Monday, July 24, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
On Monday we went to the Hollywood Bowl, which is in...(can you guess?) Hollywood. It is an outdoor amphitheatre home to the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. So the LA Philharmonic played a bunch of music for the first half and the second half was Kenny Loggins. We were rockin it to seventies music. I bet not many people can claim that they have heard Footloose performed live. After that they had a cool fireworks show.
So by the time evening came on the fourth of July we were pretty fireworked out so we just went up on the balcony of the house here instead of going anywhere, and we still managed to see another 6 firework shows going off at the same time by not even leaving our house.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Anyway, so the firework show was fun. We parked at the LDS Institute and sat on the institute lawn because the place they shot the fireworks off was near there. They used to set the fireworks off right across the street from the institute and and once one of the firworks fell over and shot over to the institute and under a car. No one got hurt. Staying at the institute felt like a ward activity because everyone knew each other because they were all in the same stake. I saw a lot of people that I new from our ward.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Sometimes I feel like I have a little too many challenges. I'm not talking about big moral dilemmas or life and death situations, just little things that I feel push the limits of my capabilities, even though deep down I know I am capable of completing the task put before me. Too many of those little things can become overwhelming sometimes. Then you have to decide which challenges to really try the hardest on because it would be impossible for you to throw yourself into all of them.
It's like when you're in school and you have a hard class and you know that if you work really hard you will be able to get an A in the class. But you also have four other classes and some of them are easy but most of them require a lot of work too. You feel overwhelmed because you want to do the best you can, and you know you can get that A, but not in every class because you just don't have the time to devote enough time to get the A in every class.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
-I have been doing homework all day and I am going nuts!
-Robert got a whole bunch of new-used (hand me downs) clothes because his cousin just came back from a mission and cleaned out his closest. Now we have no where to put them all!
- Right now Robert is out dumpster diving for a bike box because the bike he ordered online came ruined by UPS, so Robert is getting his money back and shipping the back to the seller and
letting the seller deal with UPS.
-Robert had free lunch everyday this week.
-Yup, that's really how boring my life is right now. All I do is homework because I have only have three weeks left to finish my classes.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Well, I think the place we went looked pretty sanitary, and now I have pretty toes. I still think it is a little odd, but my feet look nice at least.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
- The news is Los Angeles is nuts. Ever night at 11:00 (what normal person--i.e. not a college student--stays up until 11:00 everynight on a weeknight anyway?? Do people on the West coast not sleep? Don't they have to get up early to go to work? That could explain their driving, which is a topic for a whole other day.) the news anchor comes on and tells about some breaking news story where, without fail, there has been another car accident or shooting. Then we always have, of course, the reports of shootings, robberies, and abductions that have happened during the day. It kind of reminds me of the newspapers in Guatemala where everyday without fail they had pictures of a horrible murder or deadly car accident as the frontpage news. Just something you come to expect. In L.A. we have the mundane things that would be top news stories in Utah, and then move onto the real crazy stuff: whole families being murdered in their homes, ladies claiming the life insurance money of homeless men who have died, ladies offering to buy a baby and then kidnapping it, three children drowning in backyard swimming pools in the same weekend, stuff like that and crazier stuff that I can't even remember. Only in L.A.
-Speaking of children drowning in swimming pools... there was a ward in our stake that at one time had four lawsuits going where people were suing other people in their ward, members suing members. One lawsuit was between the Primary President and her first counselor. It's a sad story really, made even sadder by the lawsuit. The Primary was having a presidency meeting at the Primary President's house and the first counselor had brought her three year old child. Somehow the gate to the pool got opened and the child fell in and drowned. Really sad, especially since it happened while they were attending to church callings. However, the first counselor then went and sued the Primary President over it! Another lawsuit a woman was suing the church because she had tripped on a step and she claimed that the church should have had better lighting in the area. Only in L.A.
- Well, we are in L.A., near Hollywood (the sign is not that impressive by the way), so I have to tell about all my movie and T.V. connections. First, the two old ladies in New York Doll that work at the family history center are in our ward. Also in our ward is Doug Heder, Jon Heder's (Napoleon Dynamite) brother. Another guy that I have met at work was in an episode of 24, he was a guard in CTU who Jack Bauer knocks out. Yeah, I know, my list isn't that impressive, but I have only been here a month, give me a little more time. Robert saw Adam Sadler at a Dodgers game.
-I say we are near Hollywood because L.A. really isn't as huge as I thought it was as far as space. Every place in L.A. is nearby if you go by Utah standards. Isn't Salt Lake close to Provo? Well, here people would balk at having to go that far to get to anything. That's because there are so many people packed into this town that it takes twice as long to get anywhere! Downtown is like 15 miles away from us, but it takes an hour to get there because the freeway doesn't ever move and the surface streets are just as bad.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Sunday, April 30, 2006
The whole trip to L.A. we had sunny weather, but as we entered San Bernadino it suddenly became really cloudy and we have not left the clouds since. I guess it is cloudy because of the ocean and will be until the begining of July.
I really like Rob's relatives. In the house there is only Uncle Steve, Aunt Wendy, and their son Woody. They also have a son, Daniel, who is on a mission in Peru but will be coming home this summer. Steve and Wendy have worked really hard to make the extra bedroom look nice for us. The rest of the house is remodled, but the kitchen and the hallway down to our room is not. I think it is really funny that they have this nice house in a pricey neighborhood, but the kitchen is tiny and looks the same as it did in the sixties. They don't ever really cook here, only on Sundays. We even use paper plates and cups instead of real dishes. I must say, it is really nice just to throw away the dirty dishes; it makes for a fast clean up.
On Saturday we took the bus downtown because that is how Robert is going to get to work so we wanted to try it out. The bus drops him off right by his building and it is an express bus so it doesn't take too long. I will driving up to my internship, but it isn't too far either. I don't have to get on the freeway at all. I just take Palm street over to Sawtelle Blvd. and take Sawtelle up to my office building. I think the only hassle might be trying to find a parking spot since I will have to park on the street.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Microcredit is a relatively new form of international aid that helps people from poor countries by giving out small loans to individuals to fund small business. This system started in the 1970s with Muhammed Yunus, an American trained professor of economics, who began giving the first micro-loans in his native
Businesses funded by microcredit aren’t elaborate by any means, but they allow the receivers of the loans to perhaps double their income. In many cases this takes the receiver from a step away from starvation to a respected and prosperous member of the community. Every month the receiver pays back a portion of the loan with the money they are receiving from their new business.
The loans themselves are small and interest free, so no one is going to make a profit from the business of micro lending, but it has potential to help every poor person who can come up with a business plan. The businesses are things like making market bags out of old cement bags or raising chickens. They are things that don’t require a lot of capital to start, but the people who receive the loans don’t have that little amount of capital to start the business on their own.
This kind of aid is useful because it is not just a handout. The people are required to work hard, give back the money they borrowed, and become self reliant. Surprisingly, almost all the loans do eventually get paid back, even though there is little that the lenders could take away from the receivers if they defaulted on the loan. This system also re-supplies itself so it helps many people, not just a few. The money goes out, comes back in, and can go out again.
Although initially microcredit began by giving loans to both women and men, now about 96% of all the loans at the Grameen Bank and the majority of loans at other institutions are given to women. Lenders found out that women are more likely to actually repay the loans, while the loans to women also have a more direct affect on the family. Women are the primary caregivers to children, so when their situation improves the situation of the children improves as well.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
The film “Living Maya” was an enlightening portrayal of what it is like to make an ethnographic documentary. The film was essentially a “making of” for the film itself where audience is able to see how the film makers chose their site, enter the field, and interact with the people they film. I really enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes work that goes into making a very low budget ethnographic film like this. It gave me insight into what really goes on and reminded me of what happens when anthropologists go out into the field to study other cultures.
The film makers had an idea of what kind of village they wanted to film, so they talked with their friends about the villages in the
This reminded me a lot of when I went to
I also really liked the part of the film where the women are talking about the filmmaker in the kitchen, with him right there. The women are speaking in Mayan so the filmmaker doesn’t know what they are saying, but someone went back and translated it and put in subtitles so the audience can tell what is going on. I know this happened to me everyday while I was in
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
You can listen to the presentation at http://kennedy.byu.edu//events/inquiryconf.php.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
I had my interview with
On Thursday I got a call from one of the counselors in the Bishopric. He started out “I know this is short notice so you can say no if you want to…” You always know what’s coming after that. He asked me to talk about receiving personal revelation in sacrament meeting on Sunday. I had things that I had to get done on Saturday, that didn’t get done, but at least I have given a talk in church now and I won’t have to worry about it for another while. Plus, the three day notice didn’t give me very much time to worry about it.
This morning Robert and I woke up at the same time. I started getting ready for church and Robert got a bowl of cereal and went straight to his computer. At about twenty minutes until church started Robert had still not started getting ready, so I told him “You know, we actually have to be on time for church today.” He started to get ready then, and he had to finish putting on his tie and tying his shoes in the car. He says that he puts getting ready of until the last minute because then he wastes as little time as possible getting ready. If he only has ten minutes to get ready, then he will only take ten minutes. If he starts an hour earlier though, it will take him an hour.
My talk went well. The last time I had to talk in church I couldn’t see the clock, so I went over, and then everyone else had to cut their talks short. So this time I made sure I could see the clock and I finished in about ten minutes. I also tried to talk slowly, because I notice that when I get up and talk to people I usually get nervous and talk really fast. Robert said that it didn’t seem like I talked too fast, but that I did say umm too many times. I know I have to work on that. I need to give my presentation to Robert and have him throw a water balloon at me every time I say umm.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
“Tojo papi, tojo amor,” Juana playfully beckoned her young grandson from across the kitchen. The child glanced over at her, but instead toddled towards the plancha, the ceramic stove, aiming directly for the fire. Once there he proceeded to play with the ash emerging from the front of the plancha. The family, however, looked on unconcerned and continued their conversation about how many cows to buy in the market the next day. Suddenly Miguel, the grandfather, lunged forward shouting “no, no, no!” as he confiscated a flaming stick from his young grandchild. “Ai hombre!” the child’s exasperated mother exclaimed as she stood and took the mischievous toddler from his grandfather.
Monday, February 20, 2006
William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
(R. J. Cook, comp., One Hundred and One Famous Poems , 95)
Orson F. Whitney
Art thou in truth? Then what of him
Who bought thee with his blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood?
Free will is thine—free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto him
To whom all souls belong.
Small part of life’s great whole!
And see in him, and him alone,
The Captain of thy soul.
(Improvement Era, May 1926, 611)
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Well, after I read Dr. Hawkin's e-mail I decided to go for it. After all, Dr. Hawkins was very adamant that we did apply and whether or not our papers ever get published depends largely on him. I looked up the information for the Inquiry Conference and found out that that exact day was the deadline for applying. So I submitted my paper for evaluation around 8:00 P.M. on the last day to apply. Two days later I got an e-mail saying that I had been accepted to present.
As I read the e-mail I didn't know how to feel. I had kind of hoped that I wouldn't get accepted, and then I wouldn't have to present. I was also very excited that I did get accepted and that I really was going to get the chance to be in the Inquiry Conference. I have been going to the conference every year since I have been at BYU, so it is pretty cool to me that this year I will actually be a presenter.
The conference is now less than two weeks away. I am nervous about getting up and presenting, but I have done that a lot in classes and know what I need to work on for my presentation. What I am really nervous about is the question and answer part. I can't just present something that I have prepared. I can only try to anticipate what questions will be asked. Someone could ask me a question about my research that should have been really obvious to me. Someone could ask a question that I should know the answer to, but I don't. Hopefully I will be prepared to answer any questions that audience members do have, and hopefully people will have questions so I don't have to stand there for ten minutes.
Another thing that I am nervous about in an upcoming phone interview I have for an internship with a non-profit group called Reading to Kids. I really hope that I will be able to answer the questions that I get well so that I can have this internship. It is an unpaid internship, but I think that the experience I get would be really valuable to me in the future, especially when I look for a full time job. I have never met the person I am interviewing with, so I really have no idea what to expect from the interview.
So these two things have put some additional stress on me that make me feel in a permanent state of nervousness. I will be glad when they are both are over. I think that in the end I will be glad that I tried for both of these things though. Things that are hard for me to do like these always make me glad that I did it afterwards because it only makes me stronger and more expereinced.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Sure, it does have it's downsides. 18 month-olds don't really communicate too well. Their favorite words are mine and no, and by the time they learn any other words they are transferred to the senior nursery (we are only in the junior nursery). Consequently the most popular way of communicating is crying, especially at the beginning of class when their parents have left them with the strange nursery leaders. Times that by 10 kids and you get a very chaotic first few minutes. Luckily, some of the kids actually like nursery, especially the toys (who can blame them?), so not all of them are crying at once.
I didn't know before I came into the nursery that there are actual lessons in nursery. I think it is really sweet to teach them about Heavenly Father and Jesus. It is pretty cool when they actually learn something from the lessons.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Saturday, January 21, 2006
The first picture is a picture of typical interaction between grandparents and grandchildren. In this picture a woman watches as her grandnieces wash their hair in the sink. Since this woman has no children of her own she lives with her sister and cares for her grandnieces and nephews as if they were her own.
The second picture represents a couple issues faced by the villagers of Santa Catarina Ixtahaucan. This boy is standing in front of an abandoned church with trees growing inside. Mudslides after Hurricane Mitch devasted the town five years ago, eventually leading to the split of the town. Most of the villagers decided to relocate to a site more accesable to the freeway and with more stable terrain. Some of the villagers decided to stay in the old village however, which is where I lived. This picture also shows the influence that the West has on the small village. This boy is fascinated by his uncle's walkman.
The third picture is of two of my informants. They lived together alone since most of thier children and grandchildren relocated with the rest of the town. They take care of themselves by weaving since their grandchildren are not present to take care of them live they traditionally would.
The fourth picture is of a man with his granddaughter, and the fifth is of two brothers on a road in Ixtahuacan.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Christmas break is almost over, sad sad. These are just some pictures from the break. The top picture is of my brothers and cousins when we took family pictures. The picture directly above is me with my sister-in-laws, the pic on the right is Rob and I at a family party. The last pic is Rob and I devouring our one year old wedding cake on our anniversary. J/k, we took the picture and threw the cake away!