Well, I needed something to talk about. In the past two weeks my work seemed to slow down a bit and things have begun to wrap up. However, I wasn’t really thinking that I needed to ring in my 27th birthday with a trip to the hospital, but that’s just how some things happen.

No, I wasn’t drunk. I almost wish that I was so that I could maybe blame my stupidity on the intoxication. I’m just another year older and not in the tiptop shape that I used to be. I can still stand on my hands and walk on my hands, but it was clear this past birthday that it might be a while until I join the American gymnastics team.  I was showing some friends a handstand and walking on my hands; the problem was that I did it in my house. I walked out of my kitchen and lost control (I got going to fast) and then fell over into a door that is inside my house. Now, if it were just a solid wood door, we wouldn’t have a problem, but of course this door has glass panes and when I fell, my knee shattered one of the panes and gave my knee three gashes.

My first thought was, ‘Shit. Now I’m going to have to fix the damn door.’ Then I looked at my knee and saw the white tendons staring back at me and realized, wow, that’s probably my first priority and fixing the door could be a close second. Thankfully, I had my friends around me and they helped cover the wounds and stop the blood flow. They also helped track down a taxi for me so we could go to the hospital.

So I came hobbling into the hospital and felt like a huge idiot having to explain how I cut my leg. My major consolation was the respect I got from the wounds, as most people didn’t think that it was anything major when I came in (of course I took a picture).

Then the stitching up was a pretty weird experience in itself. There I am lying on the operating table and these doctors just seem to want to chat me up. I’m sure they were trying to keep my mind off of the entire stitching going on, which they did, but it did feel a little casual at times, maybe too casual. I’m hoping that they were still paying attention, but you can never be sure.

I managed to make it out and was able to get home. What really sucked is that I couldn’t ride my bike and walking wasn’t the most fun either. Not to mention that I would hobble about 20 feet and just have to tell someone else how stupid I am and how I got hurt.

However, it was time that I took a bit of a break and this definitely made me. I spent three days just hanging out in the house (although during that time I went to the bank, market, printed photos for people, got my haircut, returned to the hospital for a scheduled bandage cleaning, looked for seeds for our nursery and followed up with another meeting from someone who works with MNP).  It would have been done really quickly if I could just ride a bike.

Which brings me to my name. Over the years I’ve acquired quite a few ‘nick’ names and Andapa has proved to be the same. What’s funny is that not everyone knows me by all of the names. A friend of mine was telling me how she told her friend she was going to visit me and they kept asking who Nicolas is (my name in French). That was until she described me as Nicolas Biciclety (bicycle) and then it was common ground. I guess taking a few days off the bike is even robbing me of my identity!

But before this whole mess, I was able to have a few good things happen. These are the few things that happened before I looked at the inside of my leg.

I learned how to sow clove seeds. A friend of mine had just finished visiting a training on planting cloves and I was really happy that he seemed so eager to teach me and help plant. So we prepared the seeds and then sowed them. We should move them into plastic pots before I go, but even if we don’t I think I’ll have the general idea.

I had the meeting that I mentioned in the last blog. I really do hope that it comes to something in the future, but I’m not really sure what the timing will be like. I’m still not sure where I’m going to end up and so it would really help to know where I’ll be in June to know how much I want to push. However, he’s putting together a new budget and we are going to try and figure out how we could put together the best possible project so that it can be successful as well as appealing to donors.

It had been a long time since I just went biking into the countryside to look for someone, but last week I got another chance. I managed to track a guy down who lives in a village that I managed to never see in the past 3 years and organize a date for him to bring seeds for our tree nurseries. It was kind of fun just biking out to the middle of nowhere and not having any anxiety about it. I feel comfortable with the language and my overall direction in the Andapa Basin and so really I just needed to make sure that I spoke to someone who new the man. I eventually found someone who knew him, found his house, and then found the house that he recently moved to. We talked about possible seeds and we chose a date for me to collect him. Sadly, he called me later and said it wasn’t ready, but I should be able to get the seeds on Monday.

I was still going to the Reserve and clearing land for the trees that will eventually need to be planted. It was just nice to have some time to relax and go home when I was tired and not keep working because I was worried that it wouldn’t get finished.  As always, the land clearing is a nice physical, non-mental, task that lets me think about my work while working, which I’ve always appreciated.  The weather has been way too dry, but I think we will be able to complete the majority of the planting in the next few weeks, even if I’m not physically there to help plant.

I’ve become much more social in the past few weeks and I really don’t know why the transition happened. I’ve started hanging out with the people who live on my compound a lot more and just talking with them. As always, I’m surprised that the majority of my friends seem to be older women and kids, but I’m not complaining. It’s been nice to have some people to hang out with and talk when I feel like my house or work is too quiet. I was really surprised at how comfortable they seemed with me, as some of the topics they chose were rather racy subjects.

However close I’m becoming to my Andapa friends, the countryside will always be where my first group of friends are. For that reason, I spent Easter Monday in the countryside partying and eating it up with all of my friends who used to live so close. It was a lot of fun and the best part was that even though I hadn’t spent a lot of time with them in the past few months, it didn’t feel like there was any gap in our relationship and everyone just had a good time. I was jealous that they were already home and I still had to bike back to Andapa when it was over.

Finally, I’ve started teaching a friend of mine how to use a computer. I take my knowledge of computers/electronics for granted and so it can be a pretty stressful task at times. It just seems so simple because it’s a machine that I’ve grown up with my entire life. However stressful it can be, I’m giving him time and trying to stay as patient as possible while teaching him. I know he wants to learn how to use how to use a computer so that he can get a better job, and because his wife is pregnant, I can really respect his decision and him asking me to help.

I get my cut cleaned tomorrow and then the stitches should come out Wednesday. We’ll see how long it takes for me to get mobile after that!