Friday, February 25, 2005
Why is there poverty in a world of plenty? One reason among many is that leaders in Nigeria refused to administer polio vaccines causing a steep rise in the epidemic. Here is the quote from the article that makes me sick to my stomach.

"Polio infections surged last year in Africa after Islamic leaders in northern Nigeria led a boycott against immunizations, claiming the polio vaccine was part of a U.S.-led plot to render Nigeria's Muslims infertile or infect them with AIDS."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
I just read an article in the NY Times about what has been going on in Darfur, Sudan. I encourage you to read this and email your representative and Senators.

Saturday, February 19, 2005
I saw the funniest menu in the history of menus. Here are some sample dishes with the real translation in parenthesis:

For an entrance(appetizer) they had: Pope to the Huancayina(Papa is Spanish for potato, but also Spanish for pope so Potatoes Huancayina style got translated to Pope to the Huancayina )

Main Dishes:
  • You pound to the iron (grilled game hens) with mature (bananas)

  • Sweated fine loin of head (a smoked beef dish)

  • Sweated fish soup (smoked fish soup)

  • Jumped Chicken (chicken stir fry)

  • Ahhh...good times. That is what you get when you just use an internet translator to translate a menu.

    On another note, I have decide to start using "pounds" as an adjective whenever I really like something. For example, "Man, this game is poundin!!" or "This place pounds!!" We will see if it catches on. Unlikely.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005
    Glad to see that our neighbors, Columbia and Venezuela have kissed and made up.

    Here is English text on the Valentine's day card that I gave to Tricia. It had both Spanish and English...but I bought it because of the English. I was laughing uncontrollably in the grocery store. This is exactly how it is written on the card including line brakes.


    This alone greeting
    it can demonstrate
    it leaves of the feelings
    that it harbors my heart...
    ...and I wait that of some
    way serves for
    to express you my desires
    of happiness and happiness
    for this day and always.

    Many Happiness

    Our friend Lana Kim who works in Uzbekistan has her own blog. It is now in the links to the right as well. It comes highly recommended.

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005
    Dear Bob,

    Thanks for sending the bag. That was very thoughtful of you. We will use it for shopping. There really are no grocery stores down here and everyone in the market gives us stuff in really small bags so we can use the bag and be reminded of home.

    Disclaimer: To those of you who are not named Bob, please either a) change your name to Bob, or (more likely) b.) kindly disregard this message.

    Monday, February 07, 2005
    This is very good news. Bush is said to be seeking limits to farm subsidies in the latest budget. Good good good. Because the farm bill he signed in 2002 was bad bad bad.

    Rich country farm subsidies are one of the most contentious issues in the global trade talks because they are so unjust. Farmers in rich countries are paid by the government which allows them to sell crops at below market value harming incomparably poorer farmers in developing countries who cannot compete with the subsidized commodities produced by the US, EU, and Japan. For an example, check out this site about Cotton subsidies and how they affect Africa. Read it and email your senators and representative.

    UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, who is probably the best known blogger has a posting on farm subsidies on MSNBC. He doesn't like them either, but it sounds like his dislike is mainly because it is bad economics (which it is). My personal dislike of farm subsidies is twofold. Firstly stated above because they harm poor farmers by lowering the prices of agricultural commodities which many of the worlds poorest sell for their livelihood. Granted, not all farm subsidies harm poor farmers in other countries, but some do. Secondly because it is such blatant hypocrisy on the part of the developed world. Rich countries preach free trade, but tolerate trade distorting programs such as farm subsidies when they benefit their own special interests (primarily big agribusiness in this case at the cost of everybody else). This is something of which the developing world takes careful notice.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: Here is an article that talks about the myth of farm subsidies primarily helping poor farmers in the US.
    via Instapundit

    Ok, there are FINALLY new pictures and a bunch of other new stuff up over at the website. I put up a new sounds page that has several sounds recorded from our house. The plan is to keep adding sounds. I have a little digital recorder that is great for recording and downloading sounds to my computer.

    Also, many have asked about our housing situation. We will be staying where we are at until at least August when the new SAM school year starts. SAM has told us that we can stay at least till then, and possibly for the remainder of our time here. So that is nice because I hate moving and I like being close to the Refuge.

    Saturday, February 05, 2005
    Here is an article about Peruvian mining. One thing I didn't know was that 29% of Peruvian tax revenue comes from mining royalties.

    Tuesday, February 01, 2005
    Well I had another one of those cultural moments that I am beginning to get used to. I was in church last week and at the end of the service the pastor invited the congregation to join him in prayer. Midway through the prayer he kind of stopped praying and asked anybody that wanted to make a first-time conversion to Christianity to stand. Well I wasn't really paying attention because after about 80 minutes into a Spanish sermon my brain pretty much shuts down. But the phrase "stand up" is one of those key phrases that is wired into my brain...kind of like how dogs hear humans speak (blah blah blah blah fluffy! blah blah blah blah fluffy! blah blah blah). Well I heard (blah blah blah blah STAND UP blah blah blah) and started to stand up. Thankfully Tricia shoved me back down in the chair before I stood up because it would have been a little awkward being a Christian missionary making a first time commitment to Christ. So, for about the 5 millionth time I am thankful that Tricia was there to keep me from doing something foolish.

    Check this out! Our web page comes up #2 when you search on Pucallpa on the new MSN search tool. We currently show up 77th in Google.

    UPDATE: We are down to 4th now. Oh well. Fame is always fleeting.


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