Thursday, March 31, 2011

Presidential Elections

The results of the presidential elecction that was held a few weeks ago was scheduled to be announced today after work.  A few days ago  they decided that the results would not be available until Monday after work.  The most recent update sent to NGO volunteers regarding safety during this likely period of political unrest is to stay away from political conversation and remain indoors starting Sunday. 
(I'll be home safely by Monday)

In commemoration of the would be BIG DAY, here is a photo I took yesterday of the presidential palace.  It looks like the same as it did a year ago after the earthquake. 

A small tent city is sitting on a median in the middle of the multi lane road in front of the Palace.  Does anyone else find that strange?  

This is not the best picture I have ever taken, but I realized I do not have very many pictures of people carrying items on thier heads from this trip.  It is a common sight to see as you drive through town.  People have boxes, baskets of fuits, eggs, bags, etc balanced perfectly on their heads sometimes carrying two or three baskets at a time.  And perfect posture to go with it.  I asked Lesley, one of our interpreters, today if anyone evers drops thier stuff all over the road.  He laughed.  Said No.  I'm still not sure why he laughed at the question. 

I learned though, that only the lowest class carries stuff on their heads.  People in the upper classes view this as an act that is below them.  Seems like a good use for your noggin to me. 

And the cute photo of the day award goes to this sweet little girl at the New Life Orphanage. 

Doesn't that smile just melt your heart?  This was the most impressive orphanage I have ever seen.  It was close to the airport (ie very much in the middle of town) and it had a garden with fresh producce which we ate for lunch, a chicken coop, a fish hatchery, goats, rabbits, schools for the younger kids and a guest house for volunteers who come to help.  They have 120-135 kids.  About 20 of them have mental disabilities.  The number of kids at the orphanage is always changing as they often bring in children from outlying orpahanges who are malnourished, failiing to thrive, or very sick and need increased medical attention.  We completed a care giver school for the orphanage workers on topics relating to caring for disable children. 

Tomorrow we are off to a more remote orphanage to complete well child exams and then staying elsewhere for the evening.  Most likely there will be no internet access, so no photos for a few days.  Hope you are all enjoying the posts up to this point in the trip.  Hard to beleive it is Thursday already. 

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