water out of the well and into our neighborhood tank. The pump was ruined. We were at the mercy of the developer who didn't seem to consider it a high priority.

First we waited for repairmen. Then we waited for parts. Then the electric cables were stolen and we waited for the owners to buy new ones. Then we found that the pump could not be repaired. Then we waited while we took up a collection from neighbors to buy another one. Then we waited for the installers to come from San Pedro. Then we waited while the tank was cleaned and repainted. Then there was a problem with new cables. Once the neighbors got control, however, things moved pretty darn fast. It was very good to see. We were motivated!

We did not break my 9-day no-water record. It was only a tie. I'm also not counting Saturday as a water day, since the water came on only long enough Saturday night for me to drain all the faucets, rinse out the sinks, and run the washer on empty to remove the dirty water from the pipes. Then it immediately went off. Three times this happened! By then I was completely beaten down and swore that I would never be fooled again. Sadly, I was so confident each time that I didn't even think to refill the water buckets until it was too late.

Sunday we woke up to no water all day again. No water and we were down to our last couple of 5-gallon buckets of stored water.

El Jefe had commented a day or two prior about how well I was taking this water situation. We had severe rationing for a month, interspersed with a complete lack of water for from one to three days at a time − never with any advance warning. All that was followed by nine days of no water at all. As I commented to one reader, I only bit off a couple of heads during this entire time. I was glad that El Jefe recognized and acknowledged my good behavior.

At a meeting on Friday, one neighbor asked (with an evil grin), what was La Gringa doing about water? I think she was disappointed when I calmly said that we were using buckets like everyone else. Maybe she thought I was staying at a hotel. ;-) I was taking it well!

However, Sunday was a different story. After all that we (our neighbors) had been through to take this problem into our own hands, after so much hard work and so much money on the part of many neighbors, after finding out that the cost of the pump more than doubled what we were told, after having a congratulatory meeting to brag of our success, after being assured that every problem was addressed, and after being told that once the water came back we would have no more water issues, only to wake up on Sunday to no water, no explanation, and apparently no one working on it, I lost it. I actually cried with frustration.

It was like the devil was out there saying, "Here's your water..."

"Oops. No, you can't have any. Heeheehee."

"Just kidding, here's your water..."

"Hardyharhar, got you again, didn't I?"

"Okay, this time you can have water, really..."

"Idiot! No, you can't have water."

Late Sunday afternoon, the problem was supposedly solved for once and all. Being completely beaten down and not wanting to be an idiot again, I stubbornly refused to flush out the faucets or flush the toilets or wash the dishes. I put the water buckets outside to collect rain in preparation for the next time and basically ignored the temptation to turn on the faucets.

Monday, I began to be a believer again. I took a shower, washed my hair, washed the dishes, and did a mountain of laundry. All is right with the world again − and my world smells much better now, too.

Hey, if anyone wants to know what it is like to live in a third world country, it's easy. Just go out to the curb, turn off your water and leave it that way for nine days. Every now and then, turn off your electricity for good measure. You do learn the survival instinct that way. Of course, since you are in charge, it's not quite the same as being at the mercy of others and not knowing if it will ever come back or how long it will last when it does.

Once during all of this, the city government sent the firetruck out to provide water to our neighborhood. Wow. I was impressed that we got this service. They would only fill buckets, not cisterns, which I thought was fair. I wonder if they would have come out more frequently if anyone had notified them. Service from the city government − will wonders never cease?

A funny story shows that it is important for everyone to know a little bit about plumbing and the fact that water flows downhill − not a widely known fact in Honduras, even among plumbers: One neighbor who has a cistern was buying water − almost every day. (Big trucks will come out and fill cisterns for a price.) She couldn't understand how her family was using so much water. Her next door neighbor, in a house a little lower than hers, couldn't understand what all the fuss was about as they had water every day.


Check valves − it's a good thing, unless you are on the receiving end.

October 14, 2008


water'Nuff said.

October 12, 2008

Patience - Impatience

smashed taxi, La Ceiba, HondurasSmashed taxi, an everyday sight in La Ceiba

Honduran drivers, especially taxi drivers, are not patient. Delay one nano-second at a green light and they'll be honking and passing on both sides of you. In fact, I could go far as to say that the same applies at a red light, since those are just taken as possible alternative for those annoying timid drivers. This guy showed us what a macho driver he is! Yeah, I'm impressed. I'll bet he got to his destination real fast.

Hondurans, in general though, have to be patient people. It can take half an hour to check out at some stores, and that is when no one is in front you. A trip to the bank can mean standing in line for an hour. Waiting for a repair can be weeks or months.

A trip to a government office....well, there is no such thing as one trip to a government office. Generally, it is combined with traveling to a copy store, probably waiting in that long line at the bank to pay for your document, and then a few more returns to the government office to find that they have no paper, no ink, no computer system, are on strike, the only person who can sign or approve what you need is on vacation, or any combination of those things − or each of those things, one after another.

Patience is needed to go to two, three, or four different stores to find what you are shopping for. Patience is definitely needed when the power or water goes out so frequently.

But I can think of at least one area in which Hondurans have no patience whatsoever! They (and yes, I will say ALL of them from my experience!) have no patience for waiting longer than about 15 seconds for someone to answer the door.

If you weren't standing behind the door, waiting for them to ring to bell, forget it! They will be gone before you get there.

If I am in the bathroom or preparing food and need to wash or dry my hands first, or even if I have to traverse from another part of the house to the front door, I might as well save time and just ignore the doorbell.

I'm completely serious about this. I can honestly say that by the time I reach the door, more often than not, whoever was there is long gone.

Why is this?

October 11, 2008

6 Truths of Life

Patty sent the following to me:

6 Truths of Life

1. You cannot touch all your teeth with your tongue.

2. All idiots, after reading the first truth, will try it.

3. And discover that the first truth is a lie.

4. You're smiling now because you're an idiot.

5. You soon will forward this to another idiot.

6. There's still a stupid smile on your face.

I apologize about this.

I'm an idiot and I needed company.


La Gringa apologizes, too. I needed an excuse to call everyone idiots because that is my favorite word. But, hey, did you smile? Don't feel bad because I call myself an idiot more than I call other people idiots.

October 10, 2008

Day 7: No water

dirty dishesDirty dishes

You'll notice no signs of cooking among this shameful backlog of dirty dishes. It's been sandwiches, baleadas, and take out all the way. The bucket water we have been getting looks nasty and I refuse to use it on the dishes.

I wish I looked good in all those slicked back hairstyles that my neighbors are wearing.

It could return today. If not today, then it might not be until Monday. That would be day 10 of no water which would break my previous record of 9 days.

That's it. I don't want to talk about it. Discuss among yourselves.

October 6, 2008

I owe so much

AJ's credit cards, most of them cut up
Photo from: I owe so much

No, not me. I don't owe anybody anything and that is a great feeling. One Honduran, however, is drowning in debt and he candidly writes about it on his blog, I owe so much.

It's a clever and well-written blog that I think could be helpful to others in the same situation. I'm sure that there are plenty who fall into that category here in Honduras. I tried to encourage him to write in Spanish for that very reason, but he's writing in English so that should make it easier for many of the blogicito readers. (Hmmm, maybe I can convince him to try Google Translator. I works much better in translating from English to Spanish than vice versa. Two blogs just what everyone needs. :-D )

Honduran credit cards charge the unbelievable, incredible, obscene, usurious, and evil interest rate of about 60%! Not only that, but they pass out credit cards to the unsuspecting like candy. They really, really push people to apply whether they should qualify or not and don't want to take no for an answer. We've even seen them passing out flyers to drivers at red lights and to non-working college students at universities. After all, the banks only need to get a few months of payments at 60% interest and they can write off the debt while still making a profit. If they are lucky, family members will struggle to make good the debt.

I don't think that I'm exaggerating when I say that most Hondurans (like many US Americans who have learned the hard way) do not really have a good grasp about how credit cards work and what the true cost is to use one. They aren't given complete and factual information and many are just very naive about money matters. They think, "Free money!" AJ is not one of those people − anymore − but it seems that various circumstances got him in the sinking boat that he's in.

I know some stories about other people who got into trouble with credit cards and a little bit about the way that the credit card companies operate in Honduras that I may write about one day. It's really shameful and I think is going to be disastrous in the future. Believe me, there are no consumer protections in Honduras and no truth in lending laws to protect the unaware. Apparently there are no bankruptcy protection laws and debtors can go to jail!

Check out AJ's blog. Despite the subject, it's an enjoyable read. Sometimes my heart just aches for the situation that he is in. He has a good attitude, though, and a wonderfully genuine way of expressing himself, which is so typical of Hondurans. AJ admits to still struggling to break the credit card habit, but he's come up with a few ways to save or earn more money, including a side business. He's trying!

I think you'll like AJ and who knows? Maybe you'll have a suggestion or two for him.

I owe so much


October 5, 2008

Off to the presses ... soon

I haven't heard from my newsletter editor yet − :-( − but I unveiled a draft of the newsletter in the final layout to our patronato president and a couple of neighbors today.

Wow! I got just the reaction that I wanted. Eyes bugging out. "Que bueno!" "You did this?" "When can we send it out?" "We should do this every month!" We NEED this to keep the neighbors informed!" They were very, very impressed with La Gringa. El Jefe had mentioned it to the president the day before and I think he thought it was going to be in English. Heheheh.

One neighbor asked, "Who translated this for you?"

"Google," says me.




The others explained to her what Google was and everyone was incredulous that such a thing can be done on the internet. I'll have to admit that I was pretty amazed myself about what a good job Google did. Of course, since I haven't heard from my editor, it may not be quite as good as I thought. I do a lot of reading in Spanish and it looked good to me, other than the few corrections that I made. We'll see.

The president has to finish one article on a subject of which the current status is a bit fuzzy to me and another neighbor has to give me a few details about another matter. I hope they come through tomorrow. I can't wait to send this out! I don't think any colonia in La Ceiba has anything like this.

I also spent about two hours explaining some financial matters and giving some of my ideas to the president it seems the treasurer never tells him anything! He was very appreciative and liked my suggestions. He started getting excited about some of my ideas.

Man! My brain hurts from thinking and talking in Spanish.

(Heheheh! Reading over that second to the last paragraph, I think I should clarify that I was referring to the president of our homeowners association, not Mel Zelaya. If only Mel would listen to me! The world would be a better place. ;-D )

La Gringa [censored]

bird on a post, La Ceiba, HondurasBird on post

By popular request ~

I woke up this morning to the usual bright, warm, and sunny day. I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth but the [censored] was [censored]. After happily making due with a dry toothbrush, I dressed and went downstairs.

Ixora, La Ceiba, HondurasI really wanted to make some delicious Honduran coffee but the [censored] was [censored], too, so I had a yummy pineapple juice!

I then went outside to be heartily greeted by my Honduran dogs. They watched eagerly while I filled their bowls, happy to drink bottled water since the [censored] was [censored] and besides the taste of the tap water is [censored] even to them.
Even the chickens were treated to bottled water today!

I settled down at the table in the cool shade of the terraza to read the Honduran newspaper. La Prensa is my favorite newspaper. This morning I read about [censored], [censored], and [censored]. The photos of [censored] and [censored] were really [censored] and [censored]! When I finished, I went outside the walled garden to pick up [censored] that had been [censored] everywhere by [censored]. We have to be understanding about this sort of thing because people just [censored] know any better, do they?

Later on, while I drove into town, I had plenty of time to gaze around at the scenery because the road was [censored] by [censored] who were [censored] about the [censored] Thankfully, it hasn't rained much today so I didn't have to
[censored] about the streets [censored] as they so often do.

rose, La Ceiba, HondurasI did some grocery shopping and was pleased to be able to find most of the things that I was looking for. I even found coffee and sugar at the first store! I was also pleased to see armed guards around all of the stores and banks which is a wonderful service since the [censored] situation has gotten so [censored].

Deciding that I still needed the caffeine jolt, I stopped in at Espreso Americano. I love the frozen coffee drinks even though the price has [censored] in the past seven years! I was grateful that Espreso Americano has a generator so that they can operate even when the [censored] is [censored]. Lucky me!

We went with my mother-in-law to try to help her get her identification card corrected. As could happen in any country, an error was made when typing her name on a renewal application approximately [censored] decades ago. I'm sure that they will get it corrected soon. Another option would be for my mother-in-law to change her name. It might be easier in the long run. No need to be so rigid about such things! After all, it's just a name, and she'll have to hire an attorney in either case.

At almost 70 years old, she's not too excited about having to travel (twice!) to southern Honduras to apply for an official copy of her birth certificate and then again to pick it up in order to prove who she is, but she should look at the bright side, I say! There are worse things than 12 hours (each way!) in chicken buses.

rain, La Ceiba, HondurasOops, in another minor bureaucratic glitch, it seems that all of her children have the incorrect mother's name on their birth certificates, too. We're going to really get to know those folks at the RNP, aren't we? We might just have to give them a gift for all the trouble we are causing them. Oh, but wait, we can't because they have been on [censored] for [censored] weeks and even when they aren't on [censored], they unfortunately do not have [censored] to print on, or [censored] to print with or the system is not [censored]. Well, maybe one day! Always positive, that's me!

She told us that someone [censored] the [censored] from my sister-in-law's back yard. B was only gone for a couple of minutes to the corner store. You really can't blame the poor for [censored] from their own neighbors. After all, they don't know any better.

She also said that nephew A still [censored] been able to find a [censored] so he's thinking of going to work on the cruise ships. That will be an exciting adventure and I'm sure he won't mind working [censored] hours per day [censored] days a week for [censored] dollars per month. After all, he will be able to come home to visit his family once a year for two weeks.

rose, La Ceiba, HondurasWe went out to lunch and I was so excited to see ABC on the menu. I happily asked for that but the waiter said [censored]. "Never mind, FGH sounds good. I'll have that!", I exclaimed. Again, the waiter said [censored]. "Oh, well, how about XYZ?" "[censored]," he replied. Always flexible and easy to please, I said, "Can I have a baleada?" It's sometimes the best bet anyway, since the food in some of these small restaurants is not always [censored] or handled [censored] and could cause [censored] or [censored] or even [censored]! I love baleadas and could eat them every day.

I stopped by a neighbor's house on the way home. Unfortunately, her armed guard would not tell me when she would return. I'm sure that I must look like a [censored] character so I don't blame him a bit for not giving me any information. I noticed that she has new [censored] around the top of her concrete walled garden. I wonder how much the electricity costs. Talk about a jolt! It looks nice and shiny and I'm sure that she feels much better now since she was [censored] a few weeks ago.

We've been getting wonderful soaking rains lately. I can just see the garden perk up after the long dry spell. More flowers are blooming. I love rainy season.

garden, La Ceiba, HondurasLater in the evening we watched Channel 10 news. Just to keep you informed of what is going on in Honduras, we learned about [censored], [censored], and [censored]. The teachers are on [censored] again for the [censored] time so far this year. Oh, well! Kids love a week off, don't they? [Censored] were held in Comayagua, Tegucigalpa, and Olancho today. Only [censored] people were [censored] this weekend, so it looks like the government is doing a good job with the [censored] situation. I'm sure they will find where that [censored] million dollars went to, also, and put it to good use. Always willing to give a second chance, [censored] criminals were released on their own recognizance today.

We have a nice breeze tonight, so the sleeping will be good in the fresh air.

Ah, a day in the life....

October 4, 2008

Reminds me of the US

guava, La Ceiba, Honduras
By special request: Guava fruit tree repeat

I have been busy, frustrated, overworked, and stressed with all my patronato work!

Bad things: No water, black water, possibly insurmountable water problems in the future, stress, trying to communicate when I don't know the right words, trying to do my "job" when people won't cooperate, no time to read the newspaper, ALBA.

Good things: Rain, cooler weather, exercising my newsletter writing/designing abilities, Google*, a part-time maid who has been semi-dependable, clear water when it does come out of the faucet, the patronato won the dispute!, my sweet El Jefe who is so understanding.

I remember feeling stressed and hurried every day in the US, mostly self-imposed. Now I know that I can be a half an hour late to a meeting and still be the first one there. ;-)

Makes me appreciate the simple life even more.

* Google: In order to get all my ideas down for the newsletter, I had to write in English. I popped it into Google translator and I can testify that Google translator has improved exponentially over the past couple of years. It's still not perfect but it saved me about a zillion or vingtillion or billardo hours! It mangled a couple of sentences and a few words were not translated correctly but I fixed those and have a neighbor who is editing it to perfection right now. When I tried that two years ago, it was almost more work to fix the translation than it would have been to translate it manually. Way to go, Google! Ain't** the internet grand?

** Spanish speakers: This is another word you should not say and certainly should never write. ;-D
Newer posts Older posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...