Friday, January 21, 2011


A special water system inauguration blog post!

” Mission Accomplished!” The priest who was doing the inauguration ceremony said those words (in Spanish). I couldn’t tell if he was trying to make fun of me by comparing my with George W. Bush. Either way I thought the mission was more or less complete. Assuming the mission was just to bring water from one place to several other places. But then I guess there’s more to it. W may have been right that it was the end of conventional warfare in Iraq. The part that you can plan and execute. But then that was followed by years of guerilla warfare. So I think we’ve finished the conventional construction phase. And now we enter guerilla construction. Leaks will catch us unawares. Attacks will be fast and erratic. There might be casualties. But we will move in a dispatch with them as efficiently as possible. Eventually the plumbers I have trained will be able to deal with the attacks on their own and my presence will no longer be necessary. Luckily I’ve already drilled everywhere in the community and extracted all of the self satisfaction there is to extract so I will have no problem turning control over to the local plumbers and heading back to my country. So I guess the priest WAS making a George W reference. Except that W landed on an aircraft carrier in a fighter jet. The baton twirling routine I did before my speech had the potential to be even more badass than W’s jet landing until the crotch of my sequined leotard ripped during the finishing split and suddenly nobody was looking at the baton that I was holding above my head.

Otherwise the Celebration was very nice. A priest came and moderated the event. He told me when to speak. I spoke. It was uninspiring. He made them applaud after each sentence anyway. Then my Dona/President of the Water Committee gave her speech. It was animated and passionate and I think she only breathed three times in the whole ten minute speech. I’d like to see David Blaine do that. They presented me with a framed certificate in appreciation of my role in the project. The name on the certificate was Senor Duncan. Apparently they didn’t know my last name so they just put the name of a grade school Spanish teacher. But really I like it even more than if they had used my full name. At the end of the ceremony the priest blessed the water and we threw it on the crowd. I was hesitant to throw the blessed water because I’m not very holy and I was afraid the water that came from my hands would burn peoples’ faces like acid. It didn’t though.

All my Peace Corps friends showed up to support me and make fun of my fear of public speaking. Even some white doctor people I didn’t know showed up to show their support. A creepy Dominican guy hovered over the American girls from the moment we arrived and kept asking the guys to introduce him. Girls like persistence.

After the blessing of the water there was a photo shoot. The people in my community love to be photographed but they don’t really understand how it works. So people were just walking into pictures that they weren’t supposed to be in and facing the wrong way and blocking the people in front of them. It was hilarious chaos. Their mothers obviously don’t make them get together for Christmas photos every year.

I slaughtered a turkey to cook for dinner before the ceremony. The way they do it here is by hanging it upside down by its feet and slitting its throat. I decided that if I couldn’t slaughter a turkey then I was a hypocrite to eat turkey. Also that turkey had been trying to get me to smoke pot for the past few days and saying “What are you chicken? Bok! Bok bok bok!” Luckily the Ninja Turtles taught me well when I was a kid so I said “I’m not a chicken, you’re a turkey!” (See YouTube for reference: ( And so I had to kill it. And what better time to do it than for a celebration. Killing the turkey gave me a simultaneous rush of adrenaline and sadness. Then we defeathered it and tore out its insides so that it would look more like the turkeys that come wrapped up in the grocery stores and we could forget that it ever lived. We rubbed some spices on it and put it in a bucket to wait for night time.

I took a nap around 3pm. I was all tuckered out. I woke up a little bit later.

Around nightfall all of the white people who still remained headed up the mountain to the camp site which was a piece of cow pasture that I picked at random. We brought the turkey and some charcoal and prepared a lopsided spit to rotisserie the chicken. Large quantities of rum and wine were consumed. Justin played the guitar and we sang and danced like savages.

But then things took a turn for the worse when Andrew, still feeling some of the adrenaline from the turkey slaughter, ran and jumped on the bull’s back in the cow pasture. The bull started bucking wildly and as Andrew went flying off his belt buckle got caught on one of the horns and Andrew was stuck hanging over the bull’s face. Cameron reacted by grabbing the guitar out of Justin’s hand and trying to smash it over the bull’s head but he hit Andrew instead and Andrew went unconscious. Jenni immediately whipped out her camera and started taking pictures. They were uploaded onto Facebook before the whole thing was over. Kerri was already asleep. She woke up and looked over at what was happening and told Cameron and Andrew to shut up. Amy and Justin continued trying to harmonize on “Total Eclipse of the Heart” but it was disturbing me more than the scene with the bull. Meanwhile Kenny was talking with one of the cows asking her to reason with her husband. She lifted up her tail and pooped. Cameron saw it and immediately applied hand sanitizer. Suddenly Omar came running out of the tent in cowboy attire and clown makeup and yelled “Don’t worry I saw this on Animal Planet!” He started running around trying to distract the bull and then hid in barrels. I think he meant he saw it on ESPN2. Finally Paul walked over to the bull and punched it in the back of the head and screamed, “I do what I want!” The bull fell to its knees. Andrew came to and looked around and said “Yeaaaah Dawg!” and snapped his fingers. Then Kelly got abducted by aliens. She giggled.

That was all bullshit. But we did have a lot of fun camping.